Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 out now

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the latest installment in the venerable first-person-shooter series, has been released to significant praise.

The game stands (as of writing) at a score of 87 on Metacritic, compared to scores of 79, 77 and 81 for the last three Call of Duty games released.

In particular the Blackout game mode was praised, which is a Fortniteesque battle royale mode taking place over a large map. Many reviews have called out the lack of single-player campaign, however.

With the acclaim Blackout has received, we can likely expect to see more maps released for it as DLC in the same way newer maps for the Zombies game mode are released. With the first map featuring fan favourite locations like Nuketown and the Asylum, developers Treyarch will likely look to which maps are popular in Black Ops 4 to decide which to include in the newer maps.

We’ve collected all the important pieces of information on the game below, so you can make your own judgement whether the game will be the franchise renaissance it hopes to be.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Everything we know

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Price

As with every game released, there are a tonne of different pre-order packages to choose from. The most basic is on sale at £49.99 at select retailers – currently Amazon only has the PC edition.

On the other end of the price spectrum is the Mystery Box edition. It includes a steelbook with the game, several patches (for your cub scout blanket, no doubt!), the first issue of a comic based on the zombies mode, a 1,000 piece puzzle, several pins based on characters, several lipographs, and a collection of in-game content. Oh, and a giant box to put them all in. This edition uis yours for £179.99.

The Pro Edition of the game has a select picking of this content, and is available for £109.99

Call of Duty: Black Ops trailers: What do they tell us?

A slew of exciting gameplay trailers for Black Ops 4 has given Call of Duty fans plenty to get their heads around in terms of new features and game modes. We’ll address each of them in turn, and provide a little analysis as to what’s new and why you ought to be excited. There’s a standard multiplayer gameplay trailer, a couple of COD Zombies clips, and a Battle Royale reveal to get through, so strap yourselves in. In COD we trust!

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Multiplayer reveal trailer

What’s new? Well, by the looks of things, not much. Jetpacks seem to be gone, which will either make you very happy or quite irate, depending on your preferred playstyle.

But COD purists like yours truly are definitely glad to see the back(pack) of them. In the trailer, we also see a cheeky – albeit sorely outdated – meme pop up on one of the protective shields, which now boats further customised abilities – and can also be fired from while using as protection. Which could well prove to be the next generation of the ‘noob-toob’.

For all the edgy jump cuts and hardcore rap music designed to hype you up for the game and put across the idea that this game is as fresh and innovative as Treyarch claim…it doesn’t really work. Once you’re over the initial excitment of a new COD trailer, you’ll realise that Black Ops 4 is a bit of a re-skin of Black Ops 3 – you can read the review for that game from our sister publication, Expert Reviews.  

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ooyjaVdt-jA

One look at the likes-dislikes bar ratio and a browse of the comments will tell you that the COD community isn’t happy. There’s been considerable backlash from the fans over the lack of a main story campaign (more on that in a bit) and this has caused many to turn a critical eye towards the multiplayer modes too. Console gamers are angry, complaining that the game will be unplayable for those without an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus online subscription, and many feel (perhaps rightly) that not enough has been improved in the standard multiplayer mode to warrant total removal of a single player mode. 

All this is said without anyone having played the game, though, which is an important factor to bear in mind. Perhaps the community will come to a more balanced conclusion once they’ve had a chance to try out the exclusive multiplayer beta, which you’ll be able to access if you pre-order the game.

Pre-Order Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now for Private Beta access

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Blackout (Battle Royale) trailer

For fans of Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds aka PUBG (we’re obsessed at Alphr) this reveal trailer was by far the most exciting part of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 community event. Blackout, as it’s being called, will be the premiere of a Battle Royale mode to the Call of Duty series. For those that don’t know already, the hugely popular Battle Royale genre pits up to a hundred players against one another across a huge map; everyone has an equal standing, because you parachute in with nothing but your clothes (if that) and must scavenge for weapons, armour, and upgrades that will help you survive. It’s like the Hunger Games: last player standing, winner takes all. And it’s incredibly addictive.  

