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Opinion: Five Classic Multiplayer Modes That Should be Added to Black Ops 4

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These classic modes deserve some more time in the spotlight…

Black Ops 4 launched with a meager 10 multiplayer modes. While we got two new modes like Control and Heist, the core rotation has left me wanting more.

Previous Call of Duty entries have always brought a fresh take to online first person shooter matches, but I feel like this years entry has missed the mark. Black Ops’ Wager Matches were some of the most fun I’ve had online and I loved the experimental nature of Modern Warfare 2’s modes like Cage Match and 3rd Person Team Tactical.

Here is my list of the five multiplayer modes from past Call of Duty’s that I would like see come back to the series with Black Ops 4.

One in the Chamber

One of the main Wager Match game modes, One in the Chamber was as fast paced as it was tense. A six player free-for-all where each player has an insta-kill M1911, one bullet, a knife, and three lives.

A game of risk/reward, making your shot reloads another bullet in your gun, but missing it means you’re forced to run around the map trying to get a knife kill. Trying to accurately line up my one shot at a madman frantically running towards me made me feel like I was in a horror movie. Turn off all specialists and hand everyone a Strife would make this a perfect fit for Black Ops 4.

Sticks and Stones

Black Ops 4 is sorely lacking special weapons. No, I don’t mean specialist weapons. I’m talking about weapons that feel special. Crossbows, Ballistic Knifes, Assault Shields, etc.

Stick and Stones was a mode based entirely around the unique new weaponry from Black Ops 1. Every player spawns with an explosive Crossbow, Ballistic Knife, and Tomahawk. Ballistic Knife and Crossbow kills grant the player 100 points, while Tomahawk kills reset the players score. Knowing that even when you’re in first place by a wide margin doesn’t make you safe has you playing differently throughout. Sticks and Stones (along with Crossbows and Ballistic Knifes) would bring some much needed variety back to Call of Duty.

Pure

A very overlooked mode, Pure was part of Black Ops 1’s Barebones section. Currently, the community is clamoring for Specialists-free game modes, so how great would it be if everything was stripped away. Just a player and their gun.

Pure was a standard TDM or FFA game type except for the fact that Perks, Killstreaks, attachments, and equipment were all turned off. With everyone on the same playing field, it all came down to your ability with your chosen weapon. I think at a time when people just want to go back to the basics, Pure would be welcomed with open arms.

Multi-Team TDM

I first played this mode way back in Halo 3 and was in awe. Multiple teams all fighting against each other on the same map led to some great “enemy of my enemy” moments. Teaming up on one enemy alongside an opposing team before pointing our guns at each other felt oddly strategic.

Black Ops II was the first and only Call of Duty to have this mode. Featuring up to 18 players and 6 teams means you can have 6 teams of duos, 4 teams of quads, etc. No matter the permutation, this mode is simply chaotic fun.

Capture the Flag

A literal classic, Capture the Flag has been in first person shooters since the genre was invented. Both teams have a flag, you need to capture the other flag and bring it back to yours. Simple enough.

While Heist has some Capture the Flag mechanics and inspiration, the mode can still be won just killing out the other team. Capture the Flag’s inherent strategy and tactics would make it a great staple to return to the franchise. In almost every entry, it is a little weird the mode hasn’t shown up yet, but Treyarch would be remiss not to bring this legendary mode back from the grave.

From the most popular to the overlooked, these are the modes I want to see added to Black Ops 4. What multiplayer modes would you like see make their return? Let us know in the ranking below:

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CoD dev responds to calls for Zombies Chronicles 2 release

Black Ops 3’s Zombies Chronicles DLC was a huge success, and now a Treyarch dev has finally responded to community support for its return.

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Zombies Chronicles logo and a Zombie

Zombies Chronicles first released all the way back in 2017 and fans have been begging for its return ever since. Finally, a Call of Duty developer has responded to the community support for its return.

It’s been four years since Treyarch introduced fans to Chronicles, a fan-favorite DLC that offered eight maps from previous titles.

Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit with the die-hard community around the mode, letting them play their favorite maps from the Black Ops series on newer, more powerful hardware.

The mode was so popular, that players have been begging for Treyarch to bring it back, however, the developers have never publicly commented on that matter until December 4, 2021.

Black Ops 2 Origin Zombies map

Treyarch Lead Game Designer Kevin Drew finally broke the silence around Zombies Chronicles 2 with a new tweet about the DLC, and the possibility of a second offering down the road.

