Call of Duty is finally going to enable you to say “Nuketown” when your friends ask you “where we dropping?” The official Twitter account for the long-running shooter series posted the first look at the map for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, which is Call of Duty’s take on the battle royale genre. That last-player-standing game style has rocketed to popularity thanks to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, and now publisher Activision is trying to get in on the craze.
Treyarch, the studio responsible for Black Ops 4, hasn’t revealed many details about Blackout, but that’s about to change. Beginning September 10 on PlayStation 4, the developer is launching a playable beta test of the 80-player mode. That test will then later come to Xbox One and PC.
We do know that Blackout will combine Call of Duty-style gunfighting with tension of surviving in a vast map with other players. We also knew that Treyarch planned to bring in elements from many of its other levels to make one large and familiar space for players to explore. Now, thanks to the screenshot of the map, we have a better idea of what that looks like.
Where are you dropping first?
This is Blackout, featuring the largest map in Call of Duty history. Pre-order #BlackOps4 and get access to the Blackout Beta, playable September 10 on PS4: https://t.co/XFvGMDwF3M pic.twitter.com/RAxzzDxjPO
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) September 5, 2018
The map is indeed a jumbled up version of maps from other Treyarch games — or, at least, it features names of those maps. Nuketown Island is the obvious standout on the west side of the play area, but Array and Firing Range are also titles of maps from the original Call of Duty: Black Ops.
We’ll have to try out the game for ourselves to see how the battle royale versions translate from their originals, but even if only the most major landmarks are similar, I’m in favor of this idea. Fortnite only has one map and PUBG only has three. Players have also had months to learn and memorize those locations. But Call of Duty has such an extensive history, that it can take a shortcut to building a space that people feel comfortable in. Call of Duty fans will still have to learn the intricacies of Blackout, but most of them should go into a space like Nuketown Island with some knowledge about the architecture and flow all work.
Updated at 2:15 p.m. Pacific: I originally wrote that Treyarch hasn’t confirmed the player number of Blackout, but it started talking about that yesterday. I’ve updated that story to reflect that.