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.

63 Comments

  1. Hoot says:

    So pleased I got off this train after the original Modern Warfare. If I’m gonna waste my time and money gaming, I might as well waste it playing different games instead of forking out for the same game year in, year out.

    When will it die? Surely the effort of the devs could be better put toward giving us a new, original game?

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      >Call of Duty game
      >new or original

      The whole series was a “me too” against EA’s Medal of Honor series. Not only that, but what’s left for Call of Duty to cover? Treyarch has done WW2, Vietnam, the Cold War, semi-futurist warfare, futurist warfare and zombies; there’s not much left to go on unless they try Call of Duty: Trench Warfare or make a Kart racing game.

  2. Antongranis says:

    Shame about the lack of campaign. I really liked the infinite warfare one. Black ops was good too.

  3. Avus says:

    I like how AAA developer help me to save $$. That is $80CAD (not including DLC) I will save.

    EA saved me the most… Thanks

  4. Imperialist says:

    I think some odd defining pop-culture evolution occured slowly starting in 2010, a sort of rose-tinted 80s renaissance occured, and suddenly entertainment was flooded with weird schlocky nonsense that even back then would be regarded as dumb. COD used to be about “serious dudes, taking down terrorists and warlords n shit” and then somehow, suddenly, FIGHTING ZOMBIES ON THE TITANIC, and a version of Ancient Rome that looks so apocryphal it may as well be out of any fantasy book rather than even being slightly historically inspired. Like, i get schlock, but we are entering a new realm of mental decay and utter nonsense at this point. Just let it die.

    • Gomer_Pyle says:

      a version of Ancient Rome that looks so apocryphal it may as well be out of any fantasy book

      I was sitting there watching the trailer, thinking “when / where tf is this even supposed to be set?”

  5. Ham Solo says:

    Don’t care, let all the 12 year olds have fun with this. It’s not like their parents will stop buying them the annual CoD shitshow anytime soon.

    • VN1X says:

      I’m 30 and I just pre-ordered this as I loved BLOPS3. :(

      • Hoot says:

        Get out more.

        Or, you know, play games that aren’t trash.

        • VN1X says:

          Oh right I should’ve bought the latest Fortnite skin instead to show how much of a cool and hip party dude I am. What the fuck lol.

      • DodoSandvich says:

        Never. Ever. Preorder.
        No exceptions.

        • brucethemoose says:

          Yeah. It’s not like digital game stores ever run out of stock, and every pre-order bonus I’ve seen is useless.

          The only justification I can think of is to help an indie dev eat. But Activision-Blizzard has plenty of money… There’s just no benefit to pre-ordering here.

          • VN1X says:

            In this case there is actually! CDkeys (the webstore) have a habit of fluctuating prices, based on interest, and leading up to release those prices will often go up as well.

            I pre-ordered as I doubt I’ll be able to get it as cheap before release as I did now (€37).

        • Ham Solo says:

          I stopped preorder, too. Takes a little self control, but it is ultimately worth it to wait for the reviews of people you trust and digging through things like steam reviews.

        • pentraksil says:

          No exceptions? What about cheaper games, bonuses and being able to try the game early and refund if problematic? I am sorry, but this “no pre-orders” talk is no longer valid in all cases.

      • April March says:

        :( indeed, friend. :( indeed.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Aren’t these games usually aimed at military hardware fetishists? This seems like a pretty big diversion from that crowd.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Are you thinking of ARMA?

      COD is… Well, it defined the whole generic military shooter genre. It’s very arcadey, despite what the marketing would lead you to believe. Military enthusiasts go for the hardcore simulator type games, and COD is not one of those.

    • Ham Solo says:

      No, the CoD games are more akin to hollywood action blockbusters. Think Transformers, saving private Ryan or Pearl Harbour. Mainstream stuff withouth much realism or depth.
      Military hardware fans are more into the Arma/Red Orchestra series or War Thunder.

  7. Antongranis says:

    Bloody hell, there is alot of negativity here. I get not being interested in such and such game, but Cod in particular seems to be getting so much hate from people who dosent play the game. There are many games i dont like or lack any interest in, but you wont find me posting about and discussing them people do with cod. What gives?

    • Nokturnal says:

      I can’t speak for everyone, but for me I think it’s a case of CoD being a prime example of a franchise starting off well, building a good reputation with a strong fanbase, and then suddenly and aggressively slipping into making a game that appeals to an immature audience (either mentally or genuinely younger people). With its nonsensical acrobatic gameplay, over the top kill streak crap and so on, it’s fallen a long way from what was once considered one of the great PC franchises.

