Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review – Blackout, multiplayer and more

The traditional single-player campaign is the first casualty, dropped in favor of some brief ‘stories’ that introduce the game’s eight Specialists and their respective backstories. Considering that these solo modes used to be the big selling point of CoDs of old – think the heyday of Modern Warfare – you’d think its omission would be a bad thing, but Treyarch has proved time and again that deft storytelling is not its forte, so the absence of a campaign isn’t the grand loss it first appears to be.

Black Ops 4’s new three pillars are the long-running veterans Multiplayer and Zombies and newcomer Blackout, marking the series’ first entry to embrace online play across all modes. Multiplayer has received some of the biggest changes this year, weaving the familiar bombastic gunplay and some new features that aim to elicit a more tactical approach.

Health is no longer regenerative, so taking refuge behind cover and waiting for your lifeblood to return won’t do you any good here. You now have a StimPack mapped to ‘L1’/’LB’ that refills your health bar, Far Cry-style. If you’re a long-time CoD devotee, this one mechanic alone takes a while to feel natural, but its inclusion only serves to add to the flow of play rather than hindering it. Now you have to manage your health, your gear and your ammunition, forcing you to play smarter when you need to choose between healing and reloading.

The length of time it takes for your health to refill once you’ve administered a Stim Shot, and the time it takes for it to recharge, has also been slightly increased from the Beta – to stop players from abusing it. As with every new change in Multiplayer, learning to compensate for this delay fundamentally changes how you approach each systemic encounter. Every player now has their health displayed above their avatar, so you can see in real-time how much life a player has. It’s by no means a game changer, but it proves a little extra tactical information (especially if you’re playing Search & Destroy as a team

The traditional single-player campaign is the first casualty, dropped in favor of some brief ‘stories’ that introduce the game’s eight Specialists and their respective backstories. Considering that these solo modes used to be the big selling point of CoDs of old – think the heyday of Modern Warfare – you’d think its omission would be a bad thing, but Treyarch has proved time and again that deft storytelling is not its forte, so the absence of a campaign isn’t the grand loss it first appears to be.

Black Ops 4’s new three pillars are the long-running veterans Multiplayer and Zombies and newcomer Blackout, marking the series’ first entry to embrace online play across all modes. Multiplayer has received some of the biggest changes this year, weaving the familiar bombastic gunplay and some new features that aim to elicit a more tactical approach.

Health is no longer regenerative, so taking refuge behind cover and waiting for your lifeblood to return won’t do you any good here. You now have a StimPack mapped to ‘L1’/’LB’ that refills your health bar, Far Cry-style. If you’re a long-time CoD devotee, this one mechanic alone takes a while to feel natural, but its inclusion only serves to add to the flow of play rather than hindering it. Now you have to manage your health, your gear and your ammunition, forcing you to play smarter when you need to choose between healing and reloading.

The length of time it takes for your health to refill once you’ve administered a Stim Shot, and the time it takes for it to recharge, has also been slightly increased from the Beta – to stop players from abusing it. As with every new change in Multiplayer, learning to compensate for this delay fundamentally changes how you approach each systemic encounter. Every player now has their health displayed above their avatar, so you can see in real-time how much life a player has. It’s by no means a game changer, but it proves a little extra tactical information (especially if you’re playing Search & Destroy as a team.

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