Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout Preview

In the interest of chasing trends Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout has been born. This is the franchise's take on the battle royale genre being a mix match of the Black Ops series. There are many iconic characters to unlock, a pile of weapons to use from the various titles and a mash-up of past levels into one big area. It's actually an impressive map and one that does keep the pacing relatively fast, as is the style in Call of Duty. You get so many fan favorite areas such as Nuke Town, the Asylum and even that old school Diner.

They're here and split into key areas where you might get some better loot. It's nice to revisit them, yet also weird in the context they're being used for. If you're lucky zombies will annoy you for a minute and it's basically a splash of nostalgia within a popular game type of the time. I played a fair bit of this during the beta and I have mixed feelings towards it. The game mode definitely gets the genre right while stilling feeling like Call of Duty, but I wasn't necessarily blown away by it. It feels as though I've played this exact setup many times before, or well over the last year in PUBG, Fortnite or that hellishly awful The Culling 2. There are others too, the point is we've all seen this before.

The gameplay in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout is actually on pace with regular multiplayer. It can slow down considerably at times to a snail's pace, but it works. I find it less tactical than PUBG and more serious than Fortnite. There really isn't any room for sneaky actions as the environment doesn't lean into that, but there are plenty of structures to use as cover. They have some neat secrets hidden within the world, just like the mystery box shown below. The gear was fine, it was varied and plentiful. It didn't seem like there was much of an effort to upgrade things as I'd just grab the guns available. I liked the system for equipping attachments.

Deaths are very fast here, I miss the slow nuances of the other battle royale titles in fire fights. This is straight run and gun. The vehicles are neat, a tad awkward to drive though it is nice to see them again in a multiplayer portion of the franchise. Believe their last appearance was World at War with tanks. The helicopters feel out of place quite honestly, I used them a couple times and it seemed to take away from strategic movement. The visuals looked great on the Xbox One X and the performance was excellent, but I'm not surprised as the franchise does push for that type of quality. Generally I found Blackout to be a fine addition to the series, I wasn't blown away by it though it seems like it can be something fun to play on the rare occasion.

Read our CoD: Black Ops 4 E3 Multiplayer Preview
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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout Mystery Box Screenshot
Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner