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Patch Notes for Patch Update 1.16 for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Barebones, Weapon Updates, And More

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Treyarch has released the latest patch update for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The update is version 1.16 and is 11.8GB in size on PS4 and 12GB on Xbox One.

This update ends the Shamrock & Awe event in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PS4, brings support for the new Ancient Evil Zombies map, new MP and Blackout updates, and more.

The new update brings new content for Zombies players, new weapon balancing updates across MP and Blackout, the Barebones mode for MP on PS4, and more.

Here’s the full breakdown of what’s new and updates, directly from Treyarch:

Operation Grand Heist’s new 1.16 update delivers the latest chapter in the Zombies Chaos story with “Ancient Evil”, the debut of Barebones in MP, Outrider’s Sparrow and Zero’s EMP Disruptor in Blackout, new weapon tuning across all modes, and much more! Let’s take a look at some of the biggest additions to the game in this update:

“Ancient Evil” Map + New Perk, Elixirs, and Talismans in Zombies on PS4

The Black Ops 4 Zombies saga continues with “Ancient Evil” on PS4, packed with new enemies, weapons, traps, Easter Eggs, and unexpected surprises. Players will take on the undead hordes and mythological creatures in the depths of ancient Delphi as Scarlett, Diego, Bruno, and Shaw in the final episode of the Chaos story in our current Zombies season. The famed Oracle of Delphi holds the key to freeing Scarlett’s father, Alistair Rhodes, and uncovering the true power of the Prima Materia… but at what cost?

In addition to “Ancient Evil”, we’ve also added a new Perk called “Zombshell” on PS4 with this update, which grants a chance for basic zombies to explode when killed, leaving behind a contamination field that slows enemies and increases damage dealt to them. Players with the modifier will also become invisible to zombies while standing in the contamination field and gain increased weapon reload speeds, perfect for getting out of sticky situations and thinning the horde for your team.

And we didn’t stop there. Five new Elixirs and two new Talismans are also now available on PS4 with today’s update, including:

  • New Elixirs
    • Suit Up (Epic)
    • Dividend Yield (Legendary)
    • Talkin’ Bout Regeneration (Rare)
    • Bullet Boost (Common)
    • Quacknarok (Classic Whimsical)
  • New Talismans
    • Glowing Phylactery (Epic)
    • Battered Dragon Scale (Legendary)

Check out the patch notes below for the full details on what each of the new Elixirs and Talismans brings to the table. We’re big fans of Quacknarok.

Finally, yesterday’s Studio Livestream viewers witnessed the world premiere of the new “High Priest of Chaos” backstory vignette and the debut of the in-game cinematic intro video for “Ancient Evil”. Missed the livestream? We got you. Watch the full VOD here and “High Priest of Chaos” here.

Weapon Tuning Updates in Multiplayer, Blackout, and Zombies

This update delivers a new round of weapon tuning across Multiplayer, Blackout, and Zombies, with changes adapted for each mode and select console-only updates to certain SMGs. While many of these tuning updates apply to ADS speeds and extended damage ranges, there’s one change our sniper community will be happy to hear about: the Paladin HB50’s magazine size has increased from 5 to 6. No need for Extended Mags!

Hit up the patch notes below to see which weapons have been updated across all modes and let us know what you think in the comments. While we believe the current weapon meta is our most balanced in a Black Ops game to date, we’re always testing the next potential round of tuning for future updates to ensure every weapon is competitive and fun to master.

Speaking of weapons, we’ve also added a free Weapon Crate that guarantees a MKII Signature Weapon granting +25% extra XP per kill, plus two free Reserves items. Visit the Black Market on PS4 to claim yours before jumping into your next match!

Barebones Now Live in MP on PS4

Barebones has arrived! You asked for the option to jump into a more old-school MP experience, and we’ve been working behind the scenes to design a mode that captures the spirit of Black Ops II while staying true to Black Ops 4’s core mechanics. We think you’re going to love the end result, launching today on PS4 in both Core and Hardcore variants.

Barebones in Black Ops 4 features 6v6 TDM and Domination with no Specialist Weapons, Special Issue Equipment, Gear, or Operator Mods allowed. Equipment is now single-use with no cooldowns and comes fully charged on each respawn, and Spawn Select is disabled for faster respawns. You’ll still be able to manually heal and slide, but your choice of Specialist is just for show here, so be sure to set up your classes accordingly! Check out Barebones today in the Featured category and let us know what you think.

Sparrow, EMP Disruptor, Vehicle Improvements + More in Blackout

Blackout gets several new additions in this week’s update, including the debut of Outrider’s Sparrow in Supply Stashes, the arrival of Zero’s EMP Disruptor for more opportunities to disable enemy vehicles and Equipment, the reveal of the new Home Wrecker melee weapon in Contraband Stashes, and more.

To prevent players from relying on the Outlander + Consumer Perk combo to out-heal the competition in the final circle instead of joining the fight, Collapse damage now escalates the longer you’re in it, especially during the final circle of the match. If you want the victory, you’ll have to earn it.

