I told myself I wasn’t going to get the new Call of Duty this year, but of course, I crumbled. I wasn’t a fan of Black Ops 3 and I wasn’t impressed with the decision to completely omit a single player campaign this year. But alas, I am weak, and I bought it anyway. So, after spending a few weeks with it, what do I think? The best way to review this I feel, is to break it down in to the main 3 sections of the game
Still the biggest attraction for Call of Duty players, Black Ops 4 takes the standard multiplayer formula that we’ve become accustomed to and tweaks it in subtle ways in an attempt to create a fresh experience. For the first time in years, players now have a health bar and are required to heal themselves to stay in the fight, although it’s not a huge change, it does add a new tactical layer to the multiplayer experience. Time to kill in standard game modes feels longer and there is a bigger emphasis on where you hit the opposition, encouraging greater accuracy. I have found myself losing a lot of gunfights but not feeling angry about them, as unlike previous games, it was evident that I was losing them based on skill, and not other anomalies like poor hit detection and lag compensation.
The “specialists” return from Black Ops 3, but thankfully, double jumping and wall running has not. I found myself to much prefer them in a “boots on the ground” scenario and I have found myself chopping and changing between them from game to game. They are all balanced and offer something unique and not one has sprung out to me as a stand-out favorite and/or over-powered.
In terms of weapon balance, it does feel like the SMGs have suffered the most in Black Ops 4, with the Assault Rifle and LMG classes being far easier to use and also being far superior in almost every way. The SMGs are of course, ideal for close quarters combat, but in comparison to previous games, I found that the map design doesn’t cater for “rushers” and getting into these close quarter situations were few and far between.
There are a good variety of maps, with some new ones alongside a multitude of classic maps from the Black Ops series. All are relatively fun to play, and none have really stood out to me as a “must skip” map, which is something I haven’t experienced in a Call of Duty game in quite some years.
Spawns are questionable, but what else is new for Call of Duty? It’s still early days, so I’m confident a patch will come soon to rectify these recurring spawning issues. But it does admittedly lead to some frustrating occurrences at this time which can take away from the overall fun.
Overall, however, the multiplayer experience thus far has been highly enjoyable and for me, probably the most fun I’ve had with a Call of Duty game since Black Ops 2.
Taking inspiration from the phenomenons that are PUBG and Fortnite, Black Ops 4 has delved into the world of Battle Royale gaming as well.
For those who aren’t quite sure what Battle Royale is, (and if you don’t, where have you been for the last year?) essentially, 100 players get dumped on to a massive map, where they then have to scavenge for weapons, supplies and perks. A “circle” is present, which gradually shrinks as the game progresses, limiting the area in which a player can be, this continues until all other players have been eliminated. The last player (or team) standing is the winner. It’s a very basic concept, but highly addictive.
Call of Duty and the Battle Royale formula go together like bread and butter, and Blackout is a highly entertaining experience. Whether you’re a Battle Royale veteran or a complete newcomer, it’s easy to get to grips with. There are an array of vehicles, boats and aircrafts to use which adds to the experience and offers something different for a Fortnite player, but those who have played PUBG will be unlikely to be blown away by it.
If you’ve played a Battle Royale game then you already know what you’ll be getting with Blackout. I have had a good time with it, but I do think I would have preferred a campaign as well and I don’t think Blackout alone justifies the omission. I’ll be interested to see how many updates and changes Blackout gets over the next few months, but I can’t recommend getting the game if Blackout is the only thing you’re interested in. Stick to a current, free Battle Royale game if that’s the case.
Of course, Zombies had to make a return. If you’ve played Zombies before, then again, you know what to expect. There is plenty of customization available and incentives for players to continue playing, but the core elements of Zombies remain.
I’m personally not a huge fan of the huge amount of “easter eggs” and side quests for players to do in modern Zombies, I far prefer just killing waves of them and not having to think about doing much else. If you’re like me, then you’ll love the new variation called “Rush”. It is absolute carnage, you are thrust straight into the game, there are no waves, you’re just bombarded with constant waves of zombies and you continue to fight through them until all of your lives are spent. It’s a much faster way of playing Zombies, and it is insanely good fun.
Again, like Blackout, if you’ve played Zombies before then you’re not not going to be blown away by any of the changes. The current maps are fun, with quirky, interesting characters and some excellent settings, but I simply can’t recommend getting the game just on that alone, you’re better off sticking to an old game for your Zombies fix, for the time being.
In conclusion, I’m having a great time with Black Ops 4 as an overall package. However, that is the key phrase, because I think the only way I can recommend getting this game currently is if you plan to spend your time on all 3 features rather than one alone.
If you’re planning to get the game just because of Blackout, or just because of Zombies etc, then I do think you should wait for a sale. Because you won’t get your money’s worth at this time.
The biggest change in this edition is the Multiplayer experience, and for me personally, I think it’s also the strongest feature of this incarnation of the long-running series. I’m still sour about the lack of a single player campaign, and the “specialist” levels are barely worth talking about. But, I can’t deny that this is a fun game, and it’s a solid entry to the Call of Duty franchise. I look forward to seeing how it changes and evolves over the next year!
I give Call of Duty – Black Ops 4 a 7.5/10.