Call of Duty Black Ops IIII is finally here. Ever since Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision and the CoD franchise as a whole have been heavily criticized by gamers. I get it guys, trust me. I used to love this franchise. My childhood largely consisted of me playing Modern Warfare until 3 AM every night.
This series has definitely seen better days.
We all know what went down with Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII. Long story short, CoD is still where they were in 2013 (when Ghosts released). Same mechanics, same play style, same campaigns that are ripped straight from Michael Bay’s dreams. All of that changed May 17th.
That was when Treyarch officially unveiled Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. Here is the gist of the reveal if haven’t seen it yet. There is no single-player campaign. The multiplayer is somewhat retooled to a mixture of Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege with Call of Duty mechanics. There is not one, not two, but three zombie maps available at launch. Finally, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is adding their own version of battle royale.
I’ve seen many critics and fans lash out at Treyarch for this reveal. Some believe that the exclusion of a campaign in favor of a battle royale mode is a lazy move by the developers. Some think that three zombies maps are excessive since the mode “hasn’t been great since the first Black Ops”. Another complaint I’ve seen is the “lack of innovation” from Black Ops IIII’s multiplayer. Here’s a tweet from immensely popular YouTuber Joe Vargas AKA Angry Joe where he voices his displeasure of the reveal.
LET ME DO LESS WORK AND CHARGE YOU THE SAME and SUPPLEMENT IT WITH a BIG ASS OPEN EMPTY BATTLE ROYALE MAP oh and we will throw in vehicles. Fans: OMGGGGGG OMGGGGG!!! YESSSS! LETS GOOO! Me: Uhh… Why not both?
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) May 17, 2018
I enjoy your content Joe but I have to disagree with that. Most, if not all, of this backlash, is undeserved in my opinion. If you agree with any of the complaints above that’s fine. Everyone has an opinion and in the end, I might be wrong. What I’m asking you to do here is to just hear me out.
Let’s start with the complaint of no campaign. According to a report by TrueAcheivements, not many people finish the Call of Duty single-player. Call of Duty 3 is at the top of the list with a 36% completion rate. Treyarch’s last installment of the series, Black Ops III, is at the bottom of the list sitting at a 4% completion rate.
It is important to note that this study is done with only Microsoft platforms so Steam and PSN trophies are not included in the results.
Even if the other two platforms weren’t included in the study, Treyarch saw that this mode wasn’t working when developing Black Ops IIII. I’m not a “hater” of the mode either. Personally, I enjoy these action-packed narratives but you can’t argue that single-player campaigns are dying out.
“Tacked on” Battle Royale Mode is a Lazy Replacement for Campaign
Next, there is the claim that the battle royale mode is a money-grab that took the place of the single-player story. You know what, I’ll give you that. There is no denying that battle royale is the most popular genre in gaming today. Treyarch wants in on that market. Yes, I know that it’ll probably be filled with microtransactions.
Here’s the thing though. We have no idea what the mode will look like other than the fact that it will include air and land vehicles.
From what little information we’ve received, I have to say that I actually expected much worse. Blackout, the name of the battle royale, looks to be unique compared to its competition (Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds). E3 is right around the corner and I’m sure that Black Ops IIII will show off more of Blackout at the expo.
Black Ops IIII Multiplayer Lacks “Innovation” and Copies Rainbow Six: Siege and Overwatch
Is the multiplayer similar to Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege? Definitely. There is no doubt that Treyarch took a long look at the success of both of those titles and decided to replicate it in their own way.
Overwatch was developed by Blizzard entertainment. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is coming to PC with Blizzard Battle.net (sorry Steam players). Game designer of Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan, was actually part of the Black Ops IIII reveal. In the PC Behind the Scenes trailer, Kaplan explained the relationship between the two developing studios:
“Those of us at Blizzard have been friends with Treyarch for many, many years. When it came to working on Overwatch, we consulted with Treyarch on a number of features”
These two studios are close. It is a no-brainer that Treyarch would try to “innovate” their multiplayer to this kind of team-work based playstyle after seeing how Overwatch succeeded. Big changes are indeed coming to this mode.
The player-count in games are decreasing from 6v6 to 5v5. A new mechanic called Fog of War blurs out much of mini-map (except for a small radius around you) so more emphasis is put on calling out enemies and team-work. Both weapons and loadouts are being overhauled for that purpose as well.
Although we don’t know if this mode will deliver in entertaining us for months, the argument that it is exactly like previous titles is just fake news.
Three Zombies Maps at Launch are Excessive Since Nobody Plays the Mode Anymore
I saved this one for last because this complaint annoys me more than any of the others. To explain why we have to go back to November 2015 with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
Single-player for this installment of the Black Ops franchise was sub-par, to say the least. Its multiplayer wasn’t much better.
The only saving grace for Black Ops III was the zombie mode. The intricate story and fun maps to explore kept me playing for years. Not only did the mode entice me to continue but the ever-growing CoD Zombies community never ceased to impress. Working together, gamers in the community solved the difficult easter eggs, discussed where the mode will go next, and how to improve the mode going forward in a non-toxic way. Trust me, that is rare for most gaming communities nowadays.
Members of this community, including famous YouTubers like NoahJ456 and MrRoflWaffles, have actually come together over the past two years to compete in an event called Easter Eggs for charity (EE4C). This event was essentially a speedrunning competition on who could complete each zombie map’s main easter egg first. During the 2017 EE4C, the community raised over $200,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Zombie Chronicles, a Black Ops III DLC that included eight remastered zombie maps from past Treyarch games, was the highest selling DLC in 2017. No matter what some will say, this mode is a huge deal for a ton of players.
For those of you who don’t play zombies and don’t necessarily care about the popularity of the mode, you still shouldn’t worry about losing any content. It is rumored that Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII will not feature a traditional season pass.
The evidence behind this mainly comes from the special editions of the game. There is no option to buy a version of Black Ops IIII with the season pass. This most likely means that Treyarch will put out new, and free, content for multiplayer and battle royale. We aren’t sure yet if there will be any kind of zombie-only season pass at release but due to the success of Zombie Chronicles, this is likely to happen.
The Call of Duty franchise has seen better days. Since 2013, the (formerly) critically acclaimed first-person shooter has been sputtering in place. All that will change with Black Ops IIII.
The lack of single-player makes sense when you see just how many people actually finish the mode. Blackout is a no-brainer replacement for that and hopefully, it is unique from others in the genre. The more team-based approach to the multiplayer changes CoD in so many meaningful ways. Finally, the announcement of three zombies maps at launch is more than enough to appease the CoD zombies community for months.
I’m not saying go out and pre-order it now (don’t do that by the way), just don’t bash on a game that is trying to adapt to modern gaming before it ever has a chance to prove you wrong.
What do you think about the Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII reveal? Do you think it deserves the hate it’s gotten? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for all of your nerdy news and needs!