From World at War to Black Ops 4 – and all the DLC’s in between – here are the maps that I want to see in Blackout.
Since the launch of Blackout, Treyarch has expressed interest in making changes to the existing map. They demonstrated their ability to do so at the start of Operation Absolute Zero in December with the addition of Hijacked in the north west, and some new foliage.
This had me thinking. What other maps from Treyarch’s past would work in this battle royale mode? As it stands, there are some remaining portions of the map that are quite baron and a little uninspired. With six Call of Duty titles worth of content to pull from, I started to envision what a “fuller” map would look like.
Of course, adding ALL of my suggestions would make the map a little too crowded and chaotic (empty spaces still have a place in a battle royale after all), but I think adding at least a couple of these maps would bring tons of life and variety to the Blackout experience.
Working chronologically, I’m starting with World at War. While Treyarch’s first original Call of Duty game was Call of Duty 3, I’m picking maps from the Black Ops canon that originated with Reznov back in 2008.
Makin Day: The original Makin was such a popular map, they released a daytime version of it completely free. Being a coastal map, parts of Makin could be placed on the beach by Construction Site and Hijacked. Right now, the only thing on that beach is a bunch of bathrooms and lifeguard huts, all with really weak loot.
Adding the Japanese temples and foliage from Makin Day would make the beach a more desirable location to drop. An alternate location for this map would be east of Train Station at the tip of the small island in the river.
Cliffside: Continuing the theme of waterside World at War maps, Cliffside would work very well at the north west of the map far north of Construction Site. The way I could see it working is by replacing the ground level beach with this high altitude cliff. This could create some tension when running into firefights this high up.
A flight or fight moment – do you defend your position and push or jump off the cliff and redeploy your wingsuit to safety?
Nacht Der Untoten: The Zombie map that started it all, and has been through it all. Featured in every Treyarch Call of Duty in some capacity, Nacht has yet to make an appearance in BO4. Blackout would be a great fit for this two story building because of its compact size and geometric layout. It already resembles some of the more basic houses on the map, so throwing it somewhere north of Firing Range and south of Estates would work really well.
This would also give a more balanced split of Zombies locations on the map, as the north west quadrant of the map doesn’t have much undead.
Jungle: This map already found its way into Black Ops 4 through multiplayer, but I think it’s time we see it in Blackout.
Because Jungle consists of a sandy-grassy environment, it would fit perfectly in the south of the map between Lighthouse and Factory around the transition from green fields to desert wasteland.
Kowloon: DLC maps like Hyrdo have already shown up in Blackout, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this Black Ops 1 DLC map make an appearance. Although the main draw of Kowloon is it’s dense city rooftops, a smaller version of the map could show up south of Turbine to flesh out that area.
As long as they bring the Zipline with it, this will surely be a fun area to play quads in.
Drive-In: No, I’m not taking shots at Risky Reels from Fortnite, Drive-In is just one wildly overlooked map. One of Black Ops 1 later DLC maps, this close quarters map evokes Nuketown in it’s size and would sit nicely alongside it on Nuketown Island.
While I think it’s cool Nuketown now has it’s own island, it wouldn’t hurt to spice it up a little bit with some movie theater action.
Mirage: If the rest of these suggestions fall on deaf ears, I hope this one is heard. The south east portion of the Blackout map is empty. Period. Mirage is a luxury resort in the Gobi Desert and fits PERFECTLY in this empty area. Both in design and layout, Mirage could be a sweet spot for loot and even incorporate elements from other Treyarch desert maps.
Take out all the windmills, they’re not doing much anyways.
Vertigo: Now this actually comes from an idea I saw a while ago on Reddit. What if the Construction Site was slowly building something over time? How cool would it be if eventually it turned into Vertigo from BO2’s DLC.
This futuristic industrial building would serve as a pristine version of the incomplete building we play on today.
Takeoff: Don’t worry if this map has you scratching your head. As a BO2 DLC map that was a remake of a BO1 DLC map, I wouldn’t be surprised if you forgot this one. However, as a mid-sized map this launch site would be a great addition to any empty body of water in Blackout.
It could fit in the far north east of Hydro Dam, giving players a reason to head back there, or even south of Hijacked to give players more naval battles in Blackout.
While any new locations would be a welcome change to Blackout, I think these maps shine brighter than the others. But this is just my opinion, let me know which maps you would like to see make their return through Blackout in the comments below!
