Battle Royale games are taking over the world, so it’s was no real surprise when Activision announced that Call of Duty Black Ops 4 wouldn’t haven’t a campaign this year and instead focus on what it was good at.
Unsurprisingly, Treyarch have done a pretty good job, I wasn’t sure it would work for me, my old fingers had fallen out of love with Call of Duty but I have a surprisingly fun time with Blackout. Of course this is nothing to do with the fact that, Rich Greg and I have played a few games and have already managed 4 victories.
The map has lots of different locations and to keep things interesting some locations have been overrun by zombies, if you can survive the onslaught there are some excellent weapons to discover, of course all the gunfire will draw lots of attention so you won’t just be fighting zombies. Supply drops appear at random times and if you happen to be in the right place a special supply drop will appear, again you’ll have to take on Zombies before you can reap the rewards.
The map feels bigger than the Fortnite and PUBG maps, however as you drop in you can move across the map much quicker than any other Battle Royale maps, however the parachute deployment feels awkward and definitely needs improvement There are various vehicles to help you get around the map, or to escape enemies, including helicopters, ATVs and boats. Once again they’ll aid a quick escape but will draw lots of attention to you and your squad. There have been some odd visual glitches and the widely known emote glitch which gives you a better view of the environment when using emotes.
Depending on your play style you may find yourself cautiously moving around the map without seeing anyone, or you’ll be involved in massive gun fights, the second option will see you die more quickly but it will certainly give more experience. The gunplay is satisfying, and if you are lucky enough to pick up a glowing legendary weapon you could see yourself winning. You’ll want to try and register at least one kill, as the game only registers experience points if you kill, get in the top 10 or win the match. At the moment for there is room for this and Fortnite in my life as they both hold their own for different reasons.
Not everyone will want to play the Battle Royale section of Black Ops 4 but instead will treat themselves by playing the excellent Zombies portion of the game. The game released with three different levels and there will be more to come no doubt through DLC. There is enough of a game here to warrant a standalone title, aside from the gunning down of Zombies there is a deep lore to try and get hold of as well as trying to grasp the actual mechanics of the game. There is a tutorial and it’s well worth playing through the tutorial before you venture into the main game.
There are traps to activate, items to find and even a portal that lets you place your gun in that spits out an even more awesome version of what went in. There are various classes of characters that you can unlock and play as that come with their own abilities that can be activated during play, they also have power that can be activated to help you get out of tight spots. During your fight power ups will also drop such as double points and instakills, bagging these at the right moment are a matter of life and death.
Ideally you’ll want a team of handy players to get through the hordes of enemies that include Zombie Tigers, but the AI boys are pretty handy if you are short of team mates. The gameplay is frantic, especially if you try the Zombie rush mode, but it’s a lot of fun.
The majority of Call of Duty players are there for the multiplayer, again there is so much here that players aren’t let down.
The first big change is the class system, this year there are different characters to choose from that come with their own perks, my favourite, Nomad, comes equipoise with a mesh mine that always seems to catch people out thanks to the games frantic nature, other characters have perks such as cluster bombs or even a nuclear suit that emits toxic radiation that kills off the opposition. The second change is the way you manage health, no longer does it regenerate on its own, you now have health packs that require you to press a button to administer them, it’s an interesting change and one I personally quite like.
There are a plenty of game modes to choose from, I spent a lot of time playing Kill Confirmed, however Heist, a Counter-Strike style mode really caught my attention. Played over a set of rounds you need to kill your opposition or extract a cash bag to buy better weapons in the next round. It works surprisingly well although I rarely saw a team extract the cash so I’m not sure whether its worth having the bag at all.
All the multiplayer modes are as fast paced as you would expect from a Call of Duty game, but with Zombies and Blackout there modes to suit everyone. I thought I would miss not having a single player campaign but in all honesty that hasn’t been the case. If you are desperate for a bit of a story you can always check out the Specialist HQ mode which gives you a bit of background info on the different characters from the multiplayer.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is my favourite Call of Duty in recent memory, there is a huge amount of content that suits all sorts of play styles, the multiplayer generally feels balanced, however it would be great for UK players to put on to UK servers more often. The Zombies mode is huge and there is plenty to discover for many months to come, while Blackout is an absolute blast, this is a game well worth spending some time with.