Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout is getting a free-to-play trial

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Activision is giving gamers a chance to see what all of the hype for Blackout is all about by offering a free trial the battle royale mode this week.

Activision is hosting a free trial for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode, Blackout. Announced today, the one-week trial will begin on Thursday,  January 17, and will last for one week. It will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Blackout was introduced into Black Ops 4 as a way for Activision to capitalize on the growing popularity of the battle royale genre. The dominance of Fortnite led Activision and developer Treyarch to think of ways to incorporate battle royale into Call of Duty; it would be a first for the franchise.

In the end, Activision ditched a traditional single-player campaign and instead implemented Blackout, rounding out a robust multiplayer suite. The new mode was a pleasant surprise, injecting some fresh air into the series that many had believed to be on the verge of suffering from franchise fatigue.

While Blackout adopts many of the same core mechanics of your typical battle royale game, Treyarch managed to incorporate many multiplayer elements unique to the Call of Duty franchise and Black Ops series. From the weapons to the points of interest (inspired by iconic CoD maps) to the inclusion of Zombies elements, Blackout feels like a fully fleshed out mode and natural evolution of Call of Duty.

For those of you who have not bought into Black Ops 4 yet, this is your chance to see what all the hype is about.

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In addition to the announcement, Treyarch has released a new update to Black Ops 4 on consoles (with PC coming later this week).

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Among the features is the debut of Gauntlets in Zombies. Detailed last week, Gauntlets are “curated 30-round challenges with unique rules for each round.” Designed to be competitive, all matches are timed and rules for each of the 30 rounds are permanently set to allow for fair and balanced competition. Kicking off this week is the “Unsinkable” Gauntlet for Voyage of Despair.

Additionally, today’s update introduces three new elixirs: Perk Up to gain 4 additional random perks that are not in your loadout; Refresh Mint, which refreshes the cooldowns for Equipment, Perks, and Special Weapons for your entire team; and Conflagration Liquidation, which spawn a Bonfire Sale power-up.

While those are the highlights, the update offers a new week of Featured PLaylists and an improved looting interface for consoles in Blackout. Check out the full patch notes here.