Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a next entry in the hugely popular shooter franchise. It will be the first not to feature a solo campaign. It will instead focus entirely on multiplayer with its usual range of options along Zombies and an all-new battle royale mode in the form of Blackout!
Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 including all of the latest news, release date info, gameplay preview and more.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Multiplayer Preview by Jake Tucker
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is aiming for a bold reinvention of its multiplayer, and after a weekend spent getting wrecked by teenagers in the game’s closed PS4 beta, the blockbuster shooter does seem to have a certain energy to it that wasn’t there before.
While the influence of hits like Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch are clear to see, the changes are unlikely to draw in those that have already written off the franchise, as the hyper-kinetic combat, quick scoping and killstreaks are all present and correct.
The spawn-die-spawn rhythm at the heart of every Call of Duty in recent memory continues, as does the obsession with smaller maps that sees players venture into each others personal space within a few seconds of spawn, with oft-explosive results.
Related: Best PS4 Games
However, play a few rounds and subtle changes start to unveil themselves. Regenerating health is no more, replaced with a meaty 150hp life gauge that enables combatants to stay standing to trade more damage. Time to kill is still fast, but fights are less one sided now, with the extra health (previous games had a standard 100hp in the multiplayer) giving players a couple of seconds to react.
This in turn makes fights last a little longer, meaning lone wolves will have a slightly tougher time taking out packs of enemies. Your decisions of when and how to attack now have some tactical weight to them: this doesn’t mean you can’t annihilate a full team, it just means you’ll need to work for it, as everyone is a little sturdier now.
On the flip side, healing is only accomplished by jabbing yourself with a magic healy needle, encouraging you to duck out of fights to perk yourself up. Forget to do this, and you’ll survive a fight only to be taken out by someone breathing hard in your direction during the next engagement. This very quickly becomes part of the core loop, you fight, kill, reload and heal in time for your next scrap, which will often occur as soon as you round the next corner.
Related: Devil May Cry 5
The game’s specialist system has been built upon since Call of Duty Black Ops 3, and it feels like it’s borrowed a lot from Siege and Overwatch in its new format. Players now pick their chosen specialist in addition to a class, adding two unique abilities that charge up over time.
My chosen character, a healer named Crash, could toss down ammo bags that people use in order to give everyone involved more points upon each kill. In addition, I had a tablet that gave everyone a significant heal and made them even more durable, which wasn’t too flashy but did make me the secret MVP, even if no-one ever noticed.
Meanwhile, other specialists have ballistic shields, grenade launchers and even adorable killer guard dogs. The team sizes have shrunk slightly to 5 v 5 matches, and team composition can be the difference between winning or losing, even if the meta isn’t yet in place at this early beta stage.
Related: Fallout 76
In a real loss, the specialists aren’t as distinct as either Blizzard or Ubisoft’s efforts, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a real fandom generate around the characters, as players own create-a-class choices actually offer a lot more customisation – however it shows a direction that Activision are moving towards and as we’re losing the game’s single player campaign, surely this scant characterisation isn’t all we’ll get?
Things are changing for Call of Duty, and this beta shows that it’s being influenced by the market around it. However, these changes may be too little too late for those who have decided that Call of Duty isn’t for them.
Meanwhile, I’ll be playing the beta next week, hoping to finally pick fast enough to play the specialist with the grenade launcher.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 beta – When can I play it?
Blackout, the anticipated battle royale mode will receive a playable beta on September 10. This will be open to all who pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Trailer – How does it look?
Activision has revealed the multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Watch for a detailed look at maps, specialists and game modes you’ll get to play on August 3. Oh, and there’s 13 precious seconds of Blackout mode right at the end.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 release date – when is it coming out?
The PC version is being developed from the ground-up by developer BEENOX and will be coming to the Battle Net platform which hosts the likes of Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 – Black Ops Pass
Activision and Treyarch have announced the Black Ops Pass, a new approach to post-launch content which will include the following content:
- 12 multiplayer maps
- 4 new zombie experience
- Exclusive skins for Blackout: Battle Royale
However, the maps and experiences mentioned above won’t be released in the traditional map packs Call of Duty has boasted for so many years. Instead, players will receive them on a more regular basis. This has caused some concern amongst fans as it could potentially divide the game’s community.
Activision hasn’t confirmed whether individual maps will be available to purchase or if you’ll need to buy the entire Black Ops Pass. At the time of writing it’s unclear how much the pass will actually cost. Here’s hoping players can purchase specific content without a the entire pass in their library.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Zombies – Any big changes?
The Zombies Mode has been taken “back to the drawing board” for Black Ops 4. The first outing focuses on an ancient order intent on twisting the population into undead hordes which you’ll have to team up with friends to take down. The new characters – Charlotte, Bruno, Diego and Shaw – are all playable and unique in terms of equipment and mechanics. You can watch the debut trailer below:
Related: PUBG vs Fortnite
With this entry in the series, Treyarch is placing more control in the hands of players with bespoke lobbies and game types. Those without friends to play with can employ bot support so they can enjoy the narrative journey Zombies has to tell this time around. Seasonal events and new regular challenges known as Callings are planned to keep you engaged alongside new updates.
Black Ops 4 has a second zombie excursion coming at launch – Voyage of Despair. It’s super spooky and takes place on the Titanic as the central characters seek to stop a cult from unleashing evil. It looks neat and hopefully provides us with some creative tools to wreak havoc with. But wait, there’s more! Black Ops 4 will also feature a third zombie’s map called Blood of the Dead, which is a name hardcore fans will definitely recognise. Details are light on this final campaign, but we’ll no doubt have more information on it soon.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Battle Royale – It’s confirmed!
Treyarch has confirmed that battle royale is coming to Call of Duty Black Ops 4 with the biggest map the series has ever seen. Players will navigate the map either on foot, by vehicle or in the air with an experience complete with all of the features you’d expect from the blockbuster shooter. And, it has a name, say hello to Blackout.
Related: Battlefield 5
Treyarch has pitched Blackout as the greatest hits of sorts for Call of Duty: Black Ops. This means it will contain iconic characters from the entire franchise including Reznov, Hudson, and Mason. Whether these personalities will be playable or just mere window dressing for the mode’s aesthetic wasn’t made entirely clear. We’ll be sure to find out more at E3 next week.
What did you think of the big Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reveal? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.