Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the latest instalment in the COD franchise – set in the near-future this is the first major Call of Duty game in recent times to ship without a campaign mode, putting all the focus on multiplayer, zombies and the new battle royale mode.

With thanks to Activision for providing private beta access codes, we here at EFTM went full nerd this weekend to the point of thumb bandages and squared eyes.


The good

  • 5v5 strategic play makes the game feel balanced.
  • Map design is clean, well coloured and makes visibility significantly less of an issue than previous iterations.
  • The Control gamemode lends itself to a much more competitive play style.

The bad

  • It feels almost like an update of Black Ops 3 (visually and contextually).
  • Hardcore fans have never been known for (or good at) playing in a team.

The verdict

Black Ops 4 is shaping up to be a very different style of Call of Duty, one that allows for and almost forces competitive and strategic play styles. This will hopefully push the game and franchise further into the eSport scene, however might see some backlash from players who have lone-wolf tendencies deeply ingrained.


Black Ops 4 for the most part plays as all COD games do, it’s a fast-paced, reflex intensive first person shooter with a strong emphasis on a run-and-gun play style. However unlike most other COD games, this is the first I’ve felt that forces some sort of strategic play – which may or may not be a good thing for die hard fans.

For anyone that’s picked up any previous iteration of Call of Duty, you’d be well versed in the individualist nature of the game. Regardless of the gamemode, COD has always provided a playground for those among us who just love going Rambo… John Wick…Paul Blart Mall Cop – you know what I’m trying to get at here. But between the return of Specialists and the introduction of the Control mode (which will most likely dominate the majority of the game), Black Ops 4 is promising to heavily reward team-based and tactical play.

I won’t go through and list all of the new perks and Specialist abilities, but none have stuck out as being too overpowered, with only one of each Specialist allowed on the map at any given time. This ‘choose your champion’ type of game is a League of Legends/Dota classic but made popular in the first person space by Overwatch. While Black Ops 4 is in no way a rip of Overwatch, the one per game system behind Specialists does make for a much more personable game experience.

Cashing in on the hype of Fortnite and PUBG, Black Ops 4 is introducing its own rendition of the battle royale gamemode. While we didn’t get a look in at this mode during the private beta, players are excited to see how Treyarch and Activision will take on this trend.

From all accounts (and the fun we’ve had over this weekend), Black Ops 4 will be the first innovative Call of Duty game in quite some time. Keep your ear to the ground for all the latest news and changes, and should this game stay on track, I’ll catch you in the fight from October 12.