CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
By Jackie "UniGameJackie" Verweij on October 17, 2018
Activision tells us that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 breaks records on the first day of release with its digital PC sales. The same goes for sales in the PlayStation and Xbox Stores, where the game also set a new record in digital sales! So, there's a blasting fact for you! This does make a person very curious as to just how good the game actually is, am I right? Well I, for one, know I am! In this case, curiosity will kill the cat. I haven't thought much about or even played much of the previous CoD titles in the last three years, but honestly, I am more than willing and ready to try Black Ops 4 and I have high hopes!
I did hear that the critics are more praising and enthusiastic than the 'players'. But then again, if it's as bad as some 'real gamers' would have us believe, then why in Bloody Mary's name would the game break sale records on day one then? Plus, my friends who bought the game had nothing bad to say so far, so why all the nagging? Is it because of winter in coming? Like, I know I'm a girl and I have my nagging time of the month but really... Guys. just eat some chocolate, will you? Even I am surprised by the "complaints" and the excuses people come up with to justify not wanting to like the game.
"Ah, there is no single-player campaign so I won't be buying the game." Oh boohoo! Now go sit in a corner and cry in your soda! No, there is no single player campaign, but this was pretty already evident for quite some time, so quit moaning about it. Plus, there is the awesome Headquarters, which I will tell you more about later on. Developer Treyarch focused on the multiplayer functionalities and decided to forgo a single player mode. This is what a lot of people want nowadays, so this is what they get. Sorry if it isn't to your taste. If you like single player games, my advice would be to go for Spider-man, God of War or Assassin's Creed: Odyssey; there are more than enough single player games out there. So, as far as I'm concerned, "there is no single-player campaign" is nothing but a lame excuse.
The second excuse I heard that truly grind my gears was: "It's too expensive." Fine, I get it. Gaming is not a cheap hobby. Especially if you want to keep up. But hey, Christmas is coming. Sales are coming? And do these "players" know or even realize that the developers have been working on this game for 3 years?! And you want it to be cheap while, at the same time, you expect better quality, more elaborate gameplay and so on? And that's not even counting the demand for DLC. Gaming is progressing, and progression costs money; that's just common sense people. Indie developers are on the rise and offer great quality games, so go for them if you are watching your wallet/allowance.
Seriously, my awesome gaming friends; I just had to get this off my chest. I always like to look at the positive side things, especially when it comes to gaming, because this is a big passion of mine. And if a game is not what you are looking for, then move on. For me, I just don't like the negative vibe from some of the "gamers" out there that just sit in their parent's basement all day and blurt out everything their teeny tiny minds can come up with. I am in awe of the changes and how much is going on in the gaming industry. This doesn't mean that if something sucks I wouldn't tell you; it's just that I do happen to have chocolate and try to avoid drama as much as possible. Please stand at ease, Boys or girls. Or even you undivided individuals. Anyway, I am excited and ready to tell you more about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Perhaps the most important change, which we already talked about for a little bit earlier on is that there is no more single-player campaign. But there is a single player component: Black Ops 4 contains four solo missions that highlight ten specialists and connects the stories of black ops 2 and 3. Apart from that, there's the Headquarters, which contains ten single-player missions that act like tutorials. In these missions, you are matched up against multiplayer bots. The incredible cut-scenes are exceptionally high quality and I found myself really liking this mode, even if the game-play isn't that hard and the bots are just stupid at times. As a bonus, the well-known Frank Woods will help you through the missions. In his own particular bad-ass way, which I really like.
Of course, with everything that's going on in the world of gaming, a Battle Royal mode was to be expected. In Black Ops 4, this mode is called "Blackout". The principle is just as simple as that of other games like Fortnite and PUBG. Solo or in teams, you will take on between 88 and 100 players in an increasingly shrinking environment. You will have to find equipment in order to stand a chance of winning. It was not that the Blackout was necessarily trying to rediscover the Battle Royal, and why should it? On a personal note, I would just like to say that every Battle Royal game has its own strong points. For example; I really like the survival and realism which PUBG offers but I can also truly enjoy the cheerfulness of Fortnite as well. And now, Blackout is a part of my list too, mainly because of the fast paced action game-play. Something unique in the mode is the perks you can pick up. So there is, for instance, a perk which lets you look through walls for equipment, lets you better hear enemies, survive longer outside the circle, heal on the run, or even one that lets you be as quiet as a mouse. Blackout also offers you a range of really useful tools, like a grapple hook, a sensor dart and my personal favorite: the RC-XD reconnaissance drone!
