Blackout, the Battle Royale mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, will be playable through a private beta starting on September 10. The beta will be a timed exclusive for PlayStation 4 owners who pre-ordered the first-person shooter, with the beta rolling out for pre-order customers on Xbox One and PC soon after.
The beta for the traditional multiplayer of Black Ops 4 wrapped up this past weekend, and it gave players a taste of the maps, game types, and gameplay mechanics. Developer Treyarch has unveiled very few details about Blackout, besides a brief 13-second glimpse at the end of the beta trailer. The reveal of Black Ops 4 offered some details about map size and the inclusion of land, sea, and air vehicles, but basics such as player count are still unknown.
At the latest, players will finally find out more details about Blackout by September 10, a date that Treyarch announced through a tweet. According to the video, Blackout (and presumably the beta) will allow players to team up in duos, four-player squads (referred here as "quads"), or go at it solo—pretty standard configurations for the battle royale genre. The tweet caption of "Prepare accordingly" seems to imply that looting and preparation, another staple of the genre, will be just as essential in Blackout. UPDATE: PC beta launches on September 14 for those who've preordered the game and September 15 for anyone with a Battle.net account. Xbox One beta also launches on September 14.
Mark your calendars:— TreyarchPC (@TreyarchPC) August 20, 2018
The Blackout PC beta goes live September 14th at 10am PT for those that have pre-purchased any digital version of the game.
The Blackout PC Open Beta is available to anyone with a https://t.co/d5IQWYDE9D account starting 10am PT on September 15th pic.twitter.com/ElRScDOGJi
Treyarch will have a lot to prove with Blackout - while Call of Duty is one of the most bankable names in modern day video games, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale have each taken a large portion of the gaming audience for themselves. Blackout will have to distinguish itself in order to be a viable player in the now-crowded battle royale space, and it begins with the game showing what its original pitch of "battle royale, the Black Ops way" really means.
The game mode needs to show off a variety of weapons, and demonstrate that vehicles are viable in this type of game. Battleground and Fortnite only have land vehicles at the moment, giving the edge to Blackout. Call of Duty games generally have a shorter time-to-kill (TTK) ratio, with players respawning almost instantly after getting taken down - battle royale games are centered around having one life, so Blackout will have to adjust to that principle to make game sessions tense and worthwhile. Finally, if the player count is indeed smaller than that of its main competition, Blackout will have to justify that number and guarantee that the game will still be as fun with fewer players. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is looking to be a massive package of content, and with Blackout at the center in place of a single-player campaign, Treyarch has a lot at stake as they vie to win over choosy consumers.
Source: Call of Duty/Twitter