As soon as you load into the deployment area, you are met with the silky-smooth movement that was experienced during the multiplayer beta. Dropping into a map filled with iconic Black Ops map elements is a much easier experience than some of its counterparts. Using the wingsuit, you have the ability to glide effortlessly to your desired location. Having the ability to free-look while dropping into the map also enables you to check how many players have landed nearby â€“ great for practising your aim before you drop in for the real game.
As with all the other BR games, looting is an integral part of the game you need to master in order to get the upper hand on your opponents. After landing in various locations, loot balance seems to be very good. There's a diverse mixture of healing, armour, lethal and tactical grenades, weapons and more all up for grabs in buildings ranging from tall water towers to long missile storage facilities. Equipping an attachment to your new-found weapon is incredibly simple. You are given the option to instantly equip it by holding square, or storing it in your inventory by pressing triangle. As the beta progressed, looting speed increased, making it much easier to grab a weapon and ammunition, though it was still slower than desirable and often leaves players staring at the floor.
What makes Blackout stand out in a heavily crowded market are the introduction of perks. Perks are found all over the map like weapons and attachments. Acquiring a perk and using it will give you an advantage for a period of time before it runs out, meaning you will need to find another one if you want to use it again. One of the best examples of the perk abilities in Blackout, Dead Silence and Mobility can be combined together make for quick and stealthy movement that is ideal for sneaking up on an unsuspecting enemy. Time-based perks are a great way to integrate one of Call of Dutyâ€™s staples without rendering them to be too overpowered.
Despite some early connection issues, gameplay has been fast, fluid and tactical. With a plethora of ways to take down your opponents, Blackout offers a classic Call of Duty experience while adhering to several conventions of the BR genre. The time to kill varies depending on which level of armour that has been equipped but it doesnâ€™t feel too unbalanced when engaging in a gunfight. Vehicles are another new feature that have been added into Blackout. Ranging from a slow-moving transport truck, a light and nimble quad bike, a small speedboat and an attack helicopter, each vehicle offers different features to give you the upper hand. In quads, the transport truck is ideal for having one driver and three players lying prone in the back ready to take down any threats. In a duos game, the quad bike is perfect for traversing the map quickly, making you a difficult target for everyone else. One of the only issues I have is the strength of the highest level of armour in the game. Level three armour is the only armour set which protects your head and can take a huge amount of damage before it breaks. A nerf has been implemented to make it much easier to take down an enemy who has it equipped, but it continues to be a huge decider in vital gunfights.
From what I have played so far, Blackout is by far the best battle royale game on console that does not involve building. It's fast and smooth gameplay combined with classic Call of Duty mechanics, with a few innovations thrown in for good measure. Blackout has the potential to make a huge mark on some of the more established titles such as H1Z1, Realm Royale and PlayerUnknownâ€™s Battlegrounds. If Blackout is to succeed as a top battle royale game, weekly updates to maintain the balance and the addition of new challenges and skins are a must from Treyarch. If any Call of Duty developer is going to make it work, it will be Treyarch â€“ a developer that has been the fan favourite since the release of Call of Duty: World at War. I cannot wait to play the full release in October.