There is a long stretch of six-lane blacktop going from Kuwait City to Basra, officially known as Highway 80. To most of the world, it’s the Highway of Death, and it’s the home of the most enduring images of Operation Desert Storm. You’ve probably seen them. Hundreds of burnt vehicles littering a desolate road. Mangled metal and smoking rubber for miles. The aftermath of Mad Max. Multiple Mad Maxes. There are pages of scholarly debate on the subject of the Highway of Death. I won’t bore you with the details, but the summary is that on February 26th, 1991, Coalition forces, led by the U.S. military, targeted the retreating Iraqi army just north of Al Jahra. Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers were bombed, shot, or roasted along the road during the 10-hour assault. One pilot later said the battle was “like shooting fish in a barrel.”
In Call of Duty Modern Warfare, the Highway of Death has moved to the fictional country of Urzikstan, and it’s the villainous Russians that did the deed instead of us. That may be the most telling bit of how this Call of Duty treats war.
Activision has announced an end to random loot boxes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It’s all about the Battle Pass now. According to the official blog post, there will be premium and free Battle Pass tracks and an in-game store in which you can directly buy whatever cosmetic bits you want, but random Kinder Egg style rewards are out. The team vows that any balance impacting items, like new weapons or attachments, will be available for free by playing the game.
If that’s not shocking enough, the team has committed to releasing all post-launch maps and modes to all platforms simultaneously! It’s almost as if someone working on Call of Duty was paying attention to the rest of the industry.
Maybe you’re waiting on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for this holiday season. Perhaps you’re still playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4? If you’re somewhere in the middle, bored of Black Ops 4, but impatient for the next Modern Warfare, you could be playing the other Call of Duty that just launched. In fact, you’d be joining about 100 million other players.
According to SensorTower, a mobile analytics firm, Call of Duty Mobile (launched on October 1st) surpassed 100 million downloads in its first week of availability. Apple owners accounted for a whopping 56.9 million unique installs, with Android players racking up another 45.3 million. To put that into perspective, Fortnite and PUBG had mobile launch week downloads of 22.5 million and 28 million, respectively. Call of Duty Mobile also generated more revenue in its first week than either title.
The most amazing part of all this success? It hasn’t even launched in China yet. Activision and Tencent have applied, but are waiting for approvals to release it in the Chinese market. Considering the curent dust-up over Blizzard’s snafu with a pro-Hong Kong Hearthstone player, maybe going slow is for the best.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is getting a large update that basically turns the game into a comic book superhero movie. Operation Dark Divide, the final operation update for Black Ops, adds a time-limited Heavy Metal Heroes mode on the Battle Royale Blackout map that features a tank, thrust-jumping, air-ramps, and full starting loadouts. It’s like The Avengers, but with less quips.
The in-game loot crates get more weapons, skins, and trinkets. Regular multiplayer will see one all-new map, along with a reimagined version of the original Black Ops map, Launch. Finally, Tag Der Toten, the last content drop for Zombies mode, will wrap up the Aether storyline.
It’s the last hurrah for Black Ops 4 before the players shift over to this year’s Modern Warfare. Despite that annual schedule, Black Ops 3 received support and new additions for years after launch, so one can hope that Black Ops 4 gets similar consideration.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the soft reboot of the series, will feature an in-game “tamagunchi” that feeds on kills. According to Infinity Ward, the sick little digital pet started as an effort to get a working wristwatch onto player characters. Just like the tamagotchi fad you’re probably more familiar with, you feed it or it dies. In this case, it eats delicious murder.
“This little thing on your wrist, every time you get a string of kills, it goes, ‘Ya-ta!’ and it makes a little noise, then you look at it, and it evolved out of an egg.”
The tamagunchi is optional in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, so if you don’t want some digital pet chirping at you for more kills, you don’t need to use it. Despite this, I imagine tamagunchi variants will be a hot commodity in the game’s loot shop, along with the normal cosmetic gun skins and animated name tags.
This lighthearted news comes as the United States deals with the latest horror of two mass shootings within hours of each other. While there have been no credible studies linking real-world shootings to video game violence, political commentary has once again raised the debate further fueling the controversy.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout battle royale mode is getting a new map. Treyarch and Activision have announced Alcatraz, a smaller, tighter combat arena that they are calling “close quarters battle royale” to describe its mix of claustrophobic prison interiors and rocky island setting. Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage only had terrorists to deal with on The Rock, whereas Blackout fans will have to contend with zombies as well as hordes of enemies.
Alcatraz is available for the PlayStation 4 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 today. The new map will launch for other platforms later due to the marketing deal with Sony.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has a season pass. The Black Ops Pass includes a bonus zombies mode mission that will be available at launch, four additional zombies missions available later, twelve standard multiplayer maps spread throughout the duration of the season, and four special characters for the Blackout battle royale mode. In a kick in the face to fans, content in the pass will not be available separately according to the game’s support page, an unwelcome change from the way previous Call of Duty games have operated.
Q: Will I be able to buy parts of Black Ops Pass content individually, like DLC Map Packs from previous Call of Duty games?
