Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is trying to fix its controversial "Emote Peeking" feature but is still failing to win over some of its biggest critics. Taking inspiration from games like Overwatch and Fortnite, Black Ops 4 is a reinvention of its predecessors and pushes the long-standing Call of Duty series into a new era.
As soon as Black Ops 4 launched, peeking became a nuisance in the game's Blackout battle royale mode . The addition of emotes and sprays already drew criticism for moving away from traditional Call of Duty gameplay, but the issue became more prominent when gamers noticed the ability to peek. Giving a third-person POV, peeking allowed players to check for opposition without breaking cover and exposing themselves to deadly fire.
At least Treyarch has acknowledged the problem of peeking and has promised to fix Gestures in a lengthy post on Reddit:
"We’re currently working on an update that creates two systems for Gestures – the default system that is in the game now, and a competitive version that disables free look and applies different camera settings to prevent using it to see around corners. The default system will be used in parts of the game where corner peeking won’t affect gameplay balance (like the staging area of Blackout), and the competitive version will be used in modes where a more restrictive camera system is needed. We want players to always have fun with Gestures as intended, but never at the expense of fair gameplay!"
It's unclear what the developers mean by "competitive version" considering multiplayer modes could work just as well without gestures. Not every mode has a staging area like Blackout, raising questions over how Gestures will fit into the likes of Domination, Heist, and Control when playing multiplayer.
While Blackout's full release included several features that weren't available in the beta version, Gestures are proving to be more divisive than most. The use of peeking has already led to "Sitting Bull" - an idea where players pull the camera out and pick off any stealthy enemies heading their way. Considering Black Ops 4 underwent a lengthy testing process, it's worrying that peeking didn't become apparent much earlier.
A restrictive camera view might help bring balance back to the system, but considering Gestures add nothing to the actual gameplay, some gamers will likely argue they should be done away with entirely in multiplayer. To Treyarch's credit, at least peeking is being addressed in the game's first update. Fans will have to wait and see how the update goes down and whether Gestures can be overhauled enough to leave the controversy behind.
Elsewhere, the game's maligned spawning is being reworked and Treyarch is staying committed to improving the game wherever it can. Even after the first update, Gestures could be tweaked more in updates further down the line. Whatever players think, consider peeking a small mistake that will hopefully be forgotten from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.