Like every holiday that comes once a year, Call of Duty is here with Black Ops 4. Considered one of the most popular franchises ever, Activision is raising the stakes with a huge change. Instead of focusing on a story campaign with multiplayer options, Black Ops 4 nixes the campaign altogether to bring you a multiplayer experience like no other. A change that was heard throughout the internet, Call of Duty’s legacy revolved around it’s legendary campaign mode. Activision, however has big plans. Battle Royale makes it’s way to Call of Duty. The battle royale mode in Black Ops 4 isn’t just a copy and paste job. Up against 88 other players (for now), it still feels like a Call of Duty game, which is a good thing. Standing out among the onslaught of games heading toward the battle royale genre is key, and Activision delivers.

Dive right in

The battle royale mode, called Black Out, is just like any other battle royale game. You can choose to either team up or go solo. The objective remains the same: Drop in, grab weapons and try to be the last man standing. Parachuting to your location is a tad different. You can view the map and route of where the helicopters fly across. But with the wing suits, you can literally glide across the map, making it a bit forgiving if you mistime your drop. As the match goes on, you’ll often find yourself low on ammo or supplies, so scavenging your kills is a huge lifesaver. There are ammo and bandages scattered around, so stock up anytime you can. The controls in Black Ops 4 feel similar to previous Call of Duty games, which makes jumping in easy if your a veteran player.

One of the standout features in Black Out is the customization. Not only are weapons scattered throughout the map, but so are options to add to your arsenal. You can add scopes, silencers, even laser pointers. Plus boosts that can give you a slight edge for a short period time. Each of the different mods available cater to your play style. Looking to sneak around and kill from a distance? Grab that 4x scope and silencer. Want max damage and low recoil? The grip will help with that. On top of that, there are a few missions that, if achieve, will unlock a skin from a previous Call of Duty game.

Keeping it old school

Now, if battle royale isn’t your cup of tea, there are traditional multiplayer matches with several different maps. In the Multiplayer mode, you can return to the roots of Call of Duty with several game types. There’s Control, Heist, Free for All, Chaos Team Deathmatch, and Capture Moshpit. These modes play just like previous Call of Duty games, with a few changes. You have the ability to heal yourself to full at anytime with a short recharge in between shots. Depending on the character you pick, there’s a main weapon that charges and can be unleashed against your foes after a certain amount of kills. Working your way up in the ranks of the Multiplayer matches unlocks many customization for your character, plus score streaks perks as well.

And there’s the fan favorite Zombie mode making it’s return with several different maps and stories. In the Zombie mode, there are three main stories that are both engaging and creepy as well. The first setting is on the Titanic as it’s sinking, however this time there are demonic powers taking over and zombies have been unleashed. Another is set in ancient Rome where you are stuck in the coliseum where you fight to the death against waves of zombies. And the last story involves and expansion of a fan favorite Mob of the Dead game. This has you venturing through a purgatory like prison.

In the end of the day, I have a feeling Blackout is the game mode everyone is going to be talking about. And with good reason. It’s a really solid and strong attempt at the battle royale genre without sacrificing what make Call of Duty great. The lack of a campaign is forgivable with the amount of content stuffed in just the multiplayer experience. There is literally a game style for everyone. If you’re enjoying games like PUBG and H1Z1, then the Black Out mode is for you. Fortnite players may or may not like it, but that’s OK. Black Ops 4 is geared more towards a hardcore experience. One that only Call of Duty can deliver.

Nuke the Fridge Score: 9/10

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