Treyarch is planning some interesting changes to the familiar Call of Duty formula with Black Ops 4. While every game in the long-running FPS series has had their own spin on things over the years, this year's game is looking to buck some trends that has already made the community stand up and take notice. There was a lot to take in from the May 17 reveal event, so here's a more detailed breakdown of what's coming up for Blacks Ops 4, and we want to see at E3 2018.
What We Know So Far
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For starters, the long-rumored removal of the traditional single-player campaign turned out to be true. In its place are a series of solo missions set between Black Ops 2 and 3 centering around the game's Specialist characters. These Specialists also make an appearance in the multiplayer mode, where they have a more tactical purpose than in Black Ops 3. While Treyarch's previous game featured a number of acrobatic moments of finesse and speed, the next game in the sub-series is much more grounded, opting for a more tactical approach focusing more on maintaining flow of combat. Moreover, Black Ops 4 also introduces some hero-shooter elements by placing a greater emphasis on the Specialist characters and their gear sets, requiring players to be more mindful who they pick and how they can fit into the makeup of the current team.
Moving on to the Zombies mode, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Treyarch is expanding on the horde-based shooter with even more weirdness. Set on three distinct maps; an Ancient Roman gladiator arena of The IX, the sinking Titanic in Voyage of Despair, and a remake of past Zombies maps in Blood of the Dead--featuring the original Zombies mode cast--there are plans to offer more variety in the off-the-wall game mode. Added to this are several customizable options and gametypes which can add buffs to zombies and player-characters, timed challenges on the global leaderboards, and for the first time in series history, bot support.
However, the biggest addition to Black Ops 4 is the brand new battle royale mode known as Blackout. It's described as something of a celebration of the Black Ops series where you can play as characters from the previous games and use any weapon throughout the Black Ops series--including the exploding RC car. In familiar battle royale style, you'll have to fight against others online to be the last person standing. Treyarch has not revealed the number of players in each Blackout match.
What's Confirmed For E3
Activision is confirmed to make an appearance at E3 2018, showcasing both Destiny 2 and Black Ops 4. While they've been tight-lipped about what exactly they'll be showing at E3, we can expect to see more footage of the multiplayer mode based on their presence in previous years. it's fair to say that the game's multiplayer mode will be the focus, which should have stations set up for fans to play on the show floor.
What We Want To See At E3
While Treyarch revealed a great deal about the game during the May 17 event, we're in the dark about certain key details about the game. One big concern is the lack of a traditional COD campaign, which has been a hallmark of the series since its debut. If Treyarch is able to showcase the best of what solo missions can offer, it would go a long way to assuage community concerns. Call of Duty by tradition has always had a solid story campaign for players to dive into, which often offers the context for the setting of the core game and its multiplayer mode. While solo missions would be different from how the previous campaigns did things, potentially they can offer fans a quick way to experience a COD-style campaign with their favorite characters.
We'll likely see plenty of the multiplayer at E3 for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but one thing that would be great to see is what the game will look like in the hands of skilled players. League play will make a return in the Black Ops 4, and seeing the game in action with some of the world's best players would be a solid way to reintroduce high-level play for the general audience. Since combat is tactical and emphasizes more teamwork this time around, having fans experience what top-tier Black Ops 4 gameplay looks like can go a long way in showcasing the new systems at work. It would also be a good opportunity to show how to utilize Specialist abilities effectively, while also being quite entertaining to watch.
During the reveal event, Treyarch also announced the upcoming beta later this year. E3 is a great place to reveal the date of the beta as well as what will be available for players to dive into. While the contents of the beta will most likely be focused on traditional multiplayer, it would be an exciting announcement at E3 to have the Blackout mode also playable in the beta. When you announce a new battle royale game, you're already going up against some of the biggest games in the industry. So Black Ops 4 will need to showcase something very special for Blackout if it wants to stand up against the likes of Fortnite and PUBG.