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Opinion: Activision should make Blackout free to play with more updates to compete with the changing industry

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With the influx of Battle Royale games on the market, many thought Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout would reign in as one of the most popular games to take that genre over for those looking for an alternative battle royale to play. But almost 3 months into the game’s life cycle, there’s less excitement amongst the community about the mode’s future and sustainability.

With new titles like Apex Legends coming into the market, the competition against Blackout continues to increase.

Blackout was one of the first AAA battle royale games on the market, with Fortnite and PUBG both independently published by smaller companies at the time. Blackout was also one of the first FPS battle royale from a AAA developer available across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. But, Blackout’s $60 fee to start playing, alongside with the slow release of content, has started to limit the excitement for the game. The increased competition has started to overshadow Blackout in the community’s view.

Apex Legends, Respawn’s new battle royale game, marks one of the first AAA-backed battle royale games available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC that delivers, so far, an incredible experience for players. It was announced and released the same day, and thus far, has delivered a polished day 1 experience. It features new twists on the battle royale genre that other games did not adapt, like hero based abilities, 3 player squad, an active ping system, and more.

Apex Legends Screenshot – Respawn

And, most importantly, it’s free to play. Apex Legends has already taken over Twitch being the #1 streamed game across the site for 3 days since its launch. Some may attribute to streamers being promoted to share the game, but many streamers playing have already acknowledged its excitement and their plans to add Apex into their rotation of games shown on their stream.

Being free to play, many players are bound to jump on to try a new experience on Battle Royale. A big question on Apex Legends’ future will be the cadence of content being released post launch, something that has, thus far, limited Blackout’s growth. Respawn has already taken it a step further by providing a road-map of content to expect for the entire first year of the game, something we’ve not seen from Treyarch. Treyarch so far has stuck to the “later this month” or “soon” in regards to updates for Black Ops 4, without providing any direction on what to expect next for the title.

Blackout launched on October 12, 2018. Three months into the game’s cycle, there has only been one update with new changes to Blackout (beyond the balancing updates) back in December. The map still is fall themed, only has had one new location added, and the variety of weapons has remained stale throughout the game’s cycle thus far. Many have been asking what happened to the promise of “delivering more content with more frequency.” Activision’s blog post from June 2018 even said that Treyarch plans to deliver “a more frequent cadence to keep things fresh and deliver new maps and content more regularly throughout the year”. Some community members have pointed out that Sledgehammer Games actually released more content for Call of Duty: WWII at this point then what Treyarch has for Black Ops 4.

Operation Absolute Zero

Treyarch seems to be tying their ability to add more content to new operations only, and with each operation lasting over 60+ days, that’s a long drought of no new meaningful updates that is driving many players to check out other battle royale experiences.

With how much the industry is changing, I think it’s time for Activision to re-evaluate their strategy with Call of Duty and how to approach battle royale with the franchise. The yearly $60 release will probably always be there, but for Blackout or the franchise to sustain long term with increased free to play competition on the market, Activision should start to adapt to the new industry direction before the company gets pushed out. There’s also a lot of uncertainty with Activision overall, as industry analysts have started to wonder what Activision will do to replace the revenue loss from no longer having Destiny.

Even EA, the last company anyone would expect to do what they’ve done this week, has started to adapt with Apex Legends being free to play!

Treyarch created a good foundation for a battle royale with Blackout — the gameplay, mechanics, and features of the core of the mode, like zombies spawns, vehicle integration, and more have been implemented in a good way thus far. There’s obviously some balancing issues with armor and equipment, but the core of the game is still good.

But, for Blackout to be successful in the long run, Activision really show un-bundle it from Black Ops 4 and make it a standalone free to play product across PS4, Xbox One, and PC — and allow it to grow and be updated without being tied to the other modes in Black Ops 4 with new content updates more often compared to large updates that actually don’t bring new in game content (not just Black Market updates).

Call of Duty 2021

8 things we want to see in Call of Duty 2021

Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War has kept fans ticking over nicely in the 1980s, but here are 8 things we want to see in Call of Duty 2021.

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call of duty 2021 features

Black Ops Cold War has offered CoD fans plenty of amazing memories thanks to its intriguing campaign, feisty online multiplayer, and intense Zombies. But now we start to delve into our future wants and wishes with 8 things we want in Call of Duty 2021.

It’s all well and good living in the moment as we are doing with Black Ops Cold War, and Warzone to an extent, but sometimes you have to start looking forward. Before long, Activision’s latest round of frenetic first-person shooter action will be here, and everyone will have their own wishlist of ideas for it.

Cold War has delivered countless hours of fun for players to dive into, but there’s always room for improvement.

