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Duty Calls, Soldier: Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was just released last month, and as expected, die-hard fans of the series are already going all out in the virtual battlefield.

In this article, I, a total COD noob, will attempt to analyze and dissect Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: the pros, the cons, and all the exciting bits, to help you make a decision as to whether to shell out that sweet, sweet moolah.

Fall in, soldier.

About Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

COD Black Ops 4: Introduction

Published by Activision and developed by Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is essentially a first-person shooter, but similar to Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch, players can choose from 10 playable characters, also known as  “Specialists”, each with their own unique abilities and identities. The game has 2 other gameplay modes besides the classic multiplayer, and these are Zombies and Blackout, the latter of which is basically a battle royale gameplay.

Graphical Presentation: 9/10

COD Black Ops 4: Presentation
The game is really pretty.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has an extremely high graphical quality: the environment, characters and weapons are all modelled and optimised to run pretty well even on a mid-range laptop. The levels are populated with little interesting details, such as moving machineries in the Payload map, which makes the gameplay feel more lifelike and dynamic.

COD Black Ops 4: Prophet

I also appreciate the fact that they made the characters look like the role they play – tactical characters like Recon and Prophet are thinner and less outstanding than the rest to show that they work more behind the scenes, whereas frontline characters like Battery and Ruin have more dramatic hairstyles and bigger body frames.

Gameplay: 8/10

Black Ops 4: Gameplay

It can take up to 20 seconds or more to find a Blackout match, regardless of game mode, and when I do get matched, I’m forced to play with players that are way above my league. Which is fine, if you like getting beaten over and over again by higher-level players – that, or maybe I just suck at the game.

COD Black Ops 4: Blackout

The idea of the last-man-standing gameplay intrigued me at first, so when I dived in, I was expecting a fun and satisfying experience. While the creators generally did a good job when it comes to the open-world map’s design and the balancing of weapons, I found the map to be a tad too small, and the fact that I could only hold one weapon at a time didn’t really sit too well with me. The Blackout game mode feels more like a novelty than anything. What made other battle royale games great was their replayability factor; the variety of weapons, equipment, and starting locations, but with Blackout…you just don’t get it so much.

COD Black Ops 4: Zombies

The Zombies game mode is where this game shines – at least to me – as I prefer cooperative gameplay. I like that they restrict the player’s weapon choices at the beginning of each new game, and that you’re able to access more powerful weapons as you progress through the map. The idea of including perks and powerups also makes this game mode a lot more engaging, as you will not only be killing endless waves of the undead, but you will gain pickups and incentives along the way.

Before the start of the game, the player is able to pick different types of elixirs for use, and these elixirs grant special abilities for a limited period of time. The player has to focus and strategize when the chosen elixir should be used. You’re constantly making choices on Zombies, and I really enjoyed that.

While it is laudable that the game tries to integrate new innovations and mechanics, they can be a hit-or-miss at times.

Game Structure & Layout: 9/10

Black Ops 4: Design

The levels in the game are pretty well-thought-out. There are plenty of choke points and branching paths in multiplayer mode for players to exploit, and the maps are compact enough that players will constantly be engaging each other in intense combat. The game also has a separate “tutorial mode” of sorts, in which you learn each of the Specialists abilities and backstories, and even play against an AI character for a bit before going out into the open battlefields of multiplayer, which is nice to have.

COD Black Ops 4: Blood of the Dead

The soundscape is very well done indeed, with characters voicing out appropriate remarks at different occasions, for example, exclaiming in disgust when drinking a potion, or declaring “no joy” if you somehow manage to not hit anything with a Hellstorm missile.

It helps to create an immersive gaming experience and allow the player to forget about the troubles in the real world and feel like a soldier on a mission, or a survivor of the zombie apocalypse – even if it is just for a few minutes. The great sound design is when you don’t really notice it, and that’s the case with all the background sound effects (sirens, explosions, creaks, sparks etc.). A lot of effort was put into making this game feel as realistic and immersive as possible, and I can appreciate that during the game.

Final Verdict: 8.7/10

COD Black Ops 4: Final Verdict

Although I have to point out that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 may not be the game for everyone, the overall gaming experience is worth the amount of money you pay for it. 

If you like intense, dynamic, and smooth gameplay, along with some additional side features, then pick up your rifle, pack a grenade or two, and game on.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For more information, visit the official website: https://www.callofduty.com/blackops4/.

Visuals courtesy of Activision.

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Aries Kee

Gaming enthusiast and aspiring designer. Let's start a conversation!

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