GAMER-operatives across the word are donning their virtual battle shades and lacing up their combat boots this morning due to the hugely anticipated launch of Treyarch and Activision’s multiplayer online first-person shooter Call Of Duty: Black Ops IIII today.
The fourth game in the phenomenally popular series — analytics firm Nielsen has it listed as more anticipated than Red Dead Redemption 2, also releasing this month — lets players step into the role of specialist soldiers with a variety of customisable weapons and skills. In a first for the series, the game eschews a single-player campaign and is completely focused on the online multiplayer aspect.
The console versions (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) went live earlier this morning, while the PC version will be available from 3pm AEST today.
Alongside the usual multiplayer shooter game modes, the game features a 88-player Battle Royale mode named Blackout, which Activision say “brings together characters, locations, weapons and gear from across the series in all-out survival combat, all with Black Ops signature gameplay”.
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The Blackout mode will have a range of vehicles — including aircraft and sea vessels — as well as a variety of playable characters, including campaign characters and characters from the popular ‘Zombies’ mode too.
Activision have said the Blackout map is the largest in Call Of Duty history and will feature locations inspired by fan favourite maps from the series, including the iconic Nuketown level.
The recent Blackout beta was a massive success — at one point there were reportedly 400,000 concurrent viewers watching it in action on gaming video streaming platform Twitch — and there has already been significant buzz online that Black Ops IIII may topple giants Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) as the dominant Battle Royale game.
Fans know well that Zombies mode has been part of the Black Ops experience for a decade now, and Black Ops IIII is no exception, with three zombie experiences included at launch — including one set on the RMS Titanic — for gamers looking to test their skills on the undead.
“With the most customisable action to date, the mode introduces new systems for creating and completing community challenges, and social systems designed to connect players,” Activision’s press materials said.
Activision have also outlined some longer-term goals for the game, promising a “steady stream of post-release content across all modes, and a variety of free content for the entire community through a robust calendar of events, playable first on PlayStation 4”.
Call of Duty Black Ops IIII launches today on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.