Blackout – Alcatraz

I’ve been on a bit of a Call of Duty Black Ops 4 binge as of late. Namely, I quite enjoy a bit of Blackout (surprise!).

There have been a couple of changes to the initial map, different vehicles, and a particularly fun hardcore mode that removes the heads-up display, the map, armour and vehicles. It’s been a fresh take on the slick Battle Royale offering in Black Ops 4.

So yeah, small changes, and consistent fun. Good times.

At no point have I paid for a battle pass, or a season pass or any of the other nasty little ways in which Activision try to eke out more money from you in a full-priced game. So my expectations for updates and content have been pretty low.

I’m missing maps packs and some characters, no drama. But when I saw there was going to be a new Blackout map, and it was for free, I was pretty stunned.

So, still getting away without paying the (frankly extortionate) fee for passes, I’m getting more of the best part of Black Ops 4, for free?


More Battle Royale slickness from Call of Duty. Albeit, behind a a naff time gate, whereby Playstation owners get it a week earlier. Small price to pay for something that doesn’t cost any extra.



Based on the real-life prison island of Alcatraz. We have a much smaller, tighter Blackout map here.

A popular Zombies map from Black Ops 2 no-less.

So it’s a nod to the series in the past, it’s a smaller (40-man) Battle Royale, and it’s free?

Sign me up!

Straight out of the gates, you’ve got less competition. Absolutely required, because otherwise the map would be too small. That doesn’t mean that the action or intensity have died-down, though.

You’re pretty well packed-in, and most of the time your first engagement can come quite a bit quicker than on the standard Blackout map.

With some nice elements of verticality (love that lighthouse!), some opened-up buildings and some cramped corridors. This is quite a shift in pace from the moment you’ve dropped out of the chopper.

Change is good, though and having some new areas to learn is always welcomed.

Plenty of loot scattered around, and weapons on the walls, harking back to the old zombies mode. Nice touch!

I had my reservations about making Blackout a smaller affair, but it just works. Much like Battlefield V does.

The current quads-only game mode, isn’t quite what I’d hoped for. But with the action being so frantic, it makes sense, particularly with the respawns until final circle. It isn’t “pure” Battle Royale, I guess? But it’s fun, rapid-paced and a change to the single map we’ve had for a while.

With Apex Legends entering the fray, and doing really well. It’s great to see that we have some change in a mode that I thought might be left “as is” after initial launch.

There’s life in Blackout yet, and all this has done is renewed my love for this particular twist on Battle Royale.

Great work Treyarch!

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