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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has battle royale, no campaign

Battle royale is indeed coming to CoD in Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, as had been rumoured, throwing together characters, weapons, and locations from across all the Blops – including the Zombies modes – in one big last-man-standing rumble. Activision today held their big reveal-o-rama event for this year’s face-shooter, see, blabbing all sorts of details. They also confirmed the rumour that Cod Blops 4 won’t have a traditional CoD story campaign. While it does have a few missions sprinkled around, the focus is on multiplayer, and I’m quite curious about how this will turn out. One unsurprising change: this time it’ll run on Blizzard’s Battle.net, not Steam.

We… have a lot to get through here. SO! Officially, the bulk of Cod Blops 4 is set between Blops 2 and 3 – the future, but not the superfancy future. Expect warfights with wingsuits, grappling hook guns, deployable barricades, and at least one honking great storeys-high clanking robot. Character classes, named ‘Specialists’, are back again, this time with more unique gadgets. Each specialist will have their own little solo mission introducing them and their abilities but yeah, don’t expect a campaign.

The unconfirmed rumour that first blarbed about Blops 4 having battle royale but no traditional campaign said that it was because it wouldn’t be ready in time, so it got dropped. Activision spin the change a little more positively than that, saying story is sown all across the multiplayer. But I suppose multiplayer is the big driving force behind CoD these days, not the campaigns for schmoes like me who wait a few years to buy the game on sale because they don’t care about MP CoD.

It sounds like developers Treyarch have tinkered with CoD’s gnarled gameguts this year. Weapons have predictive recoil patterns that players can supposedly learn and master. Healing is no longer automatic, now done by pressing a button to jab your arm with a magic gadget. One of the Specialists has a magical healing gun and all. Weapons get a special “Operator Mod” attachment slot to give ’em new abilities, such as adding a blurry suppression effect to a machine gun. And the cybersuit wallrunning and thrust jumping will not return in this Blops.

This being the year 2018, of course Blops 4 has a battle royale mode. Named ‘Blackout’, it’ll throw a load of players into a big map to scrap by land, sea, and air. They didn’t state the playercount and precise map size, but do say it’s “1500 times bigger than Nuketown” as if Nuketown has become an internationally-recognised unit of measurement like the elephant or football pitch.

I’m actually quite interested in Blackout. Most battle royale shooters have shonky gunplay and bad-feeling movement but CoD is honed as heck. I’d expect something arcadier than Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds but not quite as silly as Fortnite Battle Royale?

Moving on to Zombies! This year’s version of the cooperative monster-mashing mode is a curious one, officially separate from previous Zombos as it jaunts across history in a new world. Hey, wanna stab zombies in a Roman gladiatorial arena?

Or aboard the Titanic?

Or… wherever it is these warmen are standing?

As for the PC version specifically, Beenox are helping Treyarch with that. Expect bits including dedicated servers, options to fiddle with, an uncapped framerate, customisable controls, a left-handed control scheme preset, and support for 4K HDR ultrawide monitors. And it’ll be exclusive to Blizzard’s Battle.net client, after years of CoD running through Steam.

The switch to Battle.net isn’t surprising, after Activision took it beyond Blizzard’s games by releasing Destiny 2 through it on PC. Steam takes a cut of all sales and I imagine that Activision would rather have that cut for themselves. The Battle.net client is worse than Steam in many ways but hey, you wanna Blop, you gotta get onboard.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 is due on October 12th, priced at £50 on Battle.net.

God I don’t even know what these trailers are for any more. Judging by the thumbnail, this is the World Exclusive Shout Reveal Trailer.

If you want the full scoop and even more things to watch, you can see the full archived event livestream on Twitch.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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