Rumors of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ditching a single-player campaign were confirmed Thursday during the shooter’s live reveal at the Jet Center in Los Angeles, California. Treyarch is opting to focus solely on multiplayer for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC outing via an expanded PVP and Zombies experience plus an all-new Battle Royale mode.
As previously covered, inside sources claim Black Ops 4‘s single-player campaign was abandoned once Treyarch and Activision realized it would not be done in time for the game’s release. The developer is instead adding a Battle Royale experience called “Blackout,” and features many Call of Duty-inspired twists.
Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar explained the Blackout map for Black Ops 4 will be 1,500 times bigger than Nuketown, one of the franchise’s smallest and most popular maps. It will be filled with 10 years’ worth of characters, weapons, and features, along with set pieces from different maps in the Black Ops universe such as Nuketown and Firing Range. Even the cast from the Zombies mode will be along for the ride with their own weapons and gear.
Blackout will also feature land, sea, and air vehicles according to Treyarch. The air part is perhaps the most interesting, as existing Battle Royale titles have avoided air vehicles beyond parachutes due to how they impact performance and gameplay.
A player count has not been revealed and is of interest following rumors that it has not reached 100 players yet. However, an enterprising Reddit user took the time to count the little dots on the simulated map from the Black Ops 4 trailer and counted 140 players. We are trying to determine if this is accurate.
Vonderhaar was cognizant of the potential criticism of Black Ops 4, including a Battle Royale mode during his presentation.
“These games are no secret. We play them too,” he said on stage. “For us to even consider this kind of experience, it had to be unique and done in a way only Black Ops could do.
“We are doing this, but we are doing it the Black Ops way. A survival game with the best, most refined mechanics in the world. Our signature controls and gameplay systems and the kind of fast-paced action that only Call of Duty can deliver.”
More details on Blackout and how it fits in the entire Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ecosystem will be coming. It does appear to be focused on characters instead of individual cosmetic items, like Battle Royale games Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. How that works with whatever microtransaction system Activision and Treyarch put in place will be of keen interest.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is due to be released on October 12 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This is much earlier than usual and the game will cost the usual $59.99 price at launch.
PUBG Creative Director Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene welcomed Black Ops 4 to the Battle Royale club on Twitter, while Fortnite developers Epic Games have not responded yet.
Oh hai, @CallofDuty… welcome to the club <3
— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) May 17, 2018
Greene has said in the past he does not mind Battle Royale competitors as long as they are not carbon copies of PUBG and bring some kind of new spin on the last man standing formula.