Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer Rumored to be Taking a Page from Overwatch

Nathan Birch

For years you’ve been able to set your watch by the Call of Duty franchise – every year at the beginning of November you got a game that followed a very set formula, and, for the most part, CoD fans were fine with that. For better or worse, that seems to be changing with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. As we recently reported, there are rumors Black Ops 4 is dropping the traditional CoD single-player campaign in favor of a new battle royale mode, and now there’s word even the game’s core multiplayer experience may be undergoing some surprising changes.

According to Twitter user Matt Harris, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer takes a page from games like Overwatch, revamping the killstreak system and expanding the “specialists” from Black Ops 3 into full-on heroes. Apparently, the game Black Ops 4’s multiplayer most resembles is LawBreakers, which isn’t the most flattering comparison given that game’s lack of success. Word is, this new approach was not well-received by testers, and Treyarch is now scrambling to revert many of the changes.

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Now, usually I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in information from a Twitter user without much of a following, but the reliable CoD insiders at Charlie Intel are vouching for the information. Here’s everything Harris had to say about Black Ops 4’s multiplayer:

“As of two days ago multiplayer was in the worst state you have ever seen a Call of Duty multiplayer mode. Sources who have play-tested the mode claim that it is less like a Call of Duty mode and more like ‘Call of Duty Overwatch’ or ‘Call of Duty Lawbreakers.’ The Lawbreakers reference is incredibly apt considering what he told me next. Remember how I said the game was simultaneously boots on the ground and advanced movement? […] The game was going to take the ‘hero’ or ‘specialist’ system from Black Ops 3 and take it to the next level. Perks were basically removed completely and had instead been morphed into a strange kind of Kill Streak. Normal Killstreaks as we know them, for example harrier jets or chopper gunners, didn’t in fact exist in this version of Black Ops 4. Instead you got highly powerful perks. One of which was a Movement Alteration. It literally changed your movement from Boots on The Ground to something very strongly resembling Black Ops 3’s advanced movement systems.

This fell flat with play testers. They didn’t like it at all. […] So, as of the last play test, things are changing. Actual Killstreaks are being entered into the game and the hero systems are being scaled back a little bit. What this does mean is that the game is in fact beginning to resemble more and more the state of the game in Black Ops 3. What this means for the future of BO4 I do not know. Currently my information does not stretch to what the mode will become, only to what it very recently was.”

As always, take rumors like these with a grain of salt. Harris has also posted a bunch of other details about behind-the-scenes troubles with Black Ops 4, but Charlie Intel have specifically said they can’t back up that information. So, take all that with even more of a grain of salt than usual.

What are your thoughts? Do you buy the rumors? Would you be at all interested in an Overwatch-inspired CoD multiplayer mode, or would it be a desecration?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be revealed in full on May 17, and is set to release on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on October 12.

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