This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 65 January 2019.

This year, Call of Duty bucked their own November release date by arriving a little earlier than usual. However, that is not the game’s biggest surprise. Activision and developer Treyarch decided to go a little further and take the single biggest risk in the franchise’s history. They dropped the single player campaign for 2018. Yes. Black Ops 4 – perhaps one of the better loved story arcs in the franchise – does not offer you a traditional story at all.

Instead, you get a game that makes no apologies for its multiplayer focus. With esports being the buzzword of this generation, Black Ops 4 is clearly designed to embrace it. And this calculated risk has galvanised the series and ensures a focus on getting the online element the best it can be.

The game arrives with three modes. Zombies makes its ubiquitous appearance alongside the traditional multiplayer, while the other buzzword of this generation lives via Blackout. Blackout is a Battle Royale game, and in the age of Fortnite and PUBG, one has to wonder what the game could bring to the table?

Almost an entire history book of Call of Duty seeing as you’re asking. In many ways, Blackout is a love letter to Call of Duty fans – especially those that lean towards the Treyarch developed titles in the franchise. Familiar settings (hey, there’s Nuketown… again), weapons, perks and more feature in Call of Duty’s entry into the genre. And to give them their due, it is a great entry to the genre at that.

For those that thrive on killing waves of zombies, then Zombies won’t disappoint. It arrives packed with content compared to previous iterations and is also about as close to a campaign as the title offers. There are more maps and customisation options than in previous years. It will challenge more than previous years but also has the ability to make a newcomer feel welcome. Well, about as welcome as a horde of zombies do. The mode is a trip around the world and history. A pretty wacky one at that. Zombies in Black Ops 4 is arguably the best version of the mode yet.

So, is the multiplayer capable of matching the lofty heights of the other two modes in the game? Yes. And no. Multiplayer in Black Ops 4 is great but it will not be considered the greatest multiplayer in the franchise’s history. That belongs to others, however, it is some of the most entertaining multiplayer you will have experienced in the franchise for some time.

Strangely for a game that has no campaign, there is plenty to talk about. A few more paragraphs and I would’ve expanded on the graphics (pretty decent), gunplay (still feels great), movement (responsive but still boots on the ground), new specialists and new health system (both great and adding a tactical layer to the game), and… To cut to the chase, the game is worth getting. As long as you play online or don’t generally care for a story-driven single player mode.

Score: 8/10
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Distributed in SA by: Megarom Interactive