Just a few of the many classic places Treyarch could revisit.
The latest entry in Treyarch’s long-running Black Ops series is almost here, and with a traditional campaign officially scrapped (at least for launch), Black Ops 4 is doubling down on multiplayer in a big way. This year’s substantial inclusion is the Battle Royale-inspired mode Blackout — Call of Duty’s take on the wildly popular genre that’s taken the industry by storm over the last year and half.
One of the major components to a good Battle Royale game is, of course, the large map that players venture through in search of chicken dinners (or victory royales). PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds now has three maps in its rotation, while Fortnite alters its map significantly every three months via seasonal updates. Given Black Ops is one of the most successful Call of Duty sub-series to date — and as we’re still mostly in the dark about Blackout’s map and where Treyarch will go with it — now is as good as time as any to take a look back at the series and consider some memorable locations that would be a good fit.
Steiner’s Lab – Black Ops
Friedrich Steiner plays an integral role in Call of Duty: Black Ops, creating the Nova 6 chemical weapon and being one of the primary antagonists to Black Ops protagonist Alex Mason. His lab, which is located on Rebirth Island, would be an excellent addition to Blackout’s map for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, Black Ops’ story is one that has, over the years, encouraged conversation. While it’s nothing compared to Black Ops 3’s whacky narrative, it’s still filled with talking points that tend to set fans on tangents regarding what the heck happened with Mason and his hallucinations. As such, it makes sense to bring in Steiner’s Lab for Blackout given it’s a small, creepy area that serves as a nice nod to where the series started. Further to this, the area itself is filled with a range of vertical spaces and corridors, in turn potentially leading to some great firefight opportunities.
Kino der Toten – Black Ops Zombies
We already know that zombies maps will be making an appearance in Blackout thanks to the multiplayer trailer shown off in early August, which gave us a glance at World at War’s Verrückt tucked away in the map. As such, I’d love to see Kino der Toten — Black Ops’ first zombies map — make its way into Blackout in one way or another.
Kino der Toten holds a special place in my heart as it’s one of the first zombies maps I ever played. It’s also a location that has a range of different areas that work within the Battle Royale genre, with a wide open space in the main hall surrounded by tight corridors and a small alley tucked away in the map’s corner. It’d be a welcome addition to Blackout, packed with a range of locations for combat and a ton of spots for equipment pickups. Maybe it’s even possible we’ll get a few zombies running amok in certain areas? That’d be neat.
Saint-Marc, Artibonite – Black Ops 2
Saint-Marc is the location of the final mission in Black Ops 2’s campaign, otherwise known as Judgment Day. The area I’m focusing on here would be the Haitian high-tech building you storm in order to take down Menendez once and for all. Considering this area is filled with robotics and a range of looping hallways, it’d be a great drop zone for Blackout if handled with care. Of course, it also holds significant value in the culmination of Black Ops 2’s campaign too, as you make your way through a range of different areas in pursuit of Menendez while everything’s being blown to hell behind you in traditional Call of Duty fashion.
I’d really like to see this one recreated as if the events of the final mission had transpired already, complete with destroyed electronics, caved in floors, and rubble lining areas of the massive facility. It’s filled with stairways and has enough verticality to make each encounter in Blackout an interesting one as well, and in an entry where we aren’t getting any narrative this time around, would serve to be another nod towards the series’ wonderfully ridiculous campaigns.
Origins (Excavation Site 64) – Black Ops 2 Zombies
Considered to be one of the best zombies map from the Black Ops series, Origins would be a no-brainer for Treyarch to include in Blackout. Originally a part of the Apocalypse DLC for Black Ops 2, Origins takes place in Excavation Site 64, France, and features a large number of ways to navigate the labyrinthine site — something that would complement the franticness of Blackout well.
Trenches filled with zombies and soldiers lined on spikes, large buildings with tight corridors and open hallways, and a large, open area with a range of potential offensive setups for squads makes Origins a location well worth considering for Blackout. It’d also diversify the map quite a bit compared to other locations in this list, and would serve to be a nice nod to a classic zombies map.
Hijacked – Black Ops 2 Multiplayer
Quite possibly my favourite multiplayer map from the entire series, Hijacked is an easy choice for inclusion in Blackout — not only because it’s a great multiplayer map, but also because I think it’d fit (quite literally) in well with the mode’s map.
A giant ship with a handful of different floors and corridors, Hijacked usually took place on international waters in Black Ops 2, though I could see this fitting in somewhere near land in Blackout, potentially docked on a beach or near a harbour. The tight corridors and close-knit spacing would make it a highly competitive area, and could well become one of the more frantic drops depending on how Treyarch wants to push the locale. It’d be a solid helping of insanity mixed with anxiousness as footsteps creep around the ship, and that can only be a good thing for Blackout.
The Frozen Forest – Black Ops 3
One of the wackiest Call of Duty campaigns to ever see the light of day, Black Ops 3 was characterised by a plot that was – at times – as far-reaching and mind-numbingly ridiculous as you could possibly go. However, the game’s narrative introduced a fascinating landscape that I’d love to see return in Blackout, that being the Frozen Forest.
A shift in terms of weather and aesthetics when compared to the other entries, the Frozen Forest would favour more open fields, benefiting squads that prefer sniping and long-range warfare more than anything else. The dense tree cover and wicked detailing of winding forests drenched in snow would make it an interesting addition to the map, though I’m sure it’d be a welcome one given the grim, military-focused areas I’ve previously mentioned.
Nuketown – Black Ops Multiplayer
To be fair, this one’s already been confirmed if you have a close look at the quick-cut segment featuring Blackout in the latest multiplayer trailer. That said, there’s no way I couldn’t include Nuketown in this list, given how iconic the map has become since the original Black Ops debuted back in 2010.
Set up for mid to close-range warfare, I’d love to see Nuketown used in different ways throughout Blackout’s run. The two buildings facing one another and the bus in the middle makes for a perfect fighting arena, though some small tweaks to the way it looks and even the general layout would do wonders in keeping it fresh over time. Maybe Nuketown could see a seasonal change? That’d be pretty cool.
So there are seven locations I’d love to see make their way to Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode. The Black Ops series is filled with great areas that would make for wonderful locations in Blackout, and I hope to see more than just Nuketown and Verrückt included in the map next month when the Blackout beta kicks off. It’s worth mentioning I only included one multiplayer map on this list as some classics are being remade for the game’s traditional multiplayer, though I’d love to see some more make it into Blackout!
What locations from the Black Ops series would you like to see in Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode? Let me know in the comments!
Toby’s a freelance games and esports writer based in Sydney, Australia. You can follow his ramblings about football, Rocket League and shooters here.