For a Call of Duty loyalist, Black Ops 4 Multiplayer mode is a creative — if somewhat messy — extension of the series fans have grown to love.
Black Ops has always been unique in terms of its storylines and its approach to gameplay, guaranteeing futuristic weapons and abilities that go beyond the pseudo-realistic realm of other Call of Duty games.
In analyzing the game against this backdrop, it’s hard not to wonder whether Treyarch, its creator, has taken its drive for constant innovation too far in Black Ops 4 Multiplayer. At the outset, the most noticeable deviation from the Call of Duty template is that this is the first game in the franchise’s history to lack a traditional single-player campaign, a decision supported at least in part on data that showed players were losing interest in campaigns in favor of Multiplayer modes.
There is, however, a nod to campaigns of past. Black Ops 4 Multiplayer introduces us to a ragtag team of Specialists, some of whom we first met in Black Ops 3, and offers their backstories through gameplay tutorials spliced with brief cinematics. These Specialists each have unique abilities to assist them in combat, such as Firebreak’s Purifier, a powerful flamethrower, and Nomad’s K-9-Unit, a dog that hunts down enemies to attack them. In addition to the abilities, each Specialist comes armed with a piece of equipment that recharges several times throughout the course of a match, such as Ruin’s Grapple Gun that allows him to move quickly through the map.
Black Ops 4 allows players to customize their loadouts using the Pick Ten system from precursor games, allowing you to choose the right gun attachments, perks and wildcards to provide tactical advantages.
The magic of BO4 is in its diversity of Multiplayer modes, which will likely to continue to expand for as long as Treyarch and Activision continue to invest in the game. At any given moment, you can log on to play standard modes such as 6v6 Team Deathmatch and king of the hill-style mode Hardpoint. There’s casual play, but those in the mood for a real challenge can jump into Hardcore modes designed for the more competitive-minded. Additional and experimental game modes phase in and out for a short time, keeping the game fresh and players active.
The maps are visually impressive and well-constructed, with many playing homage to past Black Ops maps, such as fan favorite Nuketown. Gamers can unlock additional maps, and while the majority of maps like the recently-released Arsenal Sandstorm are available for free with the core game, some maps are unlockable only with the game’s Black Ops Pass, available for an added fee.
Gunplay has always been the driving force of the Call of Duty series, and Treyarch has done a terrific job of keeping that legacy alive here. Gun and gameplay mechanics are more fluid in Black Ops 4 than in many other FPS games, meaning a player can lose hours dodging and sliding through maps and taking enemies by surprise. Rewards for slick plays are like icing on the cake, such that even casual players find themselves returning to improve their gameplay and earn notable in-game accolades. Automatic health regeneration, a longtime element of Call of Duty gameplay that was phased out in Black Ops 4, seems to give the player more control and is a positive change.
Players can quickly acquire and level up guns through gameplay and can also unlock customizations to assist with tactical aspects of the game. While standard assault rifles like the ICR-7 and the Maddox RFB are trusty basics, there’s something so satisfying about landing a challenging sniper shot, thereby encouraging players to test and experiment with loadouts.
Unlockable perks offer additional benefits, such as Dexterity, which allows enhanced weapon handling and character movement. Grind hard, and you can earn Prestige or even Master Prestige status — it’ll require more than 16,000,000 XP to land that coveted title.
But, with a base cost, an additional fee for the Black Ops Pass and the implementation of additional in-game microtransactions, there’s been some hesitation from gamers who want to know if it’s worth the cost. Much of internet’s Black Ops 4 fanbase leans toward the game’s Blackout mode, while Multiplayer takes a back seat.
In any case, people who are accustomed to the Call of Duty gameplay and Black Ops 4 franchise will have a blast progressing through the game, be it out of pure enjoyment or sheer nostalgia for the series. Even if it’s not the best CoD game to date, the variety, the gunplay and the ever-evolving elements keep players coming back for more.
Overall, Black Ops 4 Multiplayer mode is a notable extension of the series, and the game’s creators have done an excellent job of making a game that mixes Treyarch’s experimental approach with that classic Call of Duty feel.