Long before Fortnite
came about, long before bricks and planks magically levitated
themselves into place around him, Jack ‘Courage’ Dunlop’s voice
graced the airwaves and streams for Call of Duty fans around the
world. The ex-MLG commentator hopped right onto his PS4 when the
Black Ops 4 beta dropped in last weekend, and dug deep into the meat
and marrows of the latest addition to the franchise.
So far, he loves it.
“The game feels
fantastic,” said Dunlop. “It is fast-paced and the movement is
super fluid. You can chain together slide and jumps to really get
around quick.” Though there are any number of obvious
modernizations over Call of Duty: WWII, Black Ops 4 isn’t a
full-scale return to Advanced Warfare’s exosuited acrobatics. That
is not to say there aren’t notable gimmicks, however – BO4’s
usage of Specialists with special abilities both sets it apart from
its immediate predecessor and riles up any number of long-standing
debates about the evolution of Call of Duty gameplay.
Their impact may be
overstated, per Courage’s experience. “I think the Specialists
play a key role in the game, but don’t affect the traditional focus
on the guns. I won’t change my weapon based around what Specialist
the other team is using – I believe that Call of Duty is always
gun-focused, and countering Specialists mainly comes down to teamwork
That’s not to say
that there aren’t obviously some overtuned options in the beta, of
course. Alongside many other players with access to the open beta,
Jack found that “some of the disappointments include the addition
of Body Armor, and the frustratingly powerful Specialist equipment.”
On his end, Jack’s
enjoyed Seraph most among the Specialists available in the beta. “The
powerful ‘Golden Gun’ hand cannon combined with the Spawn Beacon
lets you completely control the pace of any respawn objective game
mode,” he recalls.
Of course, it isn’t
just traditional CoD on his mind.
Though the Blackout
Battle Royale mode wasn’t yet available, a man that’s built his
current career off of Battle Royale gameplay has some thoughts
regarding the advertised game mode. Namely – the key factors he’s
looking for to determine how successful its implementation will be.
“The game mode
must be frequently updated, create intense one-of-a-kind moments, and
be fast-paced,” said Dunlop, laying down the foundations of his
expectations. “The biggest concern I have about the Battle Royale
mode is how they handle the health system. I don’t want it to be
glorified hide-and-seek. I worry that people will be able to be
instantly shot at without having a chance to return fire.”
characteristic of the BR genre is, of course, that you start out with
little to nothing, and progression in the game is tied to what you’re
able to scavenge from the local environment – or off the cooling
corpse of your latest victim. That stands in contrast to normal BO4
and general Call of Duty gameplay, where you enter the battlefield
kitted out and ready to rock. With Blackout, though, Jack expects
“people to have a melee weapon right off the break.”
But even as he returns to the Fortnite grind, it isn’t Blackout he’s anticipating. Said Courage: “I hope Uplink returns, as it has always been a popular game mode in Call of Duty.”
The Black Ops 4 beta returns on August 10, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.