So without any further ado, here are 8 things we would desperately love to see in Call of Duty 2021.

1. A campaign

call of duty general shepherd

We’re certain the mistakes of Black Ops 4 won’t be repeated, but we need Call of Duty to remain faithful to its roots and deliver a compelling campaign.

Whether you’re someone who dispenses with the storytelling theatrics and dives into the online, or someone who loves a good campaign, CoD should always have to remain true to its identity. The exploits of Bell, Adler, and the gang in Black Ops Cold was a fun foray and we need more of it.

2. The return of sniping

call of duty sniping overgrown

Black Ops Cold War has some beastly snipers, we’re looking at you LW3 Tundra, but there are so few of them and so few maps that accommodate them that it’s hard to become invested.

It’s extremely rare that you’ll be killed by a Sniper Rifle, whether by hardscoping or quickscoping, and it feels like that element of CoD has fallen by the wayside. Call of Duty 2021 needs maps with longer channels and more viable Sniper Rifles to help bring back the glory days.

3. More content on launch

call of duty nuketown

2019’s Modern Warfare pretty much bucked the trend when it came to delivering content for its reboot. Instead of launching with a large amount of content, it focused more on drip-feeding new maps and game modes throughout its lifespan.

This philosophy was adopted by Black Ops Cold War and meant that Treyarch’s Cold War-era shooter only launched with eight original 6v6 maps. It’s true that the new Fireteam mode also contained fresh maps, but they weren’t available for 6v6.

We’ve had the likes of The Pines, Apocalypse, and Nuketown added to the original line-up. Whilst it must understandably be hard to keep on top of new 6v6 Gunfight, Fireteam, Zombies, and Outbreak content, lots of players are only interested in 6v6 and need more of these maps to retain their interest.

4. More fan feedback to bugs and glitches

call of duty glitch

Sometimes being left out in the lurch can alienate fans and make them feel like they’re not being listened to, when in fact they are. Between the weekly updates and constant patch notes, the devs are always hard at work trying to maintain multiple areas of CoD games.

The devs for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone do listen, and this is reflected in replies to Tweets, Reddit posts, and acknowledgment of issues that are visible on the game’s respective Trello pages. It just might be an idea to update players a bit more regularly with updates and confirm that certain problems are being addressed to reassure the fanbase.

5. More Zombies & Outbreak

call of duty cold war zombies outbreak

We wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a proper Spec Ops mode like Modern Warfare 2 in CoD 2021, if not, then another tussle with the undead will more than suffice.

One of the breakout successes to come from Black Ops Cold War was the Season 2 addition of Outbreak mode. A brand new open-world Zombies game mode that shared more in common with Warzone than it did regular Zombies. If we can expand upon this even further, introduce more quests, more abilities, then Outbreak could break out into one of CoD’s best aspects, if not the best.

6. World Warzone 2?

call of duty warzone

Warzone has categorically changed Call of Duty forever as its endlessly replayable adaptation of battle royale has been an indescribable success. But if the rumor of a new World War 2 game is accurate, is it time to outlast 100+ players in a war-torn muddy battlefield soaked in blood, rain, and trenches?

The change of setting and scenery could be absolutely fascinating with destroyed buildings allowing for tense and chaotic fights. Tanks and planes strewn about the place, and monuments stricken by total war. Warzone could easily crossover into World War and seamlessly create a whole new, fresh experience for players to engage in.

7. More Hardcore modes

call of duty hardcore game mod

We feel that not enough love is shown to the Hardcore variants of some of Call of Duty’s best modes. Lots of players enjoy living life on the edge in Hardcore knowing that one small mistake will see their reduced health crumble in one shot.

Yet, the likes of Hardpoint, Gunfight, Fireteam, and many more are all absent from the Hardcore playlist options in Black Ops Cold War. There’s no reason why Hardcore gamers should be missing out on all the fun.

8. Ranked Play from the beginning

call of duty ranked play

This revisits the argument about having extra content from the get-go, but for a large part of the community, Ranked Play is the be-all and end-all.

Rule restrictions and equipment barriers provide a pure test of skill. Many advanced CoD players perhaps don’t feel challenged by the perceived weakness of traditional lobbies, and Ranked Play gives them that challenge. Cold War took nearly five months to add Ranked Play when it really should be available from the start.


Those are all the things we absolutely want to see in Call of Duty: 2021.

Is there anything we’ve missed out? Is there something else the game really needs? Be sure to let us know on our CharlieINTEL Facebook Page and CharlieINTEL Twitter Page!

