Call of Duty fans who pre-ordered Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have already gotten a chance to try out the game’s traditional competitive multiplayer mode, but there is another mode that has them even more excited: “Blackout.” The battle royale mode brings large-scale warfare to the series, and you can try it out in the beta this September.
Activision shared the news on its Twitter account on Tuesday, August 14, along with a short teaser trailer. The Blackout beta will be available on September 10 to players who pre-ordered the game on PlayStation 4, and it will include solo, pairs, and four-person squad matches. It will be made available to those on Xbox One on September 14, and it will be available to PC players on September 15. Those who want to play the beta on PC will not have to pre-order the game.
Inspired by recent games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale, Blackout takes place on the largest map ever made for Call of Duty, and it includes classic staples like the RC-XD drone as well as zombies. It also offers vehicular combat across land, air, and sea. Aside from Call of Duty: World at War, the franchise has traditionally stayed away from directly controlled vehicles.
If Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 can pull Blackout off, it could reinvigorate the series. Combining large-scale battles with the slick and polished gunplay of Call of Duty seems like a match made in heaven, but time will tell if Treyarch is up to the challenge.
Call of Duty will have some competition from Battlefield V for the battle royale crown, assuming either game can steal Fortnite‘s thunder. Battlefield V‘s battle royale mode won’t be included in the game at launch, with the “Royale” mode coming later on, but given the size of most Battlefield maps already, it seems like a natural fit. Additionally, Battlefield V includes a single-player campaign mode, which Treyarch dropped for Black Ops 4 as it instead chose to focus on multiplayer and zombies content.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 12.
Updated on August 20: Added information on Xbox One and PC beta dates.
- The best Call of Duty games, ranked from best to worst
- Everything we know about Battlefield 6
- The best battle royale games
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s second season includes a bigger zombies mode
- The best multiplayer games on the PS5