The Call of Duty franchise has been a pioneer in the first-person shooter genre, not to mention one of the most commercially successful video game series of all time. It has sold over 250 million copies and garnered more than $15 billion in sales. Although the franchise initially focused on developing content set during World War II, it has since digressed into other inventive territories. While the Modern Warfare story arc is set in modern and future times, some Black Ops story arc focusses on other prominent historical confrontations, like the Vietnam War. The games are owned and published by Activision Publishing, Inc. and are developed by a plethora of American game developers. One such developer, California based Treyarch, has been the mastermind behind their Black Ops story arc. On 12th October, 2018, Activision officially released its 5th Black Ops game – Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The 15th installment in the overall Call of Duty (COD) series features major changes and is available now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
COD: Black Ops 4 is set to be the first game in the series to not feature the traditional single-player campaign mode. Dan Bunting, co-head of Treyarch studio, has revealed that the decision was taken as the developers wanted to create a game that’s more enjoyable when played with friends across the board. Analyzing the gaming statistics of the precursor Black Ops III, Treyarch observed that a majority of players had a predisposition of playing the game’s multiplayer format without completing the single-player campaign. However, fans of the solo campaign, worry not – as Activation has hinted to bring it back in the next Call of Duty games in 2019.
Instead, COD: Black Ops 4 has made some significant improvements to its gameplay – making it more tactical and teamwork based. In the Multiplayer mode, users have the option to play with any one of the ten Specialists, who are unique soldier characters with special abilities and traits. In an attempt to make the gameplay more realistic, automatic health regeneration has been removed in favor of a manual healing system. The game has emphasized on weapon customization and has even given them predictive recoil patterns. A separate multiplayer mode also features the return of zombies, similar to the Nazi Zombies mode in COD: WWII. Although this time, the game features a wider range of “zombie customization” – including overall difficulty, zombie speed, health, and damage. The Zombie storyline can be played in three on-disc maps and one additional map that’s available in the special editions of the game.
The final addition to Black Ops 4 is a battle royale game mode called Blackout, in which up to 100 players can compete against each other either by playing as individuals or as squads of two or four. Taking inspiration from the popularity of the genre in games such as Fortnite, the Blackout mode will utilize traditional Black Ops combat style and an array of land, sea, and air vehicles for players to use. Players will have to scavenge for loot to survive and kill other players in order to win the game by being the last person(s) standing.
Although the lack of inclusion of single-player campaign mode might anger some fans, Black Ops 4 has ensured that its Multiplayer and Blackout mode makes up for the deletion. In order to be commercially successful, COD: Black Ops 4 has to surpass the previous version, COD: WW2, which amassed over $1 billion in global sales.