People have been talking about Call of Duty dropping single player from the modes available for years and years and years. Well, you finally got what you wished for, and instead you get treble the zombies maps and a new battle royale mode, Blackout.
Is it a sacrifice worth making?
Activision and Treyarch kept promising that despite Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 not having a campaign, that it would have single-player content. To be honest, that’s stretching the truth. Whilst the quality of the cut-scenes suggest they were originally prepared for a wider experience, the missions that do exist a) require you to be online and b) are basically just tutorials. There’s a mission for each “operator” (read: character class), which is a basic introduction to their weapons and specials, narrated by an increasingly angry hologram of Frank Woods in Black Ops 1 guise.
The VO is pretty hilarious as Woods’ programming appears to have taught him modern phraseology and vocabulary, yet he continues to swear like a trooper and appear thoroughly outmoded. However, these missions can be blasted through in just 1-2 hours and all include a basic bot match as the largest part of them.
After Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty & Activision were basically forced to go back to the drawing board and abandon their quest to get more and more futuristic and outlandish. Having said that, Black Ops 4 is less grounded in reality than I thought it might be. It’s set in the semi-near-future (similar timeline to Black Ops 3), but there’s no lasers, jump-packs or exo-skeletons.
Classes form a big part of the game (there’s 10 of them), and each of them will have access to certain perks, skill-streaks and weaponry (secondary and special weapons). I still find it odd not having access to grenades after playing a dozen hours or so of the multiplayer, but the classes do have some cool abilities, which range from fortified shields to opening up radioactive cores. You’ll also have to worry about your health as well, using LB to heal up, although this change is well balanced and makes little difference in reality.
All the usual modes return, although I felt like the maps weren’t always super interesting, and spawn points can be really brutal, opening you up to camping or near insta-death. There’s also a new mode in Heist, which brings in elements of Counterstrike (e.g. buying weapons) to the traditional formula. Zombies comes with a tutorial for the first time, an easy mode to try and bring in more beginners, and three maps rather than the usual one.
Personally, despite these changes, I didn’t find it any more accessible; the maps are still too sprawling and poorly laid out, the matches too long, and there’s a still huge penalty (in terms of difficulty) when people inevitably drop out over time. It’s a marmite mode which remains very much not my thing, although I imagine fans of the mode will be delighted by the huge increase in content.
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