Rumors about upcoming video games are often more impactful than fans might realize. For better or worse, rumors are the catalysts of expectation. When it comes to gargantuan franchises like Call of Duty and the many Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 rumors, this can mean developers and reporters sifting through hundreds different pieces of information in an effort to keep fans well-informed on what will actually be occurring once the title releases.
Even with all of this information being vetted, though, there's often a lot of misses. That's what makes Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 so incredible from a player perspective: almost everything that was rumored about the upcoming game was accurate, according to our time spent previewing the game.
Fans were taken aback by rumblings that the franchise might do away with the traditional single-player campaign. It felt like the wrong direction, given the renaissance of single-player gaming in recent months. Shockingly, Treyarch confirmed that the traditional campaign would be going away after all, to be replaced by smaller solo missions that explain the backstories of the specialists players will be able to choose in multiplayer modes in-game. The rumor of a Battle Royale mode competing with titles like Fortnite and PUBG? True - it's called Blackout in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and it's being deliberately developed to fall in line with the experiences fans would generally expect of Battle Royale gameplay.
That's not the only genre or game that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is using as an inspiration, either. Over the past few months of development a rumor suggesting that Treyarch's latest iteration of the series would look toward Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch as muses really began to pick up steam. Now, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has been confirmed to have a 5v5 multiplayer set-up where players will choose different specialists, each with unique abilities and play-styles. There will also be more objective-based gameplay modes, including one called Control. If those elements sound familiar, it's because they are, and there are obvious connections to both Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch.
One rumor that had fans excited was the suggestion that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 would lean more heavily into the zombie genre. Zombies has been a staple of the franchise for a long time but has traditionally lacked the support given to other game modes within Call of Duty. Now, with a confirmed 3 different Zombies experiences at launch, as well as a deeper, more detailed narrative that connects the game mode with the rest of Black Ops 4, Screen Rant can safely confirm that the rumor about more Zombies content is true as well.
What does all of this mean in a greater context? Well, for one thing, that all the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 rumors that haven't been confirmed yet should be taken a little more seriously given the accuracy of the others. For instance, rumors of Black Ops 4 not being able to hit the 100 player mark in its Battle Royale mode have been persistent recently, and in an interview with Screen Rant, Treyarch senior producer Yale Miller seemed to dance around the topic without refuting it:
"Right now the exact number, we're not giving the exact number. Really, because it comes down to the map. The map [David] Vonderhaar already touched on, is about 1500 Nuketowns and when you step into it you'll understand. It's about finding the right number of players for that map, so there's that classic Black Ops feel that we want to bring to it. Like, how fast we do we want to get into engagements, the engagement distances, how do guns feel when you’re running around in there. And then adjusting the player count down.
"Even if you look at what we did for MP right now – obviously we have different modes in MP where we’ve gone to higher player counts, we can do that, but do we? No. We actually dropped it down to 5v5… we feel like that’s the best. It makes the specialists really matter. It makes your team [composition] matter more and more because it’s not just a ton of people in there. It’s gonna be the same thing with Blackout so we’ll continue to refine. Hands down, it will be more players than anything you have ever seen in a Call of Duty map, I guarantee it, also with vehicles – land and see and air – and just finding what’s the right number. We’re doing playtests with tons and tons of players, smaller numbers, different size squads, different things like that. These are all things we’re continuing to noodle on with user testing and also internal playtesting."
The most players ever seen in a Call of Duty map doesn't necessarily have to be anywhere near 100, though, so it does feel as though one more Black Ops 4 rumor might end up being true after all. Even if the rest of them end up false, however, this is an exceptionally rare case in the video game industry, and it will be interesting to see whether or not the veracity of the rumors surrounding Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has any impact on the anticipation of the series' fans.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 releases on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 12.