How Will COD Black Ops 4's Blackout Impact the Battle Royale Genre?

Oct 17, 2018 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate Your vote
Treyarch and Activision surprised the gaming world with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s having its own battle royale mode. The mode is called Blackout, is it set to change the entire battle royale landscape? WWGDB - How Will COD Black Ops 4's Blackout Impact the Battle Royale Genre?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 lack of a campaign mode didn’t seem to backfire. After all, its spanking new Blackout mode - an 88-player battle royale for solos and duos and the standard 100 for squads - is getting fantastic feedback. The preliminary praise it is getting from pundits, the community, and streamers is well-founded: it’s well-made and optimised game mode. This isn’t surprising if you take into account Activision’s track record, but it is amazing considering that the entire game also comes with the Zombies and other multiplayer features.

Though just a piece of the entire Black Ops 4 pie, Blackout is set to change the battle royale genre as we know it. How? Well, we can safely say that it will do so for the better given that it can positively influence its peers. With that said, let’s take a look at why it can do so and some of its implications.

Battle royale can simply just be a mode, not a standalone game

COD: Black Ops 4 Blackout

COD: Black Ops 4 proved alongside Fortnite that battle royale can simply be a vital piece of a game, not a game itself. Don’t forget: Fortnite has a single-player mode which Epic says will be released for free within the year. With both franchises cashing in, we can safely say that future first and third-person shooter games will include a battle royale mode. Battlefield V will try to further iron out this point when it comes out in November.

Can you image other franchises, like Halo, Counter-Strike, Tom Clancy games, and even hero shooters like Paladins and Overwatch putting in a battle royale mode in their standalone games? Granted, these games will be huge and take time to create. Black Ops 4 averted this by introducing locations in Blackout that are in past iterations of the CoD franchise. Since we’re likely going to welcome the next generation of consoles within the next three years, larger games can definitely be supported by more powerful hardware.

Blackout is well-optimised unlike certain titles

Let’s clear the elephant in the room. COD: Black Ops 4’s Blackout would have been what PUBG was if it were developed and supported by a competent company. Although Bluehole has done a decent job with PUBG in the past two years with its numerous content updates, it’s still terribly optimised. PC and Xbox One players are still suffering from a plethora of bugs, glitches, and gameplay issues which should no longer exist. Moreover, we can safely say PUBG missed a huge opportunity by ignoring the PlayStation 4, which is likely the reason why it has been overshadowed by Fortnite.

The FPS formula works in BR

PUBG on FPS mode looks decent, but still unoptimized

First-person shooters have always been known for being action-packed and fast-paced, Call of Duty included. This was a concern for Blackout: what if the COD FPS formula doesn’t mix well with the slow-paced, strategic, yet skill-dependent requirements of battle royale? Thankfully, its concerns were abated during the beta and upon the game’s full release.

Sure, COD veterans had to go over a learning curve and adapt to the slow-paced nature of battle royale, but fast reflexes and split-second decision-making still play a crucial part. Though battles in open areas are slow and requires running more than anything else, the ones done in confined spaces are classic COD. Even if the addition of vehicles, a helicopter, and even zombies (yes, there are zombies in Blackout) altered the gameplay, the FPS formula still works even with them around.

It is a full experience

Blackout is a full experience, much like the base game, though future DLC releases are on the pipeline. That being said, it’s unlike most of its peers, considering that other games - especially Fortnite - have been on early access for over a year. Though this isn’t much of a problem, Blackout won’t have to test out new gameplay additions or modifications every week since its features are already set in stone. If Treyarch is adding in more weapons and gameplay elements, they’ll add in a new slate instead of filling in a blank one.

Set a high standard for future releases

Riding ATVs is a thing on Blackout

Finally, the most significant impact Blackout has is that it has set a standard for future battle royale releases. Why can’t certain games be as full of content, stable, and fun to play as Blackout upon release? Granted that it is a triple A title and probably had an unlimited budget, the developers didn’t just take the money and run. No, they poured their heart and soul into creating a product people would love and have fun with. The work and dedication they put into the game is something other developers should aspire to do in the future.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is available on PC, XBox One, and PlayStation 4 for $59.99.

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