As Call of Duty Black Ops 4 goes into it’s second beta weekend, for many, this will be their first experience playing the latest iteration in the series, and if it goes anything like the first beta weekend, people will have pretty mixed opinions about this game.
What to Expect
Black Ops 4 doesn’t feel like a traditional COD game, and I don’t mean that as an insult. BLOPS 4 introduces limited character selection similar to that of Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch, meaning that a team can only consist of one type of operator at any given time. Along with this adjustment, the game rewards coordination and team play more than it ever has before. The days of going 25-0 for a nuke are not necessarily gone, but players will realize that with the addition of extra armor and limited operator abilities, you’ll want friends to not only cover your back, but you’ll need them to watch choke points as you shoot out traps, help capture objectives, and team shot enemy juggernauts.
This type of play may initially turn some people off, I understand, but if you stop comparing BLOP 4 to the golden MW2 era and instead compare it to the modern competitive team shooter era we now find ourselves in today, you may see this game in a better light. Although COD has been selling millions of copies every year with every new release, it’s no surprise that the series is losing its hold as the must have game. Gamers today seem to be looking for games that allow both a more tactical playstyle, and an opportunity to prove they are gods among mortals. They want their time spent to feel rewarding, rather than just feel like an endless grind. The ability to level up and prestige in Call of Duty has always been a huge factor in the series appeal for replay ability, but I don’t believe it’s enough anymore. People want to talk about the time they 1v4 clutched in PUBG and Fortnite. Or the time when they pulled an ace for the win in Ranked Siege and made it to platinum. Gamers don’t mind a good grind to get better weapons, perks, and attachments, but they also want risk, reward, and a chance for a more meaningful victory, and I think Black Ops 4 aims to provide that.
With that said, I don’t believe this game is perfect. Extra armor is a crutch for people to stay alive longer, and leads to the average TTK being uncomfortably high. The cool down on abilities doesn’t reset after death, so having to wait to use an ability after a new spawn can be frustrating. Then there are some abilities that I believe shouldn’t be exclusive to one character, like Ruin’s grappling hook. Maybe a feature like taking up additional slots and adding a wildcard that lets you use another operator’s secondary ability could be a nice solution to that issue, but that’s all beside the point. Black Ops 4 is still in Beta, and we have yet to see the game’s new Battle Royale mode, Blackout, so we still have much more to see and there is still time to make any necessary adjustments before the game makes it’s full release debut on October 12.
Black Ops 4 may be a polarizing experience for those who are invested in the traditional play style of the series, but I think it’s going in the right direction if COD aims to be a competitive power house against the likes of Overwatch, Siege, and Fortnite, and continue being a house hold name in gaming.