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

Treyarch Studios
Treyarch Studios /
5 of 5
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 zombies
Credit: Activision /


With three distinct modes, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 undoubtedly contains the most robust suite of multiplayer options available to fans. Traditional Multiplayer and Zombies feel more in-depth and polished than ever. Blackout is a good first attempt at the battle royale genre, and I look forward to seeing Treyarch and future Call of Duty developers continue to refine the mode.

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Multiplayer and Blackout are brought together through the Black Market, an in-game shop where you can purchase customization items for your characters. This is done through the Contraband Stream, a progression path that unlocks various customization items as you play either mode. Best of all, the items in the Contraband Stream are completely free, obtained simply by playing the game and leveling up. Black Ops 4 will have “seasons” in the form of Operations that deliver new batches of content every few months.

I was impressed with how much free content an Activision-published game was just giving away, but then it was quickly realized how long it would take to unlock everything. To Treyarch’s credit, they have since boosted the experience earned per match, making it much more manageable.

But for all of the polish in each of the modes, Black Ops 4 continues to be hampered by network issues. Treyarch has worked tirelessly since launch to address these issues, but even weeks later I’m experiencing connectivity issues like disconnects and lag spikes. In traditional Multiplayer it’s not as much of an issue because matches are so short, but having a 20-minute Blackout match ruined by a disconnect is an incredibly frustrating experience.

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Like most multiplayer games these days, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a fluid experience that Treyarch will continue to refine for at least the next year or so. There’s still an influx of DLC on the way thanks to the Season Pass and Operations ensure an endless stream of free customization options which, of course, will be bolstered by Blackjack’s Shop (a place to directly purchase cosmetics).

It’s unclear if a traditional single-player campaign will ever return to the franchise, but Black Ops 4 has pretty much confirmed what many of us knew all along – we don’t actually need it. Multiplayer is the face of Call of Duty now, as it should have been for years.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. 9. <em>Call of Duty: Black Ops 4</em> is a bold step for the future of the franchise. Despite lacking a traditional story campaign, there’s no shortage of entertainment or value in this year’s installment of the popular first-person shooter franchise, which finally puts multiplayer front-and-center where it should be.. Treyarch Studios.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.