Call of Duty: Blackops 4 reveal: What’s new? Is it good?

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After announcing the latest installment to the Call of Duty: Black Ops series a few months ago, Activision finally showed the game to the world this past Thursday. Major changes were promised, and they were indeed delivered. Black Ops 4 will see the company taking a new direction with its game, a gamble that might just work out for them.

Almost anyone will agree that Call of Duty is not what is used to be. Although change is good but not always. Many players were unhappy with the fact that Activision had taken the “futuristic” approach to newer COD games with games like Advanced Warfare, Infinite Warfare and Black Ops 3. Although BO3 wasn’t that bad, the majority disapproved of the futuristic approach.

This was seen with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare where fans expressed their disapproval of the game and it subsequently became one of the worst performing and ranked Call of Duty games ever. In an attempt to win back the fanbase, Activision came up with COD: WWII which was released last year and to an extent, it saved Activision. The game turned out to be decent and faith was slightly restored. However, now they’re back, working on Black Ops 4 which looks very similar to Black Ops 3.

Although many fans might not approve again, of the futuristic approach being taken again by Activision, Black Ops 3 actually did really well in achieving a balance between what fans wanted from the game and what the developers wanted to do. What resulted was a highly enjoyable game that many people still play, despite newer games being out there. The latest installment in the Black Ops franchise looks to pick up from where BO3 left off and according to what we’ve seen so far, the game is a huge gamble, will it pay off? We can make a few educated guesses. Here’s what we know so far about the game by looking at the gameplay reveal:

The game inherits almost everything from Black Ops 3

You don’t even need to see the full gameplay reveal to point this out. By just watching the near 3-minute gameplay trailer, it’s clear that Activision hasn’t messed around a lot with the formula they used in Black Ops 3 which clearly worked.

Black Ops 3 introduced a lot of new things to the game, such as the ability to give yourself a slight jump or slide boost by pressing and holding the slide/jump buttons. If you’ve played Destiny, think of it as the double jump or glide, but not as much height or air-time. They also introduced ‘specialists’ into the game. Each specialist would have their own unique ability, which would get charge up over the course of a match. Once fully charged, you can use it to get pretty much free kills.

For example, the Seraph specialist can wield the Annihilator pistol once fully charged for a limited amount of time. The pistol has 6 bullets and a timer. The shots are one-hit-kill, the only hard part is aiming. Then there’s the highly popular gravity spikes, the specialist charges towards the foe and slams the ground causing an energy wave that kills all enemies inside its radius. So, with changes like these, the game really changed and evolved from what it used to be. For the most part, they were welcome changes and we see the gravity spikes and Annihilator in action in the gameplay trailer, so expect to see all the things that were loved in Black Ops 3 make a return in the sequel.

From the image above, we also see that there have been a few visual changes as well, how ammo and the gun you are holding are displayed etc. It looks different from previous COD games and from the trailer, another thing to note is how they’ve added health bars on top of players to show how much health they have left. The health bar is interesting, especially since Call of Duty games never have it, but it’ll help with Black Ops 4’s newest game mode.

Battle Royale makes its way to Call of Duty

Ever since Black Ops 4 was announced, rumors spread about the possibility of having a Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty given the current popularity of Battle Royale games such as Fortnite. Activision has indeed confirmed that Black Ops 4 will have a Battle Royale mode, with its own twist to it.

Black Ops 4 will include a new game mode called ‘Blackout‘. Activision hasn’t specified yet about how many players will the mode be able to handle but it’s expected to be a large number given that the map for the mode will be 1500 times larger than the iconic “Nuketown” map. Blackout will merge Call of Duty’s fast-paced action-packed combat mechanics with survival competition.

According to Activision, the large map will feature several familiar locations that players might have seen in the previous Black Ops games. That comes as good news as all the previous games had a large number of maps, each different from one another. The idea of putting them all together is exciting as players can explore and discover and duke it out in multiple settings. This concept is similar to that of towns in Fortnite, except that the towns, in this case, would be separate Call of Duty maps.

Players can play solo or with a team but the twist here is that Activision also adds vehicles into the mix. Players will have access to vehicles, both land, and water, similar to PUBG, which makes the prospect of COD’s Battle Royale mode look very exciting. Once Activision gives out more details about Blackout only then will players get a full idea on how this mode will work, but even from the information already available, it seems like Call of Duty is set to compete against games like Fortnite and PUBG.

Changes to Zombie mode

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 also significantly changes its highly popular ‘Zombies‘ mode, which, at first glance might not sound like a good idea. The zombies mode is one of the most successful and popular game modes ever in Call of Duty games.

Introduced and first kept as a Black Ops exclusive, it soon became clear that any COD game with zombies would get a lot of attention. Therefore, the zombies mode is now a part of almost all modern COD games. The whole point of zombies was to fight off waves of zombies, with each wave becoming progressively harder and seeing how far you go, simple yet really fun.

However, now zombies will also feature a bit of narrative, which is interesting. Black Ops 3 didn’t have a proper narrative, but you could collect stuff and perform ‘rituals’. It seems that this idea will be taken further and a narrative will be put into place leading players on an adventure against the zombies. There will be three adventures, IX, Voyage of Despair and Blood of the Dead, each of these will have their own sub-plot. Each adventure will also have its own set of characters, arch-enemy and it’ll have a quest-like feel to it. It’s the closest thing players will get to a story or campaign because…

The game will NOT have a single player campaign

If you watched the trailer closely, you might have noticed something odd. The previous Call of Duty game trailers always featured some aspect of the single-player campaign, setting up the main plot or story for the game. However, this trailer has focused solely on multiplayer. There also had been reports alongside the Battle Royale rumors that Black Ops 4 will not have a single player, and this one has also turned out to be true.

Many fans will not like this decision as the campaigns of some Call of Duty games are what made them ‘great’. For example, aside from having a good multiplayer, the Modern Warfare series was widely considered the best Call of Duty series for the amazing story each game in the series told. However, the new additions being made to the game might make up for not including a campaign more, but it’ll most likely turn a lot of people away from the game, especially those who only play Call of Duty for single player.

When asked about the decision to remove single-player, this is what Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting had to say:

“When I first started on multiplayer in the Call of Duty franchise, 10 per cent of our population was playing competitive multiplayer. Fast forward to 2015 or 2016, you’re looking at 90% of our players are playing multiplayer … If you look at it through that lens, and trying to deliver more for your players and how you’re playing the game, it’s a pretty easy decision.”

Activision has taken a big risk with this game, going for a fully multiplayer-focused game. However, if it pays off, then the game has the potential to rival the likes of Fortnite and PUBG who are currently the most popular and most-played online games out there. It remains to be seen how the game will do, without single-player, but the addition of Blackout and the overhauled zombies mode will definitely help the game’s chances. Black Ops 4 is set to launch on Xbox One, Ps4, and PC on 12th October.

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