You know the drill: another year, another Call of Duty game coming out during the last quarter. Black Ops 4 is this year’s iteration of the juggernaut series, and it’s one of the most controversial releases in recent years, not because of violent imagery, but due to the fact Activision had decided to get rid of a traditional campaign mode in favor of gaming’s current trend, a Battle Royale mode. E3 2018 would have been a great opportunity to showcase the brand new mode to press and public, but all I was able to play during a press hands-on was a couple of traditional deathmatch modes.
With the exception of some new player classes, each one with distinct and interesting special moves, and the fact autoheal is absent, this is just yet another Call of Duty, for better or for worse. The same gameplay, the same controls as always, the same map design, the same strategies as always. One can say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but Black Ops 4 is still plagued with issues you can easily find in pretty much any other Call of Duty out there.
The main issue I found while playing Black Ops 4 was the same old issue from every other Call of Duty game I can remember: the game is still insanely unbalanced. Getting shot mere seconds after respawning is frequent. Not being able to walk around the map due to the enemy’s helicopter perk is also very frequent. Call of Duty still pats on the back of who’s winning and does little to try to make the life of who’s losing a less obnoxious living hell, with the exception of giving losers a very small experience boost whenever they kill someone for the first time after dying lots of times in a row. Be it while I was winning or while I was losing, playing Black Ops 4 reminded me why I don’t play Call of Duty multiplayer modes in the first place.
This E3 hands-on wasn’t very promising: Activision didn’t showcase any of the actual new gameplay modes, so all we could test was yet another typical deathmatch with the same controls and the same obnoxious issues from any other Call of Duty game out there. From what I could play, there’s little that differs Black Ops 4 from other CoD titles out there. It’s still the same unbalanced multiplayer as always. I hope Activision showcases the Battle Royale mode prior to this game’s release, because its classic multiplayer modes didn’t wow me at all.