This audio clip was recorded as part of the Girls on Games Podcast, episode 181: Interview With [ALEXANDROS]. Click here to listen to the full episode. Below is a transcription of the conversation.

Alicia: I ended up picking up Call of Duty.

Leah: Yeah?

Alicia: Which is what you are talking about.

Leah: Yeah.

Alicia: Um, that was peer pressure.

Leah: From your, from your —

Alicia: From my friends, Jenn and Sam.

Leah: Oh good.

Alicia: That was totally peer pressure but no, I’ve really been craving a, it’s been ages since I’ve played like a pure, like, pure competitive FPS.

Leah: Mmhm.

Alicia: And um, you know, obviously there’s Siege, which is interesting, and stuff like that, but I wanted more of, and I’m gonna get reamed for this, but I wanted more of like a Halo experience.

Leah: Okay.

Alicia: You know, I wanted different game types, I wanted, you know, stuff like that. So I decided to pick up Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and holy shit, I’m actually really enjoying myself.

Leah: Nice!

Alicia: Yeah, I’m having a great time. I’ve been dabbling in pretty much all of the game modes except for Zombies because the zombies move too fast and they scare me.


Alicia: They’re so quick! But no, I mean, I’ve been playing a hefty dose of multiplayer and Blackout, and —

Simon: Yeah, how are you liking Blackout?

Alicia: Blackout is really good.

Simon: I played the beta and I was super impressed.

Leah: That’s what I’ve been hearing, is nothing about than good with Blackout. Like Blackout is, everybody’s surprised.

Alicia: Yeah, so basically the best way I can describe it is Blackout is the game, it’s like Blackout is the game that PUBG is a Chinese knockoff of.

– Yeah, exactly.

– Oh wow, really.

– That’s exactly what it is.

– Wow.

– That deep.

– Yeah.

Alicia: Like I’ll take it there, right now. Obviously, there’s a few, like, net code issues and stuff like that, which I’m sure can be remedied as time goes on.

Leah: Mmhm.

Alicia: But the actual game play is so much smoother, it’s so much prettier, it’s just so much more fun.

Simon: It’s not like, um, it doesn’t feel clunky like PUBG does.

Alicia: Exactly.

Simon: Like it feels very smooth, like the movements —

Alicia: Like the user experience of, like, dropping in, picking up loot, customizing your weapons, is just so much smoother.

Simon: Mmhm.

Alicia: ‘Cause like, when you’re fumbling with your inventory in PUBG, it’s just so frustrating, and, like you said, it’s so clunky, and it’s just unpleasant. And in this one, it’s just like, literally just like, press X. If you come across, you know, something you wanna close, just Y, you know what I mean? Obviously I’m playing on Xbox. But it’s just, it’s been a lot of fun, I’m getting really into Kill Confirmed in multiplayer.

Leah: Mmhm.

Simon: Yeah, just like, yeah, that’s a, that’s a Destiny mode, Supremacy.

Alicia: Well yeah, like, I mean all the game modes in Call of Duty and every other FPS kinda mimic each other, so you have, like, you know, you have, like, a control game type, you’ve got, you know. But yeah, no, I’m having so much fun with it. The game is beautiful, I played it literally at launch. Like, 11 pm Central when the servers went live.

Leah: Mmhm.

Alicia: My friends and I jumped in, had no issues.

Simon: Nice.

Alicia: No queues, no server drops, no lag. It was just an absolutely amazing experience and for someone who hasn’t played a Call of Duty since Call of Duty Ghosts, and that was just the campaign.

Simon: Mmhm.

Alicia: It was a really good first impression.

Simon: Yeah.

Leah: Kay, I got a slew of questions for you now. First off, let’s stick with the Blackout mode. Do you think, like obviously Fortnite is not gonna get, it’s gonna take a little bit of a hit but I don’t think it’s gonna take a big hit because it’s a free game and this is a game you have to pay for.

Alicia: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Leah: But you talking about PUBG, do you think PUBG is gonna take a hit now because this mode is technically better?

Alicia: I think so, I mean, I think there’s always gonna be diehard PUBG fans for some reason. I’ve been trying to be supportive of PUBG but their full release, and I say that in quotes, has been such a disaster and it’s still such a just an unpleasant game to play. It really does feel like a knockoff at this point. Like, having experienced Blackout, PUBG feels like a knockoff.

