When Black Ops 4 was announced I hate to say that I was really skepitcal about the game being released. I look towards all the Call of Duty games with an engaging single player campaign along with some fun multiplayer and perhaps zombies/aliens thrown into the mix. However, we all know that Black Ops 4 scrapped the single player campaign and replaced it with these operator stories. These are small little training missions on how to use each of the operators in the game but they are far from the engaging single player experience that even World War II managed to deliver last year. So if you are going into this game thinking that you are going to get some type of single player experience – you’re not. And that alone will get you to either buy the game or pass on it completely.
Multiplayer is broken down into three modes and those are the traditional Multiplayer, Blackout (aka Battle Royale) and Zombies.
The normal multiplayer while it may be engaging for some I found it to be a re-hash of the previous incarnations of Call of Duty with some annoying features thrown into the mix. When you started off in Black Ops 3 you had a chance to create your classes the way that you wanted to play right from the start. If you wanted to start out as a sniper and hit people from a distance you could do that or you could mix it up and get in peoples faces with a devastating SMG. In this game you start off at level 1 and you have a choice between 3 different classes. That’s it. You can choose from an SMG, Assault Rifle and Heavy Machine Gun. You cannot create a class until level 5 and the experience that you earn with the prebuilt loads do NOT carry over to the guns that you will eventually unlock. So you have to keep grinding away so you can at least keep up with the other folks playing the game and for me that’s not a fun experience at all. There are the usual modes such as team death match, kill confirmed and control but there is also a new mode called Heist. This has you buying your weapons at the start of the round as you are trying to not only eliminate the enemy team but to secure cargo on a point on the map. If you are killed during the match you do not respawn and it plays down until either the objective is secured or all members of a team are killed. If this sounds a lot like Counterstrike you would be correct as this steals the concept completely.
Next we come to the mode that a lot of the community was looking forward to and that is Blackout. This is the Battle Royale mode of the game as you will be able to go head to head with other players either solo, with a friend or up to a squad of four people. You choose where you and your friends will go on the map and you jump out of the helicopter using your wingsuit / parachute to pick a place to land. Then it is a mad dash to not only secure weapons and equipment but attachments as well. Yes, you heard right. You have to secure attachments for these weapons as well so if you wanted to have a silenced SMG or a better sight for your assault rifle good luck in finding it. The great thing about the map is that it is the biggest map ever made in a Call of Duty multiplayer mode. I love how they have taken some of the maps of past incarnations (such as Nuke Town) and put them into this massive map. This can be a blessing and a curse as you will want to get from point A to point B quickly especially if you wanted to rally with your squad. There are vehicles that are scattered around the map that you can access from boats, trucks, ATV’s and even a helicopter. However, remember when you are in a helicopter you might have an advantage in flying over the map and hitting targets but you also paint a huge bullseye on yourself and are vulnerable to incoming rockets / gunfire. The last man / squad standing wins the match and this is also made complicated with the playfield shrinking every so often. So by the time you reach the end of a match you are fighting in a smaller arena trying to get that last kill which makes for some fast gameplay.
Zombies also makes a return however, to me I don’t see the point in this. I would love to see a zombie mode that is included with the game that has a complete story from beginning to end. Something that you can play and finish not to just see how long you survive. There are three maps that are included with the base game and they are IX which takes place in a Roman colosseum. This was the game mode that I played and I have to say that it was quite interesting as you not only went around the arena and surrounding areas just fighting zombies you had to deal with some tougher opponents as well such as zombie gladiators and even zombie tigers! Each of the four characters has a weapon you can unlock by gaining kills and these weapons are nothing short of devastating. There are two other maps which are Voyage of the Dead taking place on a ship that is reminiscent of the Titanic and Blood of the Dead taking place in a prison. If you are a fan of these modes you will be happy that they are making a return however, I could take it or leave it.
The problems I have with this game are pretty much three fold:
- The price. This to me is not a $60 game it is a $30-$40 game at best. Making the fans pay this much for a game that really doesn’t have anything to offer the single player fans out there and just slapping a fresh coat of paint on a Black Ops 3 engine makes me wonder what were they thinking when they made this? Did they even care about the single player fans that were out there?
- The install size. Most Call of Duty games that I have played are around 100-115 GB – that’s with the single player campaign and most you can’t even bother to install the multiplayer separately. The install size for this game is 65 GB on the PC. Why? What is taking up all that space? Honestly it feels that Activision and other developers are not even trying to code anymore. They make these space hog games that take up the majority of your hard drive however, there are some developers that make amazing games and take up a TON less space and give you more content to enjoy!
- The businesss model. I haven’t even talked about this yet but there is a season pass that you either got when the game was released or you pick up when they announce it. If you thought that you were going to get this separtely or find a way to gain access that you already have and is hidden behind a paywall don’t hold your breath. Also, the farce that is the black market is just ridiculous asking players to sacrifice days of playing in order to unlock some cosmetic items. Why? Why are you making this so hard Activision?
So in closing can I recommend this game? If you are a die hard CoD fan you already spent your money on this game and are claming how awesome it is. Congratulations. Activision already has gotten your money. However, if you are on the fence about this game and are just thinking of buying it do yourself a favor and wait a few months. When the game goes on sale (and it will) then go ahead and buy it because as a $30-40 game it is enjoyable. However, to pay full price for something that seems unfinished, rushed and just slapped together is unfulfilling.