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Friday, 20 April 2018 | MYT 7:30 AM

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 shaking up singleplayer, battle royale

The 2018 edition of Call Of Duty is likely to downplay singleplayer elements and is adding a battle royale mode, according to several reports.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 is dropping the sort of "traditional" single-player story mode that its predecessors had been built upon.

Starting with 2007's Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the franchise developed a reputation for spectacular set-piece storylines, but all that could be changing for Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, due Oct 12 across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

Black Ops 4 will be "the first mainline Call Of Duty to ship without a standard campaign," according to sources in communication with Polygon.

"As Black Ops 4's release date approached, it became evident (to the sources) that development on the single-player campaign wouldn't be completed."

Instead, Black Ops 4 development at main studio Treyarch has been focused on multiplayer and the franchise's staple Zombies mode, which is oriented towards a co-operative multiplayer experience.

Charlie Intel then expanded on that reporting with its own rumour, saying that partner studio Raven Software had been "tasked with adding a Battle Royale mode [...] to fill the content gap of no campaign"; the Battle Royale mode rumour was then corroborated by Kotaku.

Battle Royale games have taken off since PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds popularised the format in which players are dropped into an environment, scramble to collect equipment and weapons, and struggle to become the last person (or team) standing.

Following a March 2017 launch, "PUBG" became the most popular game on central PC gaming service Steam, and has remained at the top of its bestsellers list ever since.

An Xbox One edition followed in December with free iOS and Android equivalents arriving to iOS and Android app stores already congested with clones, tributes and innovations on the format in February 2018.

Fortnite: Battle Royale then released towards the end of 2017 and arrived on mobile in March 2018. In contrast to "PUBG" it was free-to-play from launch, allows players to build fortifications on the fly, and sports a softer-edged caricatured design.

Activision's Call Of Duty then, could become the first annual or bi-annual blockbuster shooter franchise to embrace the format.

Electronic Arts' Battlefield franchise usually launches around October time, though this year faces increased competition from Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 as well as its usual rival in Call Of Duty.

Activision-published Destiny 2 begins its season 4 of planned content updates in September, and Ubisoft is unveiling The Division 2 in June, at which a release date could be announced. — AFP Relaxnews