Vaulting Kicks Arse In Call Of Duty's New Battle Royale Mode

Image: Activision

If you liked PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but couldn’t stomach its uneven gameplay, you’re going to love the polish that Call of Duty is bringing to the battle royale genre. One thing that adds that waxy shine to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode, out now, is how good the game is at letting players vault over things.

In Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, I felt unstoppable up until the moment somebody unceremoniously headshotted me. The reason I felt like a superhero is the game’s effortless vaulting, which it got from previous entries in the series.

Playing it this morning, I easily climbed on top of crates, up and over fences, and even through windows, shattering their glass. The environment was an obstacle course, and I was one of those very slick Ninja Warrior athletes:

Blackout’s swift vaulting mechanic makes moving around the map fluid and easy. Long-term, that leaves your brain the space to focus on collecting weapons, shooting, hiding and positioning, which is what’s really fun for me. It also means it’s easier to move into the circular playable area:

Vaulting in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which didn’t arrive in the game until late 2017 (nearly eight months after its early access release), still feels frustratingly slow and inconsistent.

I’ve found myself plotting escape routes when things get hairy only to find that I couldn’t get over objects I thought were vaultable. Worse, vaulting sometimes happens so slowly that it feels like punishment for moving around the map.

That said, in PUBG, thinking more slowly and strategically — instead of bull-headedly rushing into a new zone — might help mitigate the temptation to just throw yourself in front of enemy fire. In Blackout, it’s easy to just ride on your forward momentum until someone puts you in your place:

In the real world, vaulting isn’t this seamless, even if you’re good enough to compete on Ultimate Ninja Warrior. But I don’t need my video games to be realistic. Let me vault over a fence, or kick through a window. Death to fall damage.


    I am enjoying Blackout *so* much :) This feels like the natural progression for COD. I laughed when I first heard they were doing their own Battle Royale mode, I will freely admit that. I'm glad to say I was completely wrong. Well done Treyarch, you've made a winner.

    Wow vaulting up a shipping container so easily, they're 8ft (2.4m) high!

    Beige game series steals blatantly, stays relevant. Hoorah

      Exactly. Things like this I see as a setback to gaming. It’s unoriginal tosh and it’s selling like hot cakes. It’s worse than a Michael Bay film and the games media seem to be lapping it up.

        Difference being it's subjectively fun. A lot of people find the progression to this COD adequate. It's selling like Hot Cakes because it's the company that basically created the zombie video game franchise and they are launching the most popular game mode around, and doing a good job at it.

        They are giving people exactly what they want and I don't see what's wrong with that.

          You just proved my point for me. They didn’t invent zombies as a gameplay mechanic. They did not even invent horde mode which is primarily what zombies is.

          The greatest achievement I can see is the fact they got the high player count working so well on Blackout. The rest is plagiarised ideas. I love big dumb fun too. I just think that maybe the game is not being viewed through the correct lens.

            can I suggest that its easy for those of us who visit this forum, and thrive on the enjoyment of intelligent criticism and debate about a subject we love, are really not the demographic that are being aimed at in 95% of game design

            Correct lens being what? Review it as a board game? A racing sim?
            Its a BR game being reviewed as a BR game. Complaining its the same as every other BR game with no originality is just silly when its doing it better and running more smoothly than every other game out there.
            It has its own very well implemented and functional gimmick in the perk pick ups as well.

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