The trailer for Blackout shows us what is by far the largest multiplayer map ever seen in a Call of Duty game. Contained within will be a host of smaller map sections, copied from fan favourite maps from previous games in the franchise, and refitted for this next generation experience. Here’s hoping for an appearance from the COD4: Modern Warfare Chernobyl map! Like other Battle Royale games, there will likely be solo and co-operative versions to play, so whether you’re a lone wolf or a team player you can battle it out to the bitter end, Black Ops style.

It will be interesting to see how Call of Duty’s gameplay mechanics, which are renowned for their frenetic pace, will work in a game mode that is typically so long form – PUBG and Fortnite matches last up to half an hour. Either way, Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer -complete with perks and gadgets galore – in a Battle Royale setting is a tantalising prospect, and we can’t wait to get a hands-on demonstration of this ambitious addition to the franchise. 

Pre-Order Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now from Amazon

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Zombies trailers

Thus far we’ve had three confirmed maps for Zombie, an extensive continuation of the undead Call of Duty saga. What started out as a mini-game in Call of Duty: World at War has become practically a gaming franchise unto itself. Some claim that the Zombies mode kept previous Call of Duty games like Black Ops 3 afloat, but things might start to sink in the first map, Voyage of Despair, which is set on the Titanic during its fateful maiden journey.

 

Jumping backwards in time, we have IX, a map set inside a coliseum and run by some kind of religious cult which looks like a cross of Roman and Egyptian mythology. This one’s close quarters, and all melee, seeing as they didn’t have guns all the way back in whatever the heck B.C. 

Based on these two trailers and this teaser trailer for a third map, it might be worth buying Black Ops 4 for the Zombies campaign alone. You can see more videos on the Call of Duty YouTube channel, and they’ve also put together this handy playlist of all the new Black Ops 4 videos, including cinematics and behind the scenes clips. 

Pre-Order Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Everything else you need to know

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 release date

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be the first time we’ve seen a Black Ops game since Black Ops 3 in 2015, but fans haven’t gone without because in that time we’ve seen Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII. While Infinite Warfare didn’t perform all that well, Call of Duty: WWII is the best-selling Call of Duty game this generation, and is still consistently topping the UK sales charts, meaning Black Ops 4 has a lot to live up to.

We were confident Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 would get a release date this year, we just weren’t sure of when – until now. Activision has officially confirmed Black Ops 4 (amusingly stylised Black Ops IIII) will go on sale on 12 October, and in the wake of their big Spring reveal we’ve also found out that there will be no single-player campaign mode. Instead, they’ve doubled down on the multiplaer elements of the game. But why? 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Why is there no single player story?

Treyarch/Activision have gone to great lengths to justify the exclusion of a single player campaign mode. First of all, they have reassured the angry online mob that future games will see a return to the traditional blockbuster cinematic-style campaigns that the series is so well known for. Treyarch chairman Mark Lamia no doubt anticipated some anger at the omission of a campaign mode but thanked Call of Duty fans for their loyalty. The word ‘trust’ was bandied about a few times, too. Clearly, he’s hoping COD fans will go along for the ride on this one. 

Look at Black Ops 4 as a transitional period for the franchise, as the developers explore new territory; they’re introducing a Battle Royale mode in the vein of Fortnite and PUBG, with the largest Call of Duty multiplayer map ever seen. Not only that, but zombies are back and bigger than ever, with three separate maps and an overarching narrative that somehow connects the three. More details on that once we get them. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 platforms: Will it be coming to the Nintendo Switch?

Black Ops 4 will be arriving on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, but the wildcard is whether if it will be coming out on the Switch as well. Activision declined to comment when asked by Kotaku.

However, Sellars predicts Black Ops 4 will indeed be coming out on the Switch, predicting it will support Switch DLC, HD and rumble and motion controls. According to his tweet, the Switch version will be ported by a company familiar with the Call of Duty games.

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