Image credits: Activision

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Games

Ranking the 9 most horrible Resident Evil enemies from worst to best

Here are 9 of the most disgusting and horrible enemies that Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise has ever created.

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resident evil enemies

Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise has produced some of the vilest creatures ever seen in a video game. From gigantic bugs dripping liquid to unyielding psychos brandishing chainsaws, here are nine of the most horrible enemies the series has ever produced.

When people think of Resident Evil, they think of the heroic warriors like Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, Jill Valentine… the ones who get business taken care of. They also think of the heinous villains such as Albert Wesker, Nemesis, Mr.X… the ones who are out to unleash evil.

Today, we want to hover the magnifying glass over the enemies that reoccur throughout Resident Evil games – sometimes across multiple titles. We’re not looking at the one-off bosses or sub-bosses that give you a temporary headache.

This is our official ranking of the nine most horrible enemies seen during Resident Evil games ranked from worst to best.

9. Crimson Head – Resident Evil 1

resident evil enemy crimson head

A tame but terrifying entry to kick off this list. The Crimson Heads aren’t as imposing and brutish as other enemies here, but they tick many boxes for being horrible.

Unlike the regular zombies you’ve encountered to this point, the Crimson Head is faster, stronger, and is certain to cause you bother. Worse still, if you don’t have explosive or flammable items, then you won’t be able to put them down for good – allowing them to bite back once more.

8. Hunter – Resident Evil 1

resident evil enemy hunter

One of the first real, regular tests in Capcom’s Resident Evil games has to be the fearsome Hunter. A big, tanky-like lizard-human that can pounce to close the gap very quickly.

Their unbelievable strength combines nicely with their claws to deliver devastating blows to your characters. If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s green, scaly body is an unsettling sight to endure as well.

7. Garrador – Resident Evil 4

resident evil enemy garrador

This dude is horrible. The worst part is that unlike the dogs in the original Resident Evil game, you can already see the Garrador before he triggers and tries to turn you into a beef patty.

Their painfully slow, methodical movement is as jarring as it gets as they play off of sound. So as long as you’re quiet, you could easily walk around this murderous maniac with ease. But upset him, and you’re prone to his lightning-quick charge and follow-up Wolverine claw barrage.

6. Drain Deimos – Resident Evil 3 Remake

resident evil enemy drain deimos

It makes us nauseous just thinking about these revulsive creatures, but if that’s what Capcom was going for then it worked to perfection.

When Jill first encounters one in the Resident Evil 3 Remake, she is violated by its powerful arms as it force-feeds a parasite down her throat. The idea of this is repugnant, but it adds so much more tension and anxiety as you fear one of them getting a hold of you to do it again.

5. Executioner Manjini – Resident Evil 5

resident evil enemy executioner manjini

Resident Evil 5 certainly gives you the most hostile welcome imaginable by starting off the game with Chris and Sheva holed up in a contained area, being hounded by Manjini. Then out of nowhere, the big fence separating you from freedom is torn down by this large presence.

His body being showered with blood and sharp things sticking into him his bad enough, but slowly being chased by a menacing giant wielding the world’s biggest weapon is something else. His mobility hinders his scariness, but if he gets to close, then you might want to scarper pronto.

4. Chainsaw Guy – Resident Evil 4

resident evil enemy chainsaw guy

A fan-favorite enemy for many reasons: the shirt and braces, the straw mask, and of course, that death animation. It’s not often a character is lauded for its brutal execution of the player’s character, but Chainsaw Guy comfortably merits these plaudits.

The sound of that chainsaw whirring for the first time is something that you don’t ever forget. His appearance isn’t outwardly grotesque like other enemies, but there’s an unmistakable sense of fear whenever one gets too closer for comfort.

An honorable mention does go to Resident Evil 5’s Manjini version, but there’s nothing quite like the original in this case.

3. Reaper – Resident Evil 5

resident evil enemy reaper

The fact that Reapers are only normal enemies is insane. These deadly bugs absolutely dwarf Chris and Sheva and they come prepared with two sets of razor-sharp pincers that can puncture any number of holes in you.

What’s worse is that when it moves towards you it can mask its presence using a weird mist. This causes some annoying depth perception issues and it can actually be a lot closer than it appears. If a Reaper manages to grab you, then enjoy your instant death.

2. Regenerator/Iron Maiden – Resident Evil 4

resident evil enemy regenerator iron maiden

The Regenerators and Iron Maidens could easily have been number one on our list because we can’t think of one thing we don’t dislike about them.

Is it the chilling piece of music that echoes and sounds like someone struggling to breathe when they appear? Is it the sinister grinning face of the Regenerator that makes you want to cower, or the mangled wreckage that is the Iron Maiden’s face? The fact they can keep coming back if not dealt with properly? Or their ability to take damage, and still pounce at you to inflict damage?

