Another year, another Call of Duty game. This time around, it’s Treyarch’s job to continue the long-running tradition and deliver the yearly CoD title. Unsurprisingly, the studio went with its most beloved series this year, Black Ops. When it comes to the regular multiplayer and zombie mode, fans can expect Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to be more of the same. In terms of everything else, however, there will be a few noteworthy changes to the traditional formula.
The biggest change announced by Treyarch is related to the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 single player campaign. Or rather, the lack thereof. Campaigns have always been an important part of the series so this announcement was a bit unexpected. While it’s true that most people nowadays play CoD solely for the multiplayer, there are still plenty of gamers that would have preferred to also see a single player campaign in the upcoming title. The game will feature a handful of solo activities but nothing close to what we’ve seen in the past.
According to Treyarch Studios co-head Dan Bunting, the decision to remove traditional single-player wasn’t made overnight. Earlier this week Bunting told Eurogamer that his team decided to ditch the campaign mode when Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was still very early in development. The game director also said that the series has shifted more and more towards community building over the past decade. Now it looks like Activision is focused entirely on this aspect.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that publisher Activision-Blizzard is constantly changing its games based on the latest trends. We’re already seen this with Overwatch and Destiny 2. In hindsight, the decision to remove single player from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is perhaps not that surprising. That’s not to say it’s not disappointing, though.
Keeping Up with the Times
It’s no secret that battle royale is the most popular game mode at the moment. The success of PUBG and Fortnite inspired a lot of companies to come up with their own take on the genre over the past year. Most of these games haven’t exactly been stellar but Treyarch thinks it can do better. As such, the studios announced that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will feature its own battle royale mode known as Blackout.
For the most part, Blackout is your run-of-the-mill battle royale mode. In terms of gameplay, fans can expect the same tried and true formula that made PUBG and Fortnite popular, albeit with a few more vehicles thrown in. What sets Blackout apart from the others, though, is the map. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode takes many of the memorable characters and locations from previous games and puts them all on one map. This approach is expected to attract a lot of veteran CoD players but it’s hard to say if it can also attract new players to the series.
Moving Away From Steam but Improving the PC Experience
In another fairly predictable move by Activision, the company announced that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will not be available on Steam. Instead, gamers will be able to play the game on Battle.net when it releases later this year. With Destiny 2 already available on Battle.net, it’s a pretty safe bet that Activision will no longer rely on Steam in the future and instead launch most, if not all, of their games on Blizzard’s service.
Despite ditching Steam, Treyarch is actually working to improve the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. By all accounts, fans can expect a version that’s actually optimized for PC this time around instead of just another port. The PC version will reportedly come with all the features PC gamers have come to expect. This includes 4K resolution, HDR support, uncapped framerate, dedicated servers, and controls specifically optimized for mouse and keyboard.
Activision is changing a bit its traditional schedule this year but the next CoD is still launching in the fall. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is set to release on October 12 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A private beta has also been announced but there’s currently no release date for it.