This week, players will have their first opportunity to try Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s new battle royale-style mode, Blackout, thanks to a private beta session Activision is hosting on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Alongside the launch of the beta, the publisher has shared some new details about the mode, revealing more about its map, selection of playable characters, and the kinds of items and vehicles you’ll encounter as you fight to be the last player or team remaining.
As previously confirmed, the Blackout beta will support up to 80 players–20 players fewer than Fortnite and PUBG, the two games that helped popularize the battle royale genre, support. However, developer Treyarch says the final player count is still subject to change and may be tweaked before launch based on the feedback it receives from players during the beta session.
The Blackout beta can be played either solo, in duos, or in four-player teams called quads, and it drops players on an island that’s approximately 1,500 times larger than the classic Nuketown map. Players begin each match by gliding down to the island using a wingsuit, and in typical battle royale fashion, once they land they must scrounge for weapons and tools as the battle arena gradually shrinks in size.
Blackout features a selection of playable characters taken from the Black Ops series’ history, including Reznov, Mason, Woods, Richtofen, Takeo, Ajax, Battery, Seraph, and more. The island is likewise comprised of areas based on previous Black Ops maps, such as the aforementioned Nuketown, Firing Range, Hyrdo, and more. On top of having to contend with other players, some areas of the map also feature hordes of zombies to make each match more unpredictable and challenging.
During a game of Blackout, you’ll be able to find and wield an assortment of classic Black Ops weapons and equipment like the Cordite, MOG-12, and Vapr-XKG. Special weapons such as the War Machine grenade launcher and Annihilator pistol will also spawn on the map, as will an assortment of attachments, defensive equipment like the razor wire, and even scout equipment such as a remote-controlled recon car and the Sensor Dart, which can be fired at an area to reveal nearby players. Players will also be able to pilot various land, sea, and air vehicles.
The private Blackout beta kicks off first on PS4 on September 10; it then opens to Xbox One players on September 14. The console beta will only be open to those who’ve pre-ordered a copy of Black Ops 4. All PC players with a Battle.net account will be able to participate in the beta starting September 15, but those who’ve pre-ordered the title will get access to it 24 hours early.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. On top of Blackout, the game features a variety or new and returning multiplayer modes, as well as an expanded Zombies experience. The game also introduces signature weapons–cosmetic gun variants you’ll be able to unlock by completing challenges.