Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is getting a massive battle royale mode, one complete with 80 players blasting each other to bits. And Activision and Treyarch aren’t content with offering a massive battlefield choked to the rafters with gun-toting maniacs all looking to blow each other to pieces, oh no. The team is also introducing AI-controlled zombies into the mix.
And while details about how these enemies will work within the game are scarce, we do know a little bit. The zombies won’t just be mindless cannon fodder to offer a mild distraction to players until they get used to ignoring them. The zombies in Blackout will be more intelligent and useful thus useful as a diversion or strategic weapon, although skilled players will still no doubt be able to handle them just fine.
I would also assume that a similar approach is being taken to the drivable vehicles in Black Out. With everything from ATVs and cargo trucks, to sea and air vehicles, Black Out will have plenty of options for mobility and attack. it will be very fun for gamers to figure out the most powerful options and abuse them recklessly. I can’t wait to see what happens to the meta-game in the battle royale mode over time.
For those that aren’t aware, Blackout is the battle royale mode being offered for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. And according to a recent interview between co-studio head Dan Bunting and studio design director David Vonderhaar with Gameinformer, there’s a lot to like in the latest competitor in the crowded shooter genre.
The interview offered some insight into how the developers are prioritizing a fun gameplay experience over a huge number of players. The current plan, at least for the Beta test starting soon, is to have 80 players in each Blackout match. It also stands to reason that the design choices with zombies in the mode will play into that mentality. Here’s the relevant quote:
What’s really more important to us than a number is that the gameplay experience is as refined as it can be, that’s it the ideal perfect format for what players are going to play. 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. So there’s a lot that can go on that can happen beyond that first impact of the game going out there.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s Blackout private beta is scheduled to begin next Monday, September 10th at 5pm GMT/10am PT, with a week of exclusivity for PS4 players. Xbox One and PC players get access Friday September 14th at 5pm GMT/10am PT, with the whole thing drawing to a close on September 17th at 5pm GMT/10am PT for all platforms.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is set to launch on October 12, 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.