While he didn’t confirm its return, Drew thanked the community for their love for Chronicles, and said that their support helped keep the idea alive.

“Let me be clear, keep asking for [Zombies Chronicles 2],” he tweeted. “That passion and demand is what keeps the door open to the possibility of it!”

While this doesn’t offer any clear pathway to a second DLC pack, it at least confirms that there is a possibility of a second iteration of Zombies Chronicles, as Drew didn’t move to completely shut down the idea of its return.

Unfortunately, Treyarch are not due to launch a CoD title until 2023, so even if this idea came to fruition, fans would have to wait two full years to get their hands on it.

Zombies has returned in Vanguard, but some players have not been impressed with the “embarrassing lack of content” the mode launched with. If you have been enjoying the mode though, check out our best weapons and whether there is a Wonder Weapon or not.

Image Credits: Treyarch / Activision

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Call of Duty dev finally confirms that games have had SBMM all along

A former Call of Duty developer has confirmed that the series has used skill-based matching since 2007’s Modern Warfare.

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Helicopter flying in Call of Duty

Skill-based matchmaking has been a hugely controversial issue among Call of Duty fans for years, and former developer Josh Menke has finally confirmed that CoD titles have had SBMM as far back as 2007’s Modern Warfare.

In the early days of online multiplayer gaming, players would have to select a server to join by themselves. As time went on, developers started to automate that process, eventually introducing skill-based matchmaking in an attempt to keep matches competitive.

While this seems logical, it’s been a highly contentious issue among gamers who claim it has ruined games and made them less fun.

Games like Black Ops Cold War and Warzone have been criticized for using skill-based matchmaking too much, with players comparing them to older Call of Duty titles. However, former Activision Senior Systems Designer Josh Menke has revealed that SBMM has been in CoD games since 2007.

vanguard operators in combat in warzone pacific

The idea behind skill-based matchmaking is to place you in lobbies with players of a similar skill level. While many believe that older Call of Duty titles didn’t do this, Menke states it’s been used as far back as the original Modern Warfare.

“[Call of Duty 4] did have some skill-based match-making, all of them always have,” he told GDC. “It’s just the math and science have gotten better over the years. If you grew up on it back then, your expectations are very different than if you have it now.”

“The same thing happens in Fortnite, even today. When the game first started, I believe they had very little skill-based matchmaking, then over the years they’ve experimented with different levels of SBMM and using bots.”

“You’ll have players who play Call of Duty that will be like, ‘I don’t like skill-based matchmaking,’ but then they go play Valorant and it’s fine.”

A sniper in Modern Warfare Remastered

One of the biggest complaints about skill-based matchmaking is that while it should be used in ranked modes, public or casual matches have become too difficult because of the system.

Menke does feel that developers are making one major error with current matchmaking systems, saying that when a game can’t find a good match for a player, it just “settles” for a bad one. Instead, he suggests using “real-time stats” on the player base to create the best games possible.

Whether you like SBMM or not, the system isn’t going anywhere. At least the long-running debate over CoD’s historical matchmaking system can finally be put to rest.

For more Call of Duty, check out everything you need to know about Warzone’s new Pacific Caldera map.

Image Credits: Activision

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Top 5 hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time

Call of Duty has produced some of the most memorable campaigns in FPS history, but we’re counting down the top 5 hardest ever.

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world at war's heart of the reich level with CI logo

As well as delivering epic narratives and creating iconic characters, plenty of CoD campaigns have also offered a nice challenge down the years. So we’ve picked out the top 5 hardest CoD campaigns ever, and ranked them.

Whilst it’s Call of Duty’s multiplayer that understandably gets all the plaudits, the franchise has produced some incredibly good single-player experiences too – with Vanguard being the latest one. After all, before online gaming really got going in the mid-late 2000s, campaigns were the main selling point of FPS games.

Many games have since overlooked this aspect in favor of keeping players hooked to live service models. However, barring Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, every major CoD title has had a campaign, and we’ve sifted through them all to rank the top five hardest of all time.

Hardest CoD campaigns ever ranked

player fighting through Paris in MW3

We can confirm that we’ve played and beaten all these campaigns on the Veteran difficulty setting – apart from BLOPS III which we did on its debuting Realistic difficulty.

As most players will know, Veteran can turn a simple corridor into a test of patience that can take a long time. This separates the weak from the strong and is a perfect way to differentiate campaigns.