Call of Duty dev finally confirms that games have had SBMM all along
A former Call of Duty developer has confirmed that the series has used skill-based matching since 2007’s Modern Warfare.
Skill-based matchmaking has been a hugely controversial issue among Call of Duty fans for years, and former developer Josh Menke has finally confirmed that CoD titles have had SBMM as far back as 2007’s Modern Warfare.
In the early days of online multiplayer gaming, players would have to select a server to join by themselves. As time went on, developers started to automate that process, eventually introducing skill-based matchmaking in an attempt to keep matches competitive.
While this seems logical, it’s been a highly contentious issue among gamers who claim it has ruined games and made them less fun.
Games like Black Ops Cold War and Warzone have been criticized for using skill-based matchmaking too much, with players comparing them to older Call of Duty titles. However, former Activision Senior Systems Designer Josh Menke has revealed that SBMM has been in CoD games since 2007.
The idea behind skill-based matchmaking is to place you in lobbies with players of a similar skill level. While many believe that older Call of Duty titles didn’t do this, Menke states it’s been used as far back as the original Modern Warfare.
“[Call of Duty 4] did have some skill-based match-making, all of them always have,” he told GDC. “It’s just the math and science have gotten better over the years. If you grew up on it back then, your expectations are very different than if you have it now.”
“The same thing happens in Fortnite, even today. When the game first started, I believe they had very little skill-based matchmaking, then over the years they’ve experimented with different levels of SBMM and using bots.”
“You’ll have players who play Call of Duty that will be like, ‘I don’t like skill-based matchmaking,’ but then they go play Valorant and it’s fine.”
One of the biggest complaints about skill-based matchmaking is that while it should be used in ranked modes, public or casual matches have become too difficult because of the system.
Menke does feel that developers are making one major error with current matchmaking systems, saying that when a game can’t find a good match for a player, it just “settles” for a bad one. Instead, he suggests using “real-time stats” on the player base to create the best games possible.
Whether you like SBMM or not, the system isn’t going anywhere. At least the long-running debate over CoD’s historical matchmaking system can finally be put to rest.
For more Call of Duty, check out everything you need to know about Warzone’s new Pacific Caldera map.
Image Credits: Activision
Top 5 hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time
Call of Duty has produced some of the most memorable campaigns in FPS history, but we’re counting down the top 5 hardest ever.
As well as delivering epic narratives and creating iconic characters, plenty of CoD campaigns have also offered a nice challenge down the years. So we’ve picked out the top 5 hardest CoD campaigns ever, and ranked them.
Whilst it’s Call of Duty’s multiplayer that understandably gets all the plaudits, the franchise has produced some incredibly good single-player experiences too – with Vanguard being the latest one. After all, before online gaming really got going in the mid-late 2000s, campaigns were the main selling point of FPS games.
Many games have since overlooked this aspect in favor of keeping players hooked to live service models. However, barring Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, every major CoD title has had a campaign, and we’ve sifted through them all to rank the top five hardest of all time.
Hardest CoD campaigns ever ranked
We can confirm that we’ve played and beaten all these campaigns on the Veteran difficulty setting – apart from BLOPS III which we did on its debuting Realistic difficulty.
As most players will know, Veteran can turn a simple corridor into a test of patience that can take a long time. This separates the weak from the strong and is a perfect way to differentiate campaigns.
- Read More: How to get Call of Duty: Warzone Role Cards
Recent years have phased out repsawning enemies and grenade spam, and as a result, have been a lot easier. But a trip down memory lane will dig up some of the most frustrating levels and sections in the series.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Definitely not as tough as the later entries on our list, but Infinity Ward’s second installment of the Modern Warfare saga had the odd mean level that will bring out the veins in your head.
The game actually starts out fairly generously for the first few levels, and then dumps a harsh one-two punch of Takedown on you, a nerve-inducing push through the Favela, and the extremely open nature of Wolverines.
You’re allowed your breath back for a bit, and then you’re plunged into the infested depths of the Gulag that has some positively vile checkpoints to clear. Through Whiskey Hotel and Loose Ends you have a ton of enemies to contend with and these are the levels that test your Veteran instincts, especially the survive and escape formula of Loose Ends.
Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t have a defining level or section that stands out, it’s just packed with lots of solid fights that will test your mettle.
4. Call of Duty 2
The early Call of Duty games set the standard for some of the difficulty that was going to be featured down the line.
CoD2 feels a bit more streamlined and thought-out compared to the first game, but it’s still rife with grenades flying in from every angle and Germans that have had their skills honed by the Matrix.
