Blackout Spotlight: Exploring Alcatraz in Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4’s Blackout

To celebrate the return of Alcatraz Portals, we wait for the mists to clear, and break down the destinations on this chaotic prison isle. Now with a newly-moored submarine, and other aquatic additions!

by James Mattone on June 11, 2019

In 1775, Juan Manuel de Ayala mapped out the San Francisco Bay, naming one island “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” or the isle of the pelicans, due to all the seabirds that flocked to the giant rock, out in the bay.

One-hundred and ninety years later, Alcatraz Island ceased operating as a prison and is now a popular tourist spot in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, to developer Treyarch, this iconic setting seemed an appropriate stage for something much more… a zombie apocalypse.

And so, on April 16, 2013, the world was introduced to Mob of the Dead in Call of Duty®: Black Ops II, where players must "break free from the physical and metaphorical incarceration of Alcatraz Prison.”

Today, the legend of that Alcatraz map lives on in Black Ops 4 not only as the setting of the ‘Blood of the Dead’ experience in Zombies, but also as the popular, limited-time second Blackout map.

Back by popular demand, this Alcatraz breaks open the entire prison island for players to explore and conquer with their Quad. For those who haven’t experienced it already, or need a refresher on the map in general, here’s our take on the island prison turned combat zone for Blackout:

Days of Summer Aquatic Additions

For the Days of Summer event, two notable areas have made their Alcatraz debut. To the north, you’ll find a surfaced submarine from the Multiplayer map ‘Icebreaker’ floating off the shore adding an extra, off-island variable to the mayhem.

The second area of note is the shipwreck from the MP map ‘Contraband’ which can be found to the south nestled next to the southeast isle. Is there treasure among the wreckage? Maybe all those pirates were on to something…

The Cellhouse

Now, let’s drop into the center of the map.

Those familiar with Alcatraz Island through Zombies will feel right at home here; the layout is similar to that of where one spawns in for Blood of the Dead, with multiple wall weapons scattered throughout the interior.

While they are not as frequently available as their Zombies counterparts (only a few appear at a given time and are marked by the blue glows), they are weapons worth searching. With the Paladin HB50 and Zweihänder among others, finding these weapons may help upgrade that arsenal for the long march to victory.

The Cellhouse is a network of tight spaces, small cells, and hallways that all catalyze short-range engagements. However, stairways up to the second floor of cells as well as to the basement, not to mention the rubble that allows for roof access, makes this a frenzied, multi-leveled arena for fight after fight. And, given its location in the dead center of the map, it can attract soldiers like moths to a flame.

Not only does this area attract the living, it attracts the undead. Former prisoners walk the grounds they were confined to, and they don’t take lightly to the living trending on their turf. Slaying them may offer access to the Mystery Box within the Cellhouse, which has the potential to dole out powerful weapons, armor, and other equipment.

Essentially, the Cellhouse is a primary point of interest to this map. Survivors and the undead may be drawn to it frequently, so be prepared to fight if you drop in here or find yourself walking into the cell blocks.

The Industries Buildings, Powerhouse, and Officer’s Club

The North side of the map is marked with four multi-level buildings, all hugging the shoreline.

Moving from Southwest clockwise, we first stumble upon New Industries. Adjacent to one corner of the Cellhouse, this area offers an escape from massive prison, via a steep staircase. Like all buildings on the map, New Industries may have some loot worth grabbing, especially when dropping in and scouring the grounds for unopened boxes.

Next, we have Model Industries building. Once a lesser-known drop-in spot, Model Industries may be a more popular location for those looking to avoid the Cellhouse and get an elevated view on the northern buildings. And for good reason: it’s the model of a modern major… drop location? Whatever you want to call it, it has loot for the taking and great sight lines over to the New Industries and Powerhouse buildings.

Speaking of the Powerhouse, this angled building provides an outlet to one of the map’s docks and plenty of indoor space to fight. It’s also near the Officer’s Club, another named building that may be small, but has just as much opportunity for loot than the other structures within this northern complex.

The Docks, Warden’s House, Parade Grounds, and Ruins

Moving south from the Officer’s Club, the Docks can be described as a large building with a potential escape route via the water northeast of the structure. This being the lowest-lying area on the map puts those scurrying around on notice for opponents lurking high above sea-level and aiming down below. Still, the indoor complex is filled with tight corridors and plenty of opportunities for looting, which makes this a common drop point on the map.

One place where soldiers may try to pick off people from the Docks is the Warden’s House. Located Southeast of the Cellhouse, this area has several multiple story buildings and is home to Alcatraz’ lighthouse. While the lighthouse provides stunning views of the island, be advised that it may be one of the most dangerous places on the map. Snipers tend to gravitate towards this tall structure to establish their perch, so watch out for those trying to climb up to get you… Or counter-snipe from below.

Southeast of the Warden’s House are the Parade Grounds, a place once used for military exercises. This area has multiple buildings to hide from those players sharpshooting from the Warden’s House complex, seek enemies lurking among the buildings, and loot potentially great items strewn about the place.

The final named area on the map are the Ruins, located West of the Parade Grounds. Here, a few small buildings offer cover and high ground, as well as potential spawns for Wall Buy weapons. Other than that, this area is fairly open and is another potential landing spot to explore.

The Southeast Isle

The last area of note is not indicated on the map, but could be an important part of a match on Blackout.

A solitary island sits southeast from the main isle of Alcatraz. Landing here is a bit of a risk-reward situation: there is a chance that many players will focus on the main island and leave it open, but if the storm rolls in, this area may be the first to succumb to the collapse.

It may also be a dangerous location, as it is one of the places on the map with the lowest elevation. Those on the main island with a long-distance weapon may spot a few castaways collecting loot here, and with so little cover on the island, they may end up dead in the water.

That’s our grand tour of Alcatraz Island, but of course, the best way to learn how to play on this map is to drop in with some friends and experience it for yourself. The Alcatraz Portals will be available for a limited-time, and we hope you enjoy exploring — as well as fighting — on the prison island filled with the undead.

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