Black Ops 4 Removes Campaign But Welcomes Battle Royale

Activision have finally lifted the curtain on Black Ops 4. While some of the finer details are yet to be announced (gotta save something for e3 and the build to launch) we have an overview at least.

“No Camping! What’s that? No Campaign? Gotcha!”

Many rumours from well placed sources have confirmed the somewhat controversial removal of the Campaign mode. Personally, I don’t see why there is such a hullabaloo. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that COD campaigns are dull, laborious affairs? The narrative from last year’s Call of Duty WWII started off excellently but trailed off horribly about halfway through. Towards the end I was begging for the credits to roll.

Anecdotally “nobody plays the campaign” anyway, right? Would you really be shocked if Activision’s internal stats showed that less than 10% of it’s audience actually played the campaign mode? I wonder how many actually finish it?

Activision have stated that a traditional campaign was never considered for Black Ops 4. COD games in the past gave you the option to skip the main menu altogether. You can boot straight to the multiplayer menu now. That tells you everything you need to know about it’s players habits. This has been in the pipeline for a while.

So, campaign is out…what’s in?!

Battle Royale Mode – Blackout

Battle Royale, so hot right now, Battle Royale. Zoolander references aside, these last man standing modes are going to start appearing everywhere – of course Black Ops 4 has it and it’s called “Blackout”.

PUBG popularized the genre last year. It was drawing so many eyes that the then floundering new release Fortnite added the mode in Beta. Fortnite is now a legitimate cultural phenomenon and well grazed cash cow. I love PUBG but it has its faults. Fortnite is nothing to write home about either. Black Ops 4 aims to put it’s own spin on the genre.

The tight, best in class, gunplay will be a breath of fresh air for the Battle Royale scene. Activision have created the largest map in series history which can be traversed by land, air and sea. Vehicles have never been a strong suit for COD so that could be interesting!

Activision have yet to confirm a player count for Blackout. Rumours suggest it will be north of 50 but will not hit the standard 100 player games found elsewhere…at first. Blackout seems to be a mode that will evolve over time. After all, this must have been whipped together pretty quick considering it was this time last year that PUBG really started to take over the world.

I think COD plays too quickly for it to work as a survival game but I am hopeful. How are COD hardcore players going to react to a lack of respawns? We’ve all seen the “Call of Duty RAGE” videos…some of these people lose their minds if they are killed even once and cry “hacking”. What happens when they are killed and cannot respawn in 2.5 milliseconds? Mega lols.

Multiplayer

Black Ops 4 will see Zombies mode return. Loot Boxes will be present and correct in Multiplayer modes as usual. There isn’t much to get excited about here folks. What do you want from me?!

COD seems to have introduced “specialists” to it’s multiplayer. This basically amounts to an Overwatch or Rainbow Six Siege style approach. Your characters will each have a special ability that can be used from time to time in the round. It’s the “Hero Shooter” genre mixed with COD Multiplayer.

Follow The Money

This week Cliff Bleszinskis studio ‘Bosskey’ shut up shop after the disastrous Lawbreakers release. Lawbreakers was by no means a bad game but it was a Hero Shooter that came out too late. People had moved on to PUBG in their concurrent millions while Lawbreakers saw live player counts in double digits, sometimes single figures. In its death throes Bosskey launched a Battle Royale game in super duper early access called Radical Heights. It looked promising but it’s summed up the life and times of Bosskey, too slow to react and devoid of originality.

Black Ops 4, in an attempt to innovate, are repeating the mistakes of Bosskey. It uses a passe hero shooter premise and if Battle Royale hadn’t exploded there would be no Blackout mode. In a world where PUBG and Fortnite don’t exist COD would be a played out hero shooter multiplayer game with no campaign, Triple A pricing and absolutely riddled, RIDDLED, with loot box monetization. I can’t wrap my head around that.

Follow the money, sure. You cannot go without some form of Battle Royale mode in a 2018 shooter, I get it. It’s just all a bit underwhelming.

I can see it now. I’m in the final two of Blackout trying to find my opponent, then…BANG! I’m dead. The replay comes up and I see him looking FAB in his loot box finery taking me out with a “360 No Scope” and I just know I’ll appear on some 8 year olds YouTube channel in a video titled “Top 10 MOST EPIC kills in Blackout”. I just know it.

Steven Murphy
2Bit Sports Co-Founder. Junior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Creative, Live Events but also Third floor Janitor. Gaming Editor, Manchester United loudmouth. Whatever I am actually employed to do I probably did it earlier. It's on your desk, I'd say. Its safe to say that I call 'em as I see 'em. Be warned, I hate a lot of things. It's easier to count the things that I do like. I probably hate you.

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