Gamers aware of the Call of Duty brand will likely joke about yearly releases. Treyarch and Activision delivered in the form of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which just dropped today, October 12. What exactly does the long-running series bring to the mix that might appeal to fans of the franchise? If the recent Tokyo Game Show 2018 gives any indication, it appears the new battle royale spin is still a contested part of the series.
Here’s What’s A Geek’s! Emile Garcia with some information courtesy of John Rafacz, Treyarch’s Director of Communications & Social Media, straight from his Los Angeles office. Moreover, he shared to members of the media just what to expect from the newest installment of the franchise.
Black Ops 4: Treyarch, Activision’s Foray Into Battle Royale
Members of the Black Ops community will find Black Ops 4 quite the familiar environment. The game appears to be tailor-made for cooperative play, having three (3) central game modes:
Blackout is Treyarch’s signature take on the extremely popular battle royale genre. Fans can play solo, with a friend, or with three (3) others in a squad of four (4). While Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite enjoy the spotlight in the niche, Black Ops 4 penetrates slyly through new mechanics. For instance, players can commandeer vehicles in the absolute largest map in Call of Duty history. It will be a battle to the last man standing in an ever collapsing map.
Similar to the Battleworld from Marvel’s recent Secret Wars event, the map of Blackout combines several maps from Call of Duty history from Nuketown to Firing Range. This also includes classic maps and Zombies maps. While the developers and engineers appear to have enjoyed the technical opportunities with this first of its kind mode in the franchise, some fans may feel as though they should’ve created entirely new maps for this rather “historic” occasion.
Whether or not battle royale fits well with the Black Ops landscape is yet to be seen. The popularity of titles such as PUBG and Fortnite may help bring in the hype to try out Black Ops 4. However, unless the backdrop of nostalgia in Call of Duty can be appealing to fans, why bother buying a AAA title when you can enjoy the experience with more players in the latter two? It’s interesting to see how Black Ops dynamics will be taken into consideration in Blackout. This is especially given Call of Duty fans know the game well for its class-based combat, and having a penchant for military realism in its releases.
Call Of Duty Joins The Old, The New
Multiplayer gives players the opportunity to experience grounded combat with their peers. The mode showcases a lot of new ways to play, focusing on player agency. For instance, players can attack from above or launch an amphibious assault. Otherwise, they can also resort to trip wires, cluster grenades, and flamethrowers. They may even use the enemies’ own weapons against them. Take caution, though, as health no longer regenerates automatically. The fog of war places a premium on situational awareness and the flow of combat strings them all together, rewarding the best teamwork. Players must master movement, weapons, health management, and situational awareness to triumph. Be more, together!
- Treyarch places a premium on grounded combat yet also focuses on tactical gameplay and player choice.
- Pick 10 returns, along with a series of innovations in health regenerations and combat flow for enhancing player agency, from the start of the match to the thrilling finish.
- Moreover, specialists are back in a big way. Each weapon and ability have a unique feel to them, encouraging players to mix and match to experiment and add new layers to team strategy.
Victory goes to those who utilize teamwork and synergy best.
Zombies Are Back For More Dread
The much loved Zombies delivers three unique experiences on-disk, available immediately on Day 1. Players might find it mind-blowing to think that it’s been a decade – that’s 10 years – since the undead crawled their way out of Call of Duty: World at War. What started as an easter egg exploded into its own standalone mode. And now, players can have three (3) experiences right away:
- “Blood of the Dead” reunites four (4) fan favorites for some unfinished business.
- “Voyage of Despair” reimagines the terrors of the undead aboard the ill-fated Titanic.
- “IX” brings a gladiatorial twist to the entire Zombies premise.
New fans can test their mettle in a variety of custom games before tackling these campaigns.
Call of Duty’s Black Ops 4: Will It Work For Fans?
Treyarch and Activision did emphasize lessons they’ve learned in recent betas. For instance, Fog of War received tweaks to be more easily understood. There exists free navigation, map UI, and cursor for the benefit of players. Player spawning and tech deployment got adjustments to improve gameplay, while body armor and gear got overhauled for fairer firefights. Meanwhile, the addition of loadouts in kill cameras may allow players to adjust their strategies for their next battles. Inventory management got tweaked and fine-tuned as well.
It was clarified that more competitive professional play modes exist as possibilities in the future, and there are no post-launch content announced – yet.
Treyarch and Activision’s overarching design goals were to create a socially connected experience that can unite the Black Ops community. This decision eventually led the team to choose Blackout instead of the staple single player campaign of the series. Thanks to the appeal of the battle royale genre, the time seemed right for the design shift. At the end of the day, Black Ops 4 serves as a love letter to the entire franchise, from fan-favorite modes such as Mob of the Dead to the return of Specialists. Of course, fans are weary that the continued yearly release formula of Activision’s franchises may lead to burnout, but Blackout could hopefully avoid such an occurrence from happening.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives October 12 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.