|Call of Duty: Black Ops 4|
|release date||October 12, 2018|
|Genre||First person shooter|
On October 12, 2018, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, a new shooter from Treyarch, was released. For the first time in the history of the CoD series, the game lost the story campaign, and the developers focused on multiplayer, the Battle Royale mode, and the extended zombie mode.
Unlike the Battlefield series, which for me was an online battle game, I waited for the CoD series because of the story missions. And almost never for a multiplayer that is too fast for my style of play. Each part of Call of Duty gave out up to 8 hours of a hurricane blockbuster, where the main character was a gamer, and his partners were digitized Hollywood stars.
Therefore, after Treyarch’s statement about focusing on three multiplayer modes and the absence of a plot in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, like some shooter fans, I was taken aback at first, and then got angry and went to write angry comments on the forums. But the journalist’s critical mind prevailed, so I decided to calm down and give the creators a chance. Now I can say that I did not wait in vain. The developers justified the trust and released something so powerful and cool that you don’t remember the cut story mode very soon.
But if the soul still requires a story, there is some plot in BO4. In the Specialist Headquarters section, the local training menu for beginners, starter tasks are available for each of the ten specialists.
They introduce you to the controls, teach the features of the classes, and then make you play a boring match with bots, after which they show a plot video.
These videos highlight events in Black Ops 4 and reveal the nature of each of the specialists. Here in such a meager form, the last part of Call of Duty gives at least some history. This cut is clearly not enough for fans of story missions, but for gamers who love online battles, this raises a sensible and logical question: “Why?”.
In any case, I recommend going through training tasks for each specialist — not for the sake of history, but so that during the first battles you don’t look at unfamiliar skill icons and wonder what it is and what it is for, as it was in my case. Whichever Call of Duty folder you think you are, Black Ops 4 is a new game, with its own rules and tricks to learn.
Features of BO4
The new part of Call of Duty is a classic shooter of the series, from the time of the first Modern Warfare, without newfangled wall running, senseless jetpacks and stuffing the bodies of fighters with little use, but supposedly effective in battle electronics. The local classes have special skills, but their number is limited to two skills with a large rollback time.
BO4 became slower than Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare, but faster than WWII, which made the gameplay ideal in terms of speed — not too fast as before, but not too slow, like in the same Battlefield series. Now in CoD, as before, the smooth hands of the gamer and the quality of his Internet connection decide.
The new «Kolda» has also become even more casual — the players’ health has been increased to 150 points, and the weapons have been made an order of magnitude weaker. Because of this, the time of killing the enemy has increased. Now, to kill him, you need to plant almost a whole clip. And even then, the enemy is able to quickly restore HP with the click of a button. In the new part, lost health is not automatically replenished, as it was in previous games in the series, but it must be restored with a special syringe. I am glad that at least sniper rifles were left with the opportunity to one-shot, and even then not always.
The classic multiplayer in BO4 is represented by twelve network cards and a couple of modes, including two new ones: “Control” and “Raid”. The first is a mode familiar to other games with capturing and holding a point, flag, artifact — call it what you want.
And the Blitz mode is reminiscent of CS:GO, where games are divided into rounds. True, here it is necessary not to defuse the bomb, but to drag a bag of money to the helicopter. The sooner this is done, the more finance will appear for the purchase of weapons. At the start of each round, players also stock up on weapons and attachments and have one life per round. But, unlike Counter-Strike, after death, the purchased goodies are not withdrawn, so at the end of the match, not fighters run around the map, but walking warehouses with weapons.
Zombie mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has become a complete and huge part of the game. Now this is not one map where you have to experience as many waves of the walking dead as possible, but as many as three thematic sectors (plus one more map is available with a seasonal subscription) with an atmospheric setting, an abundance of puzzles and intertwining stories.
Mode IX is a gladiatorial arena. Here, players fight waves of zombies and score points. For the latter, improved weapons and passages to the temples of the ancient Greek, Roman, Celtic and Scandinavian gods are bought. And in addition to crawling, running and walking corpses, tigers and mini-bosses attack gamers.
In Flight of Despair, players find themselves on the legendary Titanic at the very moment it hits an iceberg. But the hole that has appeared in the side of the ship turns out to be far from the biggest problem: the sinking ship is full of zombies, otherworldly creatures and demonic bosses. And the «Blood of the Dead» mode sends four gamers to the territory of the closed and sinister Alcatraz prison.
On the huge map of Blackout, Treyarch paid tribute to the mega-popular Battle Royale mode and did it in the best traditions of the CoD series. The local Battle Royale turned out to be a perfectly balanced game with a low entry threshold, a convenient and simple menu, the availability of vehicles and familiar Call of Duty shooter mechanics.
The Eclipse mode turned out to be balanced in terms of gameplay: there is no pointless building of shelters, as in Fortnite, or the complexity of mastering and heaps of bugs, as in PUBG. Otherwise, it’s a classic Battle Royale with some of the features of the series. So, driving is very simple, as in the story campaigns of the previous parts. It’s not like controlling an airplane or a helicopter in BF4, where you had to crash a hundred times to become a pilot.
From 80 to 100 gamers land on a huge map. When searching for a match, you can choose the game conditions: solo, in pairs or in four. At the same time, the flight time and landing on a parachute are reduced as much as possible. Then everyone disperses around the area, looking for weapons, body kits and reinforcements, and in the end there is only one winner.
The map highlights white pillars of light reaching into the sky. If you decide to get to them, then know that fat zombies are waiting for the players there. The creators could not resist and pushed the walking dead even here. Be careful. Bloodthirsty ghouls move quickly and are not killed immediately, but after the final death, cool guns, strong first-aid kits, armor and other usefulness fall out of them.
Graphics, sound and optimization
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 looks quite decent, without unnecessary frills and modern polish. But the project pleases with a tasty picture and easily runs on mediocre hardware. For example, on a PC with an Intel Pentium G3220 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX 950 video card with 2 GB of video memory, the game produces 45-60 frames per second at medium settings and only occasionally, and for a few seconds, sags to 30-35 fps.
Black Ops 4 is sometimes frustrating with crashes to the desktop or popping up incomprehensible errors. But I’m glad that for the most part this happens not during the game, but in the menu or at the time of searching for a match. In online battles, my game crashed once in the «Eclipse» mode and a couple of times in multiplayer.
There are no complaints about the sound either: localization in a few videos is done at a decent level, and not like in Black Ops 3. The musical themes are different and perfectly matched to their modes and maps. Voice chat is built into the game and it works flawlessly.
So, has Treyarch turned out to be a game that you don’t mind paying the full cost of a AAA project for, even without a story mode? My answer is yes». Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is able to captivate even fans of the offline campaign and drag them into its almost perfectly polished networks for months. The creators managed to bring to mind the classic multiplayer and bring to it the verified speed of the gameplay and the novelty of fresh modes. They followed the fashion for the «Royal Battle», but made it spectacular and loyal to any gamer. In the end, the developers entrusted zombies with a third of their idea and made a huge, atmospheric and exciting layer of the game out of a small map for fans.