Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 Xbox One X Review
Available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC
Version tested: Xbox One X
Call Of Duty has taken a slightly different approach this year with no single player campaign but will it pay off?
This years Call Of Duty has completely left out a campaign mode, this may sound strange to some of the single player fans and could even be classed as a deal breaker for some but don’t write the game off just yet! Black Ops 4 features what feels like four different games all in one with the usual online multiplayer mode, the new Fortnight/Player Unknown Battlegrounds mode called Blackout, Zombies and one other mode I’ll talk about next. I feel that even single player fans might well want to give this game a go because the multiplayer modes included really have little bit of everything and I would be shocked if someone didn’t find something they liked and got on with.
If you are a single player fan there is a mode called Specialist Headquarters, this mode allows you to explore all the different specialists and learn all their different strengths and abilities. This felt like a bit of a strange mode to me, while it’s meant to be a training mode it does feel a bit like a campaign. It has it’s own cut-scenes with really nice visuals and voice acting but then when you get past them it’s basically a training program against bots! It left me a little confused because I felt that maybe at some point this mode was going to be some sort of campaign, for single player fans anyway it’s a good place to get started and maybe eventually you will find yourself online sooner than you know it!
Blackout was well worth the trade for leaving out a campaign!
The new game mode for Black Ops 4 is called Blackout. This mode is COD’s version of the highly popular Battle Royal mode which is so popular in games such as Fortnite and PUGB. Blackout is set on a huge open map, with up to 100 players that will have to fight to survive. This mode has three different options in the menu to either go it alone in an all on all battle with up to 88 players, duos which will partner up players in two’s or quads that will team players up in fours. This game mode works pretty much the same as both Fortnite and Player Unknown Battlegrounds, your character will start with nothing but the clothes on their back and after being dropped into the map you will need to act fast to loot buildings for weapons and ammo all while the map is constantly shrinking and pushing players all into a smaller and smaller area. Once the area is small enough the game really gets tense and it’s no longer just shooting someone as soon as you see them as it may give your position away, tactics and gun choice both play a massive part when things get close up and personal and this is where working as a team, if anyone is still alive on your team is essential!
Bandages can also be picked up and you can manually heal yourself.
Blackout is a really fun mode and before I had played it I was a little sceptical if I would like it, it is however the standout game mode for me on Black Ops 4 and that surprised me as I’m not really a massive fan of Fortnite. Blackout just feels more serious and it runs so smooth compared to something like PUBG, which on launch on Xbox One ran terrible! The map is really well designed and has loads of different buildings and units to explore as well as also having plenty of vehicles which can also be used throughout the game to get around the map faster and try to make it into the safe zone. The buildings and units all hold many items and weapons that can be equipped and looting the buildings as fast as you possibly can is the only way to survive because you won’t last long with just your fists for protection! As well as weapons there will be attachments for the weapons you pick up which will further enhance the weapon and it’s accuracy or power.
I found the quad matches the best out of the three different modes available, unless you have three friends with the game you will teaming up with three random people. As expected sometimes it doesn’t work out great if you get a couple of Rambo’s on your team, soon enough it’s basically you vs other quad teams which most of the time won’t end well. If you however manage to get in a decent team or even with your own clan this mode really comes alive and it will take constant teamwork to survive. All landing together on the map and working in pairs seemed to work best and within my first match my team come second and this was with random people.
Zombies is back and better than ever!
Zombies on Black Ops 4 is really strong and in terms of my favourite mode it comes in a close second just behind Blackout. I never got into some of the previous zombie games in the older Call Of Duty games but this one is different and feels so much better with loads of different stories and modes to keep players busy. The days of killing wave after wave while smacking wood up to keep zombies out is long gone! You and your group will have to work together to stay alive all while trying to find the objectives and doing things like turning on the power to open more doors and unlock more of the levels secrets.
Don’t worry if you are new to the zombie mode though, thankfully there is a pretty in depth tutorial mode which both new & old can use to refresh their memory and learn what’s new.
Black Ops 4 Zombies features two different stories, Aether and Chaos are the two different timelines and both have their own characters and stories for players to work through. The Aether storyline is set on zombie maps from previous Black Ops games also using the four characters from Call Of Duty World At War. The Chaos storyline however uses four brand new characters that as you play will talk to each other and start to reveal their own background story to let players get to know them better. Throughout each level there will be objectives that need to be completed which will then tell more of the story.
A new feature for this year as well is the ability to tackle the zombie levels with AI controlled team mates, something that I think many zombie fans wanted! The AI isn’t perfect however, the bots will all stay close to you throughout the game but on a few occasions they do tend to get stuck, also sometimes if you do need a revive they will just run straight past and leave you for dead which can be frustrating! It is one of them things where the game is better with them than without, in all honesty and they do make it just that little bit easier to survive.
