Call of Duty: Blackout's next map brings 'close quarters battle royale' to Alcatraz

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout battle royale mode is getting a new map called, and set on, the infamous prison island known as Alcatraz. Activision says players will need to develop new strategies and tactics to succeed on the Rock, which will feature both long-range outdoor fights and tight, close-quarters combat inside. 

The original Blackout map was billed as the biggest map in Call of Duty history, but Alcatraz looks to be quite a big smaller, a point Activision seemingly emphasizes when it describes the new map in the reveal trailer as "close quarters battle royale." That approach makes sense if Activision and Treyarch are aiming for a different kind of battle royale experience, rather than just a different setting: A smaller map means more fighting, sooner, and shorter, more intense matches. 

That might not appeal to die-hard survivalists, but it can be a lot of fun. I get my best results in Apex Legeds (my BR of choice) from sneaking around and letting other players kill each other off, but there's absolutely something to be said for immediately dropping into the middle of a crowd and punching the first person you see in the face. 

Alcatraz will exist alongside the original Blackout map, so players can choose which they want to fight on. It's set to go live tomorrow on the PlayStation 4, with other platforms to follow.  

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.