Is Call of Duty: Blackout the new and improved PUBG?

Following the highly successful Blackout beta launch, the discussion of whether Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s new battle royale game-mode is the new and improved ‘polished’ version of PUBG is in discussion across the internet.

With over 1.3 million views on Blackout’s initial trailer launch, it’s safe to say there’s a new boy on the block, but how will this affect PUBG and even Fortnite players? And will Blackout be joining Fortnite and PUBG on the charts?

The Beta Launch Success

Overall, players were surprised by how smooth the gameplay was. It’s no surprise that a new Call of Duty game was going to be hyped and popular for several weeks anyway, not including the addition of the Blackout game mode.

With the response that the new mode has received, we may have a new battle royale game storming the charts next year.

Since the beta launch, popular streamers and content creators have also jumped onboard streaming to thousands of fans. This list included popular streamers known for PUBG and Fortnite: Shroud, DrDisrespect, and Ninja. All of which provided positive feedback and a perfect example of how the game runs.

DrDisrespect even went to the lengths of posting on Twitter his love for the new game, foreshadowing many Blackout streams in the future.

Blackout vs. PUBG

Following a quote from a reliable news source:

“I’m surprised by Blackout’s map. It is very PUBG – to the point where a casual observer might have trouble distinguishing between the two games if they were to look at screenshots of each side by side.”

Personally, I don’t agree with that statement. As a PUBG player myself, it’s a remarkable difference in terms of graphics. Call of Duty graphics are much sharper and saturated. Looking at two screenshots side by side, most players – or the average news reader – could identify the two.

However, I won’t be too biased. I admit that the graphics on Blackout do look much sharper compared to PUBG. Though I do feel Call of Duty titles have always focused on producing smooth and eye-appealing graphics anyway, it has just gone largely unnoticed until now.

I would like to see more graphics options in PUBG such as hue and saturation or various colour coordinating. It’s a small suggestion but I am very impressed with the detail in the new Call of Duty.

Gameplay Comparisons (PUBG vs. Call of Duty)

Activision has smashed it this year! Loyal fans of the franchise were most excited about the “boots-on-the-ground” announcement. Activision is seemingly beginning to listen to their fans. As for PUBG, the developers have always listened to comments and feedback from day one.

The test servers on PUBG are a fantastic way for the developers to see what works and what doesn’t. I feel like Activision should have listened to the fanbase years ago but they are only starting to implement requested features now.

My point is, Activision have reviewed the success of the battle royale genre from PUBG, Fortnite, and several other games but at the end of the day, PUBG and Fortnite are always superior after several weeks of the new games. I personally don’t think Blackout or even Call of Duty will stay popular, but who knows.

Weapon Comparisons:

Following another quote from the same reliable source:

“The shooting is superb, with weighty weapons that pack a real punch. Aiming down sights feels slick – as it should, since this is Call of Duty shooting we’re talking about. I love the sound of Call of Duty‘s weapons, the crack of a sniper rifle, the thud of a shotgun or the rattle of an SMG.”

This goes to show that loyal fans of the franchise expect to see the same old weapons and mechanics rather than branching out into a more skillful set of weapon choices. However, I will agree that the weapons in Blackout do look phenomenal and they have altered the sound and design details to a much greater extent than other Call of Duty games.

Weapon Recoil

Weapon recoil in PUBG requires more thought and it is far from a traditional point-and-shoot FPS. Call of Duty features recoil and bullet drop but the franchise has always been known for fast, direct combat no matter what the range.

This already shows a massive difference between the two games.

Weapon Selection

The weapon selection is also much different. Call of Duty feature similar weapon statistics and classes in most of their games and it isn’t anything new. What I mean by this is all assault rifles in Blackout are similar in terms of their uses, and the same goes for SMGs and sniper rifles. Comparatively, PUBG weapon categories are much more varied and the player has to make choices based on their preference.

For instance, look at PUBG‘s assault rifles:

  • AKM
  • M16A4
  • M416
  • SCAR-L

All of these weapons vary in terms of their functions. The M16A4 is a single or burst-fire rifle that deals enough damage as long as the shots are dealt with efficiently. The AKM deals a high amount of damage but the huge kick of recoil bends shots upwards and side to side, landing fewer shots on target. There is always a second factor to think about when choosing a PUBG AR.

I feel as if in all Call of Duty games, the same genre of weapons are similar and players don’t have to make such a drastic decision. The ICR-1, HVk-30, and KN-44 in Black Ops 3 for example all have the same magazine capacity, similar recoil, and bullet spread. The only major differences were the designs and sounds of the weapons. I feel as if Black Ops 4 is still going by these values and not opening up on a skill level point of view.

Personal Thoughts

Overall, I disagree with any comments claiming that Blackout is the “new” and “improved” PUBG. I do admit that there are some similarities in terms of the battle royale aspect, however, in terms of gameplay, there are few similarities. The gameplay in PUBG introduces more elements to surviving which elongates rounds, whereas in Call of Duty, gameplay is usually running the main area of the map and shooting straight away from the beginning of the round. The only similarities I can recall in Blackout and PUBG is the aspect of choosing a landing area from a large map and using knowledge and foresight to survive.

The graphics and aspect of battle royale have been greatly developed in Blackout, but I feel players will still go back to the original battle royale games and enjoy Call of Duty for what it has always been – a fast, competitive, FPS game.


What do you think about the points I have made? Let us know down in the comments, we’d love to hear from you. I also quite like arguing with people about games, so fire away!

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Huge fan of PUBG, Project Cars and Dirt Rally – I’m currently studying a film and photography degree and I also love mountain biking