Which of Call of Duty's Battle Royale games are best? We look at the Warzone vs Blackout debate...

17:30, 13 Jul 2020

Call of Duty has now released two Battle Royale modes since conception: Black Ops 4’s Blackout and Modern Warfare 2019’s Warzone. Both have captured the imagination of fans and have revitalised the Call of Duty Franchise, but which is better? We analyse the debate: Warzone vs Blackout.

Warzone vs Blackout - The Maps:

Starting with The Core map in Blackout, the design was completed in just nine months, after developers, Treyarch, scrapped the campaign mode. Set in California, USA, The Core featured the great maps from past Black Ops games, such as Nuketown, Firing Range, Raid (alongside Stronghold in ‘Estates’) and Array. Blackout’s map was the largest map in Call of Duty history upon release, spanning across roughly 16 square kilometres, which is impressive for the short time that they focused on it. The Core had engaging areas of combat and embedded the sub-regions well, with multiple modes of transportation such as quad bikes, boats and helicopters. Its size came as a downsize, unfortunately, making it too big and limiting engagement, with many open areas where you can get eliminated quickly due to the pace of the storm. The inclusion of Zombies maps was another intriguing concept and was seen as a splitting decision, some liking it and some staying well clear.

Looking at Warzone’s Verdansk, many have enjoyed it, albeit some minor discrepancies. The built-up areas cause for a lot of havoc and annoyance, especially with the power of snipers and long-ranged Assault Rifles. Downtown and Stadium have been the areas that have caused the most distress, but there are also a lot of areas which have proved popular. The map is smaller than Blackout and holds more people, meaning the hotspots are always hotly contested, and the map also features many more smaller areas that are equally good for looting and dipping into for cover. With more people and a smaller map, Verdansk makes for a more entertaining battle which has proved popular, in comparison to the more tactical approaches seen in Blackout. Verdansk also blends together maps seen from previous Modern Warfare titles such as Shipment and Vacant, but in a less flaunting way.

Here, Warzone and Verdansk edge it, due to the size and closer design. However, Blackouts use of maps that have been adored in the past certainly proved tough to beat.

The Core vs Verdansk in the battle of Blackout vs Warzone
The Core vs Verdansk in the battle of Blackout vs Warzone | Images via Activision

Warzone vs Blackout - The Weapons

The meta in Blackout was very varied, with Assault Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Shotguns and Snipers all proving to be useful in different situations. The meta was ever-changing and different weapons would always pop up as being useful, but not overtly overpowered. Weapons such as the Rampart 17, Titan, VAPR-XKG and the Spitfire were always good options to pick up and sweep through rooms with. With attachments being able to be looted from the floor, building the best weapon took elements of luck and practice and made for interesting confrontations. The downside of the weapon meta lies with the weapons available from Zombies maps. Coming across a team with a Ray Gun almost dampened the game, leaving a sour green taste in anyone’s mouth after being burnt with it.

The Warzone weapon meta lies within custom loadouts. Where you can choose any weapon on the game with any attachments, many players have cracked the code and created the most overpowered weapons. Currently, the weapon meta is up in arms due to a recent balancing, however, the Grau 5.56 dominated for months, and limited the versatility of Warzone, depleting the overall experience. The only other breaks in the meta were with thermal snipers and akimbo secondaries, both of which were not received well.

In the weapons department, Blackout wins hands down, with much more variety and entertainment building your weapons in-game.

The Grau 5.56 dominated Warzone. Minus one point in the debate of Warzone vs Blackout.
The Grau 5.56 in Warzone | Image via Activision

Warzone vs Blackout - The Gameplay

The overall game experience in Blackout was rather slow, with quicker endings. Almost alike Player Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG) gameplay, you would spend a lot more time looting and building up your inventory, rather than hunting kills. Effective players would land in a hotly contested area and loot up gathering a few quick kills before the game stagnated. With a maximum of only 100 players in one game, Blackout was rather slow, where positioning and timing were crucial. This gameplay was good and allowed for very intense games, where winning was hugely satisfying.

In Warzone, the play is very different. You can still be effective when playing slowly, however, with cash being an important factor, it is best to be quick and gather as many resources and kills as possible. 150 players makes for many more enemy encounters and more entertaining gameplay. Furthermore, the use of the Gulag and Buy Stations helps a lot, giving players the ability to redeploy. This gives players the freedom to be more aggressive, as they stand a chance of returning to Verdansk after dying.

The gameplay in Warzone is more exciting and makes for better entertainment, meaning in this department, Warzone is better than Blackout.

Warzone vs Blackout – Overall.

Overall, Warzone beats Blackout in terms of which is the better Battle Royale. The weapon meta was much better in Blackout, but the gameplay and map in Warzone is much better and makes for a better overall experience. Blackout is not a bad game mode but doesn’t quite live up to its successor.

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