Leah: It’s funny because I feel like PUBG now became the model, became this trend, really put a stamp in the ground when it comes to, “this is the mode that is Battle Royale,” but then everything that has come after it looked at PUBG, found out what it was doing wrong, and improved on it.

Alicia: Yeah, and, you know, I was saying that, it’s just they’re, they’re too slow, they’re too slow to fix issues, they’re too slow to add new things. And I would not be surprised if we saw PUBG wither within the next year or two.

Leah: That’s what I’m fully expecting.

Simon: Yeah, reminds me a little bit of back when DayZ was the shit, you know, and then, you know, DayZ, DayZ and it was amazing and then everyone started to do DayZ clones and then eventually people started to make better games than DayZ and then DayZ just died because they couldn’t update it, they couldn’t do it, they couldn’t keep up with all the other big companies. I feel like that’s the same thing. PUBG kind of opened up the way for Battle Royale and then better companies with, you know, better resources and smarter people are gonna make it much better. But I think Blackout is just a first step in that direction.

Alicia: Yeah, like, I don’t wanna kinda speculate on the numbers, but, ’cause I have a funny feeling it can go either way with Blackout. Like it’s either gonna blow PUBG out of the water, and Fortnite for a little bit. Fortnite’s always gonna end up on top, though, ’cause like you said, free.

Leah: Free is key.

Alicia: There’s, like, no barrier to entry. It’s accessible to literally hundreds of thousands of smaller children on every platform and they don’t need to bug their parents about downloading or buying it for them.

Leah: I just think that a lot of people woulda bought PUBG, not PUBG, COD anyway because, you know, year, every year the game comes out and it does gangbusters, even though often, you know, we’re like, “Ugh, another Call of Duty.” But the thing is, is it seems like they’ve figured out the secret sauce in this version of a Battle Royale mode, which is really cool, almost giving the game new life. And the fact that they don’t have a proper story mode. Ali, did you find that, did you find that weird? Are you missing the fact that there’s, there’s no story mode? I know that there are little segments in multiplayer that are one, you play on your own so that you, you know, get some backstory, but are you missing story mode or do you even care?

Alicia: Um, well I’m, in my instance, I don’t really care because, like I said, the last time I played a Call of Duty campaign was Call of Duty Ghosts.

Leah: Mmhm.

Alicia: So that was a long time ago.

Leah: Yeah.

Alicia: So I really don’t care but I know some people are still really hung up on that and, you know, change is, change is scary, change is scary, and you know, people are saying, “Oh, I’m not gonna pay “full price for a game that’s only “online components or multiplayer components, I guess.” I don’t even know if the game can be, I guess the game can be played offline with bots?

Leah: Yeah, haven’t bothered to try.

Alicia: If you really want, I don’t know why anyone would do that, but I guess it can be done? But yeah, I don’t, I don’t really feel like it’s any great loss, I think there’s a lot of content in there. The Zombies content, there’s a lot going on.

Simon: Mm.

Alicia: I did not realize how in depth that was and I’m gonna jump into that later this week because I accidentally skipped the tutorial so I kinda need to go back and take a deeper look at that. But no, I mean, I’m super happy with it so far, I don’t regret spending the money and, you know, I was looking for a game that I could play with my friends and this has been a really good fit for us so far.

Leah: Hm, nice.

Simon: You can play and it’s, I just saw it, ’cause, you know, the reviews are coming out and the reviews are really good, and one of the things that came out that really, really surprised me is you can play Blackout, couch co-op split screen.

Leah: Yes, you can.

Simon: So like, you can be two people, like, playing co-op together, split screen on this, and I was like, “Wow, that is fucking cool, really awesome.”

Leah: That feels like retro gaming now, eh?

Simon: That is very cool, yeah, I thought it was awesome.

Alicia: It’s weird to think of a Battle Royale game in couch co-op.

– Yeah, well I mean —

– Like that’s just like —

– It’s like if you go to duos.

– Really need to make that cardboard in the middle of the TV like that old meme.

Simon: No no no, but if you duo —

Alicia: No no, it’s Blackout, so it’s duos.

Simon: You play together.

Leah: Oh good, okay.

Alicia: Yeah, so it’s the team, that’s really neat.