I thought battle royale games weren‘t for me. Until I played Blackout in . 

Blackout is a brand new mode for the storied Call of Duty series, which is inspired by the wildly popular shooter subgenre of battle royale games like PlayerUnknown‘s Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale. I do not like those games. But I do like Blackout a whole lot.

These three very popular games/modes all have the same basic premise: A bunch of people drop down onto a map with absolutely nothing, and need to gather supplies and weapons to survive until the end. Meanwhile, the available space to play in slowly shrinks, bringing players closer and closer to each other until there‘s one person or team left.

If you die, you‘re out.

Blackout takes battle royale and perfects it.

Image: Activision

This battle royale subgenre is relatively simple on paper but in order for it to be successful, it needs to be pretty airtight. Like with any other competitive shooter game where speed and movement is everything, anything that impedes that can be super frustrating.

To me, PUBG and Fortnite are super frustrating.

PUBG, which was the first battle royale game to really shoot the subgenre into extreme popularity while it was still in beta, is full of holes. It‘s getting better and better with each update, but in my couple of instances playing the game, the bugs, lack of optimization, and general unfinished feel of the game kept me from getting sucked in.

When Fortnite dipped its toes into battle royale it felt like a more finished product. Probably because it was actually finished. But it added an extra element to shake things up: building.

To me, this building element was too much. It was an obstacle that I just really didn‘t feel like engaging in because it complicated what could have been a rather straightforward multiplayer game. Some people like it, obviously, but it‘s not my cup of tea.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s Blackout mode takes battle royale and perfects it.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 takes the finished feel of Fortnite and the barebones elements of PUBG and delivers a really fun and well-designed mode in Blackout.

Sure, I‘m not very good at it, but I finally get that “just one more game” feeling that other people have with games like PUBG and Fortnite.

The movement, vaulting, and combat has that reliable Call of Duty polish. The servers are great. The inventory management is easier to grasp for newcomers. The visuals are much better than the competition‘s. The weapons and items have a very nice feel to them.

It‘s very pretty.

Image: activision

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s Blackout mode takes battle royale and perfects it.

The unique selling point of Blackout, the inclusion of zombies, makes it just unique enough to not be a boring copy. There are certain parts of the map that include the option to get special weapons, but it also unleashes a horde of zombies on you and everyone near you.

It‘s honestly hard for me to play anything other than Blackout right now.