Monday, 05 November 2018 09:00

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Review

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Edited by: John Gerritzen

Gritty, gory, fast-paced and a familiar feel. Welcome to Black Ops 4. While this title is unique to a standard Call of Duty experience by cutting out the single-player campaign in lieu of a battle royale game mode, Black Ops 4 takes the franchise down a bit of a different path. While the Zombies and multiplayer game modes remain, some of Treyarch’s decisions with the franchise puzzle some gamers.


Black Ops 4’s strategy this time was to knock out the single-player experience as a whole. Gone are the storylines of Call of Duty and hello battle royale. Granted, the longevity of all Call of Duty games has been with their fast-paced multiplayer and diverse game modes. When the Zombie mode was introduced, it altered the state of Call of Duty and brought in a whole new group of gamers to keep the title playing in their consoles or PCs longer than ever. Personally, I have played every Call of Duty game released and have always been fond of their single-player campaigns (jump jets included). Black Ops 4 took me by surprise with the lack of single player campaign and left me feeling awkward as this is a AAA game, charging AAA prices, for a title that in the end, does not hold the same value as even its more recently released relative.


Graphics-wise, Black Ops 4 doesn’t look much different from Black Ops 3. Though I do think there are improvements in facial animation and armor detail, overall there isn’t much new. With that being said, it's still beautiful to look at. The new battle royale mode, Blackout, is particularly pretty due to the size of the map and the different color contrast and diversity makes the game world feel appealing and explorable.

The splendid visuals do not impede Black Ops 4’s performance, though I did experience a few frame rate stutters. Overall this title runs extremely well, even on the highest settings and resolution scale. The frame rate stutters I experienced were inconsistent and not related to anything particular inside of a match. I just hope they can find a fix for that small dilemma.

The multiplayer experience is extremely familiar. The jump jets are gone and the “heroes” have stayed. Prior to each match, you choose your preferred loadout and character. Each character supplies you with a special ability and an ultimate ability, be it a grenade or a flamethrower. This has always been an odd choice to me because almost all of the abilities are an instant death for whoever is on the receiving end, which jeopardizes the competitive feel of the game by not allowing players to counter the attacking individual other than guaranteeing a kill within the first few shots. Not that it truly changes much, you still respawn almost instantly.

The gameplay overall is second to none in fluidity. Your character navigates the game world with ease and every action feels precise and smooth. All weapons sound great and the feedback from hitting your target is rewarding in itself. For people like me that naturally just aren’t that good at Call of Duty titles, that is where the campaign came into play above all else: being able to hone your skills prior to getting stomped by several year veterans to the match type.


Zombies mode is actually interesting this year as well. One map pits you against the hordes of undead on a familiar cruise ship (1912 ring a bell?) and the other throws you into a gladiatorial-style arena to fight the shambling warriors. I absolutely had a riot cyclically deploying bullets against the crowds of Hell in both of these maps. Many new additions have been added to this mode, such as boosting potions that you can select prior to the match. These add a new layer of play onto the hectic bloodbath by giving players the ability to teleport away from their current situation to a random place on the map.

Oh, battle royale. In all honesty, Blackout has to be the most fun battle royale mode that I have experienced. Fluidity, gunplay, vehicles, strategy, and pressure are all present in this mode and make it feel highly addicting. The mode even has pilotable helicopters and zombies on the map depending on your landing zone. While I don’t feel like they made any true improvements on the genre itself, it still rings true as an enjoyable way to waste an evening blowing things up.


The Verdict: Good

Black Ops 4 combines all the elements of pop culture in gaming and the ease of access the franchise has always offered into one of the best Call of Duty games to come out in recent time. However, the AAA asking price for a minimized full title is slightly unnerving, as the game cannot and does not offer a full AAA experience. Overall, Black Ops 4 is worth your time, but at the current price, not truly worth your money.

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Bric Hudson

Bric is a US Army veteran and a passionate gamer. While in military service, he found gaming to be a way to connect with his friends all over the world. This blossomed into a fascination with the gaming culture and the experiences had while launching up a whole new title. He is fond of a variety of genres, which is reflected on his Twitch streams and on his Youtube channel. Find Bric on YouTube. Find Bric on Twitch.