Game publisher Activision and developer Treyarch took the wraps off Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in a reveal event at a sprawling aircraft hangar on Thursday.
I was there, along with hundreds of other press, influencers, celebrities, and others. We covered the news about the game in a variety of stories. But I also played the multiplayer game and recorded some of the gameplay. I split the sessions into three different videos that appear in this post.
I played on the PlayStation 4 for about an hour on my first session, and then I played another 45 minutes or so. My colleague, Mike Minotti, played on the PC. I found that I wasn’t terrible at it, with my average kill-to-death ratio (number of times I killed someone else compared to the number of times I died) was a little less than 1.0. That’s not bad for an unfamiliar game, as my kill-to-death ratio in Call of Duty: WWII is about 0.8.
We played a variety of modes and a few different maps. I was quite familiar with the modes like Domination, where you try to capture and hold three different points on the map. In my first match, we had a six-on-six Domination battle in a map called Contraband, which has a mix of jungle and water. I found I had to remember to tap the left bumper to restore my health when I was wounded. That wasn’t intuitive, and it served the purpose of slowing me down. The pace was slower, as Treyarch intended. Finding cover was evidently more important than constant mobility.
I also played Hardpoint on the Seaside map. In Hardpoint, the capture area shifts around the map periodically, and your team’s job is to capture and hold it and deny it to the enemy. The Seaside map had a couple of levels of vertical shooting spots, including a church and a building that overlooked a plaza. The specialist character Ruin has a grappling hook that allows him to vault up to those spots, but it’s nothing like the thrust-jumping from Black Ops 3.
Before each map started, I chose a class, such as heavy gunner, as well as my specialist character. I tried out Recon, who has a sensor that you can shoot at a wall and then it lights up an area on your mini-map. Otherwise, you get less information about the area around you due to fog of war.
Where the game is different is on your left and right bumper controls. On the left is your health, and on the right is your special ability. Once you use the special ability, it cools down, and you have to wait for it to come back. That means you see almost no grenades except from the characters who have them as an ability. That’s a huge change. Normally, players would launch a grenade as soon as they spawned and get one back as soon as they respawned. The way to get most of your kills, as a result, is the old fashioned way of shooting.
Please check out the videos of the action.