Activision Formally Launches Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Xbox, Xbox One with 16 Comments

During a live web event today, Activision formally unveiled the first Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 gameplay. The good news? They appear to be getting it right this time.

As a bit of background, I noted back in March that the Call of Duty franchise, despite its massive successes, was stuck in a bit of a rut: Attempts at creating new multi-game franchises have all failed since the heights of the Modern Warfare and Black Ops series. And the firm had been forced to plumb familiar territory, first with last year’s Call of Duty: WWII and now this year with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

But today’s gameplay reveal confirmed some rumored good news.

First, Black Ops 4 will not include a single player campaign. This is smart. As I’d written in the past, “multiplayer (and Zombies, which can be considered part of multiplayer) is where the real money is. And I don’t need Activision’s telemetry data to know that: Each year, with each COD title, Activision sells a massive additional package of downloadable content (DLC) that is comprised solely of multiplayer/Zombies, and usually in the form of new maps. There is never an update to the single-player campaign.”

Second, Activision is taking a second bit of my advice and capitalizing on the success of games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds: Black Ops 4 will include a “Battle Royale” mode called Blackout. As I’ve said in the past, those other games would just be game modes in a bigger COD title. And sure enough, it’s happening.

Third, Black Ops 4 is mostly abandoning the wall-running and jetpacks from its predecessor, and from games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Infinite War, and it is returning to the “boots on the ground” gameplay style of older COD games, and of Call of Duty: WWII. In many ways, this games looks like WWII with more modern weaponry, which is frankly really welcome. (I thought the BO3 gameplay style was excellent, but many fans felt otherwise.)

There are other tweaks, too, of course. But whatever: In hitting on all the big bucket items that needed to be fixed, Activision should appease COD diehards (like me) and even attract new gamers too.

Now if they could just figure out the franchise thing. Because you just know that the 2019 COD title will be Modern Warfare 4.


Tagged with

Elevate the Conversation!

Join Thurrott Premium to enjoy our Premium comments.

Premium member comments on news posts will feature an elevated status that increases their visibility. This tab would allow you to participate in Premium comments with other premium members. Register to join the other Premium members in elevating the conversation!

Register or Subscribe

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate