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‘Black Ops’ revitalizes ‘Call of Duty’ once again

A+firefight+in+a+cabin%2C+why+not%3F%0AImage+courtesy+of+Activision
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‘Black Ops’ revitalizes ‘Call of Duty’ once again

A firefight in a cabin, why not?
Image courtesy of Activision

A firefight in a cabin, why not? Image courtesy of Activision

A firefight in a cabin, why not? Image courtesy of Activision

A firefight in a cabin, why not? Image courtesy of Activision

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The “Black Ops” games have been the crown jewel of the “Call of Duty” series since the first one in 2010. “Black Ops 4” is no different. Smart changes and new game modes make this game a very enticing package.

Most of the hype around this game has been about the new blackout mode, Call of Duty’s (COD) version of battle royale. The basic principle is the same as “Fortnite” and “PUBG,” and an added twist of perks and equipment from “COD” make for an interesting mode. Solo games have the tension that players can expect, as they fight for survival. Team games are fun, even if you and your friends don’t make it very far into the match.

The lack of building is something that players from “Fortnite” are either going to love or hate. As someone who doesn’t really care about battle royale, I found Blackout surprisingly fun to play. That being said, it has the same problem other games of its type do, in that matches start to feel the same very quickly.

Ditching the single-player campaign in favor of a battle royale mode was a controversial decision. There are plenty of people out there who primarily play these games for the single player. While I was upset about the decision at first, I remembered how lackluster “Black Ops 3’s” campaign was. After playing Blackout for a while, the trade-off seems more than worth the lack of a story mode. The training missions for the multiplayer’s specialist characters also make up for it.

Multiplayer is back, but without the jump jets and wall running from “Black Ops 3.” This change is a positive one overall, since the movement in “Black Ops 3” didn’t feel as polished as something like “Titanfall,” and it became something that players abused in firefights. Weapon balancing seems solid and the new modes, heist and control, are fun additions. Right now, the multiplayer has problems with spawn camping and it makes playing modes, like domination, a pain to deal with.

Specialists are also back with unique powers. Dealing with some of these can get really frustrating. That, along with the new manual healing mechanics and return to grounded gameplay, makes this feel like Treyarc was chasing after “Rainbow SIx Siege.” Gameplay is more tactical, but that can get ruined by the constant spam of specialist abilities and tools. Keeping that balanced is something that will make or break this game’s longevity.

Zombies are back and they’re more fleshed out than ever (and I didn’t intend that as an ironic pun.) There’s a ton of customization options available and there are playlists that give players more options for how they want to dive into the horde. I never bothered following the narrative of zombies, but I can tell a lot of work went into it. The frantic, round-based gameplay is still solid and anyone can easily lose hours of their day without realizing it. Even if you’re a COD player that never really cared about this mode it’s still worth checking out a few times just to see all of the interesting environmental and enemy designs.

Treyarc has done a great job of supporting their games long after their release in the past. I hope that continues so that the gameplay of multiplayer specifically can get refined. There’s a ton of content in “Black Ops 4” so there’s going to be something here for everyone. The gunplay is solid as always, across every mode, and production values are sky-high. This has all the makings of a truly addicting game, but the problems with the multiplayer keep it from being five stars as of now.

Final Score: 4/5

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.

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‘Black Ops’ revitalizes ‘Call of Duty’ once again