Note: James Mattone is a paid writer for Activision. However, he has also been a life-long Call of Duty fan since 2009. These thoughts are his own.
It’s a few minutes after 6pm Eastern on August 2 and, naturally, I check my Twitter after a long day of work. A few seconds after scrolling down my timeline, my eyes land Treyarch’s latest post:
The #BO4Beta officially launches tomorrow at 10am/PT and we can’t wait to see you online! To manage server load, we’re currently starting to roll things out, beginning in North America.— Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) August 3, 2018
Now I’m not privy to all the internal workings at Activision, so at first, I thought it was a normal update tweet. That was, until, I decided to go on my PlayStation 4 and launch the Beta application.
Needless to say, after seeing the Beta was now live, I lost a lot of sleep that night and for the rest of the weekend.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer Beta officially launched its first weekend session on August 3, allowing the Call of Duty community on the PlayStation 4 to experience a sneak peak of the Multiplayer gameplay ahead of the game’s October 12 release.
As someone who played an earlier build at E3 2018, it was cool to see even more content available in the Multiplayer Beta. Of course, this experience was great for anyone who did not attend one of those hands-on events, but it also gave those who did attend plenty of new content to explore. This included new weapons, such as the KN-57 assault rifle and the fast-firing Spitfire submachine gun, and a brand-new map called Gridlock, which is set in a Japanese metropolis.
One new feature I particularly loved was the Chaos Team Deathmatch playlist. Although it was fun to play objective-based modes like the new Control mode and in the Capture Moshpit, a mixture of Domination and Hardpoint, I always value a few games of TDM to loosen up and get my aim right before tackling objective modes.
On top of the frenetic 6v6 combat available in the Chaos playlist, the ability to have up to two of each Specialist per team helped me explore all ten Specialists to figure out my playstyle. During the weekend, I gravitated toward Prophet and Nomad, who both made their re-entrance from Call of Duty: Black Ops III for the Multiplayer Beta.
For now, Nomad is leading the race for my primary Specialist. His Mesh Mine equipment allowed me to keep enemies guessing, as I stretched them across the bottom of doorways or underwater in the swimming tunnels on Seaside. Then there was his faithful attack dog Juneau, who was able to patrol areas on her own or to help me hunt down enemies.
With a full weekend at my disposal, I also had plenty of time to explore the Pick 10 Create-a-Class system, making use of Operator Mods that truly made weapons feel different in-game. For example, when I equipped the Skull Splitter mod on the Mozu, which makes headshots an always-lethal hit, I played a lot more tactical to ensure one-shot kills while also not being afraid to try for a longshot.
Another positive takeaway was Treyarch’s constant communication to the community throughout the weekend. As much as this weekend’s global session was for players, as Treyarch indicated it was also a big weekend for the studio to gather data, which is a crucial part of tweaking the final game for release.
What does “gathering data” during the beta mean? It means we track every spawn, every kill, every shot, every hit, every miss, every gun, every specialist, every loadout, and so so much more. For every game in every map in every playlist.— Alexander Conserva (@AlexConserva) August 4, 2018
With that data, as well as direct feedback that could be made in-game, on Twitter, on Reddit or on a survey, Treyarch made some big updates during the weekend.
Along with weapon tuning, Scorestreak buffs and fixing bugs that affected things such as load times, Treyarch also introduced Search and Destroy as well as Kill Confirmed. Seeing those two old favorites come back was a great way to end the weekend, as I spent my last few hours in the game playing those classic game modes in new Black Ops 4 style.
Overall, I cannot wait for the next Multiplayer Beta this weekend, which will be from August 10 to August 13, and it seems that lot of players I chatted with in the game lobbies felt the same way. Some were making callouts with their highly competitive squads, while others were friends who were catching up together while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Ultimately, these voices made up one community who is ready to get back in the multiplayer Beta this weekend.
Pre-order now and get access to the console private beta or one day early access to the PC Beta, and I’ll be seeing you (or at least, hearing from you) in the pre-game lobbies. If you have your own feedback, feel free to share it with the developers directly by tweeting to @Treyarch with the hashtag #BO4Beta, and also be sure to fill out their online survey.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is scheduled to be released on October 12, 2018.