By: Matthew Rondina
The moment Call of Duty fans have been waiting for is here, the Black Ops 4 beta has arrived! It includes 4 gameplay modes, 10 playable specialists and 6 maps featuring new weapons and equipment.
WGN takes a deep dive into all the beta has to offer from gameplay mechanics to new team tactics, helping you prepare for battle. Let’s hit the WGN Blacks Ops 4 boot camp and get prepared for new challenges the battlefield has in store!
The beta came packed with a surprising amount of content, which gave a very clear perspective on how the traditional multiplayer modes will play – action packed, with a greater focus on team based play.
The game modes included: Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, Search & Destroy and Control.
The newest mode, Heist, was the most intriguing addition during the second weekend of the beta, adding Counter-Strike mechanics into the Black Ops gameplay mix.
The objective of Heist is straight forward – a bag of cash is dropped on the map, and two teams need to battle for it and extract it via helicopter. The extracted cash is used between rounds to upgrade weapons and make your team stronger – lose too many rounds and your team is simply outgunned. The game mode is a race to 4 victories but it can go the distance to 7 full, very tense rounds.
Specialists & Team-based Tactics
All ten specialists were available during the beta: Ajax, Battery, Crash, Nomad, Prophet, Firebreak, Ruin, Seraph, Recon, and Torque.
The team based style follows suit with games like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege. This is seen with many of the new specialists that have been introduced in Black Ops 4, allowing you greater freedom in your play style.
Will you control parts of the map with Firebreak’s flames? Or opt to go a more tactical route with Recon’s Vision Pulse to reveal enemy positions? The choice is yours, but you are part of a squad who will be far more powerful working together.
I found myself jumping between Firebreak and Battery the most, they were definitely my top two. Firebreak was able to control a lot of the map with his flame thrower and Battery laid down great fire support with her high explosive grenade launcher, War Machine.
After my time with the beta, it’s clear that Black Ops 4 is moving toward a more team based, tactical approach, something that is completely new to the series.
To this end, stay with your teammates and try not to get outnumbered, it’s far more difficult to win a 1 v 2 than any other COD to date.
I personally enjoyed running with a team, but this might be a big adjustment for Call of Duty purists – it’s no longer just about quick reflexes, you need to strategize and work with your team to win.
Boots on the Ground
Treyarch has heard fans’ calls for a more grounded experience, meaning the days of boosting, gliding and wall running are over, with Black Ops 4. The arcade-like speed from previous games has been toned down, shifting to a slower paced team-centric effort.
This is especially present in the beta’s time to kill, or TTK, which has been increased, paving the way for more precision shots and less spray and pray.
Revamped Health System – Heal or Reload?
The beta introduced a new self healing mechanic, you now need to manually inject yourself with a syringe in order to regain HP.
Gone are the days of auto regenerating health, you now need to carefully time where and when you heal. The manual health takes some getting used to but it does allow you to heal faster than previous versions of COD.
This also adds a new layer of strategy – you could decide to play it safe and heal or chase the enemy down and ensure the kill is locked in. What’s interesting is the added choice, which wasn’t as pronounced in other versions of Call of Duty.
Keep That Beta File!
Treyarch has revealed it will be updating the existing beta file for use with September’s preview of the battle royale style mode, Blackout.
It’s all out warfare with land, air, and sea vehicles along with added verticality introducing massive tower structures to the battlefield.
This mode also features the biggest multiplayer map in Call of Duty’s history, check out the trailer below for Black Ops answer to battle royale:
The full version of Black Ops 4 will launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 12. Let us know in the comments below what part of Black Ops 4 you are most excited about, game on!
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!