The first weekend of the private Black Ops 4 Beta is officially in the books. The new entry into the Call Of Duty franchise brings a whole host of new features, score streaks, and abilities along for the ride. For the mot part, the new abilities are actually pretty sweet, and the specialists perks introduced in Black Ops 3 have been overhauled as well. Gameplay is still fast and furious, but for as familiar as this game felt, it was also wildly different. In fact, I would say that the Black Ops 4 Beta was weird.
For starters, everyone in a match starts with a health buffer which is the equivalent of body armor, and a healing perk which can be activated after taking damage. This led to most gunfights being ridiculously long, and overly strategic. It felt as if no mater what gun I used, I was constantly having to shoot my opponent dozens of times to finally get the kill. I’m sure this was done to add an element in COD that gave players the same effect as a shield potion would in Fortnite. Either way, it changed the overall mechanics and made run and gun much harder, and forced you to actually think about taking shots.
Another big change present in the beta, were extra abilities based on the specialist class you chose. These abilities would often rely on special equipment the character used, and would regenerate for use again after 90 seconds or a certain amount of kills. Then there is also a main ability that is even more powerful, and could be used to changes the momentum of a fight from one side to the other. For example, the Fire Break has a special radiation field that damages enemies nearby, and once his “special ability” was earned, he could then activate the “Purifier” flamethrower, an insanely popular perk from Black Ops 3.
Operationally speaking, there is still a TON of work to do to get this game ready for launch this Fall. One of the biggest irritants for me, were the load times in the lobby in between games. There were times I’d be waiting for a 90 second timer to count down, only to see it complete and then start all over again. This absolutely has to change, and hopefully it gets addressed before the second round of Beta gameplay rolls out Friday, August 10th.
I totally understand that a Beta version of a game is designed to catch bugs, and issues before the final gameplay comes out. I’m glad that Treyarch rolled out this Beta and didn’t just try to rush the game to shelves before at least previewing the new additions to the game. While it’s not all negatives with the direction that Black Ops seem to be headed towards, there’s still some glaring holes that need to be fine tuned. If that happens, Call Of Duty could be the title to steal some shine away from the current shooter champ, Fortnite.
You can get in on the next round of Black Ops 4 Beta gameplay, by preordering the game.