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The next major installment in the storied Call of Duty franchise has officially arrived, and early reactions are overwhelmingly positive.

Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is perhaps the most ambitious CoD game yet as the developers made the decision to forego a single player option, instead focusing on the breakout game type that has taken the world by storm: battle royale.

Dubbed “Blackout,” the new game type functions similar to other industry giants like Fortnite and PUBG, where 100 players are dropped into a massive map (magnitudes bigger than what is traditionally featured in CoD) to fight against other players until there’s only one man standing. Blackout features 4-player (squad), duo and solo modes, meaning that gamers will be able to team up with their friends, get matched up with randos or go-it-alone.

Treyarch

Interestingly, the quintessential aspects of most CoD game types are perhaps the very elements that could help Blackout stand apart from the current battle royale competition.

For instance, unlike Fortnite, players are able to pre-set their classes before going into battle, enabling perks that can aid in battle at various stages of the game. Additionally, there are a variety of vehicles, including choppers and boats, that are placed randomly around the map. Zombies even make an appearance to add an extra element of strategy while players traverse the sprawling landscape.

These factors have caught the attention of major reviewers, with many heralding Blackout as the pinnacle of battle royale gaming.

“Blackout feels like it’s about to suck the remaining oxygen out of the room when it comes to the Battle Royale trend. Like this will be the last major entry into the genre of any real significance, and then we will approach whatever the ‘next thing’ is soon enough here,” says Forbes Senior Contributor Paul Tassi.

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Black Ops IIII has also taken a new, fresh look at its Zombie Mode game type, choosing an even more theatric approach to the long-time player favorite. Gameplay is bolstered by significant customization options and a focus on social connection.

In addition to the obvious game type changes, Black Ops IIII also features a number of technical overhauls to the weapon system, player loadouts and traversal mechanics.

All things considered, Black Ops IIII is a well-polished and well-executed game that will likely continue to gain market share from existing shooters.

More: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout Feels Like It’s Going To Kill The Battle Royale Trend
Related: 5 Battle Royale Games to Look out for in 2018
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