Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout closed beta test for its first battle royale map is now live on the PlayStation 4.

The Call of Duty community is getting its first experience with the Blackout mode, which drops 80 players into a last-player-standing map that is 1,500 times the size of Nuketown.

Activision’s Treyarch game studio built the Blackout mode and its first map as a celebration of the Black Ops series, with fan-favorite characters, weapons and iconic parts of classic maps like Nuketown embedded in it.

I played a few matches and I really like it. I’ve had challenges surviving in Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. But with Blackout, the weapons feel familiar. If I can get the drop on someone else, I can generally take them out. I can aim and shoot and hit targets. It’s still hard to survive, because, of course, everyone is more skillful than me. But I feel like I have a little better chance to get lower in the rankings for the last survivor. (You can see my second match down below). Commenters are saying the graphics look like older games, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It’s not super high-quality graphics, but it seems adequate.

The Black Ops series has surpassed more than 200 million players and 15 billion hours played over its lifetime, and much of this comes from its multiplayer modes. Adding a battle royale could boost these already impressive numbers.

The map features land, sea and air vehicles. The closed beta will provide user feedback and data as Activision and Treyarch prepare to release the game on October 12 on the consoles and PC. The battle royale mode is a new addition to Black Ops, which will not have a single-player campaign for the first time in the history of the franchise.

Blackout includes characters and iconic map locales from Black Ops, Black Ops II, Black Ops III and Black Ops 4. The private beta includes a variety of new and classic playable characters, including campaign characters like Mason, Reznov and Woods; Zombies characters like Richtofen and Takeo; and Specialists like Crash, Battery and Seraph.

“The Blackout beta is just the beginning of a long journey that we plan to take with our fans,” said Dan Bunting, co-studio head at Treyarch, in a statement. “We are going to support Blackout for the long haul, and there’s such a rich history with Black Ops that allows us to continuously update and evolve Blackout to keep it fun and fresh for the community. It’s a true celebration of Black Ops in every way, and getting our community in to play the mode before launch is vital. We can’t wait to see the feedback and hear from players as they get a taste of what’s coming in October.”

Above: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode.

Image Credit: Activision

The Blackout Private Beta* schedule is as follows:

  • PlayStation 4: Monday, September 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific to Monday, September 17 at 10 a.m. Pacific (PlayStation 4)
  • Xbox One and PC:  Friday, September 14 at 10 a.m. Pacific to Monday, September 17 at 10 a.m. Pacific (Xbox One, PC) and Saturday, September 15, 10 a.m. Pacific to Monday, September 17 at 10 a.m. Pacific (PC Open Beta only)

“The development effort behind Blackout has been an extraordinary undertaking and we couldn’t be more proud for what the team has accomplished,” said Mark Gordon, co-studio head of Treyarch, in a statement. “It’s awesome to watch how making Blackout has engaged the whole team in ways that we have never seen before. We couldn’t be more excited to bring the vast heritage of Black Ops heritage to life in Blackout, and can’t wait for the community to share their feedback as we head to launch.”

Across the sprawling Blackout map, players will fight in locations inspired by fan-favorite Black Ops maps like Nuketown, Firing Range, Raid, Cargo and more.

Fans who have already downloaded the recently completed Multiplayer Beta, or who have since pre-ordered Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 at participating retailers, will receive access to the blackout private beta. Code redemption and other Beta access information can be found at the Activision Beta support site.