Published By: Activision
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox, PC
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4 PRO and PC
Once the world’s biggest entertainment franchise, earning billions of dollars every year for its publisher Activision, Call of Duty is turning into one of the lost glories trying to backtrack on their old charm. But in recent times the military shooter has fallen out of favour, with the rise of ever-increasing competitors like Overwatch, PUBG and Destiny and the more family-friendly multiplayer charms of Fortnite available. At first glance, Black Ops 4 looks old-fashioned. The single-player campaign has been dropped out, in favour of just the multiplayer experience.
But this particular Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII had a lot of bills to fit in. Considering that it is developed by Call of Duty sub-series’ fan favourite developer Treyarch back at the helm. Widely considered the ‘A team’. Fans have waited three years for Treyarch’s next title and it’s finally here. Which has also gotten fans disappointed since Treyarch used to make the best single-player campaigns and storylines for the franchise.
But among all things, the Blackout (Battle Royale mode), despite taking a lot of inspiration from Fortnite and PUBG, is an experience to behold. It is frantic, exhilarating and enormous fun, with the signature Call-of-Duty combat. The Battle Royale template consists of 100 players parachuted into an enclosed environment with one task – to kill or be killed until one survives; although it does include squad-modes where 2-to-4 players can team-up. Kind-of like Hunger Games in a video-game version. The map is tight but scenically varied, taking in construction sites, railway stations, High-rise, beautiful modernist mansions and even zombies!
Meanwhile, Zombies mode has a selection of short narrative challenges. Maps riddled with secrets, traps and easter eggs, and part of the fun is exploring and working out new ways to evade your stumbling, rotting enemies. The visual design is lovely, the environments are great, and you might stumble upon some great characterization.
The Zombies experience can be customized and personalized. Offering a range of difficulty, enemies, and weaponry. And what makes it even better? Players can now customize their loadouts with different starting weapons, equipment and special abilities. Add on top of that game modes like Rush, which fundamentally change how a Zombies match plays, all weapons are free and all doors are open. Your task is to rack up kills as fast as possible thus you have the best Zombies suite in Call of Duty history.
The traditional multiplayer mode offers Team Deathmatch, Control, Domination, Heist. Heist plays like Counter-Strike, you are given in-game currency and there is a time limit to plant bombs and buy new weapons with the cash earned. As for Control, it is like domination but with turns where you have to take control or defend 2 points every round. If you can take control of 2 areas you win the round. The maps are all decent while attempting to detach from their old three-lane system, which makes the combat more interactive, but I have to admit the maps are way too small this time around. The biggest change to multiplayer is the healing system. Gone are the days when you could heal from damage by taking cover for a few seconds and a couple of deep breaths, now there’s a new gameplay mechanic to healing yourself with an injection that recovers your health over time. It only takes a second to start the process and a few more to get back to full health. Along with the addition of 150 base-health. Which brings a new strategy to the game. There was the initial controversy that MP servers were only capped at 20Hz which was fixed and all dedicated multiplayer servers are running at 62Hz as of this review.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is a strange game, with a nostalgia to the franchise’s glorious past, to all-new shooting adrenaline rush experiences, all the way to moments of a slight but biting disappointment. They’ve tried merging the narrative, co-op and competitive multiplayer experiences which has its audience excited for the future while also giving a feeling of unrealized potential.
What I really liked
- Dedicated servers are really great.
- Solid Overall Multiplayer Experience.
What I wished was better
- The maps size in multiplayer were a tad bit too small.
- Bad spawn mechanics.
- Post launch servers were really unstable.
- NO CAMPAIGN!
- PC port is a mess rendering the game unplayable.
Multiplayer and Zombies were the best things about Call of Duty for years, now they’ve added Battle Royale which is a cherry on the top. $110 for all map content + additional money for Micro DLC and a 55gb day one patch for servers to play up.
Score : 7/10
Must Buy. One of the best Battle Royale experience combined with good old Multiplayer mode made this game a must buy especially for COD longtime fans.