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Opinion: Treyarch completely missed the mark with Combat Record in Black Ops 4

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After nearly six months, Treyarch has finally added Combat Record to Call of Duty Black Ops 4. A feature fans have come to expect in the annualized series since the first Black Ops in 2010, took over 170 days to surface in Black Ops 4.

In the past, the Combat Record was a pretty simple feature. An in-game menu where players can check their detailed statistics like accuracy with specific guns, most used specialists, and even go as granular as longest win streaks in specific game modes.

At launch, Black Ops 4 was lacking a Combat Record and instead provided players with a short summary of their top statistics that felt extremely bare. Personally, my numbers have always been pretty low, but I enjoyed perusing the Combat Record to see which stats stood above the rest.

The info on the right is about all the stats you can find in-game.

Treyarch promised the Combat Record would be added to Black Ops 4 shortly after release alongside Leaderboards, but that didn’t happen. Features that fans have come to expect from the fifteenth game in the worlds best selling franchise were just absent for months.

On April 4, Treyarch made an update post for Black Ops 4 that marked the official release of Black Ops 4’s Combat Record. I was thrilled to see the studio finally make good on their promise however my excitement was cut short when I realized this was only coming to mobile.

Yes. The statistics from the game you play on your console are only viewable on your mobile device or web browser. While this isn’t the first time these figures were viewable outside of the game itself (Call of Duty Elite was doing similar things with Modern Warfare 3) this is the first time the Combat Record is exclusively on mobile. Treyarch explains there philosophy here:

Providing Combat Record on mobile and web brings the stats that players want to the platform where they will get the most use out of them without taking time away from playing the game, so you can check your stats quickly and easily on your phone, tablet, or PC between matches.”

My main issue here is that this statement is inherently flawed and no one at Treyarch seemed to notice or care. If the reason for putting Combat Record exclusively on mobile and web was so it doesn’t take time away from playing the game, does that mean the proper way to check stats is to have my controller in one hand and my phone/computer in the other? I’m either looking at the stats or playing the game.

They say that we can now easily and quickly check stats between matches, but I just don’t believe that looking for your phone/computer, unlocking it, finding the Call of Duty companion app, waiting for it to load up and sign in, then swiping around for your desired stat is either quick or easy.

Call of Duty Companion app on iPhone X. Without scrolling or tapping around, I get barely three pieces of information.

The way I used Combat Record in the past was either before games or after games I’d jump in to check how I’m doing with certain weapons and in certain modes. There would be no other devices and my hands stayed gripped on my controller. To get to the Combat Record would only take several button presses however Treyarch seems to disagree.

“When we originally launched Combat Record with Call of Duty: Black Ops, we were excited by the potential of going deep on player stats, and we expanded the feature set throughout the Black Ops series. It was a big feature that unfortunately only a small number of players engaged with in the game because it was buried deep in the menus, and our design goal with Black Ops 4 has been to bring the most meaningful statistics to more players in more locations where they will see and interact with them.”

This statement has me absolutely baffled. I obviously don’t have the numbers on how many players engaged with Combat Record in the past, but I have some issues with their take on fixing it.

The Combat Record in Black Ops 3 is literally four button presses away from any screen in the game. Let’s go with the idea that this is considered “buried deep in the menus.” Then wouldn’t a better solution be to make it less buried in the menus rather than scrapping it all together?

They go on to say that Black Ops 4’s Combat Record will bring the stats to more locations where we can see them. Then why not have them in-game AND in the app? Saying you want more people to see them but then restricting players from seeing them in the game itself just doesn’t make sense. Treyarch should at least give players the option to check the stats on their phones OR in game, not just one place.

The first Combat Record from Call of Duty Black Ops

With all that said, I do appreciate their apology on promising the Combat Record way too early and not communicating properly back then. However, it has been six months since that promise and never were we updated clearly on what was going on. I know game development is hard and there are a lot of things that go wrong, but to leave the Call of Duty community hanging for so long just isn’t right.

After months and months of threads and tweets popping up asking for in-game Combat Record and then having it appear on mobile and web exclusively just feels like we weren’t being listened to or were simply ignored.

In the end, this whole move by Treyarch completely misses the mark. The communication, the implementation, and even the features, does not live up to what Combat Record was expected to be. From my own experience, I’ve found the Call of Duty Companion app to be buggy and harder to navigate than any in-game Combat Record in the past. Ideally, I would love to see Treyarch add the Combat Record back to the game and build upon the app alongside it’s in-game counterpart, but lets at least get some real Zombies Leaderboards first.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops 4 assets appear in Black Ops Cold War

Weapon icons and symbols from Black Ops 4 have been appearing in Black Ops Cold War.

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Weapon icons and symbols from Black Ops 4 have been appearing in Black Ops Cold War.

Black Ops Cold War has had a rough launch, as is somewhat expected with a major new release, with widespread crashes and game-breaking bugs being reported.

While a game is in the development process, developers often use assets from previous games as placeholder images. Until the game has been fully developed, they’ll add images from previous games to take up space until the new image can be inserted.

Some of these placeholder images have been appearing in Black Ops Cold War.

Reused assets

The Dual Wield attachment icon in Cold War appears as the Saug’s dual wield icon from Black Ops 4.

While hovering over weapons, the game can show weapons from Black Ops 4 instead. When u/Metoaga hovered over an M82 Sniper Rifle in the campaign, the image for it displayed BO4’s SDM Sniper Rifle. Also, while in Zombies, u/IronClooch69‘s RPD was displayed as the Hades Light Machine Gun from Black Ops 4.

