Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is looking to continue the franchise's renewed success when it hits store shelves later this year. After spending the past few years making more and more ridiculous installments, Activision and Sledgehammer Games took the franchise back to its roots with Call of Duty: WWII in 2017, thus giving the series its best-selling game since Black Ops 2 in 2012.
And now, after seeing that level of success, the publisher has tasked Treyarch with returning to the Black Ops story arc with Black Ops 4. This marks the first time that the publisher has produced a fourth numbered installment in a Call of Duty story arc, which sets a precedent for Modern Warfare 4 to also release at some point down the line. But for now, players can look forward to playing Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII this fall.
Black Ops 4 Release Date is Set For October 2018
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is slated to release worldwide on October 12, 2018 - across all video game platforms. This marks the first time since 2005 that a Call of Duty installment has released in October. Call of Duty games have traditionally come out in November ever since Call of Duty 3 released in 2006, which is what makes Activision's decision to move the game over to October particularly intriguing. What's more, October might become a crowded month this year with Red Dead Redemption 2 and potentially Battlefield 5 also releasing. Perhaps by coming out early that month, they are looking to get ahead of the game.
Black Ops 4 Set in Near Future & Has Redesigned Multiplayer
The Black Ops series is one of Activision's most-used story arcs. It began with the WWII-centered Call of Duty: World at War and then moved into the Cold War with the first Black Ops game. But then Black Ops II and Black Ops III both took place in the future; in 2025 and 2065, respectively. While Black Ops II's story also took place in the 1980s, Kotaku reported that Black Ops 4 is going to follow in the footsteps of the latter installment and take place entirely in the future - specifically, the near-future. That was later confirmed with the official reveal trailer, showing futuristic weaponry and combat equipment.
Furthermore, Black Ops 4's multiplayer has been overhauled. Health no longer replenishes automatically; players are, instead, forced to heal themselves while also continuing the fight. Combining that with a more "grounded experience" - meaning no wall-running or thrust-jumping - Black Ops 4 is meant to be more tactical than past installments. That also means the return of Specialists, each of which come equipped with their own special abilities.
Black Ops 4 Will Release On Battle.net For PC
Shortly after the game's announcement, the Call of Duty user login page was updated to include a link to Battle.net, which caused players to speculate that Black Ops 4 may be the first Call of Duty game to release on Blizzard's launcher. After all, Activision released Bungie's Destiny 2 on Battle.net in 2017, thus setting a precedent for non-Blizzard PC games to be distributed on that platform. Activision confirmed at the Black Ops 4 reveal event that the game will be the first Call of Duty title to release on Battle.net.
Furthermore, they said that "the game will include all the social features of the Battle.net platform, which includes staying connected to friends playing other games on Battle.net or staying connected to the Battle.net mobile app." Activision owns Blizzard, so it makes sense for them to want to follow in EA and Ubisoft's footsteps and use one launcher for all their titles.
Black Ops 4's Battle Royale Mode is Blackout
A market forecast from Oppenheimer indicated that Activision was "keenly aware" of the success of the Battle Royale mode that has been sweeping the shooter genre in recent years, with the success of games such as H1Z1, Fortnite, and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. That caused rumors to swirl about Call of Duty potentially implementing a Battle Royale mode in Black Ops 4, which was later confirmed at the game's official reveal event.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Battle Royale mode is titled Blackout. It's the first triple-A Battle Royale mode to release, and the studio is looking to take the genre to the next level. Blackout features playable fan-favorite characters from past games and will be set on a map inspired by classic maps but is also 1,500 times bigger than Nuketown. Furthermore, Black Ops-style weaponry and equipment will be available on the map, with players also being able to use land, sea, and air vehicles.
Black Ops 4 Zombies Mode Confirmed, With 3 Experiences
After an early leak, Activision confirmed a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies mode at the game's official reveal event - but it will be different than before. There are three Black Ops 4 Zombie experiences for players to go through: IX, Voyage of Despair, and Blood of the Dead, each of which are set in a different time period. Yes, the Black Ops series still plays with time. In IX, players take on zombies as gladiators in a coliseum set in ancient Rome. Then, in Voyage of Despiar, they take on the undead aboard the RMS Titanic, which seeks to alter history by saying it was a zombie outbreak that really sunk the ship. Finally, in Blood of the Dead, players get to play the Origins characters on Alcatraz.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Will Not Have A Story Campaign
For years, publisher Activision has emphasized the importance of including single-player story campaigns into every annual installment as a way to cater to a certain audience. It's here where the big celebrities provide voice work, where the blockbuster action featured in game trailers takes place, and where a bulk of the budget goes to. For 2018, this may change.
It's the multiplayer suite that provides the longevity and continuous revenue for the Call of Duty series via paid-for DLC map packs (they're one of the few publishers who still charge for these) and microtransactions (dirty loot boxes) and so this will continue to be the case for Black Ops IIII which is trading out its story campaign for what is the first big budget triple-A Battle Royale mode. Can Call of Duty really support a hundred players? Their multiplayer suite has traditionally kept small and close-quarters. And will the price of the game change if it doesn't feature a campaign?