Warzone was an amazing game, but some gamers might forget that this was not Call of Duty’s first attempt at a battle royale. Back in Black Ops 4, a mode came out which was called Blackout and it was pretty much the same thing as Warzone but so much worse. If you have never even heard of Blackout, don’t be too surprised, as the game never took off like Warzone did in the gaming community. There are a couple reasons why.
To start off, Warzone was a free mode which could be downloaded separately from the game. This was the first thing Warzone did right. It was a pretty small download space and it was free. There was no reason for people not to download it. This helped Warzone get a lot of players right off the bat. Blackout was not free and fans had to buy the full game in order to play this mode.
The inventory in Blackout was an absolute mess; when you went down to pick up an item and there were other items around the one item you were trying to pick up, it was almost impossible to pick up the item you actually wanted. It was also super hard to loot dead bodies to get the stuff you needed. All in all, you just needed to spend WAY too much time in the game moving stuff around and sorting things. If you’re in the middle of a battle royale, the last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time distracted from the people trying to murder you.
Healing in Blackout also was a problem. One of the best things about Warzone was that they kept it simple. All armor healed you the same way and it was simple to pick up and understand the mechanics. Blackout made the healing confusing. There were trauma kits, different types of armor, and you never really knew how much health an enemy would have because of all the ways armor could be used. Have you ever heard of KISS? Keep It Simple, Stupid. That was what Warzone did, and it worked out great; Blackout tried to do too much in terms of healing and it ended up making the game worse.
Finally, in Blackout player footsteps were not consistent whatsoever. It was really hard to know if the footsteps you heard were an enemy’s, your teammate’s, or even your own. This made for a ton of confusion and an all-around annoying experience.
Basically Warzone was better than Blackout because Warzone did not try to do too much. They made a relatively simple battle royale with a simple healing and weapon system. In turn, Warzone became one of the best battle royales we have seen in a long time. The lesson other developers can take from this is that if you keep the game simple and let the map and graphics do the talking, you will end up with a better product.