Recent years have phased out repsawning enemies and grenade spam, and as a result, have been a lot easier. But a trip down memory lane will dig up some of the most frustrating levels and sections in the series.

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

soap looking at gulag in MW2

Definitely not as tough as the later entries on our list, but Infinity Ward’s second installment of the Modern Warfare saga had the odd mean level that will bring out the veins in your head.

The game actually starts out fairly generously for the first few levels, and then dumps a harsh one-two punch of Takedown on you, a nerve-inducing push through the Favela, and the extremely open nature of Wolverines.

You’re allowed your breath back for a bit, and then you’re plunged into the infested depths of the Gulag that has some positively vile checkpoints to clear. Through Whiskey Hotel and Loose Ends you have a ton of enemies to contend with and these are the levels that test your Veteran instincts, especially the survive and escape formula of Loose Ends.

Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t have a defining level or section that stands out, it’s just packed with lots of solid fights that will test your mettle.

4. Call of Duty 2

player fighting across bridge in COD2

The early Call of Duty games set the standard for some of the difficulty that was going to be featured down the line.

CoD2 feels a bit more streamlined and thought-out compared to the first game, but it’s still rife with grenades flying in from every angle and Germans that have had their skills honed by the Matrix.

There’s definitely a sense that the levels get harder towards the end, as a natural difficulty curve should do. The German respawn factory never ceases production, even until the very end. The only thing that lessens the difficulty a tad is the fact that Call of Duty 2 introduced regenerating health for the first time, meaning players had time to recover.

3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

player looking at chernobyl wheel in cod4

We consider CoD4 to be the best Call of Duty game, and its characters, set-pieces, that nuclear explosion scene, and so much more make this campaign memorable, not least the punishing difficulty.

But it’s a handful of missions and sections that will get you used to the death screen. Charlie Don’t Surf’s push through the Broadcast area is painful, the Hunted is littered with large space and tight areas packed with enemies, and even scaling the hill in Safehouse can take a while.

But it’s some of the game’s final missions where things are turned up to 100. The iconic One Shot, One Kill mission is a supreme test of skill, patience, and luck on Veteran, No Fighting in the War Room is a timed slog through steam, claustrophobic corridors teeming with foes, and of course – Mile High Club.

A one-minute sprint through about 50 enemies in the tightest fighting area yet, going up a floor, demanding absolute precision and excellence on your part. You’ll find that if you check many gamer’s Trophies and Achievements for CoD4, they’ll be missing this one on Veteran.

2. Call of Duty: World at War

a squad advancing in world at war mission

Call of Duty: Grenade would’ve been a more apt title for Treyarch’s 2008 World War II shooter and many players to this day still see grenade indicators appearing in their vision.

Every mission is an exercise in patience and bravery thanks to unlimited enemy respawns and the germans owning every grenade in existence.

The game is a brutal journey for its first 14 missions on Veteran, and then you get to what is probably the most difficult FPS mission ever created – Heart of the Reich. The act of taking down four AA guns can take literally hours as you have little cover, enemies are attacking (infinitely) from all sides, and you’re having to constantly retreat from grenades every two seconds.

World at War is one of the last true tests of outrageous CoD difficulty.

1. Call of Duty 1 (Call of Duty: Classic)

player making their way to eder dam in cod 1

Anyone who thinks World at War or CoD4 are the hardest campaigns only say that because they haven’t the arduous task of completing the first-ever Call of Duty campaign on Veteran.

Why’s it the hardest? It’s very simple. No health regeneration, no health packs, the checkpoints are utterly unforgiving as you need to have a certain amount of health to trigger them, otherwise, you get diddly squat, checkpoints can be awarded as you’re getting shot, enemies can regularly appear behind you, and they have an immaculate aim.

Then when you start to factor in Chateau, POW Camp, Eder Dam, Truck Ride, Battleship Tirpitz, and the absolutely mind-bogglingly difficult Pavlov’s House, then it’s easy to see why Call of Duty 1 has the hardest campaign ever.

Don’t believe us? Go and play it on Veteran, then get back to us.


So that’s our top 5 list of the hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time. Even if your list has one or two slightly different entries, we can all agree that Call of Duty has done a great job of serving up some fiendishly tough treats.

If you enjoyed our list and want more original content, then check out the best CoD Zombies maps ranked, every gun in Vanguard ranked, or even the 10 best FPS weapons of all time!

Image Credit: Activision

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