Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII Review
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 12, 2018
This title was provided to Gaming Instincts for review by Activision Blizzard.
The Call of Duty franchise has been a leading powerhouse in the FPS genre for over a decade. Back in 2010, the Black Ops series began delivering a fresh storyline and updated multiplayer for the franchise along-side of the wildly popular Zombies horde game mode. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is the latest addition to the series and has changed up the game’s formula quite a bit, taking out the single player story campaign altogether and replacing it with a fully fleshed Battle Royale mode, Blackout. Let’s take a deep dive into Black Ops 4 and see how the new formula stacks up against the rest.
When it comes to changes to the base gameplay of Black Ops 4 it sticks to doing what it does best. Straightforward FPS action with incredible gunplay. Each different gun feels unique with its own firing and reloading and feels weighted to how large the weapon is. One of the best features of the gameplay is the feedback that a player will receive when they connect with a target they are fighting. There is an audible impact that affirms a successful shot which can be the difference between life and death in a match while shooting through cover. Player mobility is also highly polished within the game. Sprinting, jumping over obstacles and sliding on the ground are all very smooth and transition between player positions seamlessly. All of these simple factors merge together forming an immersive experience between the various game modes.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII gives players all of the classic multiplayer game types that we have learned to love over the years. The base game playlists consist of team and solo deathmatch, control and objective based modes and of course a free for all. There is also a hardcore option for the various modes as well that limit player UI and increase bullet damage, so knowing the maps are key for survival.
There are fourteen different maps that players will cycle through, ten that are brand new to Black Ops IIII and four that are carried over from previous Black Ops games, Summit, Slums, Jungle, and Firing Range. There will also be a fifteenth map free for all players released in November that will be a remaster of the classic Nuketown multiplayer map. While the number of maps on release are impressive, it does seem like they double up in consecutive matches often.
While not the first of the Call of Duty franchise to introduce Zombies, it has become synonymous with the Black Ops games. In Black Ops 4, Players have two different storylines they can play through, each with two unique maps to explore. The Chaos storyline begins on the Titanic shortly after the iceberg accident where players much search for an artifact that has unleashed the zombie plague. The second map takes players back in time to ancient Rome into an arena where another artifact has been activated, throwing all kinds of undead from armored soldiers to fierce tigers at players. The Aether storyline begins where players must explore Alcatraz in search of their own souls while battling through the horde. The second map takes players back to 1963 into the Pentagon where the zombie horde has been unleashed directly onto the U.S. government.
As clever as the storylines have been for the Call of Duty Zombie mode, the gameplay will be very familiar to returning players. Waves of zombies will attack the group progressively getting more difficult as the wave number increases. Players can move through the map and purchase new weapons and perks by using the points that they have acquired while mowing through the undead horde. Even though the gameplay premise has not changed, the maps themselves are impressive with how detailed and maze-like they are for what was originally just a bonus mode for World at War. With a group of friends, this mode can quickly become an addicting chase to make it just one wave further than the last time.
The last thing we will take a look at is the brand new Battle Royale mode for Black Ops, Blackout. At its core, the mechanics are just like we have seen in the battle royale games that have taken the world by storm the last few years. Players are dropped into a map either solo or with a group with eighty other players and must battle to the death in an increasingly smaller play zone until there is only one left standing.
However, there is a major difference between Blackout and the other BR games currently on the market: Polish. Blackout feels like playing a massive Call of Duty map with seamless shooting, driving and player mobility. Besides only a few times where there has been brief server lag, it goes above and beyond the stability of other BR games out right now. Blackout also puts its own Black Ops spin on the map, building the entire thing out of classic multiplayer maps from the franchise even adding in zombies to certain areas that were previously zombie mode exclusive maps.
There is an absolute plethora of different guns available, as well as perks that can be found throughout the map that will briefly boost certain stats and abilities for players. There is also an array of equipment such as blockades and RC-XD cars and even the Monkey Bomb makes an appearance in the zombie portions of the map. It is absolutely packed with everything that players love about Black Ops into a battle royale.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 had the player base worried when it was announced that there would be no solo campaign mode for the game with concern that the battle royale addition would just be a tacked on mode to ride the hype train of the BR craze in the current market. While the positives are overwhelming, having an online multiplayer only game released at full price is a big ask for some players, especially those on a budget. However, there is no mistake that there was a lot of time and passion put into this iteration of the franchise. The gameplay is smooth, there are plenty of options for various game types to keep things interesting and Blackout has clearly been polished with the eye of a AAA developer. While being a simple concept of an FPS game, Call of Duty proves again that it does the best. If you are a Black Ops veteran this is a must buy the game. If you have not played a Call of Duty game in a while, this is the perfect time to jump back into the franchise and give it another shot.