black ops iiii
SEE YOU LATER, OPERATOR. IN A WHILE, RANK AND FILE
Treyarch is ditching single-player in this year’s Call Of Duty game. It’s a headline move, something the developer feels fully justified in doing. Instead of offering the high-drama nonsense of a single-player campaign this time around, the developer is opting instead to fully round out the suite of other options available to you… but will that sate the appetite of the COD player that Activision has been evolving over the last decade? We have our doubts.
It’s worth noting that the multiplayer—as usual—is stellar in Black Ops IIII. During time with three of the announced MP modes— Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, and the new Control—it’s clear to see that Treyarch isn’t taking the loyal Call Of Duty fanbase for granted. It is keeping things fresh.
By allowing you to carry your scorestreaks, loadouts, and operators across all modes, you get familiar with the more class-based gameplay quicker—and that’s vital. Call Of Duty is nudging out of its niche as a ‘lone wolf’-friendly FPS, and nuzzling up to the more tactical, teambased crowd.
The now-essential use of health packs to heal underlines this renewed focus on team play, as do support Operators that allow quicker or more efficient heals. It’s not trendy to compare things to Overwatch these days, but it’s hard not to see the Blizzard influence in how some of the Operators synergise here.
This manages to erase the mistakes of Black Ops past: No longer will you face a wall of War Machines grenade-spamming you into submission, no longer will you face a circling pool of health wizards camped in a corner: You can only pick one Operator per team. Pick wisely, pick tactically, and learn them all. This is a squad game now.
Scorestreaks take center stage as you’d expect, with classics like UAV/Counter UAV, Gunship, and Assault Chopper all available in the pre-Alpha build we saw. But instead of just giving you these on a kill-per-kill basis, these will be rewarded to you for performing feats relating to your class: Block damage, heal allies, grant buffs, scout enemies… all of this will add to your scorestreak. It democratizes Call Of Duty’s more ‘high end’ multiplayer portion—and that’s something we think could be very attractive to new(er) players.
Play the objective and you’ll be rewarded, too. Capturing a base in Hardpoint gives you 200 points (half a UAV!) and that will really come in handy thanks to the fancy new Fog of War-inspired map mechanic. Gunshots and equipment gives you a vague idea where enemies are at, but generally location is obscured until you (or an ally) tags them—making coordinated, boots-on-the-ground exploration essential. There’s no wallrunning, boosting, or flipping into space here.
Black Ops IIII will ship with a battle royale mode, a massive zombies mode with at least three campaigns in it, and the multiplayer mode we’ve detailed above. But—despite how much of an evolution Black Ops IIII is from the third game in the series—we think without a serious draw in PUBGinspired Blackout mode, Treyarch is going to come up against some stiff competition this year.
In the middle of an industry dominated by Fortnite, Battlefield, Destiny, PUBG and more besides, Call Of Duty has never had to fight harder. Treyarch has put a good game together here, but is it good enough?
above operators return from past black ops offerings— they may look similar, but their abilities have been retuned.