We’ve also added co-pilot support for the Little Bird and Cargo Truck, and for players who find the sun’s glare more than a little distracting during gunfights in the new springtime Blackout map, we’ve reduced the glare intensity when looking toward the sun.

New Ranks and Ricochet Friendly Fire Added to League Play

League Play gets even bigger this week with new heights to achieve at Ranks 21-30. We’re also introducing Skill Divisionsto League Play in an upcoming update, which will place players into new skill-based Divisions with a path for the absolute best players to reach Master Division. Weekly League Play Events and bonus pools that span the entirety of each event are also planned for the near future.

Last but not least, we’ve added a new Ricochet Friendly Fire system to League Play and Hardcore modes to combat intentional teamkilling. Ricochet Friendly Fire is now enabled for the first 15 seconds of a match or round, and after 3 teamkills, any subsequent damage dealt to a teammate will reflect back to the attacker. Further Ricochet teamkills will incur an escalating respawn delay penalty, and they’ll be removed from the match after 3 Ricochets. In Search and Destroy, damaging a teammate who is planting or defusing a bomb will also ricochet damage back to the attacking teammate.

Nobody likes a griefer, and now they’ll have to PTFO or GTFO.

Read on below for today’s updates:

  • General
    • Free Weapon Crate with guaranteed MKII Signature Weapon now available in the Black Market (PS4).
    • Weapon tuning pass in Multiplayer, Blackout, and Zombies.
    • Reactive Camos now available on all guns (Gold camo no longer required).
    • Reduced potential max amount of flinch while not aiming down sights.
    • Fixes and improvements for Theater, Paintshop, and IU issues.
    • Stability and bug fixes in Multiplayer, World League Hub, and Zombies.
  • Multiplayer
    • Barebones game modes now live in Core and Hardcore (PS4).
    • Ricochet Friendly Fire rules added to all Hardcore modes.
    • XP rewards increased for several medal events.
    • Increased score for collecting an enemy dog tag in Kill Confirmed to 100.
    • Gameplay improvements for various Specialists, Care Package, and Tactical Mask.
  • Zombies
    • “Ancient Evil” now live for Black Ops Pass holders (PS4).
    • New Perk available: Zombshell (PS4).
    • New Elixirs available: Suit Up, Dividend Yield, Talkin’ Bout Regeneration, Bullet Boost, and Quacknarok (PS4).
    • New Talismans available: Glowing Phylactery and Battered Dragon Scale (PS4).
  • Blackout
    • Sparrow and EMP Disruptor added.
    • Escalating Collapse damage added to counter out-healing others in the final circle.
    • Added co-pilot support for the Little Bird and the Cargo Truck.
    • Reduced glare in the Blackout map when looking toward the sun.
    • Home Wrecker melee weapon now available in Contraband Stashes (PS4).
  • World League Hub
    • Added ranks 21-30.
    • Ricochet Friendly Fire rules added for all League Play matches.
    • UI and Create-a-Class improvements.

The following updates are live on PS4, with other platforms to follow:

MULTIPLAYER

  • Game Modes
    • Barebones
      • Barebones added as Featured Playlist on PS4.
      • 6v6 with no Specialist Weapons, Special Issue Equipment, Gear, or Operator Mods allowed.
      • Equipment is now single-use with no cooldowns. Equipment is fully charged on each respawn.
      • Spawn Select disabled.
      • Both playlists include Team Deathmatch and Domination.
      • Core and Hardcore playlists available in Featured category.

ZOMBIES

  • Maps
    • Ancient Evil
      • New “Ancient Evil” map added for Black Ops Pass holders.
  • New Perk
    • Zombshell
      • Basic zombies have a chance to explode when killed, leaving behind a contamination field that slows enemies and increases damage dealt to them.
      • Modifier: Players with the modifier are ignored by zombies while standing in the contamination field. Weapon reload speed is increased.
  • New Elixirs
    • Suit Up (Epic)
      • Player and nearby teammates get full Armor, which lasts until destroyed.
      • Instant activation.
    • Dividend Yield (Legendary)
      • Some of the points earned create additional bonus points for all players.
      • Instant activation. Lasts 5 minutes.
    • Talkin’ Bout Regeneration (Rare)
      • The player’s health constantly regenerates while moving.
      • Instant activation. Lasts 4 minutes.
    • Bullet Boost (Common)
      • Applies or re-rolls an alternate ammo type to the player’s current weapon (if supported). Weapon damage is not affected.
      • Instant activation.
    • Quacknarok (Classic Whimsical)
      • Zombies now wear a duck float with hilarious results.
      • Instant activation. Lasts 5 minutes.
    • NOTE: Quacknarok is a durable Elixir rather than a consumable Elixir.
  • New Talismans
    • Glowing Phylactery (Epic)
      • Start the match with an extra self-revive.
    • Battered Dragon Scale (Legendary)
      • Activating your Special Weapon gives increased armor, which lasts until destroyed.
  • Stability
    • Resolved an issue that rarely caused instability when signing out and back in on PS4 during a game.

BLACKOUT

  • Contraband Stashes
    • Home Wrecker melee weapon now available in Contraband Stashes.

