The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reveal kicked off with a reveal of the game’s multiplayer gameplay, shedding some light on the general philosophy developer Treyarch is bringing to the competitive modes.
First and foremost, Black Ops 4 will see the return of the Specialist system used in Black Ops III, which mixed up the create-a-class system by adding defined characters with their own personalities and special abilities. A handful of Specialists from Black Ops III will return, including, Ruin, who sports a grapple gun, and Firebreak, who uses a reactor core to shut down areas of the map. The direct connection is a bit surprising, but even more surprising is the fact that the multiplayer will be set between Black Ops II and Black Ops III.
Of course, we’re also getting new characters, like Crash, whose abilities focus around healing, and Recon, who can fire a sensor dart that helps locate enemies. If those abilities sound like a strange fit for Call of Duty multiplayer, that’s because both health regeneration and situational awareness are getting a serious overhaul. Healing is no longer automatic, instead requiring the press of a button, and the minimap is now constrained by a fog of war system that limits visibility to a radius around your teammates.
Onstage at the reveal, Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar also confirmed that Black Ops 4‘s multiplayer will stay true to the “boots on the ground” mentality of older Call of Duty titles. That means there won’t be any of the advanced movement techniques of Black Ops III: No thrust jumps and no wall-running, though it appears that some of the individual Specialists will have designated abilities that improve mobility, with Ruin’s grapple being an obvious example. Black Ops 4 will also retain its predecessor’s “guns up” philosophy, meaning you’ll be able to fire even when mantling over obstacles, swimming, or using those movement abilities.
In addition, the tech underlying the weapons is getting a significant overhaul, with 3D tracer rounds that allow players to better track incoming gunfire and a predictive recoil system that Treyarch says allows for greater mastery of individual weapons.
Intriguingly, Treyarch also teased a stronger integration of story content and mission-based gameplay into multiplayer. Though details on this last point were scarce, it sounds intriguing, and also like an obvious way to make up for the absence of a true, traditional single-player campaign.
You can take a look at the cinematic that debuted at the event below, if you want to try to parse out potential clues.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 releases October 12th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.