New players to the Zombies mode might want to try setting up a custom game to get the hang of things first, custom games allow players to set up the game however they wish. The only downside and understandable thing about using a custom game is that it won’t count towards weapon and player progression but with the amount of things that can be adjusted this is no surprise! The amount of customisation is really impressive, things like starting weapons can be chosen or even having the power on from the off to open doors straight away! The other options are for things like the spread of zombies, speed of zombies and the amount of damage they can do! This really is a great feature and can take some of the intensity out of the game for players who are just getting started and want to explore and learn rather than just try survive!
One of the new modes available now in Zombies is a mode called Rush. The Rush mode allows players to grab weapons and ammo for free and you will need to just try and survive following the rush markers that are dropped put out then defend the specific area. Chaining kills together will build the multiplier, while getting damage will decrease the multiplier so you will still need to dodge and shoot accurately to progress.
Zombie’s mode also features things called Elixirs which give your character a temporary perk, very similar to what could be brought from the machines in the previous zombies but this time you can have your four chosen Elixirs equipped to your loadout. The menus and layout for all these new things such as the Elixirs and special weapons can all be a little daunting at first but after a while you will get the hang of it, it’s just a shame it wasn’t a little more simple in the way things are laid out.
Within the different modes and stories there are three different maps on launch and one more if you brought the season pass so there is plenty of variety. Wave after wave of enemies with occasional bosses thrown in will permanently keep players on their toes until death eventually arrives! There is also new super weapons that get more powerful the more they are used and they can really turn the battle back in your favour if the use is timed correctly. The story mode really is so much more than just running round killing endless waves and I honestly see myself coming back to the zombies mode plenty in the future!
The last modes on offer are all the usual that you would expect from a Call Of Duty game, both core and hardcore modes can be chosen and within this there are multiple game modes to play. Usual modes such as deathmatch and team deathmatch are there to be played as well as new modes called Heist and Control. Heist is basically a mode where you and your team will try to steal a bag of cash before the other team manages to steal it first, if your team does manage to get it then you will have to reach the extraction point to win. The other way winning is possible would be to wipe out the whole other team and as there isn’t any respawning this could well be a good option sometimes. Heist also features good balance with everyone starting with just enough money for a pistol, before each round begins you will then be able to buy better weapons and perks out of the money earned throughout each round.
The Control game mode is much like a Domination mode, with A and B points on the map you and your team will aim to try and take control of them. Again like the Heist mode there is another way to win aside from just holding the capture points and that’s by taking down the enemy team, at first respawns happen but you have a limited number per team so towards the end things are far more tense especially if you know dying one more time you will no longer respawn.
I’ve included a picture below of all the other modes available in multiplayer:
As seen above there is plenty of different modes to keeps things feeling fresh, all favourites from previous games and the two new modes will keep many busy for a long time and this is without mentioning all the usual unlocks like creating classes and scorestreak rewards!
Another feature I personally really liked was the Split-screen option, It’s great for friends who like to play the old fashioned way! Black Ops 4 allows you and a friend to share the same TV and play through any of it’s modes including Zombies and Blackout. This will be a popular feature and many players always say it’s something that is missed in games nowadays.
Visually Black Ops 4 looks great with realistic visuals making just the Blackout mode alone look like a grown up version of Fortnite, the amount of detail through the new and old remastered levels is great and there is plenty of places to explore and shoot from! The gunplay has the same snappy and punchy feel we have come to expect from the Call Of Duty series and the sound effects from the weapons really pack a punch that can nearly be felt!
Black Ops 4 can only be seen as a success! The company took a massive risk leaving out a campaign but the swap for it’s blackout mode feels more than worth it. Blackout, Zombies and all the other multiplayer modes offer a serious amount of content that I am confident in saying someone will find something they like! The gunplay is still as snappy and accurate as we have come to expect from the Call Of Duty series and the sound effects are also really punchy and impressive throughout with great voice acting as well. Black Ops 4 has definitely brought the series back to life and for the first time in a long time I am hooked on a COD game again!
8.7 / 10
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This game code was sent to us free of charge for our honest review and has in no way influenced our rating of the game.
Call Of Duty Black Ops 4
- Great visuals and performance
- Snappy and accurate gunplay
- Blackout is a real success on it's debut in Call Of Duty
- Huge amount of different modes and content
- Some menus and the way the game is laid out could be simpler
- No single player campaign may bother some story driver fans