Developer Treyarch has been tight-lipped about the new Call of Duty game’s battle royale variant for months now, letting small details trickle out since its big May reveal. The mode is called Blackout, and it exists as a free element of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It was confirmed ahead of E3 this year to involve land, air, and sea vehicles and the biggest map the franchise has ever delivered.
Beyond that, we’ve haven’t seen much, and the public has subsisted mostly on a recent Game Informer feature detailing some key details like player counts and a reveal of the overhead map image just yesterday. Today, however, publisher Activision and Treyarch have dropped the very first Blackout trailer.
Plainly put, it’s a bit of sensory overload, yet it actually looks quite incredible. We can see a lot of influences from battle royale pioneer Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds the style and variety of the terrains, from a shipping container-filled dock area and tall abandoned buildings to dense forests and deserts. Beyond that, the similarities seem to end, and it just looks like a truly outrageous version of Call of Duty.
There are helicopters, ATVs, and boats all in the same space, and players seem to have the ability to deploy a wingsuit at any time to jump off high-elevation structures. There’s even a glimpse of a zombie for a brief moment in the trailer, suggesting the signature battle royale circle, or “storm” as Epic Games’ Fortnite dubbed it, may send an army of undead warriors after you if you linger too long outside the designated area.
It looks like a much more dramatic departure in style for Call of Duty than Battlefield V’s competing Firestorm mode will be, details of which were also revealed this week. Firestorm will be squad-based combat only, and it will feature 64 players, which is no larger than the biggest Battlefield servers in past games. Still, it will have a shrinking “ring of fire” circle to press players into confined combat situations and permadeath, as well as the franchise’s signature vehicles and a feature EA calls “destruction,” which we can only assume means massive, map-changing events like we’ve seen in past Battlefield games.
Either way, it’s a good time to be a battle royale fan. The Blackout private beta goes live on Monday, September 10th, and Black Ops 4 will release on October 12th. Battlefield V’s public beta is already underway right now, but it doesn’t appear that Firestorm is a part of that. EA pushed the release date of Battlefield V late last month from October 19th to November 6th, perhaps to avoid an already crowded October that contains both Black Ops 4 and Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2.