Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review: A promising new future

Treyarch Studios
Treyarch Studios /
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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Treyarch /

With Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, multiplayer is finally the face of the long-running first-person shooter franchise.

Title: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Developers: Treyarch Studios
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed version), Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 12, 2018

For years, there has been speculation that Activision would eventually drop the traditional single-player campaign from its Call of Duty franchise. With Black Ops 4, developer Treyarch finally took the leap, abandoning the single-player story for a more robust multiplayer package. The gamble has paid off, as Black Ops 4 is easily one of the most enjoyable and polished Call of Duty experiences I’ve played in quite some time.

While those who enjoyed the Black Ops storyline are probably sad to see the campaign go, there was overwhelming statistical evidence that it simply wasn’t worth the time invested to have a traditional story. Which brings us to what Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 does offer; three completely different multiplayer experiences, each offering something unique to the overall Call of Duty multiplayer suite.

Traditional multiplayer returns, as well as the fan-favorite Zombies mode. Both are better than ever. New to the franchise is Blackout, a battle royale mode inspired by the popularity of games like Fortnite and PUBG. Though my least favorite of the three offerings, Blackout doesn’t feel like a tacked-on mode designed to capitalize on the growing trend of the battle royale genre. It’s a fully-fleshed out mode that brilliantly encapsulates the Black Ops experience.

While the loss of a traditional single-player mode may disappoint the few that actually did play and complete the campaign, Treyarch hasn’t completely abandoned story with Black Ops 4. A multiplayer tutorial does a nice job of introducing you to the basic mechanics of the game while also featuring quite a bit of backstory for the Specialists you’ll be playing as. Sure, it doesn’t completely take the place of a traditional campaign, but there is enough cinematics to partially fill the void. That said, if you are buying Black Ops 4 solely for a storytelling experience, you’ll be disappointed.