A lot of new stuff arrived with Call of Duty’s mid-season “Reloaded” update last week. It’s easy to get distracted by the ‘80s Action Hero event’s challenges and modes, but hidden in the mix is “Multi-Team Elimination,” a Fireteam mode for Black Ops Cold War that’s worth checking out.
Most of Reloaded arrived on May 20, but Treyarch pulled Multi-Team Elimination shortly after the update went live to work on some performance issues. The mode re-appeared on May 21 with a very battle royale feel.
This new mode is part of Treyarch’s 40-player Fireteam playlist, which all serve as squad-based modes played out as ten teams of four on Cold War’s largest maps: Alpine, Duga, Golova, Ruka, and Sanatorium. This is obviously still on a much smaller scale than Warzone, but the 40-player matches have a really great pace to them. All players drop onto the map with the MP5 submachine gun in hand, and then must scavenge supply crates to scrounge up some better gear. Players are fighting to not only survive against opposing squads, but they’re also trying to escape the gas collapsing around them. Squads can win the match by either being the last team standing or be the first to escape via an exfil chopper at the final collapse.
Normally, Fireteam modes have respawn, but players in Multi-Team Elimination get a total of five respawn tickets. Lives are still precious, but the limited tickets make the respawning less chaotic than something like Warzone’s Rebirth Island.
Multi-Team Elimination is also a little more barebones. It doesn’t use Warzone features like Buy Stations, Contracts, or Loadout Drops. I like that you can’t equip a custom loadout here, as it feels much more battle royale to have to make the best of your ground loot.
The collapse of radioactive gas is also more unpredictable, as it doesn’t shrink down the map as a perfect circle. Instead, the gas spreads out from an area, meaning you need to keep an eye on your map. You can also survive in the gas for much longer than Warzone’s overly lethal gas. It still does damage, weakening you and bleeding you out over time, but at least you get the chance to escape it, whereas Warzone’s kills you in mere seconds.
I love Warzone, but this 40-player mini royale-style mode is great for just jumping into quick matches for high kill fun. Cold War’s Fireteam maps are also rich with color and building styles that are very reminiscent to Black Ops 4’s Blackout battle royale, so it’s easy to see why some in the community are already calling this Blackout 2.0. It’s just a much more vibrant landscape than you get with Warzone’s Verdansk map, which suffers from lighting issues and washed-out colors.
Of course, Multi-Team Elimination doesn’t quite stack up to Blackout, but it’s a pretty fair comparison. I’m not sure how much the mode will get updated with features, because I assume Activision doesn’t want a Cold War battle royale competing with Warzone. But it could be nice to see better weapon variety—while Cold War has a decent size weapon pool, I feel like I only find a handful of options in Multi-Team’s supply crates. Multi-Team Elimination matches can also feel pretty quick, so the mode could benefit from having a feature like Warzone, where you can just select to “play again” and jump right back into a match.
Overall, Multi-Team Elimination is a great choice for fans of Blackout, Warzone players who hate the Loadout Drop feature, or anyone just looking for a smaller-scaled battle royale experience without all the bells and whistles. I’m a big fan of Cold War’s Fireteam: Dirty Bomb mode, and I hope Treyarch keeps Multi-Team elimination in the rotation with it.