Now that Black Ops 4 has entered the wild we have had a good amount of time playing in all of its various modes and wanted to begin our coverage of the title leading up to a full review later on down the line. For starters, yes, this is the first COD to come with no single player campaign – but Black Ops 4 still has a story. We’ll get to that more in-depth in our full review coming forthwith. In the mean time, let’s talk about some of the game’s performance issues, grand achievements, pros and cons, and early impressions you can expect when first turning on the game.
One aspect of Black Ops 4 that many may find a bit jarring at first is its 50GB update which must be downloaded in order to play the game, even if you bought a physical copy on disc. It feels almost like players are essentially re-downloading the entire game. So what was the point of the disc, right? However, the disc drive continuously spins with fury during multiplayer matches. It turns out, the game is very enjoyable and possibly the best COD game in the series, so this becomes something we just accept and deal with. It’s likely a part of DRM for the game.
Black Ops 4 introduces a new Blackout game mode which is by far the most creative and variety-filled battle royale title released to date. While directly comparing it to Fortnite or PUBG is a bit silly, since they are very different titles, it is also inevitable. Doing so you will realize that Blackout features a much more interesting map than PUBG with so many different styles of gameplay merging together. The addition of vehicles to the battle royale genre such as helicopters, ATVs, and trucks is something we haven’t seen done this well since the original H1Z1 back in its Early Access days on PC.
Blackout feels so much better than other battle royale games because Black Ops 4 is such a well optimized game for current consoles. Even on a powerful PC, PUBG struggled to run until recent updates. Fortnite runs great, but is very hard to master with its high-speed building and extremely skillful player base of dedicated gamers who often don’t even play other titles. Blackout strikes a great balance between the two and yet feels more smooth and well produced than both of those games combined.
There’s scopes, grips, barrel attachments, grenades, flashbangs, riot shields, barricades, drones, rocket launchers, bullet proof vests, and customizable characters as well as classic Black Ops soldiers to choose from like Reznov, Mason, Woods, Menendez, Ranger, Frogman, Airborne, Seal, and a lot more including the cast of characters from Black Ops 4’s new Specialist lineup as well as various Black Ops Zombies characters. You can also fight against zombies in Blackout to gain special weapons from mystery boxes.
Multiplayer matches are particularly enjoyable since the game hardly ever has any of the well known issues of past games. Bullet precision and net code improvements are evident from the first match to the top of Monday morning with most fans encountering little to no issues getting a fair match online. Some standout modes that are the most fun this time around include; Heists, a Counter-Strike style round by round match up including earning cash each round through minor and major advancements on the battlefield to be spent each round on your choice of weapons or ability enhancements and Hardcore Free For All, a radar-free mode in which every man fights for himself and a good way to get intimate with a map or a weapon while waiting for your friends to get ready for another team-based match. There’s remastered maps included from the Black Ops franchise as well as brand new experiences added.
Zombies introduces new story lines and maps that are creatively bizarre as always. In addition to the classic way of playing these four player adventures there is also an added RUSH mode in which players are challenged to quickly run from zone to zone in a Zombies map and accomplish various feats for massive points. These points can then be spent on weaponry that can help take you even further into the danger. Mini-bosses, a potion system, guns of all kinds, plenty of easter eggs, and the overall evolution of the Zombies mode to feel more like an RPG Shooter make Black Ops 4 an instant fan favorite.
Specialist HQ is an additional bonus to the game which is an optional way of learning the story of Black Ops 4 through cut-scenes that occur in between missions that each tell the backstory of Specialists making up the new cast of Black Ops 4 characters. These missions start off painfully easy but AI improves over time as the higher difficulty modes are unlocked and the entire operation serves as a tutorial for players on what each Specialist does and how their abilities work.
Overall, we have a lot more to say about this game – but that will have to wait for our Full Review, coming soon. While some are upset at the repeating of old Black Ops content and lack of a campaign, I personally feel that Treyarch has given themselves more time to concentrate on completing a smooth and rock solid game rather than being bogged down by generating content for the sake of it. The game feels incredibly well produced, has brought quality back to the franchise, and is possibly the best Call of Duty game yet.
There’s tons of unlockable content that doesn’t cost any real world money to obtain, and so many game modes that are fun it’s easy to spend an hour or two in Multiplayer then switch to Blackout – going back and forth until the entire day has eroded. If you’re waiting on an endorsement to pick this up and can’t hold off for our full review – go ahead and buy this game now. It’s unlikely that you’ll regret it. Just make sure to bring friends and a mic to the team-based modes, it’s way better that way! Mason, the numbers!
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RGN for free by the publisher of this game for the purpose of its review. Additional physical and digital copies were also purchased by RealGamerNewZ for multiplayer review purposes.