A reader gives his verdict on the beta for this years new COD, from the new maps and game modes to the state of the menus.
Another year, another Call Of Duty release. This latest entry is by developers Treyarch, the most respected developers of the COD community ,and they return with the very popular Black Ops series. Im here to deliver the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As usual, COD returns with slick movement, fast and frantic gunfights and scorestreaks to destroy the poor noobs on the opposing team. Gunfights are still as quick and satisfying as ever, although there is one big change in that regard.
Manual Health – No health regeneration. Yes, something the franchise has never seen. You now have to manually heal yourself with a tap of L1 and your health will gradually build back up. This is not only a fresh and immersive change, but one that makes you pick your gun fights wisely. It adds a layer of survival you normally wouldnt find in a COD title. And after a couple of hours the tap of L1 for health becomes second nature.
Guns – Through my many hours with the beta I was able to play with a variety of weapons, all of which were satisfying and powerful. My personal favourite was the Cordite, a submachine gun that had plenty of ammo and a fast fire rate that made easy work of my opponents. The assault rifles were very helpful in the more objective-based game modes, where keeping a section of the map was vital to success. All in all, the extra tweaking after the beta by Treyarch has meant that all guns should be very viable come October. And for you quick-scopers out there, snipers are as powerful as ever.
Maps – Six maps were available in the beta: Frequency, Hacienda, Payload, Contraband, Seaside, and Gridlock. All of these maps were good fun, except for Frequency which suffered from far too many different entry points. It made capturing the B flag in Domination nigh on impossible. Following Treyarchs traditional three-line structure, the maps had great flow and plenty of intense engagements.
Specialists – Returning from Black Ops 3, specialists are back. With some old (Battery, Ruin, Seraph, etc.) and some new (Crash, Ajax, Torque, etc.) they add another layer and made the tactical game modes very exciting. I had great success with Recon whose super is the ability to see and tag enemies for your whole team.
New specialists were interesting to use. Crash could boost the whole team with his super, as well as aid the team with an Assault Pack with extra ammo. Torque was perhaps the most annoying to play against, as not only did he get a mobile shield to protect himself but also radiation coming from it that would instantly kill you should you get too close.
I must clarify that all of the specialist supers were only available once per match, so the majority of the time it is just classic gunfights. Eight specialists were available, with 10 in total at launch and more added for free post launch.
New Game Modes -The new game modes included Heist and Control, both of which impressed me – particularly the former. Heist gives you one life per round and starts everyone off with a pistol. By earning money through kills and extracting the bag of cash, you can then choose to buy new guns, perks, scorestreaks, and so on come the next round. It was a nice surprise and one I wasnt expecting. You can also revive your mates as you have to be downed and then finished to be killed. Its a game mode I expect I will be playing a lot of.
Control is a fun game mode that requires you to defend or capture two areas of the map whilst you only have 30 lives available. Once all lives have been used it can turn into a tense finale, especially when the other team only has one life left. I must say I lost a LOT of rounds due to being the only guy left against two enemies who easily ganged up on me. Both game modes left me happy that they had been added to the game.
Create-a-Class is back in all its glory and with a lot more flexibility due to returning to three perks, as opposed to Call Of Duty: WWIIs restriction of one perk as max.
The Last Good Point – The change to 5v5 sounded bad on paper but in reality it really isnt noticeable. It has in no way made the game any slower and the gameplay is just as frantic as the chaos Team Deathmatch mode that was added, including 6v6. You dont have to worry.
Fog of War – One thing that was going to on the bad list was the fog of war on the mini-map. Instead of a standard radar from previous entries, this feature means you had a circle around your icon on the map which revealed enemies in front or behind you depending on your circles vision. The circle was annoying because it punished flankers or rushers as you would appear on the mini-map. This has been fixed so the circle is now just your own field of view as youre playing. This now means flankers are rewarded. Its quite a weird feature and one I am kinda glad to have compared to UAV spam.
Now weve got the good out of the way, on to the bad.
Frame Rate/Graphics – With every yearly release of COD, there is never talk of a new engine. While COD looks like a slightly better game, Battlefield looks photorealistic thanks to the mind-boggling Frostbite engine. Even in 2018, Black Ops 4 looks miles away from its first person shooter rival. And when considering the billions Activision makes off loot boxes alone, why there is still this massive gap? Especially when both teams have the same amount of development time.
Black Ops 4 looks passable at best, with some horrible textures and plastic-looking guns in the create-a-class menu. The frame rate struggled when playing on Gridlock at the beginning. We all know how important that 60fps is for COD, so to see any issues is bad. Fortunately it was fixed by weekend two.
Body Armour – One of the most controversial parts of weekend one was the strength of body armour. Im trusting you can figure out what it does by yourself. It meant that should you get in a gunfight with a person using it you would die every single time, even if you shot first. People gave Treyarch plenty of feedback on how frustrating it was and by weekend two it was a lot less of a problem. Its still there but is a lot less annoying. Im just thankful that it has been tweaked before launch as people would have gone mental!
Dont worry, theres only one left!
Menus – This may be a small aspect of any game, but with menus that look like a horrible free-to-play mobile game from the biggest first person shooter in the world, questions must be asked. Just *vomit* ewwww. Im hoping they get changed but Im highly doubtful. Still, if the menus are the only thing to be disgusted about, Black Ops 4 must not be that bad.
Thanks for reading!
By reader Charlie Ridgewell
The readers feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.