Call of Duty Black Ops 4 was released earlier this month but does it live up to the hype?
All the talk ahead of release was around the fact Treyarch was making the controversial decision to ditch single player campaign mode.
But I soon found that despite being a fan of that mode I am not missing it one bit due to the plethora of content and modes available.
In fact it makes reviewing BO4 difficult as each mode could be reviewed in its own right with Multiplayer, Zombies and the all-new Blackout battle royale (Fortnite competitor) mode each bringing something very different to the party.
Instead of a single-player campaign BO4 has what I found to be an invaluable training tool, the Specialist HQ. Here you take part in character-focused tutorial missions which help familiarise you with the 10 multiplayer Specialists by taking you through their unique abilities culminating in a practice multiplayer match.
To compensate for the lack of a single player mode these also come with stories featuring beautiful and ultra gruesome cutscenes.
This takes around four hours but my advice would be make this your first stop before embarking on any of the other modes, you will thank me later and you will be a better BO4 player because of it.
In terms of overall gameplay BO4 will win over a lot of traditional Call of Duty fans who avoid the series due to its over the top FPS style. That’s because the wall-running, thrust-jumping hyper-speed madness of BO3 has been expertly replaced by a more familiar COD movement and physics and healing made manual on a cooldown timer.
It makes for a slower, more tactical game but is more satisfying and rewards smart rather than fast play. And the changes don’t make things boring because the time-to-kill is still low and respawning quick as ever so multiplayer matches never feel stale.
The wider variety of modes, new more strategic gameplay and usual polish associated with the franchise make a great platform for the developer to build off for future games.
For me the crowning achievement, though, is Blackout.
In a world seemingly now dominated by Fortnite there is a great sense of excitement and to a degree expectation around battle royale.
Some may feel Treyarch has somewhat sold out to keep up with the competition. But Blackout perfectly grabs onto the coattails of the battle royale genre and adds some winning Call of Duty twists with the franchise’s brilliant map design the jewel in the crown.