Fluid gunplay, speed and vehicles is what’ll make Call of Duty Black Ops IIII’s battle royale mode Blackout stand out

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Battle Royale baby! It’s not just a trend, it’s a way of life! What began with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and exploded into the mainstream with Fortnite, has become more than just a trend as bigger publishers and developers have all begun throwing their hats into the ring. Right now, Activision’s Call of Duty franchise might just be the biggest kid on the block that is looking to carve out a sizable chunk of that genre from established players in the industry.

Which actually, sounds pretty great. At its very foundation, is a game that has been refined and polished for multiple years now as Call of Duty’s signature gunplay has become the benchmark for first-person shooters. Heavy, meaty and substantial. What else though? What else does Black Ops IIII have to offer players looking for a Battle Royale experience that strays away from the pack? Grit, moments of glory and user-generated chaos according to Treyarch.

“I think there’s obviously the opportunity to bring a really gritty experience that has really high-quality gunplay,” senior producer Yale Miller explained to me at E3.

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I think that’s going to set a new bar as far as the quality of gunplay and movement and feel. Also, we think we’re doing a great job with vehicles. Treyarch has a huge pedigree for vehicles, we’ve done them in multiplayer maps recently, we’ve done them in our prior campaigns and even way back in older Call of Duties. So that stuff is a lot of fun, it’s about how much stuff we have to bring to the table as far as weapons, equipment and gear that you can bring in to make it very interesting.

“We know what we like, we love the feel of Call of Duty, we love Black Ops’ fluid motion that we’ve worked so hard on and pushed so hard on with Black Ops IIII,” game designer Matt Scronce added.

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Black Ops IIII is built for the community and we see them out there, saying ‘we love this, but I really want a Call of Duty battle royale, I want that first-person feel with fluid motion’. We want that too, we’re big gamers as well. So we found the fun in battle royale. I was talking to one of our designers, who in the past has been primarily a campaign designer, he’s now on Blackout and we’re talking about how it’s different for him.

He has been so used to creating cinematic moments and setpieces for players in somewhat of a linear fashion and now he’s on Blackout where he’s designing tools on this large map that’s 1500 times the size of Nuke Town and he’s giving those tools to the player so that the players can create their own cinematic moments.

But it’s you know, it’s great to see those guys get excited about what they can do now.

This year’s Call of Duty feels great so far. There’s a level of refinement that the game is clearly benefitting from so far. If Blackout can reach a similar benchmark, then this year might see a big shift in the Battle Royale genre.

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Last Updated: June 15, 2018

Darryn Bonthuys

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