Can Call Of Duty Blackout Really Kill PUBG?
Battle Royale is the hottest genre around right now, and big publishers are out to get a piece of the action. While PUBG and Fortnite are currently the biggest contenders in the genre, Call of Duty is bringing its own take with Blackout Coming as one of the multiplayer modes in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Blackout is a massive Battle Royale mode with the Black Ops twist – it’s faster, arcady and immensely fun And it’s throws in some zombies!
As we’re playing the Beta running this week, we have been having an absolute blast with the game, and it feels like a real contender to PUBG. Veteran Battle Royale players will notice some similarities and appreciate the differences. New comers will find Blackout a much easier experience to jump into.
As is the norm in this genre, you jump out of an aircraft on to a massive map. In Blackout, you jump out of a helicopter, while in PUBG it’s an airplane. Unlike PUBG, once you jump out in Blackout, you have a lot more control as you move in the air. You don a wing suit and can maneuver a lot more accurately. You can get farther across the map and land precisely where you want to.
Given the speed at which Call of Duty moves, the looting phase is also more frantic. Like in PUBG, you’ll be running around looking for gear, weapons and ammo. The interface does a good job of making items look sharp and clear. Picking up and dropping loot is done well with a controller, and the inventory is easy to navigate once you get a hang of it.
The map is the biggest we have seen in a Call of Duty game, and even the barren locales are littered with interesting spots to discover. I came upon a small camp while running around in the middle nowhere, and was pleasantly surprised. It gives the map a feeling of being lived in rather than just being an abandoned warzone. Some areas are more likely to spawn zombies, like the Asylum and a graveyard. Also, there’s medkits lying on top of graves. The main named zones in the map are inspired from previous Black Ops multiplayer maps, and returning fans will be immediately familiar with some of the layout.
The encounters are where Blackout and PUBG differ the most. The time to kill is a lot faster in Blackout, but so is the healing and reviving. You are encouraged to take cover, and the standard Call of Duty run’n’gun will see you dead real fast. You can heal, shoot, reload while sprinting and vaulting, and hence every combat encounter feels like a frantic mix of offence and defence. Expect to die, a lot.
There’s a solid variety here, and Call of Duty goes wild with how many different weapons it offers you. There are weapons from past Black Ops games, so both older and futuristic weapons make an appearance here. Also, there’s nothing quite like taking down a whole squad in a helicopter with a rocket launcher.
Speaking of helicopters, Blackout has a good variety of vehicles as well. You have a fast paced two man buggy, a large truck with an open back, and a helicopter. Players can move around freely on the back of the truck, and passengers can shoot out of helicopters. However, you are not safe inside vehicles and can die rather quickly. Fat time-to-kill, remember?
Call of Duty’s perk system also makes an appearance in Blackout. However, there are no loadouts, but you can pick up perk items in the map and activate them one at a time. This is an interesting change can using them wisely can change the tide in a fight. Perks can boost your health, reduce the damage you take, increase your speed, and so on.
With these changes and improvements, Blackout is set to be a real challenge to PUBG. Even in beta, the game felt fairly optimized and that’s already an improvement from where PUBG is today. It may not be the same intense experience as PUBG or offer the fun, flippant attitude that Fortnite has, but it lies neatly in between offering a good balance between the two. And that might be its biggest strength. We can’t wait to get out hands on the full retail experience once Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 releases on October 12th 2018.
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