As promised, Activision delivered some goods today, during a livestreamed reveal for Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. As such, we now know a decent amount about the next iteration of the incredibly popular first-person shooter franchise.
Scheduled for release on October 12th, across the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC ecosystems, Black Ops 4 is shaping up to be a different beast than that which came before it. The reason isn’t just narrative or thematic, either, because structural changes have been made this time around.
Unfortunately, this year’s outing will do away with a traditional single player campaign, and will focus more on Zombies and multiplayer than ever before. In doing away with a true campaign, the developers have surely saved themselves time and resources, but that doesn’t mean that the news is any less disappointing to those of us who’ve always enjoyed playing through the Call of Duty games’ story modes.
There will still be some single player content, though it will come in the form of playable back stories pertaining to the title’s multiplayer specialists. How involved these scenarios and engagements are has yet to be noted, so here’s hoping that they’ll offer a good amount of substance.
Let’s switch to multiplayer where the big news is that the Pick 10 system is returning, in conjunction with improved weapon controls, combat flow, health regeneration mechanics and more. The gameplay is said to be gritty and tactical, allowing for new levels of customization across “a variety of new weaponry, maps and modes.”
Specialists will play a big role in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, as you’ve likely already surmised, and the roster will be made up of both new and returning faces. Hopefully this means that some of Black Ops III‘s better ones will make an appearance, including the bow-wielding huntress.
“Black Ops 4 is by far the most ambitious title our team has ever created,” said Dan Bunting, Co-Studio Head, Treyarch. “At its core Black Ops has always been about challenging convention and boldly taking our gameplay in new directions. With Black Ops 4, we’ve designed an experience for all play styles and skill levels from casual to competitive. It brings a layer of tactical depth that rewards players for mastery, and just feels so good to play.”
Zombies will return with its biggest offering yet, that being three unique storylines, one of which is set on board the Titanic. These storylines will offer difficulty levels, as well as gameplay enhancements like “the most customizable action to-date, new systems for creating and completing community challenges, and social systems designed to connect players.” That, as well as new characters to assume and get to know.
Likely taking the place of the nonexistent single player campaign is Blackout, an all new battle royale mode that plays out within a map that is said to be the series’ largest yet. At 1,500 times the size of Nuketown, it surely is.
Blackout will task players with taking control of classic Call of Duty characters, as they scavenge for resources and battle each other. Fighting solo, or in teams, players will assume control of land, sea and air vehicles “across a gamespace unlike anything ever in Call of Duty.” As they do so, they’ll come across familiar Black Ops locations and weaponry.
It’s also worth mentioning that the PC version of the game will be co-developed by Beenox, and that it will utilize Blizzard’s Battle.net system for multiplayer play.
“The Black Ops community means everything to us, so we knew in order to deliver something really special for our fans like Blackout, with the biggest map we’ve ever created in Call of Duty, we had to push ourselves and our tech to the absolute limits,” said Mark Gordon, Co-Studio Head, Treyarch. “The same goes for our PC community. They have inspired and fueled us to set a new standard on PC across every aspect from dedicated servers and security to full optimization and polish that’s worthy of both Black Ops and Battle.net.”
Expect to hear more about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 at E3, and as we lead up to its October 12th release date.