Treyarch unveiled quite a bit at their Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reveal event today. Much of the big news confirmed rumors that have been floating around for the past month or so. The game will have three zombies modes, “boots on the ground” multiplayer, a battle royale mode, and no single-player campaign.
First and foremost, Black Ops 4 will not have thrust jumps or wall running. The announcement elicited cheers from the crowd who were presumably tired of the other Call of Duty games having so much mobility. Narratively, it takes place between Black Ops 2 and 3, which justifies all the high tech gadgets that permeated the multiplayer trailer.
To counterbalance the agility that the parkour afforded players, Treyarch is going with a “guns still up” policy. This means that you’ll almost always still be able to shoot even if you’re calling in a scorestreak, mantling, or throwing a grenade. In essence, they’re aiming to making shooting more fluid without the jetpacks and boost jumping.
Health recovery has also been revamped since players will no longer be able to recover from injuries automatically. Instead, a dedicated button will give players a syringe that begins health replenishment. Treyarch explained how this was yet another tool players could utilize for strategic purposes since they could either aggressively run at players or choose to sit back and play more methodically. They wanted to make this “essential to gameplay loop like reloading your weapon.”
Weapons have been visually and mechanically overhauled to be more immersive and will feature “more improvements to guns systems than Blacks Ops 1, 2, and 3 combined.” Guns no longer share the same mods, but will have unique attachments for every weapon. Operator Mods are a new type of mod that “go beyond the weapon’s core functionality.” For example, an Operator Mod-equipped LMG can distort the area around where it fires.
New and old specialists are also returning to the game. Each will also have a narrative trial that will help explain some of their backstory and flesh them out as a person. This is part of their effort to include more narrative depth in multiplayer.
Black Ops 4 will launch with three zombies campaigns instead of just the usual one. The first, called IX, takes place in a gladiatorial arena in an Ancient Rome-like setting where the players will slaughter the undead with melee weapons. The second campaign called Voyage of Despair, takes place on the legendary Titanic ship, a stark contrast from IX’s arena. The last, Blood of the Dead, is a reimagining of the Mob of the Dead map from Black Ops 2.
Treyarch is also adding a bot support, difficulty settings, “customizable tools and social systems,” custom mutations, limited-time curated challenges, and a new mode called Zombie Rush. This mode simplifies the experience to create “a whole new tempo of gameplay, perfect for welcoming people into the zombies universe and an enticing challenge for grizzled veterans alike.”
Blackout (Battle Royale)
In maybe the biggest announcement of the event, Black Ops 4 will, as the rumors suggested, have a battle royale mode called Blackout. It’ll feature a decade of Black Ops features from fan favorite weapons, maps, and characters all crammed into one large area. Game Design Director David Vonderhaar stated they had to “be unique in a way only Black Ops could do,” which explains the injection of Black Ops lore and mashup of different maps.
It’ll be on the biggest map they’ve ever made, which will be “1,500 times bigger than Nuketown,” a popular map in the Black Ops series of games. Players will able to navigate it with land, sea, and air vehicles. However, they did not give a total player count.
Like the rumors suggested, there is no traditional single-player campaign in Black Ops 4, which maybe isn’t surprising given how few people play it. Chairman of Treyarch, Mark Lamia, stated they are injecting narrative into each of the modes instead.
Beenox is the dedicated team on the PC version, which will be on Battle.net. It will have a lot of customizable options, dedicated servers, UI redesign, an uncapped framerate, and more.
League Play is coming back. This ranked mode helps ensure that players play against people near their own skill level.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is coming out on October 12th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Treyarch did not talk about the rumored Switch version. Pre-ordering the game grants players access to the private beta, which doesn’t currently have a date.
You can watch the whole reveal event here.