Call of Duty has a reputation of releasing terrible story campaigns, gradually getting worse and worse each year. However, I don’t think anybody really expected there to be absolutely no SP campaign in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and it was met with mixed emotions. Despite my earliest trepidations, I am actually excited for Black Ops 4 (or IV, as Roman Numerals go).
I will be the first to admit that when I heard the news that Black Ops 4 was to be a purely multi-player experience, I shunned the Treyarch project. I thought about how, despite the franchise releasing worse and worse stories, there was still some sort of narrative that somewhat justified the R1000+ price tag.
Then, when they introduced Blackout, the PUBG-style Battle Royale mode, I was wearier still. Now, it just became an insult. Not only are they simply reusing resources from previous titles, they are just copying a popular gaming format, and then charging R900 for it.
However, after much thought when the anger died down, I realised that Treyarch’s logic was flawless. Nobody played the campaign anymore, and while I still think they could have dropped the price slightly, because there is no AAA actors and CGI scenes to produce; everybody simply plays the MP, so why focus on anything else? Once I reached this conclusion, I realised that Black Ops 4 could actually have a lot going for it.
Firstly, the mechanics in PUBG are well-founded but are very much unpolished. If Black Ops 4 manages to perfect these mechanics, it could be phenomenal, and since COD is known for intense MP action, the Battle Royale and PUBG formats fit perfectly.
Secondly, COD has revamped the ‘Zombies’ section of Black Ops 4, with mystical elements and time travel. Now, this may sound like an utter wad of crap, but think about it, if you are going to veer left of your franchise, you might as well turn into the skid. It’s not exactly like zombies are a real thing anyway. Not only are there new zombies, but you will need to defeat hordes of the undead with historically-accurate weapons. For example, when you time-travel to Egypt, you will use spears, maces, and swords. While it may seem insignificant, it does add an extra layer to stop zombies from getting boring, as they have in past titles. Furthermore, while it is not a full-fledged campaign, there is a ‘story’ you will follow in the zombie mode.
Third, when it comes to recycling resources, Treyarch has stated that they have seen which maps and what content was most popular in their previous iterations, and have decided to only use content that players have loved. This means that Black Ops 4 will have all the maps we loved and the loadouts that we loved as well. Older maps will obviously receive touch-ups to lighting, animations, and graphical quality overall, but at least they haven’t used the content no one was interested in. Using the best assets from different games is the same as using the best spare parts from different vehicles; the result is a vehicle with the best parts in it, rather than three separate vehicles with rubbish parts.
I enjoyed PUBG, but the game wasn’t well-optimised at all so it was broken and clunky. A smoother gameplay experience would have really kept me engaged in the game, but alas, there were no major improvements. There have been alternatives to PUBG (obviously Fortnite) but PUBG would still have been a little bit more enjoyable if it worked better. Therefore, the fact that Black Ops 4 will provide a more stable experience, it means it will be a great alternative.
Finally, COD is no stranger to beautiful graphics engines. Black Ops 4 will offer beautiful maps and fantastic mechanics for particles and so on (ed - oh those beautiful dust particles!), for us to enjoy, as well as enhance the fast-paced and intense action as you are shot by 12-year-old kids who swear (literally) that they had relations with your mum.
Overall, I was hesitant about Black Ops 4 in the beginning. Though, this is not to say that I will be buying it on launch day as I still think the price is too hefty, but it actually isn’t as bad as it seems. At least we are getting a polished Battle Royale experience that isn’t Fortnite, along with enhanced graphical maps that we love, so it's not all bad, I guess.
Black Ops 4 releases on the October 12, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Will you be picking Black Ops 4 up? Are you excited for the Blackout mode? Let us know below.
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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