I’ve given the last few ‘Call of Duty’ games a miss, but after playing Call of Duty WW2 I realised that there was something missing in my gaming life…
When ‘COD Black Ops 4’ was announced – I was excited to give it a go. That excitement grew as the beta rolled out on console, but I waited patiently for the PC release so I could play it in all its 4K beauty.
Straight off the bat I had severe problems.
This was supposed to be a review of the multiplayer, but because of such a limited amount of time actually playing the game I think I’ll move it into an opinion piece instead.
First of all, let’s remember that this is the biggest gaming franchise in the world. They’ve been running online multiplayer matches since the very first COD way back in 2003 – and they release a version of this game, every. Single. Year.
Also something to remember, Activision and Treyarch have said that there will be no single player campaign in this year’s edition of Black Ops and that they will solely focus on the multiplayer side of COD.
I don’t understand that in the three days this beta was active I was only able to connect to three matches.
The servers were so poor that after over 200 attempts to connect, I gave up.
But it wasn’t just me.
I was playing on Battlenet (which have two server options, America and Europe), and yes I was playing from Melbourne, Australia which is barely hanging on to the planet, but every single other multiplayer game works here.
After pouring over the forums trying to find a fix I noticed that there were many people experiencing the same problem, majority from the Southern Hemisphere.
This is a game breaking issue that must be fixed before Black Ops 4’s release in October, or even better – I hope its fixed before September which is when the much anticipated Blackout (COD version of battle royale) beta starts.
That’s the rant over, now let’s talk about the gameplay.
Like I said, I only managed three games so this will be short but I did catch a lot of the action on Twitch.
My first impression was that its very fast paced with the regular jump returning to Black Ops meaning it is boots on the ground action. Exception to Ruin who has a grappling hook.
Whilst we are on that, you now have the choice between ten specialists each with their own special abilities and equipment.
- Special Issue Equipment: Grapple Gun – allows user to quickly grapple and zip to locations nearby.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Grav Slam – Kinetic device that delivers a lethal blast radius around the point of impact.
- Special Issue Equipment: Tac Deploy – Deployable beacon that gives your teammates the ability to redeploy to the surrounding area.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Annihilator – Massive high-caliber revolver that fires devastating rounds with increased bullet penetration.
- Special Issue Equipment: Reactor Core – Emits a damaging radiation field that wounds enemies and reduces their maximum health for a time and prevents healing.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Purifier – Flamethrower that shoots a steady stream of flame, scorching enemies within close range.
- Special Issue Equipment: Cluster Grenade – Powerful explosive grenade that sticks to surfaces and releases sub-munitions upon detonation.
- Special Issue Weaponry: War Machine – High explosive grenade launcher.
- Special Issue Equipment: Sensor Dart – Reveals enemies within its proximity.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Vision Pulse – Pulse the map to reveal all the enemies for yourself and teammates.
- Special Issue Equipment: Razor Wire – Damages and slows enemies that attempt to cross it.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Barricade – Reinforced cover for protection while securing objectives. Built in microwave field slows and damages enemies.
- Special Issue Equipment: Assault Pack – Supplies ammo packs that provide bonus score for taking down enemies.
- Special Issue Weaponry: TAK-5 – Heals and boosts max health for the user and their team.
- Special Issue Equipment: 9-Bang – Tactical grenade that flashes and stuns. Can be cooked for multiple detonations.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Ballistic Shield – Durable transforming defensive shield with a built-in machine pistol.
- Special Issue Equipment: Mesh Mine – Explosive traps that connect to create lethal tripwires.
- Special Issue Weaponry: K9-Unit – Attack dog that can be commanded to follow you or patrol a designated location.
- Special Issue Equipment: Seeker Shock Mine – A deployable tactical that hunts down enemies and shocks them with temporary paralysis.
- Special Issue Weaponry: Tempest – A tactical rifle that shoots electrically charged shock rounds to incapacitate enemies and any squad mates within their proximity.
You can still customise your load out which includes a variety of weapons and perks, also kill streaks make their return. Your choice of specialists can be an important one, some game types will only allow one of each making that decision between support or a head first tank crucial.
The usual game modes return for Black Ops 4, Control, Hard Point, Kill Confirmed, Team Deathmatch and a new mode Heist. Heist will remind many of Counter Strike and it works well for Black Ops. Instead of starting with a load out you will start with $500 and a pistol. Money is won by eliminating the opposing team or by extracting the cash. Cash can then be spent on weapons or perks
The noticeable changes to the gameplay are that the map now has fog of war. Meaning you can only see enemies on the minimap that are in your teams’ line of sight. Also gone is health regeneration, Black Ops 4 will instead make players manually implement it through the use of health stims. The choice between peaking around the corner or staying behind cover and healing might break a cycle that COD suffers from. Spawn in, run head first into the enemy, die, spawn in again.
I know that there are many people out there who don’t like the gameplay of Call of Duty and if that’s the case then this game won’t be for you. But you’ve got to admire that this series still remains at the top of the ladder when it comes to video games. Everything that you’ll expect from a Call of Duty game is here, the subtle new changes to Multiplayer defiantly give a refreshing feel to a well-trodden path. It’s hard to miss the influence in this year’s instalment however, the success of Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite and PUBG have defiantly had their effect on Black Ops 4. The question will be ‘how good is Call of Duty at playing catch up?’