Other than that, Blackout is pretty much alike other well known Battle Royal games, so it's easy to know what you can expect. Honestly, I do think Blackout has his own feel; the action, long and short distance fighting and vehicles! Vehicles like the big truck, boat, quad, and helicopter are nice, not perfect but nice. The gameplay just feels smooth, which is noticeable in even something as simple as jumping over a wall. Trust me, this would go a lot less smooth when I try stuff like that in real life. Even the swimming in the game feels great and it helps that you can shoot underwater. There is one thing though I need to tackle, the highest level of armor in the so-called time to kill. I felt uncomfortable during the long confrontations. It just doesn't make sense to me! And the thing is that, although I am half deaf (not kidding), I still depend on the footsteps and other gunshots to assess an enemy's location, but I felt like I was being tricked. At times, the footsteps sounded so far away and I almost pissed myself when I turned a corner and all but walked into an enemy. Same goes for the sound of shots; one would assume that they would sound either very close or far away which tells you where your enemy will approximately be, but nope. That being said; Blackout is now a welcome new addition to my Battle Royal list and I am sure it will grow to be even better!
Did you know there's a little bug with the emotes in Blackout? This is called 'emote peeking' and is now done on a massive scale in Black Ops 4. When an emote is activated in Blackout mode, the camera switches briefly to the third person so that players can see the emote they have just used. The camera can be turned around and this is where things go "wrong", because Blackout mode players quickly took advantage of this. By using the 3rd person camera rotation, it is possible to, for example, look behind walls and, in doing so, getting a much better view of the environment and the location of opponents. Developer Treyarch says on Reddit that they are going to do something about this. There are two versions of Blackout; one in which the emotes work like I just described and a version for competitive matches in which the camera bug is fixed.
The Blackout mode is the eye-catcher as the newest addition of Black Ops 4. And I know for many veteran Call of duty players this is off-putting, but a lot of people are getting the game because of Blackout. But! Yes, there is a but! It's not my butt but a but nevertheless; I really think a lot of players will like the multiplayer and maybe play this mode even more over time. Why? Because it is exceptionally good and bursting of really good design choices, the addition of Specialists being one of them! Of course, everyone is going to do their thing and play however they like, which is the whole point of gaming for me. But the specialists offer interesting possibilities. Being able to set up a mobile spawn point, which also works in the modes where the player has one life, Search and Destroy and the new Heist.
In Heist, you need to buy guns and equipment at the beginning of the game. It is a bit slow and not so much entertaining as other modes, but I bet there are gamers who would enjoy this. I like the new Control, it responds to objectives, provides more action with a max. of 30 respawns and necessitates both teams to cooperate. The maps are relatively small but, as I've said before, for me this is a good thing, because it makes the action that much faster, which I like. When I try to sum up the multiplayer I do feel and like the changes that the developer Treyarch introduced. The tactical feeling has gotten so much better. I had to think more, like: "am I going to heal" or "Oh well, fuck it; let rush head first into the confrontation?" Another thing I thought about was how to use my Specialist. Or even which one I liked best! At first, I needed to get the hang of it but with the right choices, it's fantastically fun and results in one hell of an accessible and in-depth multiplayer.
Last but not least, let's have a quick chat about Zombies. There aren't many zombie movies I haven't watched and I can even relate to these old, fleshy and often dumb 'living' corpses. I think that, at this moment, I could even pass for one. Seriously, my eyes are red, my face looks dry and has no expression on it, I have black bags under my eyes and I grunt more last couple of day than I have spoken. The only difference is that I haven't killed anyone... yet! I do feel hungry though, but where to get a good set of brains these days?... I love this time of the year; it's almost Halloween again. As a rule, this means: scary games, scary movies, good music and food for a month.
The cooperative Zombies mode, you will get three maps without a Season Pass and one more map if you do have one. Of the free maps, one map will take place aboard the Titanic, one in a gladiatorial arena and the last is a remake of Alcatraz, which you might remember from Black ops 2. I already said it lots during this review and I'm going to say it again: I LOVE IT! Each one of these maps is brilliant! For non-experienced players, it could be a bit much to play it right off the bat, but thanks to the different levels and Custom mutations, things can be made somewhat easier and you will be killing all the zombies you want.
As I've heard from friends and read in comments throughout the community, the maps are received with open arms. It's beautiful, lest you can call zombies beautiful. I'm talking about the graphics quality and quantity of flash eating baddies. The two new maps XI and Voyage of Despair are huge and I am still trying to figure out all routes. Also, what I really love are the Easter Eggs. I'm sure I missed a few and still need to find more but I will stay on the hunt! So far, I've done Pack-A-Punch and had the bull shield. At first, the Easter Eggs weren't implemented until the 12th of October because Treyarch wanted a 100% spoiler free playground. But now they are here and let's get them! I just wished my new internet provider would hurry the hell up so I can enjoy the whole game even more!
In conclusion, I can only highly recommend this game. I could go on and on about the graphics, different gameplay modes and so on, but then I would just make myself and you guys sleepy. I do need to get some rest, but as nighttime falls after a long day dealing with co-worker zombies, I will start up my trusty PS4 and get to killing everything that moves! I will get some rest in my coffin later!