Blackout, the battle royale mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, will get a one-week free-to-play trial beginning Thursday, Jan. 17. The trial is being offered on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
The trial headlines news from Treyarch about what’s next for the multiplayer-only game’s post release support, both near-term and for the rest of 2019. Yesterday, Black Ops 4’s Zombies mode, “Dead of the Night,” celebrated an unofficial holiday with the “115 Day” double XP event, which runs through Friday, Jan. 18.
This week also saw the rollout of a new 30-round challenge mode called Gauntlets, which is running on PlayStation 4-only for now and will come to Windows PC and Xbox One later. One, called “Voyage of Despair,” is active now.
In Gauntlets, players face changing rules of engagement each round. Fail around and they earn a strike, three strikes and they’re out. There’s also a competitive mode, wherein the rules are permanent each round and a timer keeps track of who is the most efficient at clearing out zombies.
“Dead of the Night” is part of the all-or-nothing Season Pass of post-launch premium DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. That’s $49.99, if those who bought the game didn’t get one of the pricier special editions that included the pass. The modes and map packs are not sold a la carte.
Treyarch said that with Dead of the Night launched (as of December), developers are now turning their attention to new features and improvements in the game overall. Chief among that roll out will be Faction Callings, which will be a season-based schedule of challenges (12 in all) across all the maps and modes of Zombies, with big loot rewards. Finishing a challenge will unlock narrative sequences that round out the lore of this game’s Zombies story.
Other features will include pause capabilities for both split-screen multiplayer and online at the server level (keyed by the host), so that people can grab a potty break mid-round. Host migration, so that everyone stays in a match if the host goes AWOL, is also “a key priority” for development after the next patch (1.12) goes out.