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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 World's First Hands-On: Tight Core, Tons of Questions

Enlarge / Treyarchs David Vonderhaar (left) and Dan Bunting speak on the CoDBLOPS4 Unveiling Event

Sam Machkovech

LOS ANGELES- "Treyarch has never shied away from breaking the convention. "With these words, studio chairman Mark Lamia began publishing a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 full of nothing but videos and boasting, but the studio did not have a ton to show for his ambitious words.

The speech did not reveal any revolutionary or paradigmatic content, such as real-gameplay, evidence of advances in the series' "zombies" mode, or footage of how the upcoming Battle Royale spins "turn" [the genre] on the Upside down. "(The event, even if you missed it, first confirmed a Call of Duty: no single-player campaign.)

Right now, the optimism we can muster Black Ops 4 comes from an hour ̵

1; Long Team Combat Session Following The Presser The short conclusion to our world premiere is that Activision has received some Overwatch in its CoD and the results are more fluent (and, frankly, more conventional) in action than you Maybe Think. [19659006] Heroes Never Die

I played with three team combat modes on PlayStation 4, which will be delivered in the final version: Domination, Control and Hardpoint, and each five-on-five match took place on a different, new one Card and allowed players to train the new features of the series.

All three modes revolved around the point-capture mechanics, domination (capture and retention of three points) returns n previous entries in the series, while Hardpoint mixes that idea with a single capture point that keeps moving around the map. With control, Treyarch and Activision borrow free from Overwatch 's mode with the same name. In the version of BLOPS4 teams alternate between two predefined points on the map, although teams may also lose one round if they run out of limited respawns. The first to third round wins a control match.

However, before I could enter a fight, I had to select a "class" as shown on the map above. (These abilities may change before the last game starts.) Although this choice determines what your soldier looks like in action, he otherwise only fills in two of your Soldier's equipment: a grenade button ability (representing a decent amount) It takes time) (depending on its performance) and an "ultimate" power charge (which takes so long to recharge that you probably only use it twice per standard match).

Yes, that seems Overwatch -y how the hell, but it's really not that hard a change. Basically, the new setup adds two additional options to your standard gear: perks, bonuses, weapon attachments, and kill-streaks options. Like in older CoD games, the non-class parts of your loadout fill out 10 "card" slots on your "Custom Soldier" side, so you can fill a single weapon with tons of perks or a less modified weapon in the Leave order can equip more items such as armor or radar. To be honest, the class-specific ultimate skills are finding the right balance between feeling charged tight and still somehow militarily appropriate.

A class can strike a high-tech shield to face a control target; another can pull out a limited-time grenade launcher with five cluster explosion rounds; and yet another can send a healing wave to allies nearby. Think of these abilities as kill-streak calibers, allowing even your worst teammates (who can not collect enough UAV-enabled points) to access the heat of battle. They are rare, they spice up blow-by-guns, and they do not interrupt the tight, close-corridor fight that CoD has been refining for so many years.

These class-specific "grenade" abilities vary widely, and they open up combat opportunities that resemble some of the most creative twists Lawbreakers . A class gets a grappling ability that grabs distant walls and speeds you all the way down into a huge gang (which I thought was great when I attacked the back half of a checkpoint). Another lays down a barbed wire trap that initially feels inefficient, but ultimately proved useful in both attacking and defending modes after I found a particular card. Of course you can also take part in more traditional grenade and explosives courses, but take a break from Treyarch to split your classes between traditional and strategic flavors.

And a new stimpack – is that enough?

Perhaps a major mechanical change comes from a new, dedicated button assigned to L1 / LB on console gamepads: a stimpack. The runaway-and-heal archetype that Halo introduced many years ago is now toast. In its place is the ability to restore your health whenever you want, with two exceptions. First, you need to go through a stimpack injection animation, which means you can not shoot or reload a weapon while you recover (and you can also be shot before you insert the needle). Second, after using the Stimpack, you must wait until your next dose is regenerated before you can heal again.

I loved the punch-by-punch decisions that the Stimpack system made in precarious Map Choke points. It's a pretty loud example of how the Black Ops fork can shine by weaving a mix of familiar, accurate and unrealistic elements into each subsequent entry. (I also liked a slight increase in health per respawn, but with only four matches it's difficult to make a call about this type of in-game math.)

This praise comes with a great catch success: we have played this call of duty more or less. Five-on-five battle. Flat, cramped maps with a meandering, serpentine selection of run-and-turn options. An instant selection of solid, mathematically balanced weapons that enable virtual soldiers to find their preferred balance of precise, fast-firing and ammo-spitting firepower. Hero classes, health system enhancements, and even a new fun "Shooting A Gun While Swimming" are a welcome frosting coat on BLOPS4 's cupcakes.

But if you forgive If I continue this metaphor, I went hand in hand with conventional gameplay cupcakes – the types found in a grocery store. I did not really doubt that BLOPS4 could again win a five-on-five fight. But it is strange that this great revelation event contained Zero gameplay from the Zombies or Kampfroyale modes of this sequel. Since BLOPS4 has decided to poke every written single-player content (and as the Treyarch reps now describe zombies as the "narrative" of the sequel), the depth and variety of the other modes must be taken lightly to convince the fans not to spend less than $ 60 (or more, depending on which season pass or micro transaction plans are finally announced).

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