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Hands-on review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is all out multiplayer madness
Fri, 19th Oct 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Activision and Treyarch are back at it again with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One this month.

It is being advertised to be the most explosive multiplayer experience you can have in 2018. When Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was originally announced earlier this year, there was some controversy because Activision announced that the game will ship without a traditional single player campaign.

This is disappointing because the past Black Ops campaigns have all had great stories with Hollywood-style action sequences. Shipping games without a single player campaign has been done in the past, with mixed results.

Rainbow Six Siege, Titanfall, Star Wars Battlefront and Evolve are just a couple of game franchises that decided to ditch a single player campaign in favour for a more complete multiplayer experience. While it's disappointing that Black Ops 4 does not have a single player campaign, in its place are “Specialist” missions that kind of act like a tutorial.

These tutorials are pretty helpful and they're surprisingly lengthy because you are taught how to use each class effectively. The many class types you can be in this game are pretty cool because each Specialist has unique abilities and weapons at their disposal.

One class type for example allows you to use a remote control car that can be used to seek and explode nearby enemies.

Another favourite gadget of mine is the ballistics shield that protects you from gunfire from all corners. Sure, these abilities only last for a small amount of time, but it makes multiplayer matches very fun and creative.

The Specialist missions also allow you to play through simulated multiplayer matches against AI bots which is helpful for you to practice each mode before you go online. What I like most about Black Ops 4's multiplayer offering is that every mode is available for you to play offline.

Not many other shooters allow you to have matches against bots, but the Call of Duty franchise has always taken care of people without friends.

The only feature in the entire game that's not available offline is the Blackout Battle Royale mode. In terms of modes in the multiplayer, there are lots of returning maps from past Black Ops games plus loads of different stipulations.

Some of the game modes you can play through include Control, Domination, Free for All, Hardpoint, Heist, Kill Confirmed, Search and Destroy and Team Deathmatch. If you're not into multiplayer, you can also dive in to the game's Zombies mode.

Zombies mode is bigger this year thanks to Black Ops 4 adding three maps at launch with two different storylines.

One map takes place on the Titanic while another is in Ancient Rome.

The third map is more traditional since it takes place inside of an old prison centre.   There's not much else I can say about Zombies mode because it's similar to other Zombies offering in the other Call of Duty games.

However, this time you have access to more characters and more levels will be added to the game as paid DLC.

I would have liked it if more levels were added, but the three maps at launch are huge and features dozens of zombies for you to kill! Lastly the major feature in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the much hyped Blackout battle royale mode.

If you have played Fortnite or PUBG before, you'll already be very familiar with Blackout.

It's basically a mode where you and 99 other players are dropped into a large map and the winner is the last person standing. You can either play this mode by yourself, with a friend or three other friends.

In either case, the goal is the same for each mode since you just have to survive longer than your enemies.

You can either achieve this by camping all of the time, or by running around and hunting enemies before they see you. The map in Blackout is pretty large, although it's slightly smaller than the huge maps that are offered in PUBG.

At launch, there's only one map available so far, and developer Treyarch has yet to announce if more is coming as DLC. That said, it's a nice change for the Call of Duty franchise and I had a ton of fun in this mode.

My favourite feature is allowing you to fly inside a helicopter to avoid most players.

However, piloting a helicopter can be unwise if other players have a missile launcher! Other vehicles that you can find on the map are quad bikes and many trucks.

To make things even more interesting, zombies are also added on the map just to annoy you.

You really have to watch out for EVERYTHING since everyone is out to kill you no matter what you are doing. Blackout is a perfect mix of Fortnite and PUBG, and it's arguably the best battle royale experience that you can have right now.

At launch though, the mode can get a little repetitive since there are no landmarks or limited time game modes added to Blackout yet. Graphically, Black Ops 4 looks fine although the older game engine does look a little outdated.

Not to mention the online experience can sometimes be a pain since the Blackout mode had several connection issues when I tried playing it last week. All in all, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a great multiplayer game although the lack of a single player campaign is very disappointing to me.

I just don't think the game is worth paying full price for as the content is quite small at launch.

It's probably better off waiting for a sale before you dive in to play Black Ops 4. Verdict: 7.5/10