Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Blackout mode - battle royale - Treyarch
Photo courtesy of Variety

Battle royale continues to steamroll through the gaming community. Its popularity continues to churn out big player numbers in its current iterations. However, it’s been no secret that this mode is about to bury its hooks in other prominent franchises, not the least of which being Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Treyarch kickstarted the hype train this week with unveiling two juicy bits of precious Blackout info both hardened Call of Duty and battle royale fans have been clamoring for. They both have to do with the size and scope of Call of Duty’s battle royale mode: player count and the map.

The player count

In a recent visit to the Treyarch development studio, Game Informer had the privilege of learning the play count for the upcoming Blackout beta and, perhaps, the retail launch of the game. The beta will provide the battlefield for 80 players per match. If you do the complex math, it can be noted that this is 20 fewer players than the current dominant offerings in the battle royale sphere. Co-studio head of Treyarch, Dan Bunting, explained that the gameplay experience is the priority. The studio’s goal is to ensure the gameplay is polished and satisfying.

Is it possible that the player count can change? Sure. Bunting stated, “So we’re starting with 80 players, but we’ve gone higher than that. Whenever we launch a game as a beta or whatever, that’s the beginning of something. We’re going to actively be participating in the community and taking feedback, making changes and adapting, evolving the game as feedback rolls in.”

If nothing else, it’s easy to take Bunting’s statement at face value based on the level of dedication and attention to player feedback Treyarch put into tweaking gameplay post-beta. Fans, myself included, will be chomping at the bit next week to dive into Blackout.

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The map

Glorious isn’t it? While battle royale is the current trend that Call of Duty is adopting, a playable multiplayer map this size is an absolute first for Call of Duty. Black Ops fans, especially, will be elated to see Nuketown Island just off the shore of the mainland. Perhaps, we’ll get an expansion of everyone’s favorite Black Ops neighborhood on the island. Fans may also note other familiar locale names from Call of Duty history.

The question that may be best left for a later time is whether we’ll see more Blackout maps with DLC or if the map will shift and change much in the same way Fortnite’s has done. Only time will tell, but with a map this size, fans should be content for a while.

Remember, the Blackout beta will begin exclusively on PlayStation 4 on September 10. Xbox One and PC can join the fun on September 14. Access to the mode will run through September 17. If you’re unable to join, keep an eye out for our impressions of the mode next week!

What’re your thoughts on the player count and map layout? Are you thrilled by what Treyarch has presented thus far? Or do you hope for more like an increase to the player count? Let us know in the comments below!

Chris Hinton
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night.  Somewhere in between all of that, I'm a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too.  If a game is all about action, there's a safe bet I'm playing it.  I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin' on the ol' Atari and haven't stopped since.

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