Reddit user u/Lorenso0 reported getting Black Ops 4’s Prestige Master screen after completing a match of Free for All in Cold War. Other players confirmed they were also receiving the Prestige Master screen at around level 94.

Black Ops Cold War has seen multiple game-breaking bugs and crashes, such as the PlayStation 4 controller disconnecting. With those bugs, it’s likely that fixing reused assets appearing in Cold War will be far down on Treyarch’s agenda.

We will probably have to wait for the launch of Season 1 on December 10, where a large patch will be available to download.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

How Nuketown has changed over the years

We take a look at Nuketown throughout the years.

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Call of Duty revealed that classic map Nuketown will be coming to Black Ops Cold War on November 24.

Nuketown has been in every iteration of the Black Ops franchise and Cold War will be no different. It will feature a brand new version of Nuketown called Nuketown ’84. We’re taking a look at how the classic map has evolved throughout the years.

Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

Nuketown

Where it started. This small map started as a project by level designer Adam Hoggatt. It wasn’t intended to be in the full game but after playtests, it quickly became a favorite among the developers.

Inspired by the 2008 movie Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, the map is designed to be a nuclear testing facility modeled after 1950s suburban America.

Nuketown is a small map, capitalizing on the popularity of Shipment in CoD 4: Modern Warfare (2007) and Rust in Modern Warfare 2 (2009). With its yellow school bus in the center and picket-fenced gardens, it instantly became one of CoD’s most memorable maps.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012)

Nuketown 2025

Nuketown returned in the next installment of the Black Ops franchise. With the exact same layout, this updated version brought Nuketown to the 21st century.

Nuketown 2025 came as a pre-order bonus with Black Ops 2 but could also be purchased as DLC. This version of Nuketown swapped the classic 1950s look for a blend of retro 60s with Black Ops 2’s futuristic aesthetic.

This updated version fixed the spawn issues from the original Nuketown, leading to many believing this to be the best iteration.

Nuketown Zombies

Nuketown was also included in Black Ops 2’s Zombies mode. It was basically the original Nuketown map designed for Zombies.

This version of Nuketown is the aftermath of the nuclear bomb that goes off at the end of every Nuketown round.

In this version, the map has been damaged by the Nuclear Bomb and smoke and ash blotting out the sun. Zombies spawn in all the usual ways but the Pack-A-Punch and Perk-A-Cola machines spawn after killing certain numbers of zombies.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012)

Nukehouse

This is a version of Nuketown most will be unfamiliar with. Activision released a stripped-back version of Black Ops for the PS Vita called Black Ops Declassified. The single-player took place between the original Black Ops and Black Ops 2 and also included multiplayer.

A smaller version of Nuketown which only featured the yellow house and the truck on the street was included. This map was extremely small with players often spawning right next to each other.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015)

Nuk3town

Black Ops 3 recreated Nuketown in a science-fiction style. With bright colors, futuristic cars, and digital confetti rising from the buses, this was a very different looking Nuketown. The layout of the map stayed much the same, however.

Read more: Verdansk map to remain in Warzone after Black Ops Cold War launch

This map wasn’t available for the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 as this game released during the transition between console generation.

Apart from the aesthetic changes, this version also had high walls to take advantage of ‘wall-running’ which was part of Call of Duty’s movement system at the time.

There were also Easter Eggs included in Nuk3town such as shooting mannequins in a certain sequence which would start a zombie-esque outbreak.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)

Nuketown 2018

Nuketown 2018 received a mixed reception. This version took on a Soviet aesthetic, being set in the winter with a muted color palette. Although less of a change compared to Nuk3town, players were underwhelmed by the map’s design.

The specialist abilities such as the Grapple Gun drastically altered the flow of the map. Players felt that Nuketown 2018 played too differently to the original.

An addition some liked was the RC-XD tunnel system, in which the remote car could be driven beneath the map past missile silos, and come out the other side.

Nuketown Island (Blackout)

Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode Blackout featured many classic Black Ops maps. Nuketown was included in a location of the map called Nuketown Island.

Nuketown Island includes the whole town that Nuketown is part of, taking heavy inspiration from the classic Nuketown map as well as Nuketown Zombies. The area is heavily damaged similar to how it is in Nuketown Zombies and contains the original cul-de-sac from Nuketown.

Brand new to Nuketown, the area has a nuclear bunker and tunnel system underneath that players can access.

Call of Duty Mobile (2019)

Call of Duty Mobile contains classic maps from both the Black Ops and Modern Warfare franchises and Nuketown is no exception.

This brought it back to the very original Nuketown map we had in Call of Duty Black Ops. Although played on mobile devices, the map plays much the same as it did in the very first Black Ops.

With Nuketown returning in Black Ops Cold War, expect it to have a 1980s theme.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

COD 2020 Teasers: Black Ops 4 Summit map, Treyarch social profile

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As we opened our new crates that Activision sent through, Black Ops 4’s Summit map got an update.

The screens in the center of the map in Black Ops 4 turned on which seem to match to what some of our slides show:

There’s also a look at clocks of 4 out of the 5 locations that some of us got as part of the slides to see:

These changes do appear to be new, especially the screens with the targets on them. Analyzing older images of the maps showcase that the screens were not showing the same thing.

In addition, Treyarch has updated their cover photo on social channels.

It’s getting cold out there…

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