Another year and another Call of Duty. This time, though, we have the fourth installment of the Black Ops franchise. It appeared, across the board, the anticipation for this game was a lot higher than years past.. and for good reason. This Call of Duty brings to you three different game modes, and none of which are a campaign – Multiplayer, Blackout, and Zombies. All of these game modes are completely different from the next and do a great job of keeping you occupied, whether you’re playing by yourself or with a group of friends.

I personally started off playing Call of Duty by playing the new Blackout mode. The reason for this was that I typically am playing Battle Royale games, specifically PUBG. I’m well aware of how clunky and disappointing PUBG has become and, for the most part, what it has always been. That’s why I needed something different.. something better. I found that in Black Ops 4. I was always a fan of the third person mode and stayed away from first person as much as possible, but with Black Ops you can’t and I’m perfectly fine with that. Black Ops, just like all Call of Duty games, has smooth game mechanics, unlike any other game. This mechanic allows for a fantastic battle royale experience. Your character can jump out of a helicopter and wingsuit his way down and into a part of the map. The map is an open world map, where players can drop into fan favorite areas themed and designed after previous Black Ops levels. As long as they jump correctly, anyone will be able to jump from the helicopter, almost instantly, and be able to fly to wherever they’d like on the map.

The guns that can be found throughout the open world are guns that can be played in multiplayer. There is a pretty good variety of guns and accessories to choose from. Black Ops 4 does utilize a backpacking system like other battle royale games. Players are able to pick up ammo for each gun until they reach 200 (max). Players will also be able to pick up a variety of different medical items to help increase their depleted health, as well as items they can utilize to defend and attack the other teams like barricades, trophy systems, razor wires, grappling hooks, ect.

Players can play solos, duos, and quads. The games typically don’t last long, which is convenient. I’ve noticed with other battle royale games that I’m playing for about 30-45 minutes and with this one, it takes about 20-30 minutes per match. This has allowed me to level up quickly, which leads me to my next point of discussion: character customization and obtaining new characters due to level and rank increase. The player can increase their “echelon” by playing matches, earning kills, reviving teammates, and completing in-game missions. The in-game missions are a little silly, in my opinion, but they do allow players to unlock certain characters. Some characters are unlocked by completing these missions, while others unlock after the player has reached a certain level. The system is pretty well put together, but my only problem with it is the character customization. Players do have the option to pick a male or female character and edit their appearance, but there are only four options. The person playing basically picks the race and that’s it. I’m hoping later down the road that they incorporate some kind of cosmetic customization for your in-game character because that’s a pretty important part to any battle royale experience. It’s pretty simple as well and something you’d expect to be in the game at launch. It’s not anything that ruins the game, but it does make me shake my head in disappointment. The characters players can unlock and earn are the characters they can play as in zombies mode, some characters the creators have made, and the specialists players can play as in multiplayer mode.

The different characters you can select in Black Ops 4

The specialists players can choose from are something new, but slightly similar to the last Black Ops game. Each of these specialists have their own unique look and abilities. They will have two special abilities that can be used in the game and each one of them is useful at some point in a match. Even if they’re not exactly helpful to you as the player, they could possibly be benefitting your teammates. This could result in a win in the end. These specialists are so unique and important that some players might find themselves lost in their favorite one, but at some point transition to another and have just as much fun. The great thing about them is that players can play their favorite one and master that particular character. That’s the one people might use the majority of the time, especially when they’re up against better opponents and doing everything they can do to win. It reminds me of Rainbow Six Siege, where you have a particular character and that character has an ability that no one else does and each of them have their own importance and, depending on the situation, could be the reason you win or lose the game.. so pick wisely!

Multiplayer has new game modes now, with a fan favorite appearing to be Control. In this mode, each team starts out with 30 lives. One team is defending two points, while the other is trying to attack them. The attacking team stands within the area, similar to Domination, until the location has been taken. Players also have the option to take out their opponents and win the match but, due to the match timer, that’s not usually the best option. This mode appears to be the one in which players can earn a lot of kills and points, so I would guess that’s why it’s become the fan favorite game mode.

There’s also a game mode called Heist, where players start out with pretty much nothing before killing opponents and collecting money throughout the match, which can then be used to purchase better weapons at the start of each round. Players only have one life, so they have to be pretty sneaky sometimes as they scavenge throughout the map for things that can better their chances of winning moving forward. It’s a pretty cool concept, but I believe the other game modes are more enjoyable, which in turn keeps my interest away from this new game mode.

All of your other favorite game modes have returned, like Domination, Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, and Search and Destroy. I have noticed that Search and Destroy is way more enjoyable to me than in years passed. The reason for this is the new health and armor system that has been implemented into the game, throughout all game modes.

The new health and armor system allows your player to have way more life than they have in previous games. They start with 150 HP and have a stint shot that you can inject yourself with to increase your life back up to max level. Players are able to obtain armor, trauma kits, and also be increased by the ability of a particular specialist to increase their health to above 150 HP, which adds a masking over top of that health bar. This allows for players lives to last longer than in previous games because they are now able to take more shots than before. Players are now able to be shot at a few times, then take cover and regenerate their health before returning to the fight within seconds. If someone is shooting at them in the back, they now have the ability to turn on opponents – unless, of course, they’re a good shot. I played the betas and, at first, I thought this would be a problem, but it grew on me. It grew on me so much that I couldn’t go back to the old health system of the previous games.

Zombies is back and better than ever before. Players now have the ability to play on the Titanic, which is a map I believe almost anyone is familiar with. The story on the Titanic is a very enjoyable, detailed, and humorous experience. Since players now have somewhat of an idea of the location, this allows the co-op experience to be more enjoyable because, for the first time, they are able to inform their teammates of a location and where there’s an item to be obtained or a horde of zombies to deal with. In previous zombie levels, I felt myself unsure of exactly where to go and what exactly I should be doing. This one has a variety of things to be doing and places to explore, but I felt like they’re more understandable and easier to remember. In turn, players are able to make call outs to teammates like they couldn’t before. I get that after a while, players can remember the locations on any zombie level, but this is something I realized in a much shorter time period this time around. They are now able to pick from a few special weapons from the start and then increase the abilities of that gun throughout the match. This allows players to figure out, as a team, which weapons are best suited for the map and story and which ones will help them in lasting the longest and/or completing the mission. Although I’m more interested in multiplayer and blackout, this is a great installment of zombies this go around and if you enjoyed them in the past, you’ll enjoy them even more on Black Ops 4.

Overall, the game is smooth, the graphics are great, and the game modes will keep the typical online gamer occupied for hours on end. This game doesn’t have a campaign, and that could push away some fans, but we were made aware of this for quite some time. The developers wanted to showcase a game that was created for online multiplayer and with this game, they were able to focus specifically on that, and it shows. I’ve been playing first-person shooters since I was a young kid and it has been quite some time since I’ve thoroughly enjoyed one. I can honestly say this game is one of the better first-person shooters ever made and I’m curious to see if it’s able to beat out games like Battlefield V and Red Dead Redemption 2 for Game of the Year.

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