From the Sandbox to the Vehicles, Treyarch got a lot of things right with Blackout.
When Blackout was first announced in May 2018, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical. Call of Duty is not a series known for its large player counts or humongous maps – two things that are synonymous with Battle Royale games. However, with months of play time under my belt, my skepticism has been put to rest and Blackout has become my favorite in the genre.
Yes, Blackout is not perfect and there are other Battle Royale games that do things better than Blackout, but that’s not what I want to talk about here. Rather, I’m going to highlight the four things Treyarch does right in Blackout.
Playing a game of Quads, my three friends and I drop onto Nuketown Island. Naturally, we check the Welcome Sign and to our surprise, we’re the only ones on the island. We then check the first circle and lucky us – we’re in it.
Looting the island we stumble upon a ridiculous amount of Mesh Mines, Barricades, Sensor Darts, and Vehicles. This island is ours.
Since the circle is covering the western part of the map, we figure we’ll be here a while so lets get cozy. We set up our meshes on the two bridges connecting our island to mainland, shoot some sensors there as well (just in case), and hop on top of some buildings for some sweet vantage points. No one is getting in here.
Wait! What’s that sound? Zombies are spawning in. We keep two men on Sniper duty while my friend and I hop on ATV’s and run over every undead walker in sight. Killing them as fast as them spawn, we unlock the Mystery Box for some superfluous loot we already had. After a while, we got bored because no one showed up and left to do the same thing by Diner. It didn’t matter we gave up on Nuketown because we were still having fun.
It’s at this moment I realize what a remarkable playground Treyarch built with Blackout. We made Nuketown our own. A map we’ve spent years of our lives in is now this big open space that we were defending against dozens of other players. Blackout allows us to roleplay in ways I never thought possible in a Battle Royale game. This story isn’t an isolated case either. There are so many stories I have like this one that had me in disbelief at what Treyarch created.
The map is so much more than a collection of houses and loot. It feels like a playground where I can hop from the swing set to the jungle gym depending on my mood. It feels like a Hollywood back lot and I’m writing the story as the game goes on. It’s diverse, complex, and most of all, familiar.
While pulling on players nostalgia cords by including classic areas that most players instantly recognize may seem cheap, Treyarch transcends that notion by expanding on each legacy location. Thus making it fuller and more cohesive than it’s source material.
Call of Duty is not known for its vehicular combat. When you come across a vehicle in the series it’s either for a brief campaign mission, a scorestreak, or a wacky Treyarch MP map. With that said, Treyarch saw it necessary to make land, air, and sea vehicles a core pillar of Blackout and I couldn’t agree more.
There are very few Blackout matches that end without me jumping on a vehicle. Whether as a form of retreat or as an unconventional weapon, ATV’s are my favorite part of the game. Playing in a Duos with a buddy of mine, we both find our own ATV’s, attach Sensors Darts to them like some make shift Police Car, and look for trouble. Riding counter laps around houses we know have enemies inside, honking our horns to scare them puts me in the shoes of some biker gang from The Warriors.
Fun antics aside, the land vehicles in Blackout are very well balanced. I get instant road kills just as often as I get stuck by a grenade or take too much damage bouncing off a rock. While they pack a punch, they are far from indestructible. Same goes for the air and sea vehicles. Surveying the coastline in a boat or patrolling the skies in a helicopter makes me feel both powerful and vulnerable.
When I saw the original Blackout trailer, they showed Cargo Trucks battling Helicopters in these epic 4v4 skirmishes I thought would never happen in game – that it was just marketing hype. In the recent weeks with the new Hot Pursuit limited time mode, I have encountered way more exhilarating moments than what that original trailer showed. Best of all, it felt natural and easy to control.
Although I was skeptical how Blackout would perform technically at first, I had no doubt the gunplay would be tight. No matter how much someone wants to bag on Call of Duty, they’d be lying if they said the shooting didn’t feel tight. Server issues aside, the moment to moment gameplay in Call of Duty is some of the best in gaming.
After playing so much CoD over the years, I knew I wouldn’t need to refamiliarize myself with the systems. Left trigger to aim, right trigger to shoot, left stick to sprint, etc. While this would be a hard thing for Treyarch to get wrong, I was still surprised how good it felt.
While Equipment and the Quick Menu might throw some Blackout newcomers off, as long as they have a gun in their hand and have played any Call of Duty before, they’ll know what to do.
There are moments where I would be in a tight area like Cargo or Firing Range with half a dozen other players and it would feel like a Multiplayer match straight out of Black Ops 1. When it comes down to player versus player gunfights, Blackout oozes classic Call of Duty. No nonsense, just skill.
The idea of Character Missions are great. Perform feats in-game to earn character skins. While some missions are kind of ridiculous, the ones that work, work really well.
A Character Mission shines when it incorporates something unique about the character in both the item and the requirements. For example, Richtofen’s Character Mission requires you to play as a Zombies character, find a Zombies Character’s mission item, sacrifice that to earn the Blood Vials and then have a top placement in the match.
Breaking this down, Richtofen is sort of the leader in the Zombies Primis crew so it’d make sense that you need to be another Zombies character to start his mission. Then the process of sacrificing their item references the plot of Black Ops 3 Zombies where Richtofen was collecting blood from older Zombies characters. Lastly, placing highly in the match relates to his esteemed nature in the Zombies lore.
Another example is Frank Woods’ mission. The item is his bandanna which can only be found in the area of the map that references an iconic mission from Black Ops 1 in which he played a key part. Then his mission objectives are direct quotes of his that require you to fly in a helicopter and win the game while being alive, both characteristics of Frank Woods.
The system allows players to feel rewarded without getting first place, and encourages play styles that they might not have otherwise tried. I’d prefer if all Character Missions played like the two above, being placed in static locations with requirements that hold deep significance to the character themselves, but the concept is there. While Treyarch got the idea right with Character Missions, I’d still love to see them improved.
Like I mentioned at the top, Blackout isn’t perfect. From annoying ping issues that cause players to miss shots when they’re aiming at their targets, to having less frequent updates than other Battle Royales, there are still problems. However, for all the little things Treyarch got wrong, they got so much right like the moment to moment gunplay and the imaginative sandbox. Hopefully, Treyarch continues to do Blackout right and one day creates a mode that is indeed perfect.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
Image credits: Activision
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
- Read More: How to play the Resident Evil 8 Village demo
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
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
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.
Image credits: Capcom
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.
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
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
“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
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
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
“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.
Image credits: Ubisoft
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