The multiplayer maps and design tenants behind them are drastically different and always have been for Call of Duty and Battlefield V, as each aim to offer different shooter experiences. One's an arcade-esque shooter, the other a large-scale sandbox.
For Black Ops 4, gameplay has shifted back to boots-on-the-ground combat meaning now wallrunning or thrust-jumping. This means the map's verticality and wall designs are very different. Maps in this game are small and intimate but are built with objective based modes in mind (like the game's new 'Control' mode and returning favorites 'Hardpoint' and 'Domination').
In Battlefield V, while we can't reveal map names yet, we can share what locations the game will be in exploring in its efforts to show a different side of World War II that movies and games and other media haven placed much emphasis on, including Norway, Rotterdam, North Africa, and France.
Fight in frozen mountain peaks above the Arctic Circle or face the hostile heat of desert landscapes. You'll engage in fields and swamps, among bridges and canals, and in the rubble of devastated cities. Wherever you choose to battle, do so in locations that were pivotal, though sometimes forgotten, in the early days of the war.
Given the nature of Conquest mode and the 64-player cap and vehicles, Battlefield V's maps are way bigger and include destructible and fortifiable positions, along with vehicles which can help move tower defenses.
Black Ops 4 is putting more focus on weapon mods and functionality in an attempt to make their guns more detailed and realistic than before in the Call of Duty's near-future set games. Each weapon has its own set of mods as well. Perks (pick 10 system) and point streaks remain the same. The key change on COD multiplayer is the 5 vs 5 specialist multiplayer, meaning each player has a defined role and this adds a layer of tactics not seen in previous games, especially with the focus on objective-based modes. Again, like Call of Duty: WWII, Black Ops 4 is boots-on-the-ground so gone are the Black Ops 3 double jumps, thrust-jumping, and wallrunning. You can still slide though!
There's not much newness here on the Call of Duty front when it comes to regular multiplayer, more of a refinement on the formula with tweaks, most notably on the health front. Health no longer regenerates in Black Ops 4 and instead players must opt to heal themselves when they have a moment of downtime. Similarly, the revive system has been completely re-envisioned in Battlefield V. There's a deliberate action and animation on BFV around reviving a downed teammate and any player in a squad can do this, but only a medic can help restore health to full. Players cannot self-heal to max and while down, players remain in first person and can look 360 degrees around to see if there are medics nearby. When respawning, players can now observe squadmates in third person and choose to spawn on them.
In terms of innovation in design and gameplay, the big nod here goes to Battlefield V which has all sorts of weather and light effects into its maps and the best looking explosions and destruction we've ever seen in a shooter (look out for the debris!). They're really impressing as well in how they're handling terrain and animation in Battlefield V, meaning soldiers move differently depending on the environment. If the land isn't flat, soldiers stumble as they run (visible only in third-person, to other players) or if there's mud they'll slip. In tall grass, the grass itself - like other bits of the environment - move as the player model touches it. The level of detail here is unprecedented. Even when it comes to helping downed players (there's no down but not out (DBNO)) state in Black Ops 4 multiplayer) in Battlefield V, any player can revive an ally, engaging in a complete animation - meaning in first-person you see that player's face (and their customized cosmetics like face paint) as they help you. But, players can also drag a downed ally into cover and heal them there instead. This animation can be broken at any time so players are not stuck and can be initiated from any angle. The goal is to make every moment matter more and every action more deliberate.
Another major change coming to Battlefield V is the toolkits, something every player has to build fortifications. This can also be used to build resupply kits for when players spawn in since they'll be low on ammo from their pre-death battles. The idea is that players are expending resources during combat and don't spawn in with everything restocked, so they need to resupply, adding a new gameplay loop and now have a decision of whether they have time to restock or if they're needed immediately at a nearby engagement by an objective. Of course, players can drop ammo from downed enemies.
The toolkits let players build military fortifications including fox holes with machine guns, sand bags, barb wire, tank stoppers, trenches, etc. This system also lets players reinforce structures that have been destroyed, bringing cover back into the game. Players can even board up windows to remove entry points away from potential attackers. It's a game-changing system that meshes well with the destructibility.
Battlefield V also adds the ability to use vehicles to tow stationary emplacements. Imagine a Tiger tank hooks up to an anti-air gun and drag it to another spot, and while moving, another player can operate the AA weapon essentially making you a mobile weapon fortress. And with the toolkit, you can setup the weapon emplacement elsewhere, build a resupply station and some fortifications and you have yourself a mobile outpost.
Bipods are easy to deploy in Battlefield V and now LMGs are made specifically to shoot through walls, and players can shoot at anytime the weapon is in front of them, even while crawling, falling on your back, or jumping (though if you do the latter, your aim will be all over the place).
Squad leaders in Battlefield V (squad size not yet revealed) have a new ability and by acquiring points by playing as a squad can use a radio to call in a variety of reinforcements including powerful squad-specific vehicles. Here are the call-ins available at launch:
- V1 / JB2 Rocket
- Supply Drop
- Smoke Screen Barrage
- Heavy Weapon Battle
- Churchill Crocodile (British)
- Sturmtiger (German)
Visuals and Sound
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is promising to come with the best PC support in the franchise, and it was a notable part of the game's reveal presentation where it was confirmed that developer Beenox is working on its PC version (and that it's releasing exclusively on Blizzard's Battle.net service). Black Ops 4 can scale to any modern gaming system and support all sorts of monitor dimensions with high frame rates. With the addition of a Battle Royale mode, it's more important than ever that Call of Duty makes a real shift from being console-focused to being top tier on PC as well.
Battlefield has always been a best-on-PC game however, and needless to say, if you saw the in-game destruction and lighting and animations, BFV is already in the running to be the best looking game of the year. PC specs haven't been decided yet but make no mistake, DICE is trying to push boundaries with this one and it shows.
DICE already has the best sound team in the business and an example of how they take this seriously is how they record sound, setting up mics at different distances