In Depth

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - trailers, release date and beta news

Battle Royale mode makes its debut in the franchise, but Treyarch opts out of single-player campaign mode

The Call of Duty franchise is gearing up for the launch of its latest instalment – Black Ops 4 – in less than two month’s time. 

After last year’s game took the franchise to the Second World War, the series returns to the futuristic environments that have appeared in previous Black Ops games.  

Call of Duty games have come under fire from critics in the past for lacking innovation. As a result, Black Ops 4 developer Treyarch has decided to shake up the formula of this year’s shooting game. 

Players can expect a completely multiplayer experience with Black Ops 4 as Treyarch has opted not to include a single-player story mode. A Battle Royale model is also headed to the game, which means players fight each other in a vast open world where the last person standing wins. 

Here’s a closer look at all the new features coming to this year’s Call of Duty game:

When does it come out?

Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 4 will arrive on consoles and PCs on 12 October. 

Fans can pre-order the standard edition of the game through Amazon for £49.99 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

There’s also a Pro Edition from Game for £99 on the PS4, Xbox and PC. This comes with a steel case for the game’s disk, an exclusive game mode and a pass for additional downloadable content in the future. 

Will the game have a Battle Royale mode?

Arguably the most notable new feature in Black Ops 4 is the series debut of Battle Royale mode. 

The game mode is a concept inspired by the Japanese novel Battle Royale where a group of schoolchildren are forced to fight on a remote island until only one person remains alive. 

The video game interpretation is almost identical. Players battle each other in a vast open world where the last person standing is classed as the winner. 

It’s a concept that’s become hugely popular in recent years thanks to Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale. Both games are played by millions of people every day, so it’s no wonder Treyarch has chosen to included the mode in Black Ops 4.

According to Trusted Reviews, the Battle Royale-inspired mode will be called Blackout and will feature the biggest virtual open world in the Call of Duty series. The mode will come with vehicles to traverse the map in, as well as a host of player characters from the series. 

What else has changed?

The multiplayer gameplay mechanics will be slightly different in Black Ops 4 to previous entries in the series. 

Black Ops 3, which launched in 2015, was set in a futuristic world where players could use jetpacks to jump across fighting areas in order to evade their enemies.

But TechRadar says Black Ops 4 will bring players back to Earth as jetpacks won’t be returning in the new game. Instead, multiplayer matches will run at a slower pace, which should make the game more accessible to new players. 

The single player mode has also been dropped as the story-driven aspects have failed to thrill fans and critics in previous instalments of the franchise, the tech site says.  

But the fan-favourite Zombies mode returns once again in Black Ops 4 where players can fight hordes of zombies either by themselves or with friends.

In this year’s game, however, Treyarch plans to add a new game world set on the Titanic, along with an environment inspired by a Roman gladiator arena, The Sun says. 

Will there be a beta period?

Absolutely, but players need to pre-order the game to get involved in the beta programme. 

Beta periods allow players to test a pre-released version of the game before its official release. As beta periods are used to gather data before a title launches, access to pre-release games are free for a limited time. 

But beta versions often come with major bugs and glitches that need to be ironed out before the game officially launches.

Gamespot says The Black Ops 4 beta is already open for PS4 players, but those who pre-ordered the game for Xbox One and PC can access the trial period on 14 September. Treyarch has yet to reveal when the trial period ends, however.

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