With last year’s return of “Call of Duty” to its World War II roots in the aptly titled “Call of Duty: WWII,” I was once again at peace with the popular first-person shooter series. After years of futuristic settings and a dramatic shift away from the “boots on the ground” feel of combat caused me to all but abandon Activision’s flagship franchise, I gladly welcomed the bombed-out German bunkers, bolt-action sniper rifles and bloody bayonet charges I remembered from earlier installments.
You can therefore imagine my reaction when Activision revealed that this year’s “Call of Duty” game would be a continuation of the “Black Ops” brand. Developed by Treyarch, it was the “Black Ops” series that introduced much of what I don’t like about modern “Call of Duty” games to the franchise. And they were eliminating the single-player campaign, too? Clearly this was shaping up to be a year in which I took a hard pass on “Call of Duty.”
Much to my surprise, however, that isn’t going to be the case. With “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” Treyarch has found the sweet spot between old-school gameplay and new-school features, creating a experience that appeals to both my kids (who swear “Black Ops 3” is the best “Call of Duty” game ever) and myself (who hates “Black Ops 3” with the burning passion of 1,000 suns.)