When Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 was announced on Twitter back in March of this year, its accompanying tagline was ‘Forget what you know’.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) March 8, 2018
That was a rather bold statement for a franchise that banks a lot of its appeal on giving its massive fan base exactly what they want every year. Over the last seven iterations, the game’s basic structure has remains largely the same – players get a short single-player campaign, a deep multiplayer mode and (since Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2) a zombie mode.
Yes, there have been tweaks and additions to different COD games – jet-packs, wall-running, sci-fi weapons – but zombies, online and single-player are the pillars that never change. Well, that is, until now.
At a reveal event in Los Angeles last week, Black Ops 4 developer Treyarch announced several changes to the COD package, the first of which was…
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 has no single player
In what came as a rather large shock to the COD community, Treyarch revealed that there would be no single-player campaign in Black Ops 4. This is a first, not just for Treyarch, but the entire franchise. Instead of a ‘traditional campaign, the developers say that the game’s multiplayer mode is going to feature something called Solo Missions, which are essentially skill-based levels that involve a narrative element. Since the multiplayer sees players using ‘specialists’ – avatars with different abilities – Solo Missions sounds like a great way for players to bone up on their skills.
The news that Treyarch is junking the single-player hasn’t been met with universal acceptance, but the developer is banking on a brand new mode to draw more players in.
Black Ops 4 has a Battle Royale mode called Blackout
It sounds like one of the major reasons for the lack of single-player is the game’s new mode, Blackout. According to Treyarch this is going to take the form of a Battle Royale contest set on the largest map the developer has ever created.
The move makes sense; Battle Royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) have made the genre one of the most popular in all of gaming. But from the looks of things, Treyarch wants to expand on the Battle Royale template. Blackout will see iconic characters, vehicles and parts of multiplayer maps from other COD instalments included. If Battle Royale players take to Blackout, Black Ops 4 could very well turn out to be a monster.
Zombie mode is getting a massive overhaul
Zombies. Of course there were going to be zombies. Ever since they shuffled onto the stage of the first Call Of Duty: Black Ops in the form of a joke mode, the undead have been an integral part of COD, and every year, this part of the package becomes bigger and bigger. For Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, however, Treyarch is giving zombie mode a complete revamp. In fact, it’s going slightly bonkers.
Players who think they know what to expect from this mode based on past experiences will be in for a shock. There a three co-op zombies maps available from launch, but one of them takes place in ancient Rome (er, what?) and players will fight gladiator zombies with swords and shields, while another takes place on the Titanic (again, er, what?), which has become infested with zombies. If you have no friends, you can play with bots and Treyarch is offering a ton of customisation options for both players and zombies. Now you can design a game in which you aren’t rubbish!
The Multiplayer is Specialist-based
The real meat of the COD package is always the multiplayer and for Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, Treyarch is taking a leaf out of the playbooks of popular asymmetrical shooters such as Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege. Players will step into the boots of Specialists who differ in both appearance and skills.
Some make a return from Treyarch’s last game – such as ‘Ruin’ who can use a grappling gun to zip about the map and ‘Battery’ who used a weapon called War Machine that fires bouncing grenades – and some are brand new. Among the new faces are ‘Recon’ who can use his Sensor Darts and Vision Pulse to help his teammates see through walls, ‘Ajax’ who can deploy a riot shield and pistol and ‘Crash’, the franchise’s first honest-to-God healer.
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 is out on October 12th on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.