Black Ops 4 is the first truly modern shooter in the series for years. The days when 720 is no match for a match may be over. Early signs showed in Black Ops 3, but Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has now completely turned into a 5v5 team-based class shooter. It's still a nimble FPS with a short dead time, but now you have to worry about healing yourself, sharing information, and Firebreak's reactor core.
I am firing in the peeled shell of a church. I do not really see him, but he set fire to the floor, the madman, and permanently damaged part of my health. Shooting him would do the trick, but also support from a teammate who heals me with his special ability through the wall, or a temporary wallhack from another friend who lets me know where the bastard is hiding. I'm surprised that during my two hours of playing Black Ops 4 in multiplayer mode, I did not get into a friendly gorilla scientist course (although Specialist Ruin's Grac Slam ability is sure to contradict angry Winston) ,
Of course, Black Ops 4 is not Overwatch, not far, but the influence of its siblings within the parent is clear. With special abilities and class synergies and visible health bars, Black Ops 4 appreciates trading information just as much as men do.
Let's start with the basics so as not to disorient BLOPS loyalists. Like Call of Duty: WW2, the movement of Black Ops 4 removes the Wall Runs and Strokes introduced in the last iterations, keeping these boots firmly on the ground while making minor improvements to the healthcare system and user interface. Automatically regenerating health (introduced waaay back in Call of Duty 2) is gone, replaced with an infinite amount of stimpacks that you make in your arm. If you give, you can not shoot, and this new method of manual healing slows down the pace of a match. The fight is still as fast as ever, but deciding whether to fight or run for a fight depends on 1
Health is also more transparent. HP bars are visible to both teammates and players within range, and I've found that I make moves based on the combined health of close team members. If we set fire to a group of enemies and took a significant amount of health from them, we could safely bet they were vulnerable for a few seconds while being healed. Even if my health had made a dangerous hit and I would have stimulated my stim effectively, I would effectively have been out of action for about 10 seconds and left the other team a target wide open. Depending on the game mode, I'm not sure what's worse: hide to lick your wounds or a quick death and immediate respawn. I like that there is a much more tangible sense of whether the odds are in or against your favor throughout the game, and encourage and reward more conscious communication and playmaking. Will the same teamwork naturally take place in the wild? Treyarch relies on it.
Changes to radar feed into the same team-focused design. The minimap is wrapped in a "fog of war," and the only illuminated areas are around you and your teammates. In each pocket of visibility on the minimap, all opposing players are revealed, with the exception of those who have a negating perk. Instead of lighting up for everyone when a UAV is deployed, or when an enemy player fires, valuable information is exclusive to your immediate environment, but it is always available (aside from a radar-scrambling killstreak or invisibility -Perk). My favorite note is the emphasis on all the damage done and the objective points, not the K / D ratio in the score. Team contributions are most respected in Black Ops 4.
Some old, new, a return from Black Ops 3, heavily reworked to focus on card awareness and team play. And like Overwatch or Rainbow Six Siege, teams can have only one of them in play during a game. I still have to try them all out, but they're customizable enough that switching between them is not confusing. Everyone has their own special gadget and ability, but you can change their workloads to suit every role. Perks and modifiable weapons fill in the bulk of the loadout system, and while I did not have enough time to experiment with every tool in the arsenal, what I've used felt familiar.
All Call of Duty weapon archetypes are back in snipers, repeating rifles, SMGs, assault rifles, LMGs, shotguns, and pistols. The snappy, overcrowded target and trademark phbt-phbt of the hit indicator homogenizes the feedback of the weapons and still drives me insane. They are not my favorite FPS weapons, but they feel as reliable as an old pickup truck.
Besides, it's the new class skills and some of the new gadgets that are helping to get you into first place in firefights. I favored a character called Torque, whose standard loadout contains a deployable barbed wire designed to block choke points to slow down and damage enemies. I found it particularly useful on flanking routes, because if an enemy gets over it, you will receive a notification that you are causing damage, much like a lesion in Rainbow Six Siege. It's effectively an alarm system to keep track of your back and a good reminder to let your teammates know where the enemy team might come from.
For a long time, Torque can use a large shield as cover, another seal of approval. In games where we had to defend a point, it was great to jump into a corner that would otherwise be open and visible to enemies from multiple entrances. (The Siege similarities do not stop there, I mean, there's even a specialist with the ability to use a portable full-body riot shield.)
Firebreak worked for me too, because I can not aim, damn, and he can Use a small nuclear reactor that does burning damage over a large radius while hiding. The longer you hold it, the more damage it causes, and you can even overload the thing, burn yourself and sacrifice health to hold down an area. It is extremely useful to separate an established team from a target. Because the ability works through walls, as long as you have a general idea of where the team is camping (and hopefully helping your team with it), you can hunt these idiots straight out of town. Combined with gadget abilities that show enemy locations through walls and all your teammates this time around, it's immensely satisfying.
I won a Control match in which one team tries to achieve two goals, and another defends them, each side with a supply of 25 lives to keep them afloat. We were only a few deaths away from the elimination with the enemy team guarding the last point. I held this reactor until I went up in flames, but took the entire enemy team with me. Not a single head shot was needed, and instead of finding a body to the teabag, I found a teammate to High Five. I forgot that I played Call of Duty.
But a quick death by an enemy helicopter reminded me too often. Killstreaks are still there and largely unchanged. UAVs and radar scramblers and rocket attacks are back, though they feel more arbitrary than ever against the design changes that are supposed to reward smart gaming over everything else. While I've always had control over where enemy players were, the occasional rockets falling from the sky, or helicopter death or radar scramble, almost always crashed blindly. And if no one on your team can stand up to a killstreak reward, the game flow is completely set. The cards I played did not deviate from the format of COD: three narrow streets with interlocking flanks. A tactical pace increases them, but I would like to see something new. That will be blackout, I think.
So, it's not a total reinvention, but I'm excited (and a bit startled) to see how long players react to the subtly forced comradeship and what strange synergies we'll have. As soon as the players spend more time with the character classes By simply changing what you know, how you're going, and adding some skills that enhance team play and territory control, Black Ops 4 has finally brought a stagnant series to the front.