A: No. The contents included in Black Ops Pass may only be purchased as a bundle.
In attempt to quell backlash over the pass news, a developer representative on Reddit cited the long record of support for Black Ops 3.
With Black Ops 3, we’re three years after release, and we continue to support it with new content and continuous updates – and we’re not even done yet. Our commitment to the game has maintained engagement…and Black Ops 4 has far more post-release updates planned for the entire community. In fact, it’s a game that was built for expansion. Launch day is just the beginning of a long journey.
It’s a disappointing decision from Activision and Treyarch that goes against the current trend in the industry. Map packs may have been the accepted standard for getting more revenue from multiplayer gamers for the past few years, but popular games like Overwatch, Fortnite, Rainbow Six: Siege, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have chosen to give maps away for free while enticing players to spend on money on cosmetics or early access to other content. Even EA’s tentpole shooters are doing away with map packs.
While no separate pricing is available for now, the Black Ops Pass can be pre-purchased with the “deluxe” versions of the game. The season pass for Call of Duty: WWII is $50 by itself.
That’s Blackout, the new Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Characters taken from throughout the franchise’s history spawn in a giant map and fight it out until one team or person is left standing just like all the other Battle Royale games. Blackout’s delineator (besides the brand power) is vehicles. Lots and lots of land, sea, and air vehicles. According to Activision, the “biggest map ever created for Call of Duty” is needed to encompass all the action. There’s no word yet on how many combatants at a time will be battle-royaling out at the same time.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is launching on October 12th. The PC version will exclusively be available through Battle.net.
There may be no traditional single player story campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Polygon, Kotaku, and CharlieIntel cite their own sources for these reports stating that publisher Activision halted development on the usual set piece extravaganza of celebrity likenesses and explosions in favor of more multiplayer modes, with rumors pointing to some version of Battle Royale filling out the package. These sources named Raven Software as the primary developer of this Call of Duty’s Battle Royale gameplay. Raven is the studio behind Call of Duty Online available in China which does offer a Battle Royale mode.
Earlier rumors had stated that like Infinite Warfare, this next Call of Duty might offer an HD remake of an earlier game in the franchise as an incentive – in this case, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. That rumor’s detail, that the Modern Warfare 2 remaster would not have a multiplayer component, now makes a lot of sense in light of this new information.
Treyarch and Activision have confirmed Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. That’s a four to you normal people. In fact, let’s agree to nip this in the bud. We’re going to write that as “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” or “Blops4” from now on because we’re not crazy.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will launch on October 12th.
Earlier in the year, Activision and Sledgehammer Games had announced that opening loot boxes in Call of Duty: WWII would have incentives for spectators, but we didn’t know how it would work. Thanks to some early footage posted on Reddit, we can now see that the process for opening loot crates in the game may be one of the slickest sequences of its kind made to appeal to gamer vanity.
Loot crates literally fall from the sky in the game’s multiplayer social space as a Supply Drop. Anyone standing near the event can watch as the crate bursts open and prizes fly up to be revealed. Loot contents are visible to everyone in the area, presumably to maximize excitement and envy.
Activision claims all loot offered will be cosmetic only, but if true, that would be a change from the past few Call of Duty games that did eventually offer loot crate exclusive weapons. Call of Duty: WWII launches tomorrow.
Activision and Sledgehammer Games have announced details of Call of Duty: WWII’s preorder program. The preorder “multiplayer upgrade” features a token to unlock one weapon of your choice when you start playing, instead of unlocking it eventually in the normal progression scheme. You’ll also get a 2x experience multiplier good for four hours, and a collection of five gear sets that correspond to the Divisions system.
Previous Call of Duty games have been criticized by fans for offering exclusive multiplayer maps, (such as variations of Nuketown) or locking away cooperative zombie campaigns behind preorder bonuses. Some gamers are now criticizing the publisher for not making WWII preorders worthwhile because the incentives aren’t good enough.
Hey, Call of Duty players! Chill out. Activision could make your weapon and player camo skins consumable like Shaders in Destiny 2.
When nostalgic players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered played the game, some were disappointed to see that the game’s revamped multiplayer was missing a few iconic maps. The all-important Crash was present, but where were Showdown, Pipeline, Bloc, Countdown, Strike, and Wet Works? Everyone just needed a little patience. All six missing maps are coming to the game, along with Winter Crash, a version of Crash festooned with Christmas decorations. The free update will also include the Gun Game and Hardpoint game modes. The December update will launch for everyone on the 13th.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is still only available in the Legacy Edition bundle with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Activision continues to say that they have no plans to sell it separately.
There are two versions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on the PC platform. There is one on Steam and one exclusive to the Windows Store. You may be tempted to think they’d be able to play in the same lobbies. You’d be wrong. Players on the Windows Store version will only be in multiplayer lobbies with other Windows Store users, which could be a problem for players looking forward to a thriving community. According to the official FAQ, playing with friends on “another PC platform” is not possible.
No, you can only play these titles with other users of Windows 10 on Windows Store.
Consider this your public service announcement regarding the Windows Store build of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.