There’s definitely a sense that the levels get harder towards the end, as a natural difficulty curve should do. The German respawn factory never ceases production, even until the very end. The only thing that lessens the difficulty a tad is the fact that Call of Duty 2 introduced regenerating health for the first time, meaning players had time to recover.
3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
We consider CoD4 to be the best Call of Duty game, and its characters, set-pieces, that nuclear explosion scene, and so much more make this campaign memorable, not least the punishing difficulty.
But it’s a handful of missions and sections that will get you used to the death screen. Charlie Don’t Surf’s push through the Broadcast area is painful, the Hunted is littered with large space and tight areas packed with enemies, and even scaling the hill in Safehouse can take a while.
But it’s some of the game’s final missions where things are turned up to 100. The iconic One Shot, One Kill mission is a supreme test of skill, patience, and luck on Veteran, No Fighting in the War Room is a timed slog through steam, claustrophobic corridors teeming with foes, and of course – Mile High Club.
A one-minute sprint through about 50 enemies in the tightest fighting area yet, going up a floor, demanding absolute precision and excellence on your part. You’ll find that if you check many gamer’s Trophies and Achievements for CoD4, they’ll be missing this one on Veteran.
2. Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: Grenade would’ve been a more apt title for Treyarch’s 2008 World War II shooter and many players to this day still see grenade indicators appearing in their vision.
Every mission is an exercise in patience and bravery thanks to unlimited enemy respawns and the germans owning every grenade in existence.
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The game is a brutal journey for its first 14 missions on Veteran, and then you get to what is probably the most difficult FPS mission ever created – Heart of the Reich. The act of taking down four AA guns can take literally hours as you have little cover, enemies are attacking (infinitely) from all sides, and you’re having to constantly retreat from grenades every two seconds.
World at War is one of the last true tests of outrageous CoD difficulty.
1. Call of Duty 1 (Call of Duty: Classic)
Anyone who thinks World at War or CoD4 are the hardest campaigns only say that because they haven’t the arduous task of completing the first-ever Call of Duty campaign on Veteran.
Why’s it the hardest? It’s very simple. No health regeneration, no health packs, the checkpoints are utterly unforgiving as you need to have a certain amount of health to trigger them, otherwise, you get diddly squat, checkpoints can be awarded as you’re getting shot, enemies can regularly appear behind you, and they have an immaculate aim.
Then when you start to factor in Chateau, POW Camp, Eder Dam, Truck Ride, Battleship Tirpitz, and the absolutely mind-bogglingly difficult Pavlov’s House, then it’s easy to see why Call of Duty 1 has the hardest campaign ever.
Don’t believe us? Go and play it on Veteran, then get back to us.
So that’s our top 5 list of the hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time. Even if your list has one or two slightly different entries, we can all agree that Call of Duty has done a great job of serving up some fiendishly tough treats.
Image Credit: Activision
Leaker claims Activision is considering changing Call of Duty’s annual release schedule
A leaker has suggested that Activision’s annual CoD release may be coming to an end with extended cycles being considered.
A new Call of Duty title is released every year, with multiple studios taking it in turns to bring out a new game. A new leak however has made the bold claim that Activision may be thinking about changing its release schedule and model.
It’s become a given that a new CoD game will be released in November of each year, with the likes of Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, and Infinity Ward all taking it in turns to develop a new game.
It’s already rumored that Modern Warfare 2 is in the works for 2022, but depending on Activision’s approach, they may opt to change their release policy, starting with MW2.
Leaks seem to happen left, right, and center these days, with people able to learn a great deal of information about projects and plans, many of which turn out to be true.
The new Call of Duty rumor comes from leaker Ralph, who recently claimed that the reported Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer remaster has been canceled, and thinks that annual releases are being reconsidered.
A recent Tweet from them quite simply said: “Activision are reportedly in discussion for extending Call of Duty’s annual releases.”
As with any leak, this should be taken with a major pinch of salt. RalphsValve has recently come under scrutiny from fellow leakers regarding the accuracy of his claims.
With the rumored 2022 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 title still potentially a year out, maybe two now, things can always change, and we’d recommend taking these claims with a pinch of salt.
Furthermore, given how much this could change the Call of Duty landscape going forward, we’d also strongly recommend waiting for official confirmation from Activision before assuming this is the direction CoD will be going in the future.
For more Call of Duty news, take a look at when Vanguard and Warzone Season 1 starts.
Image Credit: Activision / Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer Games
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