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Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is going free for a week

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Beginning January 17, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout battle royale mode is going free for everyone for a week. Neither Treyarch nor Activision have announced a start time at this point, or anything else in the way of specifics, but you will need a Battle.net account if you're curious and don't yet have one.   

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"Blackout’s shooting easily outclasses the slightly-clunky gunplay of PUBG," we said in our review, "while the smaller map and the generous distribution of quality loot produce a much faster, more thrilling game that's more akin to Fortnite." But its price tag is a real barrier for the casually curious, so this is a good opportunity for that particular demographic to see what it's all about.

Treyarch also announced the start of the 115 Day Celebration Event today—a reference to Element 115, used to create and control zombies in Call of Duty lore—which will grant double XP, weapon XP, and Nebulium Plasma to all players until 10 am PT/1 pm ET on January 18. New Gauntlets are coming in Zombies, as are three new Elixirs and some changes to six existing Elixirs. 

The 115 Day event is available on all platforms, while the new Gauntlets, Elixir changes, and other changes in the 1.11 update will go live on consoles first and come to PC later this week. Full details are posted on Reddit.

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.