Call of Duty has gone through a lot of ways to change the playstyle, it’s an ever-evolving game made to satisfy the fans but also introduce people to the game that is Call of Duty. Black Ops 4 is much like a hero-shooter now than ever but a customizable hero shooter mind you. It’s also a zombie shooter and now a battle royale game. But let’s just get this out of the way, I’m no battle royale fan, be it Fortnite or PUBG. So going forward I was a bit skeptical if this is actually a game mode that I would even bother playing for long hours. Truth be told, I still am but just because I want this to succeed.
The game itself is somewhat fun and more often than not frustrating as I get shot from behind, get outgunned face to face or simply get sniped from miles away. With one life and 88 total players, it really changes how you set your mind going in a gunfight.
Just like any game of similar genre, the game starts off by skydiving to the map and eventually popping a parachute as not to die from the shock of the fall. With a huge game world that introduces both new and old maps it’s a sight to behold for sure if not for the potato graphics and pop-ins you’d see every now and then. On the Playstation 4 Slim it takes at least a second or two to have the potato environment in front of you be it standing beside a wall to load in the textures. While it’s not a huge deal breaker it does somewhat ruin the immersion. Although I rather have a smooth experience than stuttering and FPS dipping on the 30s and below. Looting weapons, ammo, weapon attachments, gear, consumables however require holding the square button for a short period of time while looking at it so be wary that someone or “something” might jump you in the face as you turn around. But this eliminates the idea that you could pick up an item you don’t need when you really only need to reload especially when under heavy fire. And this is probably just me missing the Battlefield V BETA but having to casually open a door than slamming shoulder first is rather unEPIC so to speak. You can smash through glass windows to enter a building but you can’t break a door open… sounds about right? Right?!
Shooting more shooting and less driving… the game world is filled with broken or unusable vehicles scattered in the map. But there are vehicles that can be used, doesn’t require fuel but can be destroyed. These are your average ATVs, boats, cargo trucks and helicopters. The ATV and boat however is a recipe for disaster as while it does let you cover large distances faster than running… it doesn’t necessarily mean safer as the audible sound can be heard much farther and with the controls being as it is, it does give little to no advantage to scouting when the right thumbstick controls the left and right turns and the left stick handles acceleration. Cargo trucks are much safer yet still suffers the same fate. Personally, I would’ve wanted to have the left stick control the vehicle’s movement while right stick would be for looking around and unlocking the ability to hip fire when chasing enemies in similar vehicles. Helicopters however are fine with a different control scheme which is a great way to scout enemies. As it stands, land vehicles are mostly used for getting away from the storm. And speaking of storm… the way it damages players is slow and can easily be healed while running to the safe zone. In fact you can pretty much leave a safe zone in order to flank an enemy on the edge of the safe area to score an easy kill if they’re not paying attention to their backside.
The gameplay *cough* I mean gun-play, however, is as good as it can get not to mention the inventory is managed neatly. Healing items are automatically attached to the L1 button which saves time from cycling through the inventory and once a specific item is depleted it gets replaced by another healing item of higher or lower quality. And being able to move as you heal is a nice gesture. Meanwhile, the R1 button is for gear be it grenades, RC cars or any specialist-specific gear be it a grappling hook, barricade or anything for that matter. Weapon attachments are automatically equipped to the active weapon if applicable or placed in the inventory if not. Only two weapons can be equipped at a time so choose wisely based on the kind of playstyle you want for that specific match. Ammo however is a bit of a miss for me, as it takes a brief button hold in order to get them rather than walking over said ammo. Especially since they’re mostly close to a weapon that uses that specific ammo it can get rather time consuming to point and grab. Killed enemies drop a bag instead of having a scattered mess of items which makes it a bit time consuming to cycle through their belongings but at the very least it doesn’t make a mess.
Speaking of kills, getting one earns you one point of merit. Having your squad of four, two or your own in solo reach the top five however scores you two points of merit and winning it gives three. These merits convert to the XP you get to rank up so getting killed before reaching the top five without a single kill to the board can be a huge bummer. And since it’s a BETA I’ll forgive Treyarch for having two of my top 5 in quad and solo not being merited as well as some kills here and there. But other than the usual solo, duo and quad games, there’s also a Fast Collapse mode in which the playing field gets smaller at a faster rate than normal matches. It’s a good thing to have more to keep things fresh which is a plus in my book. Hopefully more crazy ideas find good use to them in the future. Zombies, you either hate them or you love them… in this case, you shoot them down whenever you see them. These are just some of the things that you’ll find frolicking around mostly in asylum but at one time I saw them on an abandoned gas station.
Fortnite is known for having weird character skins which doesn’t particularly make you a good player but it does look cool. Blackout however has its share of skins you can unlock like the specialists which needs you to find specific items like Ruin’s grappling hook or War Machine’s Battery… oh wait! I mean Battery’s war machine then doing specific actions in order to have them unlocked in future matches. So while all that sounds very interesting and at the same time, requires skill to execute and unusual amount of luck to find them there are also some Zombie mode based skins you can get.
Game itself is fun on your own but much more so when in a party of four that communicates. Having some Chinese chatter in the background never hurts too and pair it with a kid that ran off to some other area when we’ve already marked the map to jump off… it’s a simple and casual game I could enjoy until I get stabbed in the back. And one that could potentially ruin partnerships in the long run. Overall, I’m excited about the direction that Blackout is going!
Sorry for the long post, here’s a potato!