We’ve copped out slightly by including both, but they are both very similar enemy-types with the Iron Maiden differing thanks to its spikey body attack. We hate them…equally.

1. Licker – Resident Evil 2 Remake

resident evil enemy licker

The most horrible enemy award in Resident Evil has to go to the Lickers because quite frankly, they’re hideous, unpleasant, and legitimately terrifying. Like the Garrador, Lickers are completely blind as an exposed brain occupies the entire top half of their head.

Their Resident Evil 2 Remake appearance helps to scoop the award as the technology has allowed them to achieve their maximum potential. Oodles of goo dripping from their enormous tongue is one thing, but their ability to go from silent predator to deadly hunter in seconds is stressful.

Their look is grotesque, they can cause big damage, they can hide away in the open, and there’s a reason they’ve appeared in multiple Resident Evil games.

We hope you enjoyed our list, don’t forget to check out every Resident Evil game ranked from worst to best and the top Resident Evil Villains ranked from worst to best.


Do you disagree with any of our selections? Be sure to let us know on our CharlieINTEL Facebook Page and CharlieINTEL Twitter Page!

Image credits: Capcom

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Ranking the top 5 Far Cry villains from worst to best

Far Cry has some of the most truly iconic villains in the history of video games, and here is a ranking of the best Far Cry antagonists.

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far cry villains

From crazed cult leaders to flashy dictators, Far Cry has given players some iconic villains, and we’ve decided to rank the main ones from worst to best.

Ubisoft has done a fabulous job in creating some truly captivating characters that have lived long in memory. They’ve perfectly complemented the lush, gorgeous open worlds that the Far Cry games love for players to lose hours to.

Some have not quite hit the heights, whereas others have been catapulted onto the Hollywood walk of insane. The legacy already left behind by some of Far Cry’s bad guys has seen them make countless lists for their evilness and foul intentions.

We’ve already ranked the main Far Cry games from worst to best, so today, it’s our turn to take the absolute best villains that Far Cry has produced and rank them from worst to best.

5. The Jackal

far cry 2 jackal

Cold, calculated, cool. But who is he? That’s one of the fascinating mysteries about The Jackal and Far Cry 2 that people still debate to this day. Conversely, that confusion also hurts the idea of The Jackal as we don’t truly know who it is.

The perceived Jackal has a tough demeanor and a deep, grizzly voice to back up his tough-guy actions, but again, are you The Jackal? We’ll never know.

4. Joseph Seed

joseph seed far cry

“The Father” is your stereotypical cult leader that will force his will upon others until they see the light. His beliefs and way of life are partially caused by a damaged childhood, and his words and teachings became so great that he was able to artificially create a family – The Seeds.

Joseph’s missteps are that he’s an evil cult leader that’s been before. His motives are fueled by God, and he believes he’s the key to enlightenment. However, his standing as an all-time villain is boosted by his destructive actions at the end of Far Cry 5.

3. Faith Seed

faith seed far cry

A surprising entry to some, but Faith Seed is definitely the most interesting character in Far Cry 5. Her hallucinogenic drug makes for some exceptional scenarios, and her heartwarming performance almost makes you feel sorry for her.

Her storyline ends in a dramatic encounter that incorporates all of Faith’s beliefs, teachings, and her Bliss drug. She is a superb character and made for an even more interesting villain than Joseph Seed.

2. Pagan Min

pagan min far cry

The only thing that hinders Pagan Min’s chances of stealing the top spot, like he stole our hearts, is his fleeting screen time. Sometimes less is more, but in this case, we think gamers would definitely like to have seen more.

The beauty of Pagan Min is that his ruthless dictatorship is overlooked by his endless charm, and his incredible pink suit and white hair combo. His words acted more as his weapons, although our introduction to him does feature a rather brutal welcome.

1. Vaas Montenegro

far cry vaas montenegro

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. “

Now, Vaas added his own choice words to this famous saying, but his words ring true as he literally implies that all bad guys are the same. Ubisoft’s ultimate villain technically wasn’t even the main villain in Far Cry 3 – that’s how much he claimed the spotlight.

Every time Vaas eyeballs you with his non-blinking, intimidating expression, you hang onto every word he says. To this day, Michael Mando’s portrayal of Vaas is still spoken highly of, and that’s because he’s the best villain in Far Cry history.


Do you disagree with any of our selections? Be sure to let us know on our CharlieIntel Facebook Page and CharlieIntel Twitter Page!

Image credits: Ubisoft

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