There was a lot to absorb in today’s big Call Of Duty: Black Ops IIII reveal event. I’ll include links to a bunch of the revelations throughout this post.
So let’s take a look at everything we know so far about the multiplayer portion of the game, which includes some very big gameplay changes as well as some things from the previous Black Ops game.
1. There will be no single-player campaign.
This means that the multiplayer and zombies modes, along with the new battle royale mode, will be the three new ‘pillars’ of Black Ops. Instead, Specialists will get their own solo missions. How extensive these are remains to be seen. Hopefully they’re not too short or paper-thin.
2. Specialists return from Black Ops III, and health/items will function differently.
Treyarch is doubling down on the ‘hero shooter’ aspect of this game. It’s a lot like Black Ops III and looks a bit like Rainbow Six: Siege as well. So far, we know of eight Specialists:
Each Specialist will have an ability that you can equip and use in the match. These recharge. Teams will be limited to one specialist type per team.
Items like grenades will also be recharge-based now, similar to Destiny. Health won’t regenerate automatically, either. Instead you will recharge a meter to fill health or need to be healed by the medic Specialist.
3. It will be ‘boots on the ground.’
Double-jumping and wall-running are gone, though I think this is an odd decision given the game is so hero-focused. It looks so much like Black Ops III, it might have just made more sense to keep that stuff in there. I’m sure the change was made due to the popularity of WWII and the backlash against this kind of advanced movement, but once you have grappling guns and all these other futuristic gizmos and powers in the game, you might as well just go whole hog and include jet-packs and such.
4. Pick 10 is returning, with a twist.
The Pick 10 loadout system returns to Black Ops 4 from the previous game. The twist is that there’s a new category called Gear. You can choose body armor to give you a bit more protection against first shots or a stem pack that helps you recharge health faster than normal. This definitely adds a big new wrinkle into the loadout and should make for some interesting create-a-class builds.
5. It’s going to be 5 vs 5 instead of 6 vs 6.
Not only will the game’s player count go down from 12 to 10 in normal MP, the maps will all be medium-to-small to reflect this. Typically Call of Duty games are 6 vs 6 or 9 vs 9 in Ground War. 5 vs 5 is new and reminds me a little of Destiny 2’s decision to move to 4 vs 4 (until they went back to 6 vs 6 after player outcry.) I guess 5 vs 5 is a happy medium? 6 vs 6 seems like a pretty good number to me, but on small maps it can be a bit crowded. We shall see…
7. Weapons are getting a major overhaul.
There are a whole bunch of changes to weapons this time around. For one thing, each weapon type will have its own attachments rather than universal attachments that apply to most or all weapon types. This should allow for a lot more customization, though it might also feel a bit strange and confining for some players.
There will also be 3D bullet tracers for the first time so you can better see where you’re being shot from. New gun-specific recoil and animations will also make each gun more unique.
8. ‘Blackout’ is the new battle royale mode.
Replacing a solo-campaign is the much-rumored Battle Royale mode. The map is supposed to be 1500 times the size of Nuketown. Playable characters span all the Black Ops games and the mode includes both solo and team play. Players will be able to utilize land, air and sea vehicles as well, which is something no other battle royale currently offers.
9. ‘War Mode’ from WWII is not returning.
Alas, there will be no return of War Mode from Call Of Duty: WWII. That was such a great addition to the franchise, and not just jumping on the battle royale bandwagon. I still think it’s one of the best things about the game and wish Treyarch would have included it as well. What a shame.
10. There’s a beta coming for pre-order customers.
If you pre-order the game you’ll be included in the multiplayer beta later this year. The date remains a mystery. I would note that there’s usually a portion of the beta that’s opened up to the general public, so if you don’t want to pre-order (and you should never pre-order!) you’ll likely still have an option to play.
11. The PC version is coming to Battle.net instead of Steam.
The days of Call of Duty on Steam are over. Black Ops 4 is the first in the series to join Blizzard’s Battle.net and it will likely not be the last. Dedicated servers and all the other nice options included with Battle.net should make this a better PC experience than usual.
12. Fog of War has been added
For the first time a new ‘fog of war’ mechanic blurs out much of mini-map in Black Ops 4. Now you’ll only be able to see what’s going on around you in a much smaller radius. This makes teamwork and communication even more important.
That’s all folks.
Certainly more details will emerge in the coming days and weeks, but those are the big changes coming to multiplayer in Black Ops 4.
Check out screenshots in the gallery below or higher-res versions here.
Watch the trailers for the 3 separate zombies maps coming to the game here.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launches on PS4, PC, and Xbox One on October 12th.