Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 shines with addition of Blackout (Review)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer

Call of Duty games have been the pinnacle for first-person shooters for quite some time, but over the last few iterations, gameplay has begun to feel a little bit stale. But developer Treyarch looks to do something different with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, in which they did away with the single-player campaign and dedicated their focus on various multiplayer modes. But can this new tactic catapult Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 atop the food chain in regards to first-person shooters?

For fans, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will bring back some classic multiplayer modes along with some new ones along. The fan-favorite Zombies is also back with a new twist. But the most anticipated addition to the Black Ops realm is its new battle royale mode, “Blackout.” As you know, battle royale games are all the rage. Fortnite and PUBG have been leading the way, but Treyarch’s approach looks to make a serious impact in the genre.

Specialist HQ

With single-player campaign gone, there is a new section with a story called Specialist HQ. In here, you play as different specialists (Ajax, Battery, Crash, etc) in order to complete tutorials and missions. As you complete your objectives, you’ll unlock cinematic cutscenes that tell a larger story. Sure, it’s not the traditional way of telling a story, but it does give you a glimpse of who the Black Ops 4 characters are and their background.

Multiplayer

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is back with its usual multiplayer modes including Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, Control, Domination, Free for All, Kill Confirmed and Hardpoint. Fans were worried about the double jump and wall running in a Call of Duty game, and Treyarch is taking that all away and keeping the boots on the ground.

The newest mode, Heist, is our new favorite mode. Your team is tasked with grabbing the cash and taking it to the extraction point before the other team does. There’s also no respawning, so that means if the enemy team wipes out everyone in your team, they win, and vice versa. Control has teams taking turns with attacking and defending the objective, Free for All has everyone fighting each other until the first player reaches the score limit, players will need to kill a player and collect the dog tags in Kill Confirmed, Search and Destroy has the team defending and destroying the objective with no respawning, Domination requires the team to capture three areas to gain points, Hardpoint has teams capturing the hardpoint, and the good ‘ol Team Deathmatch has each team killing each other until the winning team reaches the score limit.

The gameplay is smooth and solid, and moving the characters feels intuitive, whether they are sliding or jumping over walls. Shooting doesn’t feel clunky, and it helps to keep the game hectic and intense.

Zombies

Fans of killing zombies will notice a significant difference in this iteration of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Zombies. You still get to play as a team of four, but Treyarch has added multiple missions in different eras that you can play through, as well as some heavy customization. Missions will include “Voyage of Despair” which will place your team on the sinking Titanic, “IX” throws your team inside a Roman coliseum to go up against undead Roman soldiers, and “Blood of the Dead” will see your team fighting its way through the infamous, inescapable, Alcatraz prison.

The maps here are big and they’re filled with tight spaces and even tighter corridors. One key thing we found was that you’ll want to play smart, and most importantly, play as a team. The zombies here are overly powered and come in masses, so it’s easy for your team to get overwhelmed quickly if you don’t keep moving.

There are four characters that you can play as in Zombies. Unfortunately, you can’t choose which one you prefer. Each player in your team will have a random character. What Treyarch has instead opted for is for players to select which class they want to be. The Class system is where the Zombies customization really comes into play. At first, you’ll want to play Zombies a few times through to get an idea of how each class plays, and how the elixirs, talismans, and perks work. But once you get a feel of how the Zombie mode works, then you’ll want to customize your selected class that will help you get through the endless waves of the undead.

Zombies is a huge upgrade from previous versions. It’s fast, fun, and at times can be very hectic. Treyarch kept some of the classic features found in previous zombie games, which include building barricades, insta-kill, double XP, full-ammo, and the Nuke. The specialty classes and perks help keep you and your team alive for longer periods but will need to be used wisely. The map variations and customization adds a level of intricacy that will keep you coming back for more bloodshed.

call of duty black ops iv blackout

Blackout

With the popularity of battle royale games, it was only fitting that Call of Duty made the jump into the genre. And what Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brought easily sets them apart from other battle royale games. If you’ve played Fortnite or PUBG, then jumping into Blackout won’t be a difficult task since the play style is essentially the same. But one thing you’ll instantly notice is that you’ll be playing in first-person mode.

The map for Blackout has a lot of options for you or your team to drop into and collect items, but there are also some offshoot locations that can carry some really good items. When it comes to weapons and gadgets, there’s a lot of variation for you to choose from. Submachine guns and assault rifles are what most players will be geared to, while sniper rifles will be available for those who prefer a more distant kill. And for those players who rely on the spray and pray, machine guns will be available. Of course, those will be dependent on where you land, because some locations you choose might have nothing for you at all.

Blackout does have some vehicles that can be used which include ATVs, boats, trucks, and helicopters, so running on foot won’t always be your only option to getting around. But this does give you a disadvantage as it gives away your location to other teams. If you’ve played any other Call of Duty game, then the controls will be easy to learn. You have two options when it comes to accessing your inventory. The main inventory menu will let you drop items that you don’t need or split ammo or bandages to give to your other teammates, while the quick access menu will let you quickly add attachments to your gun or equip certain grenades you might have acquired.

When playing Blackout, you’ll have options to go into the game with a squad of four or two players. Or if you’re really brave, you can attack Blackout on a solo run. Blackout is a fun and exciting game mode that offers a lot of replayability in a simple package. Blackout is not a perfect game though as it’s still littered with bugs that can hit you at any time but expect Treyarch to patch those within the next few months. Blackout offers a completely different experience to a popular genre and combines it with the fast-paced gunplay and action that Call of Duty is known for, reinvigorating a game that has been running tiresome in the past few years.

Fans who are huge fans of the single-player campaign definitely got the shaft, but those who enjoy Call of Duty for its multiplayer aspects are in for a treat. With its return to the boots-on-ground gameplay for its multiplayer, hectic Zombie mode with maps in different timelines, and an engaging, intense and fast-paced Blackout mode, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is easily the best Call of Duty game to date.

Score: 4.5/5 Atoms

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