Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is one of the biggest games to come out this year, and it is very good one at that. It’s an incredibly polished game, with great controls, and quite a hefty amount of content. Yet the question remains: without the single player mode, is worth the price? Let’s have a look.
There is no doubt that there is a stigma against full priced multiplayer games. Many players believe that every game should include a single player mode, even if it’s multiplayer focused, and if it doesn’t then it should not cost anything above $30. I disagree! Focusing on just multiplayer modes can have a great impact on the quality of said modes. If the multiplayer is the only thing you offer, it had better be good. This was the case with Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege and it’s certainly the case with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 offers three modes at this point in time. The classic PvP mutiplayer mode that made Call of Duty into the huge series it is today. The PvE Zombie Mode, which makes a comeback this time with three awesome maps from the get go. Finally, the brand new PvP Battle Royale mode called ‘Blackout.’
All three modes have a different tone and feel to them. Zombie Mode is definitely the most casual mode, that is great for just switching your brain off. If you are not aware, this mode consists of you teaming up with three other players (or bots) then shooting heads off of a zombie’s shoulders, which come in waves. At the moment we have three maps. IX which is a map themed around an ancient Greco-Roman style Colosseum. There is also Voyage of Despair and Blood of the Dead, the former of which takes place on Titanic and is one I found particularly interesting. The third map I enjoyed the least, but it’s by no means bad. It takes place in Alcatraz Penitentiary, just (shocker) swarmed with zombies. Each map is quite big, with multiple branching paths, and bosses which are unique to their map. The level design is amazing in this mode and the level of detail is unmatched. It really showcase that the good people at Treyarch known their business.
Next is the Multiplayer Mode, which is probably the second best mode in the game. It is your classic Call of Duty experience, yet it’s the best we’ve seen in years. The gameplay is fast and buttery smooth. There is no wall running or double jumps, which means that the sole focus of each match is the gunplay. Maps are also very well designed for this mode. Without aforementioned wall running and double jumping, maps stay mostly one leveled, without too much verticality, which often remind me of the good old shooters like CS:GO. In multiplayer you have multitude of different match varieties, such as my favorite Control. In this mode you and your teammates have to either defend or take control of a point on the map, similar to Overwatch. Speaking of Overwatch, it seems that it was somewhat of an inspiration for the good people at Treyarch. Yes, this year your character is not some random soldier, yet a “hero” of some sorts. I’m using the term Hero very loosely, as which character you play has ultimately very little impact over your game. Each hero however has their own unique design and special ability of sort. Some have a radar which you can set anywhere on the map, so you and your teammates can spawn closer to the enemy point, or a deployable dog who will attack the enemy. Your class does not dictate what kind of weapon you can use though, which is good to see. Overall this is a great mode, yet personally I treat it more like a practice mode for the real meat of the the game.
Blackout, let’s be frank about this, is the best mode in the game. It is a Battle Royale mode, which many people seem to be sick of already due to all of the quick, cheap cash-ins that so many companies produce due to popularity of PUBG and Fortnite. Blackout is not a cheap cash-in though. It is the most polished BR game to date and the refined controls of Call of Duty make it so intuitive and fun to play that PUBG seems like a last gen game in comparison. For those not aware of BR genre, let me explain how the game usually plays out. You and 87 other players (as of writing) are dropped down to a huge map, where you will need to find weapons and gear that will help you defeat other players, and become the last man standing. There is nothing more to it, no building mechanics, no wacky weapons, or anything too unusual. To make sure that you don’t just hide in a corner of the map for hours on end, the playable area slowly decreases, which adds a lot of tension to the whole experience, and prevents you from being idle. Since it’s CoD, the combat is very fast, which means when enemies spots your character you have seconds to react or you’re dead. It never feels cheap or unfair though, unlike PUBG or H1Z1. It’s matter of skill, not a matter of you not being on your game at the moment, but it’s still the hardest mode in the game.
I love all three modes. Blackout is certainly my favorite, yet all of the modes combined in one package is what’s truly great about this game. Since each mode plays out a bit differently, and requires a different level of focus and skills, it is easy to loose track of time while playing this game. I have been playing it non-stop for the last few days. Multiplayer is like a practice mode for me so that I can actually survive in Blackout for longer than 10 minutes. It really helps, and it should be a feature in more BR games. Also, it’s a great PvP experience for short bursts, whilst Blackout requires you to dedicate much more time and focus. Zombie Mode is the mode that I relax to. I play it after a long Blackout session, or at the end of the day when I’m too tired to be able to get any kills in multiplayer.
It is truly great package and what’s best it does not contain any microtransactions or lootboxes…yet. When purchasing a digital deluxe version of the game, it does mention Call of Duty Points though. They are not available in the game yet, though I’m sure it’s not a mistype, but more of a prophecy of what shall come in the future. There is also a word about a potential payed battle pass, similar to that of Fortnite and now also PUBG and Rocket League. Yet, It has not been confirmed.
So is this game worth a full price? Yeah I would say it is worth $60/£50, as the three modes provide more than enough content to keep you playing for hours on end, and are infinitely replayable, unlike the story campaigns in previous games. One thing has to be said though is that the game is really more expensive than $60/£50 due to its season pass. I personally got the £90/$100 Deluxe Edition which includes the season pass, being that it is the only way to get any DLC for the game. Additional, 12 multiplayer maps, four new zombie maps, and four new Blackout characters will be exclusive to the season pass. More than ever it feels like the season pass is a necessity, not a paid bonus. Again, the game is perfectly playable without it, and all three modes will still be great, but there is no reason for few maps being locked behind a paywall of $50/£40. Especially when looking at the fact, that Activision is perfectly capable of providing free maps for Overwatch.
In conclusion, if you do not care too much about additional maps or characters then, yeah, the game is worth the price. Yet, if you do then you should wait a month or two until the game drops in price, or get second hand copy and purchase season pass separately.