GENERAL

  • Stability
    • Fixed a crash related to signing in and out of accounts on PS4.
    • Addressed an issue where players could get in a stuck state after switching accounts on the title screen.

The following updates are live on PS4 and Xbox One, with PC to follow:

MULTIPLAYER

Weapon Tuning

  • Submachine Guns
    • Cordite
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
      • Extended 5-shot range from 2.5 meters 4 meters. [Console only]
    • Daemon 3XB
      • Extended 6-shot range from 8 meters to 11.5 meters.
    • MX9
      • Increased ADS-out speed.
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • Spitfire
      • Extended 6-shot range from 7 meters to 7.5 meters. [Console only]
    • Saug 9mm
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • Switchblade X9
      • Increased magazine size from 26 to 30.
      • Players now spawn with 3 extra magazines instead of 2.
  • Assault Rifles
    • KN-57
      • Extended 4-shot range from 16 meters to 17 meters.
      • Extended 5-shot range from 46 meters to 57 meters.
  • Tactical Rifles
    • ABR 223
      • Increased ADS-in speed.
      • Ammo increased from 30 to 36.
      • Extended 4-shot range from 32 meters to 38 meters.
  • Sniper Rifles
    • Paladin HB50
      • Increased magazine size from 5 to 6.
      • Reduced reload speed.
    • SDM
      • Increased fire rate.
  • Pistols
    • RK 7 Garrison
      • Increased damage. Now takes 1 less bullet to kill at all ranges.
    • Mozu
      • Extended 3-shot range from 19 meters to 24 meters.
      • Extended 4-shot range from 25 meters to 32 meters.
      • Extended 5-shot range from 32 meters to 38 meters.
    • Strife
      • Increased fire rate.

Friendly Fire

  • New Friendly Fire system added to all World League and Hardcore game modes:
    • Ricochet Friendly Fire is now enabled for the first 15 seconds of a match or round.
    • After the first 15 seconds, the first 3 teamkills will be true friendly fire, where the victim will take full damage.
    • After the first 3 teamkills, any subsequent damage dealt to a teammate will ricochet back to the attacker instead of damaging the teammate.
    • Once transitioned to the Ricochet system, further Ricochet teamkills will incur an escalating respawn delay penalty.
    • The player will then be allowed 3 Ricochet teamkills before being removed from the match.
    • Damaging a teammate who is planting or defusing a bomb will ricochet damage back to the attacking teammate in World League.

XP

  • Increased XP earned for all Scorestreak kills to 100 XP.
  • Increased XP awarded for killing the K9-Unit to 100 XP.
  • Increased XP awarded for Ice Pick Shutdown to 100 XP.
  • Increased XP awarded for destroying an RC-XD to 100 XP.
  • Increased XP awarded for killing a Swat Team unit to 250 XP.
  • Increased XP for the Forward Position Medal to 250 XP.

Game Modes

  • Kill Confirmed
    • Increased score for collecting an enemy dog tag in Kill Confirmed to 100.
  • Search and Destroy
    • Addressed an issue where spectating in Search and Destroy could cause team colors to display incorrectly on the scoreboard.
  • Heist
    • Addressed an issue where the end of the round pips could be on the wrong team.

Specialists

  • Nomad
    • Added pathing and spawning improvements for Nomad’s K9-Unit.
    • K9-Unit now properly takes damage from Razor Wire.
  • Outrider
    • Players hit by a fully-charged Sparrow shot will now properly hear the impact sound of the bolt.

Perks

  • Tactical Mask
    • Players with Tactical Mask who have been downed by an enemy Tempest no longer chain to teammates after the Tempest status effect wears off.

Scorestreaks

  • Care Package
    • Addressed an issue where being killed while claiming a Care Package could cause issues with controllable Scorestreaks.
    • Addressed an issue where the Care Package would not drop from the helicopter if a player called it in along the water in Madagascar.

Custom Games

  • Addressed an issue where the Bonus Maps tab was not appearing in Offline Local Games.
  • Fixed a crash in Custom Games related to turning the Specialist Draft off.

WORLD LEAGUE HUB

  • New Ranks
    • Added Ranks 21-30 to League Play.
  • UI
    • Players will now get a notification that they’ve received a Calling Card when they reach ranks that award them.
    • Rank up animations will now start at the player’s current rank instead of their final rank.
    • Players in the Top 5 will be labeled as “Top 5” instead of “Top 10” in their League Play Event results screen.
  • Create-a-Class
    • Addressed an issue with restricted items appearing in Custom Classes.
    • Addressed an issue where restricted Scorestreaks could appear as selected.

BLACKOUT

Weapon Tuning

  • Submachine Guns
    • Cordite
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • MX9
      • Increased ADS-out speed.
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • Saug 9mm
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • Switchblade X9
      • Increased magazine size from 26 to 30.
  • Sniper Rifles
    • SDM
      • Increased fire rate.
  • Pistols
    • RK 7 Garrison
      • Increased damage. Now takes 1 less bullet to kill at all ranges.
    • Strife
      • Increased fire rate.

Map

  • Reduced glare intensity when looking toward the sun in the Blackout map.

