Another year, another Call of Duty game - and one everyone in the office is glued to thanks to Black Ops 4's take on the Battle Royale genre. Sounds like a good excuse for a Eurogamer Podcast! (Or shall we say 'CoDcast'! No?)
We're mere days away from the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - a game that takes the series in brand new directions, removing the campaign element completely and introducing us to Treyarch's take on battle royale. But there's more - including a concentrated focus on making the PC version of the game the best it can possibly be, while simultaneously moving the title to Blizzard's Battle.net for the first time. What we're looking at here is the biggest fundamental shift to the COD proposition since Modern Warfare - and in fact, depending on the success of the new game, the make-up of a COD series entry may never be the same again.
Is battle royale a good fit for Treyarch's iteration of the Call of Duty engine? Black Ops 4's latest beta provides answers. An early demo of the new Blackout mode rolled out last week, revealing that the developer is aiming to deliver a very similar style of game, but targeting a 60fps update in a world where Xbox One has struggled to achieve smooth performance in PUBG. At its core, Blackout follows the same beats of play; up to 100 combatants fly across the map, skydive down, scavenge for weapons and armour, and then duke it out to be the last man standing as the field of play narrows. We're in familiar territory then - but what makes Treyarch's effort stand out?
The first thing that strikes you about Blackout, Call of Duty's take on the phenomenally popular battle royale genre, is how smooth it all feels.
After two hours of hands-on time with the new Call of Duty - the inevitable Black Ops 4 from developer Treyarch - I think there's a lot to love about the game, even if it's all overshadowed by the promise of Blackout, the battle royale mode.
Treyarch's flashy reveal of Call of Duty Black Ops 4 amounted to a confirmation of what had leaked: this game breaks with tradition by not having a single-player campaign, but it does have a battle royale mode and expanded multiplayer to compensate.
Last month Eurogamer reported that the next Call of Duty would be a return to the Black Ops series, making it Black Ops 4. This week it emerged that the game's logo would be a stylised IIII.