Kairi Hamm, CFNN Game Reviewer
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, also referred to as BO4, is a first-person shooter game that greatly contrasts itself with the rest of the COD series. The game was released in October of 2018 and was a huge disappointment to most of the die-hard fans who put thousands of hours in other games in the series.
Not only did the game not feature a campaign, which was one of the most exciting things the COD series offered, but it also replaced it with a “Battle Royale” mode called Blackout. Most assume that Treyarch, the game development company for Call of Duty, wanted to jump on the train of popularity of battle royale games and decided to include it in place of the campaign to rope in players who usually enjoyed games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.
Unfortunately, the classic Zombies game mode that has been a staple in the COD series was ruined. Treyarch dumped the original zombies’ storyline out of the window and introduced another cast of characters that upon release, had everyone confused as to what was the purpose of the new protagonist. On top of this fact, they also made the already difficult “easter-eggs” even harder. There is little guidance on what to do after you complete a step of the easter egg and even when there is a hint, many players have found themselves back in the lobby after they were killed trying to figure out what to do.
Treyarch made a COD pass that would give access to new maps, which most thought to be zombies, but ended up being more focused on multiplayer. Players were given one Zombies map and to make matters worse, there was barely anything new about it. The map “Classified” was simply a remake of an old map introduced in a previous series title which angered people since the pass to get the new content was $50.00. This was a separate cost altogether from the already $60.00 game which made players pay more for less. Even after releasing a pass, Treyarch decided to make DLC maps for Zombies, which cost players $14.99 for each individual one, which there were four of. This costs players $59.96 to get each one, which is only 4 cents off of buying the game again.
Multiplayer also turned into a disaster for most people who used to play it in the past. Although the designers removed the boost packs from BO3, which relieved many, Treyarch bought back specialists. Each specialist has certain equipment that no-one else has; this was meant to help balance multiplayer, but only ended up making it worse. With camping already being a problem in most first-person shooters, there are specialists in BO4 that promote it. This made winning games harder and more infuriating, ruining something that used to be fun and thrilling.
Scorestreaks are also a problem in the current COD title. Scorestreaks are learnable abilities that allow you to call in support to win the game but ended up becoming extremely unbalanced in BO4. It is a common complaint that once one person gets something like an attack chopper or a sniper’s nest, the game is already over. The only real way to get better things is to level up in multiplayer, but with all of the cheaters you get placed into lobbies with, it makes it almost impossible to get a kill without camping or using a knife, which is also locked behind either pure chance or leveling up.
Adding to the train of game modes is Blackout, which is the new battle royale mode that took the place of the campaign, however, unlike both multiplayer and zombies, it actually has managed to please most COD fans. The mode offers a new and unique way to look at what COD has to give and has allowed players to get the same thrill that most other battle royale games give them.
Sadly, this brings some drawbacks. Players find themselves playing this mode so often that they don’t realize that it is the only mode they play on Call of Duty. This means they essentially paid at least $60.00 for a game that can only fill the role of a battle royale, which other games do for free, on top of having free DLC. With its only real redeeming qualities being locked behind paywalls, Treyarch has lost many of its players and has become more of a cash-grabbing company than one who makes games for people to enjoy while earning a fair amount of income.
To me, this game is a waste of time and money. I purchased the game myself, and while I kind of knew it wasn’t going to be exactly what I wanted, I had hoped it wasn’t going to be that bad. I believe that the COD series should have stopped at BO2 instead of making whatever BO3 was and continuing onward to make a pointless zombie story lines with an even poorer multiplayer experience. I wouldn’t recommend getting the game due to the paywalls of content that end up costing more than the game itself, but also because after about 6-15 hours of game play, the game has little to offer.