Weapons

  • Outrider’s Sparrow can now be found in Supply Stashes.

Equipment

  • Zero’s EMP Disruptor grenade can now be found in the Blackout map.

Vehicles

  • Added co-pilot support for the Little Bird and the Cargo Truck.
  • Made improvements to Muscle Car collision to fix instances where a Muscle Car driver was unable to kill enemies.

Customization

  • Addressed an issue with various camos not appearing properly on the MX9 Tactical.

Stability

  • Fixed a rare crash that could occur when swapping and equipping an item.

Miscellaneous

  • Re-enabled the ability to hold the Use button continuously to use multiple Armor Plates and activate Perks without needing to release the input.
  • Removed blur from the Victory Screen.
  • Addressed instances where characters’ lobby animations could become corrupted.
  • Addressed an issue that prevented mode-specific loading screen tips from being properly displayed.
  • Addressed an issue where users could find Seraph’s Annihilator inside of a Supply Stash.

ZOMBIES

Weapon Tuning

  • Submachine Guns
    • Cordite
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • MX9
      • Increased ADS-out speed.
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
    • Saug 9mm
      • Increased sprint-out speed.
  • Tactical Rifles
    • ABR 223
      • Increased ADS-in speed.
  • Sniper Rifles
    • Paladin HB50
      • Reduced reload speed.
    • SDM
      • Increased fire rate.
  • Pistols
    • Strife
      • Increased fire rate.

Global

  • High-Round Stability
    • Fixed a rare crash that could occur when displaying certain text strings, particularly during high-round matches.
  • Perks
    • Closed a Mule Kick exploit that allowed players to acquire more than one Wonder Weapon on several maps.
    • Improved the clarity of the description for the Stamin-Up Perk.
  • Special Weapons
    • Addressed an issue that sometimes caused the XP bar to display an inaccurate value while charging up a weapon.
  • Armory
    • Addressed an issue causing the Cordite Zero G Mastercraft menu to display incorrect visual stage information for the weapon.
  • Create-A-Class
    • Addressed an issue that prevented the model preview from updating appropriately when switching between tabs in the Talisman and Elixir Menus.
  • Lobby
    • Addressed an issue that prevented the Solo button from functioning until the selection was unselected and back to the button after backing out of a match.
  • UI
    • Addressed an issue that caused the self-revive prompt to remain visible in the Options menu.
    • Addressed an issue that sometimes prevented a player’s name from being displayed properly while reviving.
    • Addressed an issue where Prestige Master icons remained locked after reaching the appropriate level.
  • Host Migration
    • Addressed an issue that would rarely cause host migration to fail, resulting in the match ending.
    • Addressed an issue that prevented being able to join an applicable game in progress after the match had migrated hosts.
    • Addressed an issue that caused Perk icons on the HUD granted by the Perk Up Elixir to disappear after migrating hosts.
    • Addressed a rare issue that caused certain lights to turn off after migrating hosts.

Custom Games

  • Stability
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when acquiring a Perk reward with all Perks disabled.
  • Custom Rules
    • Addressed issues that caused several custom rules for the Enhanced AI category to function incorrectly.
    • Addressed an issue that caused the Headshots Only custom rule for basic zombies to apply to all enemy types.
    • Added better descriptions that detail which enemy types are affected by option groups in the Enemies Menu.

Miscellaneous

  • Gauntlets
    • Addressed an issue that prevented rewards from being granted when players disconnected before the end of the match.
    • Addressed an issue that prevented weapons with the Kill Counter or Clan Tag attached from counting as a weapon without attachments on “Hellcatraz”.
    • Addressed an issue that rarely prevented Pack-A-Punch sound FX from playing while upgrading a weapon on “Hellcatraz”.
    • Added a HUD indicator to inform users that they cannot fire while aiming down sights with the Brazen Bull during the “Shoot From The Hip” round on “Veni, Vidi, Zombie!”
  • Rush
    • Addressed an issue that caused zombies to stop spawning during the third defense location if the user was downed before the timer ran out.
  • Blood of the Dead
    • Closed multiple exploits in locations that could be exploited to avoid danger from zombies.
    • Addressed an issue that caused visual FX on the Warden’s Key to stop appearing when switching targets.
    • Addressed an issue that caused loss of functionality when spawning a Spoon while the Ragnarok DG-5 was equipped.
    • Addressed an issue that caused certain boards to become unrepairable.
  • Dead of the Night
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when hitting a Bat with the Ethereal Razor equipped.
  • Voyage of Despair
    • Addressed an issue that prevented progression of the Portal Pass side quest when using alternate ammo types during the vent step.
    • Addressed an issue that prevented progression of the Skeleton Rider side quest if the Shields Up Elixir had been used.
  • Tutorial
    • Rearranged columns on the scoreboard for consistency compared to other game modes.

