Is Call of Duty Black Ops IV (2018), Worth Playing?
Call of Duty Black Ops IV is an M-Rated title, and this review may contain screenshots that some readers may find offensive/disturbing.
Call of Duty Black Ops IV is the tragic tale of a franchise losing its identity at a time when gaming was less than a year away from a revolution that would change the way people engage with multiplayer games forever.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Price: $59.99+
Release Date: 12 October 2018
Supported Modes:

No Campaign.

Call of Duty titles are known for two things: excellent multiplayer content and solid single-player campaigns that are almost worth the box price by themselves, and when Treyarch announced that Call of Duty Black Ops IV would not be shipping with a campaign (despite leaks proving that it was at one time in development), immediately many people lost internet in the title, especially those who were already uncertain about the hero shooter-esque approach to multiplayer that the traditional 6v6 modes were taking.

To make matters worse, the presence of cutscenes in-game shows that a AAA campaign experience was planned. While it would likely be inferior to Call Of Duty Black Ops II, from what little we have been able to see would have been significantly better than Call of Duty Black Ops III’s poorly-received campaign.

Unfortunately, Call of Duty Black Ops IV’s poor reception and lack of development resulted in the narrative (like much of the game) being left incomplete, with the vast majority of developer resources being assigned to Call of Duty Black Ops IV’s one saving grace, its short-lived but very popular battle royale mode (Blackout).


Pictured: A screenshot of the Specialist HQ introduction, which was originally to be part of the single-player campaign before it was axed in favour of dedicating additional resources to multiplayer content. 


Blackout was very successful at one thing: proving that there was room in the market for a AAA battle royale with the type of fast-paced, high-stakes gunplay that made Call of Duty a household name for almost 20 years.

And while it was eventually made obsolete by its vastly superior and more readily available free-2-play successor (Call of Duty: Warzone), Blackout remains active on both Playstation and Xbox, with full lobbies of featured modes filling in five minutes or less.



Call of Duty Black Ops IV was Activision’s attempt at cashing in on the success of Overwatch and, more importantly, Fortnite, which dominated headlines worldwide due to its record-breaking growth and public awareness.

And despite making a few missteps (no campaign, rushed development), the experiment worked. Call of Duty Black Ops IV is one of the most unique titles in the franchise’s long history; with vibrant colours and cool-looking playable characters (specialists), each with their unique gadgets and ultimate abilities, Call of Duty Black Ops IV successfully merged the hero shooter and arcade shooter genres, even if in doing so they alienated much of their core fanbase.


First and Last of An Era.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV was unique in that it was the first and last of an era in multiple ways.

  1. The last Call of Duty title to have a season pass, with all future Call of Duty titles offering all maps to all players.
  2. The last Call of Duty title without a battle pass.
  3. The last Call of Duty title without cross-platform multiplayer and cross-progression support.
  4. The first Call of Duty title not to launch on Steam since the platform’s launch in 2003 (the last to return, with all other unreleased titles releasing onto Steam in March 2023).
  5. The first Call of Duty title to offer 100-player content (Blackout).
  6. The first Call of Duty title to launch on


Declining Quality.

Due to Call of Duty Black Ops IV’s poor critical and user reception, season pass content decreased in quality as the year progressed, and nowhere was this more noticeable than in zombies mode, which saw the most noticeable drop in quality from fully voiced new content with cinematics at launch, followed by a series of map remasters lacking character and by the end of Call of Duty Black Ops IV’s life cycle substantial voice acting and cinematics.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is the second worst-performing Call of Duty title of the modern era, with only the original three titles and Call of Duty: Infinite selling fewer copies.


PC Version in Crisis.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV on PC is doing much worse than the Xbox and PlayStation versions, with multiple features and entire modes being disabled in a last-ditch effort to keep the game alive.

In addition, the store no longer offers a way to purchase COD points (and, by extension, cosmetic items), indicating that Activision has essentially given up on the small PC community, while the Xbox and, to a greater extent, Plsyation communities continue to flourish, with the Playstation version offering near-instant matchmaking for all modes during peak hours, and instant matchmaking for popular modes during off-peak hours.

Hopefully, Microsoft will dedicate some resources to improving the PC version now they own Activision; however, until that happens, I cannot recommend Call of Duty Black Ops IV to PC gamers.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV FAQ

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is a first person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision, it was released on 12 October 2018 and retails for $59.99+.

Platform Availability.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Are The Developers Active?

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is no longer in active development, and the developers have moved on to other projects.

How Many People Play Call of Duty Black Ops IV?

As of April 2024, around 200,000 people play Call of Duty Black Ops IV on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Call of Duty Black Ops IV Playerbase?

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is fairly active, meaning that matchmaking is stable for much of the day in populated regions and viable in less populated regions, even though wait times are considerably longer.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV was the last Call of Duty title released before robust crossplay support became a staple of the franchise, and while the Xbox and PlayStation communities are fairly active, the PC community is much smaller and, as a result, has longer matchmaking times for popular modes, and less popular modes rarely if ever have enough players to fill a lobby, if they can start at all, a situation worsened by length matchmaking issued that have plagued the game for around 18 months before being addressed in mid-2023.

Is Cross-Platform Multiplayer Supported?

Call of Duty Black Ops IV supports:

  • Cross-Generational Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Generational Parties.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Call of Duty Black Ops IV offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Skill-Based Matchmaking
  • Region-Based Matchmaking
  • Solo Matchmaking
  • Group Matchmaking

Are There In-Game Microtransactions?

The Call of Duty Black Ops IV in-game store sells:

  • Premium Currency Bundles.
  • Starter Packs.
  • Pay for Convenience Items.
  • Pay-2-Win Items.

Please note that COD points can no longer be purchased for the PC version, meaning that new players are effectively locked out of the cosmetic system beyond those items which can be earned by playing the game.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • Console - Mouse and Keyboard.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:

  • Bad Language
  • Gore
  • Mature Themes
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Call of Duty Black Ops IV is a decent game, and if you can get ahold of it on console, there are still plenty of people to engage with; however, with every Call of Duty released after it having full crossplay support, there is no reason to purchase Call of Duty Black Ops IV for $59.99 (+ $39.99 season pass) when the vastly superior and substantially more active  Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War regularly goes on sale for less than $40.

Is Call of Duty Black Ops IV Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Call of Duty Black Ops IV" a rating of 6/10, which means, while it is mediocre/average, and has its fair share of issues, the average gamer would not regret playing it.

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