      While I may be able to just not play it, ignore videos and news about it etc.. the fact is the game still gets bought by people(‘s mothers) and this convinces the shareholders that this shit is what they should be pushing the devs to make.
      Which means those who do appreciate a well made arcadey FPS shooter, miss out.

      So as people are not able to ‘vote’ with their wallet and simply not buy it, some choose to voice their disagreement with the path the franchise has taken whenever the next game appears (at least once a year).

      It might not change anything, but a little rant helps sometimes….

      • dontnormally says:

        It creates an inescapable gravity well into which potential similar games fall, making a whole category of shooters more-or-less impossible to make (financially) successfully.

        • Antongranis says:

          Exept that is not the case? There are plenty of other shooters that are very diffrent. And people are practily insutling others for liking a game? That; if anything, is imature.

          • haldolium says:

            No this is the very issue. This is the exact reason why today there basically are indie games and AAA and nothing in between, because the “in between” stuff (AA or whatever you may call it) still cost too much money.

            Obviously it is a bit more complex in factors that led towards where we are today, but in general CoD is a major influence in the way games went and not in a good way at all.

            So yeah, fuck that trash shit. Because that is what it is. It can be seen dry, if you dont want to hurt anyone, as a good example of graphics engineering. But it ends there effectively.
            The games are utter trash for a variety of reasons. And it will remain that way until the end of days since I don’t see why anyone would want to end that money making cow at the moment or anytime soon in the future.

          • April March says:

            I agree with your conclusion, but can’t see how it’s CoD’s fault specifically. How are they causing the AA industry to disappear, other than just having production values the size of the moon?

          • haldolium says:

            Not specifically just CoD. But I would say that the Call of Duty franchise played a major role in it.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I (mostly) agree.

      But playing devil’s advocate: COD has this critical mass where it takes up a huge chunk of the gaming market. One could argue that it sets industry trends, so even if you don’t play it, the dev’s bad habits will rub off on future games you do play.

      Yes, it’s just one game, but it’s one game with ALOT of marketshare.

  8. kins.akd says:

    It’s like:
    “We’d like to make a game about-
    “No, just another COD please”
    “But we’ve got this idea about-
    “No, just COD, thank you”
    “But maybe-
    “No”
    “Okay, we do it anyway”

    The last video looks like Alcatraz, I think v0v Some prision, at any rate.

  9. Palindrome says:

    £50? What the actual fuck?

  10. gabrielonuris says:

    So if it won’t have a campaign, will it cost less?

    • culturalrebel says:

      Baaahahahahahahaaaa!

      This is Activision we’re talking about; what d’you think?

    • Hoot says:

      You didn’t hear about the “streamline” tax ActiBlizz introduced for this game. It will cost MORE than previous releases because there has been an awful lot of time and effort put into making it as streamlined as possible.

      For your enjoyment.

      Now, fuck you. Pay me.

    • April March says:

      I remember that, when Xbox Games on Demand started to take off here in Brazil, games were much cheaper than their physical counterparts. A brand new game (for consoles) would cost something like R$ 200. But, on Games on Demand, you could buy them cheaper. EA had games in the R$ 120 – R$ 140 range. Ubisoft had a few for that price, but had plenty new, big releases as cheap as R$ 80.

      Call of Duty cost on Games on Demand R$ 200, exact as much as the physical version.

      Because people paid it.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        I know that feel, I’m brazilian too; remember when Bethesda games didn’t cost R$230,00 on launch? Good times… Rage 2 will probably be more expensive than my medical and food expenses combined!

        And to think it all started with the “marvelous” regional prices… *spits on the ground*

  11. dontnormally says:

    will they just fucking let it go with the zombies and do something interesting with their extra game mode…

  12. TheReaper27 says:

    They’ve just gone and put money back in my pocket then. Bought MW up to Black Ops II and then WWII strictly for the stories/campaigns (Black Ops I was the best IMO). If they want to cater to the tweeners dicking around with Fortnite and PuBG, they can go right ahead. For me though, no campaign = no sale.

  13. Slaphaed says:

    My recollection of Nuketown’s size is fuzzy. How many elephants large was that again?

    • brucethemoose says:

      Many elephants. Much larger than that shipping container map in COD4, which could only hold a dozen or 2 dozen elephants IIRC.

      • Janichsan says:

        Are we talking about African or Asian elephants? The latter are much smaller.

        If extinct species also count, there also were dwarf elephants which were smaller than cows.