GENERAL

  • Flinch
    • Reduced the maximum amount of flinch a player can exhibit while not aiming down sights.
  • Reactive Camos
    • Reactive Camos are now available on all guns, not only on those with Gold camo unlocked.
    • Reactive Camo starts wrapped on all guns.
    • Any weapon can be used to complete the unwrap requirement.
  • Theater
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when skipping through playback of Blackout matches.
    • Fixed various crashes related to playing back Zombie Gauntlet footage.
    • Addressed an issue where facial animations could stop during playback and rewind.
    • HUD elements should no longer appear when playing back Hardcore Blackout footage.
  • Mesh Mines
    • Increased the height of the Mesh Mine trace in Multiplayer and Blackout for more consistent detonations.
  • Paintshop
    • Addressed an issue where the scroll indicators were cut off if the player had more than 10 paintjobs.
  • UI
    • Addressed an issue in the Social menu where player Emblems and ranks weren’t displaying correctly.

SOURCE: Treyarch

Call of Duty

How to get a free CDL sticker in Warzone & Black Ops Cold War

Here’s how you can get a free Call of Duty League themed sticker in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

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Activision is offering players an exclusive Call of Duty League Sticker for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

The Call of Duty League 2021 kickoff starts this month, which means Activision is looking to expand marketing for the league.

The first marketing effort consists of a limited-edition “Squad Wipe” weapon sticker for players that will be useable in both Call of Duty: Warzone and Black Ops Cold War.

Note: The sticker will not be available in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Multiplayer.

Call of Duty League - Free Sticker

Here’s how you can get the sticker for yourself.

  • 1: Have an Activision account in good standing (no bans).
  • 2: Sign up for Call of Duty League email updates before February 4, 2021.
  • 3: Enter name, email, birthday, country, and favorite teams on the sign-up website to be eligible.
  • 4: Redeem the code emailed to you by January 21, 2022.

Expect the email to come shortly after the February 4, 2021, sign-up deadline. You can register for emails by using this link.

Image Credits: Activision

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Call of Duty tier list – the best & worst games

All of the best and worst Call of Duty titles, ranked.

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Call of Duty is a long-standing franchise spanning 18 different main entry releases. Let’s review the best & worst games yet.

The Call of Duty franchise has changed drastically over the past 17 years. We’ve seen the series reimagined with the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, then the jetpack era with the launch of Advanced Warfare.

Fast forward to the present, Infinity Ward redefined Call of Duty yet again with 2019’s Modern Warfare, launching the series to record sales.

Below you’ll find our tiered ratings for the best & worst Call of Duty games yet.

Note: We’ve excluded the classic Call of Duty games (1-3). After the launch of Call of Duty 4, the franchise hit large new audiences and improved drastically on the classic formula. Comparing those titles to the modern games just isn’t a fair comparison.

S Tier – The Legends

These games are the tip of the spear, the most iconic Call of Duty games yet. Many of these games put Call of Duty on the map and are still spoken as the “golden” games.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

After visiting Vietnam and the Cold War with the original Black Ops, Treyarch set their sights on the future. Black Ops 2 gave players an unforgettable multiplayer experience with futuristic weaponry, scorestreaks, and settings. Included with the base package was the first Call of Duty campaign to have multiple endings, and a zombies experience.

The DLC brought players some of the greatest Call of Duty experiences to date, with zombie maps such as Mob Of The Dead and Origins.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The game that put Call of Duty on an upwards trend to become the #1 first person shooter franchise ever created. Infinity Ward recreated the core Call of Duty experience, creating a fast paced and polished shooter.

The multiplayer experience brought iconic maps such as Shipment, Killhouse, Vacant, Crash & Broadcast. Additionally, the cinematic Campaign raised the bar for single-player experiences in shooters as well.

Releasing during the hayday of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, this was the “must get” game of 2007.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

After the release of Call of Duty: World At War, Treyarch knew they could step out of their comfort zone and bring the franchise past the second World War.

In order to bring a unique experience, Treyarch opted to set their first Black Ops game during the Vietnam/Cold War era. In the Campaign, players would be part of an elite squad working alongside the CIA in covert operations around the globe.

Black Ops set new highs for Treyarch’s titles, becoming an instant success. Zombies mode was redefined, becoming a rich, story focused experience for fans. Multiplayer introduced new gadgets and movement mechanics, such as the dolphin dive.

Iconic multiplayer and zombies maps were also introduced, like Summit, Nuketown, Kino Der Toten & Moon.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Following the success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward set their sights to improve upon the mechanics of the original Modern Warfare game with the sequel.

The campaign is a direct sequel to Modern Warfare and puts players in the shoes of several military factions as a war breaks out between the United States and Russia. Iconic figures like Captain Price, Commander Shepard, and Ghost all appear within the game. For the first time, players get to see the face of the main protagonist from Call of Duty 4, Soap.

For Multiplayer, a brand new set of 15 selectable killstreak rewards were introduced, evolving the killstreak system introduced in Call of Duty 4. The create-a-class system offered a new set of complex and unique perks for players, and many fell in love with maps like Terminal & Rust.

Modern Warfare 2 also launched with a “Special Ops” co-op mode, where players could play split-screen or online with a friend in a set of mission scenarios.

