When Blackout—Treyarch’s series first battle royale mode—was revealed to have replaced the campaign mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, fans were skeptical. Now, roughly half a year after release, the experience has been bolstered by a number of updates and seasonal events. A few weeks ago, the Blackout team dropped hints regarding the inclusion of Alcatraz Island in Blackout, a location previously seen in the Mob of the Dead and Blood of the Dead Zombies-mode maps. While everyone assumed that, like the previously included Buried map, it would be an addition to the pre-existing Blackout arena. That’s not the case, however, as a recent trailer has revealed this to be a self-contained map.
This is amazing news for players eager for more Blackout content. The mode has received tons of attention from players and developers alike, but it will be nice to take to an entirely separate map for the first time in the playlist’s history. The map already available in Blackout, though large, has undeniably diminished in appeal over the last six months, and this could prove to be a major shot in the arm for the game type.
The new Alcatraz locale promises to be a near one-to-one recreation of the real thing, and, for the first time in Call of Duty history, players will have free reign over the entire island. The trailer shows players venturing into areas that would previously have been far out of bounds in Mob or Blood, and it also shows off the extensive interior of the infamous prison.
That said, this map will probably be a fairly close quarters affair. While large for a standard multiplayer map, Alcatraz will make for quite a tight, fast-paced Blackout experience. That could be a welcome change, as the mode’s original map allowed for extensive lulls in the action, which didn’t seem to fit the breakneck speed of typical Call of Duty multiplayer matches.
Set to drop on the 2nd of April, Blackout fans will have to devise entirely new strategies to succeed in this new location. Though it will still feature an ever-shrinking playspace as per battle royale tradition, it could very well be that a winner is decided long before the circle fully descends.
We’re not quite sure if zombies will be making an appearance. Previously, the brainless, flesh-hungry creatures from Call of Duty’s fan-favorite horde mode were seen in other zombies-related locations in Blackout. Alcatraz Island, as previously mentioned, has a major connection to the zombies storyline, but the creatures themselves didn’t make much of an appearance in the trailer.
Time will tell if fans take to this new Blackout map. It seems like the perfect location for a new battle royale game mode, but the claustrophobic corridors may be just a little frustrating for some play styles. Still, it’s nice to see this sort of major content release outside of the season pass.