        • brucethemoose says:

          That’s a good question. You could squeeze ancient or Asian elephants inside some Nuketown buildings, but African elephants are strictly outside elephants.

  14. fray_bentos says:

    This news confirms that kids are the target audience.

  15. Chromatose says:

    Called it last year that Activision were going to start migrating off Steam and onto battle.net. Just like EA with Origin. Can’t blame them really, but it’s frustrating watching PC gaming getting increasingly fragmented again. Soon every big publisher is going to have their own store with their own friends-list and features and it’s going to be rubbish.

    • brucethemoose says:

      It’s not a big deal really. Just turn off auto-start, and it’s like clients aren’t even there when you don’t need em.

      I like Steam. Alot. But TBH, the monopoly they have in the PC gaming market is kinda scary.

      • Chromatose says:

        I absolutely do not wish ill on any company wanting to offer healthy market competition to Steam, but IMO Origin and Battle.net are not that.

      • mitrovarr says:

        What would be the best is if everyone offered their games on multiple platforms. Then, you get the games you want on the platform you want.

      • Cederic says:

        Turn off autostart? Why was it even turned on in the first place? Why does it keep turning itself back on?

        Ok, it’s not as bad as Adobe but really, these companies are so close to breaking the Computer Misuse Act it’s going to be fun using GDPR against them to find out whether they’ve crossed that line.

    • Hoot says:

      And for people who like good games it won’t matter, because the good games will always be on Steam :) (or GOG Galaxy).

      All hail, the great God Gaben.

  16. Hoot says:

    Sorry for the double post but I mean come on, does the world really need another BR bandwagon jumper? Between Fortnite and Plunkbat isn’t that genre just basically saturated? At this point surely, you’ll play one or the other and they aren’t exactly the kind of game that is open to massive variation.

    • brucethemoose says:

      It’s also one of those game types you play because your friends play. That tends to keep later entries from gaining traction.

      That being said, I think CoD is one of the few franchises with enough inertia to pull it off.

  17. shauneyboy68 says:

    I read that Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2 will be an open-world kart racing battle royale game.

  18. Rindan says:

    I haven’t been interested in COD for a very long time. I’m not saying I’m interested now either, but if they have some actually interesting and new game modes besides CTF and variations on “kill the other dude, most kills win”, I might give it a shot. For all the talk of battle royal saturation, there still isn’t a single first person battle royal game that has decent movement and shooting; hell, there isn’t even one with good third person movement and shooting.

    I’ll look, but they are going to have to do something interesting. There are too many good multiplayer game shooter games that have twisted the formula to find something new to go back to variations of death match and CTF.

  19. MrEvilGuy says:

    Hahahahaha a little less than a year ago I commented on a Plunkbat article here saying “PUBG is the new COD.”

    Touché.

  20. Psychomorph says:

    Gears Of Siege 6: Dudebro Edition

    • Ham Solo says:

      Buy the WAR HAMMERED FACE ULTIMATE FLASHBACK PTBS LOOT SEASON PASS for only 179,99$!! (special “420 blaze it” skin for 2 weapons not included)

  21. ExParrot_1337 says:

    no traditional campaign

    Dear Activision, thanks for making that a really easy (non)purchasing decision!

  22. bp_968 says:

    So two things: 1> I would have loved a new BR game somewhere between PUBG and Fortnite with more polish and less bugs/nonsense from the devs. If this was blizzard I might have held out hope but after the colossal crap fest of destiny 2, just because its on battle.net doesn’t mean its going to be decent.

    2> Thanks for putting it on battle.net guys. It means I’ll never see it on the steam homepage, it won’t ever go on sale (well, at least not like it would have on steam a few years ago) and I won’t ever be tempted to buy it simply because its 15$.

    Hopefully I’m wrong. I’d love a really good BR game *without building* that isn’t kicking its players in the nuts with every other “patch” the devs release.

  23. ThePeon26 says:

    The biggest reason I even Played CoD games was the campaign and then MP now and then I rely liked CoD WW2 and heck I even enjoyed MP in that. Now they opt to remove the things that made CoD a decent game in favor for battle shit royal. Man ever one seam to wanna jump on the battle shit train it saddens me to see how desperate game devs are.

  24. DefinitelyNotHans says:

    Well, that was sure an effective way to get me to instantly give up on the series after 15 years.

  25. Fropp says:

    Zombies looks hella good though

  26. Synesthesia says:

    Hm, a AAA studio doing a battle royale game could be interesting. I think the dealbreakers (other than being an activision product) are the mapsize, and whether there’ll be hitscan weapons.

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