A-Tier – Overachievers

Lowering down a bit from nostalgic favorites, here’s some of the heavy-hitting Call of Duty games that deserve praise.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019

While controversial across the hardcore community, Modern Warfare yet again redefined the Call of Duty franchise, giving players one of the most polished and detailed Call of Duty titles ever created.

The campaign reintroduces classic characters with a fresh storyline, apart from the events of the classic Modern Warfare franchise. Each campaign mission introduces a tense, unique experience across the UK, Russia and the Middle East. It’s a must-play campaign experience for any Call of Duty player.

For multiplayer, animations were fine-tuned and weapons were overhauled to feel powerful in the hands of every player. The game opts for a classic Call of Duty loadout style with a twist – each weapon can have up to 5 attachments via the new gunsmith system, where players can change weapon barrels, stocks, grips and more to turn their gun into one that fits their specific playstyle.

In March of 2020, Infinity Ward released Modern Warfare’s Warzone mode, a 150 player battle royale – which was an instant hit. It quickly amassed over 75 million players after its first five months of release.

Call of Duty: World At War

With the evolution of the Call of Duty engine during the development of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Treyarch had the opportunity make the most detailed World War 2 shooter experience yet.

World At War delivered just that, giving players a chilling ride across the Pacific Theatre and Russian front. Gore mechanics were introduced, making the experience much more intense and realistic. By far, World at War is one of the best campaigns in Call of Duty history.

For multiplayer, players had the opportunity to experience gameplay eerie to Call of Duty 4 with World War 2 era weaponry. The game launched with a killstreak similar to Call of Duty 4 as well, giving players a recon plane, artillery strike, and attack dogs at three, five, and seven kills respectively. Popular maps included were Dome, Castle & Asylum.

Zombies were also introduced for the first time in the franchise, with the addition of Nacht Der Untoten. At launch, it was unlocked after completing the main campaign but was later unlocked by default for all players after the mode received high praise from fans. The mode received three more maps through DLC and has been continued in every Treyarch Call of Duty since.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 was the final classic Modern Warfare game, and the finale to the story of Task Force 141 and their battle against Valdmir Makarov.

The campaign brings us front and center to a full scale “what if” scenario for a third World War. Players visit landmarks across the world including Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and New York City. The campaign is a bit lackluster when compared to the first two games, but there are enough exciting locales for the game to hold up.

For Multiplayer, Modern Warfare 3 attempted to change up the create-a-class system with weapon proficiencies, a new perk system applied specifically to weapons. These perks would give weapons less flinch, more damage through walls, or even a second attachment.

Alongside these changes, a new “Strike Package” system was introduced to allow all players to have the chance to achieve killstreaks. Assault streaks reset upon death, granting lethal rewards for players who could reach high streaks in a single life. Support streaks did not reset upon death, but often required more kills and only rewarded less-lethal streaks to support the team. Lastly, we have the specialists streaks, which would reward perks instead of killstreaks. When a player hit 8 kills, they would be rewarded every perk in the game.

Overall, Modern Warfare 3’s Multiplayer felt like a celebration of all the series had achieved so far. It was a fun and exciting experience. The Special Ops mode from Modern Warfare 2 was also re-introduced, with new combat scenarios.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Black Ops 3 was an interesting year for Call of Duty. We debated putting this at B tier due to some of the game’s issues (supply drops, weak campaign), but the gameplay ultimately pulled it higher on the list.

For a jetpack Call of Duty game, Black Ops 3 found a perfect balance for the movement system. Wall running felt smooth, and combat was fun. Advanced Warfare’s boost jetpack system didn’t allow for wall running or controlled movement, which led to frustrating engagements. Black Ops 3 remedied these issues.

In combination with map design that complemented the movement system, a well-tuned specialist system and a well-balanced group of futuristic weapons, multiplayer was a treat for fans of the new jetpack movement.

Overall, the multiplayer experience was an entertaining one, mostly set back by the supply drop system that made the game feel pay to win. Players would often have to pour hundreds of dollars into a loot crate system to get the best weapons in the game.

In terms of the Zombies mode, it was the most evolved version yet, with brand new boss zombies, and even gave PC players a mod tools client to create their own maps. Towards the end of the game’s lifecycle, Zombies Chronicles was introduced, which brought several fan-favorite zombies map remasters to the game.

B- Tier – Average

These games showed much promise, but fell a bit short.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Black Ops 4 was a return to a “boots on the ground” experience, following Black Ops 3. Many mechanics from Black Ops 3 came over, including specialist characters and abilities. It was also the first and only Call of Duty game to not release with a proper Campaign.

While a fun installment, Black Ops 4 didn’t feel like a truly new Call of Duty experience, launching with four remade maps. The multiplayer felt just as smooth as a Call of Duty game should, but ultimately was set back by the annoyingly overpowered specialist abilities players would get throughout the game. These abilities were easy to use, awarding players with bonus XP for kills, which resulted in easier than normal to achieve scorestreaks.

The gameplay loop of multiplayer which originally fell on skilled gunfights, felt all but absent with regularly spammed equipment, specialist weapons, and streaks. It’s quite the shame, because a very well polished and fun multiplayer experience was hidden behind these mechanics.

