Well, Black Ops 4 has officially landed in everyone’s hands – and now that we’ve had some time to immerse ourselves in the best gunplay that Treyarch has to offer, it’s time to come to a verdict.
Spoiler alert: it’s fantastic.
We do indeed believe ourselves to be in the right when we claim that Black Ops 4 not only succeeds in being one of the best entries to the COD series to date, but also a shining beacon to what the future may hold.
As the first Call of Duty game to eschew a campaign mode in favour of an all-new (and flavour of the month) game mode, reservations were high going into BLOPS 4. And yet, Treyarch has managed to turn the omission of a franchise staple into one of the most fully-formed COD packages ever delivered.
After a brief splash screen and nearly no preamble, new players are confronted with a menu that offers three main buttons: Multiplayer, Blackout, and Zombies. It’s from here that you can dive into BLOPS 4’s myriad of in-game activities.
Multiplayer drops you into the standard gamut of breakneck action over an infinite progression path that sees you reset your prestige rank over and over again to showcase the full grandeur of your ePeen.
Zombies supplant actual players with hordes of ravenous flesh-eaters in the staple side-variant of the game and thrusts players into an epic story arc that takes place across time and space. Although appearing very similar to previous iterations, it only takes a cursory glance through the Zombies menu to realize that Treyarch is playing an entirely new game.
Custom classes laden with consumable elixirs, upgradable weapons, unique ultimates and interchangeable equipment slots give what was once a variant mode more than enough firepower to stand on its own two feet – or four, if you’re one of the freakishly mutated variants.
With maps such as Alcatraz, the Titanic, The Pentagon, and an Imperial Roman Colosseum, you won’t find yourself wanting for any diversity. Oh, and if you find yourself capping out in progression, prestige just as you would in traditional Multiplayer in a bid for even more rewards.
All of this, and we haven’t even gotten to the hottest addition of the bunch: Blackout.
Arguably, Treyarch has shot up to the top spot in the military shooter Battle Royale arena. While Epic’s Fortnite still draws millions of players, Treyarch has been the first AAA studio to drop into the genre with such a polished product.
At this point, we might just be burying PUBG behind us.
Playable characters that vary anywhere from old Black Ops instalments to brand new additions just for Blackout. Unique gadgets and equipment can be used mid-match to clutch victory. It’s hard to point to any other first-person battle royale setting and claim that they can be doing it better.
Ultimately, what makes Black Ops 4 such an incredible package isn’t just the monolithic variety of content that it’s shipping with, it’s what Treyarch has planned.
Adopting a season-pass like progression path the likes which Fortnite has, the COD series is slowly morphing into something that bucks off the trend of traditional DLC packs and steers the game toward a more platform-like existence the way many MMOs operate – and it’s likely to be the best update to the franchise in a long time