2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 came at an odd time for the COD franchise, when team-oriented games like Overwatch and the battle royale craze threatened its long-term cultural dominance. Now, a new report by Insider Gaming claims that Black Ops 4 was radically reconfigured late in development because developers feared it was too much of a departure for Core fans.
This lengthy report, compiled from a variety of anonymous sources, details an ambitious plan to recreate Call of Duty along the lines of team-based shooters, specifically Overwatch. This new policy would have eliminated established series features like Scorestreaks and Create-a-Class in favor of a hero-based system.
A new system called “escalation” would have slowly buffed the game’s heroes throughout a match, allowing them to level up and gain new abilities like MOBA characters. As the report notes, this is quite similar to how perks work in the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 and could well have inspired it to some extent. Another planned mode called “War” would have combined the series’ cinematic mission design with an attacker-versus-defender multiplayer scheme.
However, negative feedback from early playtesters torpedoed those plans, and multiplayer was reworked into the familiar half-step between old Call of Duty and new. Given that some of the ideas described were added in some form to later entries in the series, this cannot be called a complete failure. However, it remains to be seen whether Modern Warfare 2’s revamped perks system will please or disappoint fans. Modern Warfare 2 will be released on October 28th. You can play the campaign earlier, though, so check out our guide if you’re interested.
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