Zombies was also a hit and miss experience, resulting in a divided Zombies community that criticized the mode for being shallow and oversimplified.

The main shining star of Black Ops 4 though, was the Blackout battle royale mode. This was Call of Duty’s first try at a modern battle royale, and Treyarch delivered an entertaining experience that gave Battle Royale a true Call of Duty spin.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

While it may not be fair to judge Black Ops Cold War just two months after its release, we decided to put it on the B-tier due to the launch issues. While the Treyarch team had less time than expected, they still managed to fully develop a game during a worldwide pandemic.

The game offers quite an entertaining campaign with all the exciting twists you’d expect from a Black Ops title, albeit a bit short. Multiplayer is what you’d expect as well, with fast-paced, heart-pumping combat. Also as a first to the Black Ops series, we now have 12v12 modes called “Combined Arms”. There’s also a Blackout-esque mode called “Fireteam” that takes place on large maps.

Zombies is the real star of the show though, being completely reworked into a more casual experience overall, while also offering a challenge to players who seek it. New currencies have been implemented into the mode for weapon upgrades, and those weapon upgrade systems have evolved past just the pack-a-punch system. You can even survive Zombies now, through the evac system.

As for the B rating, Black Ops Cold War’s launch just hasn’t impressed us when compared to Modern Warfare and Black Ops 4. The game only launched with eight 6v6 maps, and two 12v12 maps. Fireteam received two maps, but the core multiplayer experience felt lackluster for the games first month.

Luckily, Treyarch added Nuketown post launch, and Season 1 brought us 2 more multiplayer maps, with four 2v2 gunfight maps. Another Fireteam map is expected to launch midseason.

If the next few months go well for Black Ops Cold War, it very well could land higher on the list.

C- Tier

Passable, yet not stellar.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Sledgehammer Game’s first standalone installment in the Call of Duty universe was a beautiful game, with plenty of brand new mechanics. It was a solid game that should be commended for taking chances.

The game sought to capture the excitement of the Call of Duty formula, while also introducing jetpack mechanics. These mechanics allowed players to double jump and quickly evade from side to side. The jetpacks did not allow for much control mid air, which often led to clunky player movement. The sound of players double jumping around the map also created confusing audio queues for players trying to grasp situations around them.

While the core gameplay had its issues, the map design was well catered around the new gameplay design, resulting in relatively decent map flow on most maps.

This game was also the first Call of Duty to be built around the controversial Supply Drop system, that was later removed in Modern Warfare 2019.

Aside from Multiplayer, the game also brought a cinematic Campaign experience, with a relatively sub-par narrative. Exo-Zombies was also later introduced with the first DLC pack.

D-Tier

These games simply missed the mark.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

Ghosts is well regarded as one of the weakest franchise entries by fans, and for good reason. This game was a frustrating experience for players, with many complaining about visability on Multiplayer maps.

Deaths felt nearly instant, and many gunfights felt inconsistent due to the state of the servers. Infinity Ward also had to release the game on six different platforms, and across two console generations, which did not help.

The multiplayer was slow, punishing and overall tough to play as an aggressive player. Enemies blended in well with their surroundings, and killstreaks were lackluster. Competitive play was heavily weighed on host connection, so many online games felt unfair.

This was not helped by the Campaign, which had a confusing and hard to believe narrative, where South America defects against North America. To top it all off, the ending was even more impossible to believe. If you ignore the plot holes, the Campaign does have a few fun moments.

Ghosts is also the first Call of Duty where Infinity Ward attempted a third main game mode, this time in the mode Extinction. In this mode, you fight off waves of Aliens in an attempt to escape multiple scenarios.

Overall, it just felt Ghosts lacked direction. Much of the game went off in different directions. With a hard to digest storyline, subpar multiplayer and an aliens mode, it was tough to feel like this game knew what it wanted to be.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Following the launch of Call of Duty Ghosts, Infinity Ward set their sights on a futuristic sci-fi shooter set in space. After many years of jetpack Call of Duty games, fans were outraged by the decision for yet another year of jetpacks.

Infinite Warfare started off launch looking grim, amassing millions of dislikes on its YouTube trailer, becoming one of the most disliked YouTube videos ever.

Come launch, the multiplayer experience felt like an overall disappointment. The movement mechanics were fun and well-polished, but the Infinity Ward signature gunplay did not translate well into a jetpack title. Hitting targets at range felt unsatisfying, and the chaos of players darting around through the sky led to another year of frustrating gameplay. Since multiplayer is the main component of Call of Duty, much of the player base had a strong dislike for the game without giving Zombies or the Campaign a chance.

Speaking of those modes, Infinite Warfare actually does offer one of the greatest campaign experiences in the history of the franchise. It’s fun, unique and well designed. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s well worth going back for. The character cast is full of personality, and the unique side-missions are a treat.

Zombies also explores a fun twist between the future and the 1980’s, which makes for interesting crossovers between the future and the past.

While Infinite Warfare was negatively received for its multiplayer, its hard to not wonder if things would have went differently had it come out another year, when players weren’t burnt out of the jetpack gameplay.

