Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Aiming For a Less Toxic Experience, Blackout Gameplay Emerges

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 marks a fairly major departure for Activision’s franchise, eliminating the traditional CoD single-player campaign in favor of a wider variety of multiplayer options. Many fans assumed this change was made due a lack of time and resources – Treyarch simply wasn’t going to be able to get a proper story mode done in time – but Black Ops 4 game designer Tony Flame insists that’s simply not the case. According to him, the changes were an intentional move to cater to more players, and create a more inclusive, friendly experience…

“We made this game with a purpose. We wanted to give players more ways to have fun with their friends than any game we’ve made before, so the whole game has different play styles that can be catered to. Every time you use [a Specialist's ability in multiplayer], the immediate response should be, ‘Hey, thanks! That was awesome!’ We don’t want toxicity. We don’t want people going, ‘Oh, you didn’t do your job.' It’s easy to use abilities, and so we have that archetype for that new player. It’s still effective for players who are good at the game, but some of the specialists will be designed for new players.”

Even the Specialists themselves have been designed to be as widely appealing as possible.

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“Each Specialist, we look at their personality profile, gender, ethnicity, style, and we try and get a wide spectrum of characters that can appeal to different people around the world. Each specialist comes from a different region, and many of them have personalities and gameplay hooks that loop together.”

Can Treyarch create a more friendly Call of Duty experience? They’ve certainly got their work cut out for them, as the current fanbase can be, uh…less than welcoming.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout beta took place this past weekend, and footage of the battle royale mode has begun to make its way online. Of course, we already saw a highly polished trailer, but this is what the mode actually looks like in action. Here’s six minutes courtesy of IGN...

…and 20 more minutes from the folks at GamesRadar.

What do you think? Looks fairly polished, although not exactly groundbreaking. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 hits PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on October 12.

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