When Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was released in 2016, reactions were all over the place. While the game itself was ripe with content, most people didn’t like the “advanced” movement system — a sentiment that is understandable since it continued with the break in tradition that Advanced Warfare started. Last year’s WWII reverted back to the “boots on the ground” style of movement that longtime fans love, but once again, reactions were a bit mixed to that title as well. With Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer, however, it seems like Treyarch is trying, as the title of this preview would suggest, to hone in on the best of both the previous game in the series and its other entries.
Yesterday I was able to sit down with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer for two solid hours and during that time I was able to check out a variety of game modes, maps, and specialists. While it may not appeal to everybody, I think it’s safe to say that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s promising gameplay changes will revitalize the broader Call of Duty scene.
As mentioned in the initial reveal keynote, there is no jetpack/booster jumps and no wall-running just like in Black Ops 2. That being said, the game manages to still feel just as fast-paced as Black Ops 3, which is genuinely impressive. If you’re a fan of the former, then you’ll like how Black Ops 4 plays and same goes for fans of the latter. One of the advanced movement features that does carry over from the previous entry is the slide, which, just like before, can be activated by pressing the circle button while sprinting, which allows for some exciting gameplay.
During my time with the game, we were able to play four different modes, Team Deathmatch, Control, Domination, and Hardpoint, which all operate similarly or the same as they do in previous games. We were also able to experience three different multiplayer maps. The first that I played, called Contraband, took place in a rundown castle of sorts on a beach. The second one, Seaside, is set in what appeared to be an Italian town on the coast. The final map, Payload, seems to be located at a missile construction facility on the side of the mountain.
The most interesting map out of the bunch was easily Payload for two main reasons. The first is that it’s almost completely different from the other two maps I played, and I’m not even talking about the location. While remnants of Call of Duty’s classic “three-lane” structure are still there, Payload allows players to utilize different pathways and jumps in ways that I haven’t seen since the Modern Warfare titles. The other reason why it stood out to me was because it featured dynamic elements.
While it’s not exactly the most noticeable thing on the planet, on the edge of the map you can press a button that lowers and raises a platform, which can be used to both help teammates and hinder enemies. One time I raised it while an enemy was trying to jump on it, which caused him to fall to his death, while another time I dropped it so that a teammate could easily get away from a firefight. While I didn’t see any dynamic elements on the other two maps, I hope that Treyarch adds these types of features to most, if not all of the maps that come with the game at launch.
One thing that I was very skeptical about was the re-inclusion of Specialists from Black Ops 3. I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of them in that entry, as in my opinion, they didn’t add a whole lot to the gameplay experience. This time, however, it seems like Treyarch have hit the nail on the head. Not only do “super” abilities return, but this time players can equip specialist-exclusive gear in place of the standard equipment like frag grenades, throwing axes, etc. While there is too many to go into without playing it yourself, each one allows for your specialist to be unique in its own way, which has me very excited for the full version.
Two things that were noticeably absent from the event were Zombies and the brand new Battle Royale mode called Blackout. On the one hand, it’s understandable considering this was only the first initial reveal for the game, however both of those modes seem like the features that Treyarch has changed the most. It would have made sense to show those off since they essentially have “something to prove” when it comes to their gameplay, rather than the multiplayer which seemed pretty similar in comparison. That all being said, I’m sure that we will see it very soon — E3 2018 perhaps?
All in all, Black Ops 4 is a ton of fun. Whether it be the dynamic maps or the changes to the specialists it seems like multiplayer is shaping up to be a great experience. I do think, however, that if just the multiplayer was released, while fans of the series would have a ton of fun with it, new players don’t have an incentive to pick it up. Of course, we still have Zombies and Blackout to look forward too (which, from the initial trailers, also look very interesting) but that’s just how I feel at this current time, which will more than likely wholly change once I get a chance to see those two modes in action.
What did you guys think about the reveal? Did it interest you enough to pick up the game this October 12th? Let us know in the comments below. I’ll also be around to answer any questions that fans might have.