Call of Duty: World War 2

Sledgehammer Game’s second attempt at a Call of Duty game, World War 2 was met with mixed fan reception. Some were excited to go back to World War 2, while others wanted a modern setting to return.

World War 2 was a solid Call of Duty experience, but that’s just about it. It didn’t introduce many new mechanics to the franchise, something that Sledgehammer previously did with Advanced Warfare. If anything, it felt safe…. too safe.

The multiplayer got stale quite fast after the initial launch of the game, resulting in repetitive matches with little to no variation. Killstreaks felt underwhelming to use and earn, which further resulted in burnout. Players were also initially punished for rushing for the first few months after release, with weapons having aim-down-sight delays after sprinting for several months until player backlash resulted in Sledgehammer Games overhauling the game.

As for the Campaign, it was surprisingly unmemorable for a game that takes place during World War 2. It has a very strong opening, but then quickly turns into a Hollywood blockbuster movie. Many scenes are either exaggerated or plain hard to believe. There are a few unique stealth missions, but no mission ever tops the intensity and beauty of the strong D-Day landing mission the game opens with.

Zombies also makes an appearance in World War 2, but fails to have any flair much like Treyarch’s zombies. Most environments are dull and depressing, and the mode gets repetitive fast. All of the DLC maps also suffer from this exact same issue, which is a shame.

Ultimately, World War 2 just seemed like an uninspiring “play it safe” addition to the franchise. It failed to interest us much after the launch, and since then we’ve yet to go back and replay it.

That’s it for our Call of Duty tier list. Be sure to tweet us @CharlieIntel and let us know your picks!

Image Credits: Activision

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Call of Duty

Captain Soap’s top 5 Call of Duty moments of all-time

To celebrate the new Operator bundle coming to Warzone, we commemorate Captain Soap with his top 5 Call of Duty moments of all-time.

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One of Call of Duty’s greatest ever characters and the man who truly began the Call of Duty that we know today. Here are 5 of his most impactful moments that still resonate in the CoD community to this day.

People always identify Captain Price as Call of Duty’s most iconic figure, and yet it was Soap who paved the way for much of the historic franchise’s success. His no-nonsense badass approach to everything made him a memorable and endearing figure, particularly once he became a Captain in Modern Warfare 2.

John “Soap” MacTavish’s accomplishments and legacy have been honored with a new Soap Operator Bundle in Warzone. But we thought we’d take it one step further and pay tribute to one of the best first-person shooter protagonists in recent memory.

“What the hell kind of name is Soap?”

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is now very much a seminal piece of craftmanship that paved the way for the future of FPS games. But before CoD descended into a game of one-upmanship on the multiplayer front, the game’s campaign used to be a must-play component.

The game’s first mission was the famous assault course where Price first laid eyes on Soap. As a lowly recruit, you had to run the course in the quickest time possible and people are still trying to perfect it to this very day. It was an introduction to the game’s mechanics, a solid time to be had, and Soap was officially on his way.

ssdd training mission in cod 4

The student becomes the teacher

Fast-forward a few years for Soap and he’s no longer a newbie finding his feet, he’s a Captain of the SAS and a true leader. The snowy “Cliffhanger” mission reintroduces us to an old flame and it’s now Soap leading the player in a mission.

It’s a terrific juxtaposition with COD4 and a sign of how far Soap has come along from knifing fruit in a training course and being ridiculed.

soap guiding roach in modern warfare 2 cliffhanger

Never forget your roots

Soap may be a teacher in MW2, but a student doesn’t forget the person who taught them. This leads to a rather brief but touching moment in a suicidal Gulag rescue operation.

The team is tasked with freeing a prisoner, but not knowing the identity of the person. It turns out to be Captain Price and those one or two seconds when Captain MacTavish is taken aback by seeing his old mentor is about as emotional as Call of Duty storytelling gets. The moment is also enhanced by Worm asking “Who’s Soap?”.

soap rescues captain price in modern warfare 2

Soap kills Shepherd to save Price

In the scintillating climax to Modern Warfare 2, the traitorous General Shepherd has severely wounded Soap with a military knife and is now pummeling Captain Price to death.

Soap seems to be on the brink of death when his instincts and adrenaline kicks in and he performs the most incredible knife throw imaginable. It kills Shepherd, he saves Price, who then saves him by getting Soap extracted.

price rescuing soap in modern warfare 2

Captain “Soap” MacTavish’s final hour

A truly tragic and somber moment that still ranks as one of Call of Duty’s most emotive and impactful to this day. Soap is fatally wounded from a combination of an explosion and falling several stories through a host of metal and construction.

Given that several of the moments on this list basically document the father/son relationship between Captain Price and Soap, it’s only fitting its ends with this. Soap, a soldier at heart, even manages to divulge major information with his final words which sets up a fascinating premise in Modern Warfare 3.

soap dying in cod modern warfare 3

That concludes our list of Soap’s 5 greatest and finest moments in CoD history. It’s a testament to the makers of the game that they keep bringing him back because he’s been such a vital part of the Call of Duty franchise.

Did we miss any out? Be sure to let us know.

Image credits: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games

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