Why Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 deserves attention despite early negativity
Here's why everyone should give Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 a fair chance before breaking out the torches and pitchforks.
The relationship between Call of Duty's fanbase and the franchise's developers has been rocky ever since 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts, and the response to the reveal event for Black Ops 4 indicates that isn't going to change any time soon.
However, while it's true that the game won't be what most fans were asking for, I still think people should give it a fair chance. Here's why.
Avoiding the beaten path
Treyarch is doubling down on the specialist system implemented in Black Ops 3, which will result in Black Ops 4 having a distinct class-based feel. This direction has been received poorly overall, but I think people are writing off the potential of this new style too quickly.
For one thing, Treyarch didn't ignore fans. In response to the blowback from Black Ops 3, advanced mobility was taken out of Black Ops 4 completely, achieving the famous "boots on the ground" gameplay the franchise was built on. It's also worth noting that there was a time when Call of Duty's biggest issue was the fact that it never changed at all. Now, developers introduce something new, and it's instantly called out for being too much of a change.
Of course, something being new doesn't always mean it will be good, but there's no reason to assume it won't be, either. Advanced mobility may have failed to impress, but that doesn't mean developers should stop trying. If innovative ideas weren't able to flourish in Call of Duty, the fan-favorite Zombies mode wouldn't even exist. We need to get hands-on with the game before trying to judge how good or bad this new style is.
Non-traditional storytelling can work
The removal of the campaign from Black Ops 4 is a bold move from Treyarch and Activision, but I think its important to remember that stories can be told in many ways, and that rings true for every medium, gaming included. The specialist missions that introduce you to the characters you play in multiplayer and explore their backstories have the potential to be excellent, especially if they all tie in to the Black Ops setting.
Nobody cares about stories in gaming more than I do — it's a major factor when I do reviews — but I think people hear "no campaign" and assume that there aren't other ways to weave a narrative into a game. That's not true.
Blackout sounds unique
Though we haven't seen any gameplay, the introduction video to Blackout, Black Ops 4's battle royale mode, makes it sound unlike any other experience available. Between the inclusion of military vehicles, the emphasis on fast-paced action, and all of the specialist abilities and equipment, this variant of the industry-leading genre looks to be very unique.
Many critics of this mode being in the game have said that Treyarch is wrong for jumping in on the battle royale trend, but I don't think you can blame it. Games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) are more popular than ever, and it's clear that battle royale is still something a crazy amount of players love. The fact Black Ops 4 has its own creative version is a good thing.
Do you think Black Ops 4 is being discarded by fans unfairly? Let us know.
Black Ops 4 should be released on October 12, 2018, on both Xbox One and PC. It's expected to cost $59.99. You can preorder the game now for access to the Multiplayer Beta.
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.