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BLACKOUT Beta First Impressions (COD BO4)

To be honest, when it comes to Battle Royale games, I’m pretty horrible. The biggest reason I hate Fortnite is because I just can’t get the hang of it. Third person shooters are more irritating to me than FPS, even after hot-keying things I just suck at building. PUBG is more my style but it is just a nightmare to play because of how buggy it is, and the animations are STILL horrendous. Let’s not even discuss the dumpster fire that is H1Z1. After playing a little over 10 hours of the Blackout Beta for PC, I can’t help but feel that this may be my time to shine.

(Watch the full Black Out trailer here)

Even though it was just a beta, Treyarch did a fantastic job at giving us what felt like a full game. My computer was strong enough to run almost everything on max and I very rarely dipped beneath 60fps. There were some graphics hiccups here or there like trees not loading in right away, and house details being blurry but with it being a beta I didn’t mind.

Size wise, the map is just under the size of the Fortnite map which, in my opinion, is a perfect size map. If you have played previous Call of Duty games, there are many sections of the map that may seem familiar to you. You can drop down on an island that has Nuketown, a miniature version of Array from the original Black Ops, Firing Range also from Black Ops, and even the Asylum map from World at War. Did I mention that Asylum has effing zombies that can attack you and kill you? Yeah. That was a surprise.

The game offers a wide assortment of items you can loot such as guns/ammo, different grenades, med kits, different tiers of armor, perks, backpacks, grappling hooks and more. Treyarch did a great job at giving each gun a different personality and feel. Being able to attach stocks, foregrips, extended barrels, magazines, and a ton of different sights let’s you truly feel ready for any circumstance.

With it being a beta, I have thought a lot about the changes I wish to see and the things I think were great. Let’s get into it!

Things I hope get changed

  • With the Level 1-3 armor, I felt like enemies became a complete bullet sponge. There were many times where I would just unload on an enemy and they turn around and kill me first because they had a little more armor. I would like to see this a little more fine tuned so armor offers an advantage, but doesn’t break the experience.

  • I would love a third weapon slot for a sidearm. With only 2 slots, I find it hard to pick what guns I want on me. While that can be part of the fun, and I can see it being ok in a squad match, in solos I felt lacking in fire power sometimes. While I know that isn’t usually a thing in Call of Duty games, I feel like it offer more adaptability in combat encounters.

  • There are some animations and mechanics that I hope become a little more fluid (which I assume they will since this is a beta). Very often I am running and trying to loot a building and I’m pressing the button to pick up, but I have to press it a few times to respond. In the opening minutes of a BR, those few seconds to loot matter. Other things such as my character getting stuck while trying to jump through a window has gotten me killed a few times.

  • Items that are on the ground I would like to be either brighter, or with color coordinated lights around it to make it easier to see on certain surfaces. The legendary guns with full attachments are outlined, I think it would be easy to outline others a different color.

  • I would love to see old Black Ops weapons in the game. I would love to pick up an LSAT, Vector or a SCAR

  • Please please please give me a hot key to activate perks instead of going into my inventory.


Things I enjoyed

  • While I enjoyed 88 people in a game, Treyarch extended the beta by 2 hours and added an extra dozen people. The 100 player count made it even more fast paced which is what I want from a shooter.

  • The amount of gun customization is fantastic. If you don’t have a long range assault rifle, you can put a foregrip and a 3x scope on a submachine gun and it will do the just sometimes just as well. Being able to have exactly what you want makes you feel confident in most situations.

  • Sometimes while playing, I forgot it was a beta because the mechanics were so smooth. Being able to feel the difference in each guns handling and how quick it moved was amazing.

  • Thank you for adding bullet drop. It makes the sniper experience so nice.

  • So far, the hit-boxes for bullets seem way more accurate than previous games. I’m tired of seeing kill cams where the dudes cursor wasn’t even on me. It’s so refreshing to feel like I wasn’t robbed of a kill.

As someone who sucks at the most popular games in the world right now, Treyarch has given me hope. Even as I wasn’t doing too great, I was having a ton of fun and kept queuing up to play this game. I saw myself improving, and I wasn’t getting punished by hard to learn mechanics. I was incredibly unsure about Blackout going in to the PC beta, but I left incredibly impressed. Treyarch has made a heavy hitter in the Battle Royale scene. I can’t wait to see what the game is like 3 weeks from now when it’s all polished up and pretty.

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