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CoD: Black Ops 4, tried the Arsenal map and the Heist mode

CoD: Black Ops 4, tried the Arsenal map and the Heist mode

In the setting of Cologne we enjoyed our inevitable encounter with an unreleased map of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Over the past few weeks we have assumed that the Gamescom 2018 would have been the perfect opportunity to try for the first time Blackout, the highly anticipated battle royale mode that will be an integral part of the next chapter of call of Duty. And instead we had to “settle” for the umpteenth game of traditional multiplayer, postponing the meeting with the more substantial novelty of Black Ops 4 to the next beta session, which will be held from 10 September on PS4 and from 15 on PC and One. It is no coincidence that the writer has decided to put the quotes because in reality the rapid gameplay session faced in Cologne was quite rich in terms of content, with several novelties tested for the first time despite this CoD being the center of attention of numerous players in the past two months. In fact, we were able to face 3 rounds, one for each of the 3 modes tested – Hardpoint, Team Deathmatch And Heist – the first two in the new Arsenal map, while the last in Hacienda.

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Let’s start from the map: set in a sort of military outpost with a great science fiction flavor, Arsenal is a rather large level and consists of a central block flanked by two smaller side structures with a lot of elevated access. The whole is surrounded by an open section with several obstacles that inhibit the possibility of aiming at a great distance. The map has a symmetrical design and allows players to reach the central core, the one where most of the clashes take place, using three different roads: through the main entrance located in the middle or using the two access routes that pass through the structures side, in turn connected to the main block both with doors and through small raised bottlenecks. The resulting combat, regardless of the game mode, is very fast and frenetic despite the simple geometry of the level providing only 90 ° curves and the many obstacles manage to return a more staid rhythm when looking for a moment of rest or an escape point for to heal or to stay in cover after crossing enemies.

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As for Team Deathmatch and Hardpoint there is very little to add regarding what has already been said for some time. In both cases we are faced with a five against five that gives its best thanks to the unprecedented presence of specialists who, in fact, transform Black Ops 4 into a sort of hero shooter at Rainbow Six: Siege (or, if you prefer, Overwatch). All without forgetting the familiar structure of classes and picks made up of weapons, perks, scorestreaks and so on. Leaving aside the Team Deathmatch, the Hardpoint mode foresees that every minute an area to be controlled appears. The team that manages to possess it earns one point per second but only on condition that the perimeter is completely clear of enemy forces; after the minute, the goal changes and the race for domination resumes. Usually the first team to score 200 points wins or the team with the highest score when the time on the map runs out.

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After the two rounds spent on Arsenal, it was time to move on to Hacienda, a lush and colorful map, entirely set around and inside a splendid South American villa. In this case, the game mode tested was Heist: not completely new exactly like the level, but already seen previously in some official streaming. However, it was the first time that we had the opportunity to play it and obviously we didn’t miss it. It is a kind of ideal cross between Call of Duty and Counter-Strike with a very limited number of matches. The rounds are in fact at the best of 7: the first team that reaches 4 wins the game and, to further reduce the duration of the challenge, each player has only one life available. The peculiarity, however, is in the mechanics of managing classes and specialists: these simply aren’t there.

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The goal of each round is to collect a bag full of money and bring it to the extraction point that appears, in a random area, after a few seconds that the bag has been collected. The team that manages to perform the whole operation wins, but it may be enough to just take out the opposing team to take home the result. The Counter-Strike element is related to the fact that you only start with the gun and, at the beginning of each round, you can spend the money you earn (based on how you played) to buy new weapons, ammunition, perk, armor and so on. The result is that each fight tends to be longer and more intense than the previous one as the time to kill gets longer as the game continues.

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There is a further peculiar element in this mode: you do not die once your life is over, but you remain on the ground with the possibility of crawling to get away from the firefight and perhaps to reach your own teammate, who can relive it if the opponents do not give us the final blow with a further volley of bullets or with a close range. Heist therefore tends to benefit the team by using group tactics, which are able to move in a coordinated way and cover each other’s backs. Obviously, if you are caught in an ambush or the opponents are good at getting around us, it can happen that they take us all out in an instant, leaving us landed waiting for help that will never come.