One of the reasons I think so many people
dislike Black Ops 4 zombies is because of the lost potential of the game. I believe this is where the disproportionate
split comes from in the zombies community in terms of dislike to like for the game. People who genuinely love Black Ops 4 zombies
take it at face value, while people who dislike it can’t get over the “What could have
been idea”. In today’s episode of the Mainframe, I want
to explore the “what could have been but was dropped” in Black Ops 4 Zombies. *Intro plays*
Black Ops 4 Zombies started with high hopes, an incredible reveal event, and marketing
that sent players expectations over the moon. At launch, Black Ops 4 released with game-breaking
blue screens and bugs causing the development team to be sent back months in available dev
time to work on other assets. From the start, Black Ops 4’s ambitions
were too large for what they wanted to do. Being flown out to the reveal event I had
the privilege to talk to Jason and Craig about zombies along with all the other content creators
attending the event. You could see the excitement, joy, and confidence
the development team had going into Black Ops 4. There was a clear vision of things to come,
but time was not on their side. What I imagine the dev team felt on launch
was complete horror. Watching their game break over and over again
during live streams. Treyarch went silent as they were pushed into
unreasonable crunch time again to try to fix the game. The community grew angry with the lack of
communications, while the development team didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of their
labors after finishing 2-3 months of crunch prior to launch the game. Overworked and burnt out the hopes for Black
ops 4 zombies turned from certainties to possibilities to hopes for a future installment. On launch, Black Ops 4 zombies released with
three on disk maps and one pre-order DLC map. There is no denying this was the largest quantitive
launch ever for zombies. A true accomplishment for the dev team despite
the bugs. As anyone who has ever created a video game
knows every game ever ships with known bugs. If you were to see a game a month before launch
you would be shocked to see the sorry state it is in before it is turned around into what
we consume. The roadmap was there in fan’s minds to
see what this great year of zombies would bring, but these ideas would never come. The first casualty of the bugged launched
Black Ops 4 was Factions. A game mode half mentioned at a Comic-Con
panel that previous summer. The idea was to have a global rewards system
with seasons that allow players to earn rewards. Ideas ranged from story rewards to cosmetics,
to gameplay bonuses but nothing was ever confirmed. It is a topic that went quiet as the game
launched. It appeared that the mode couldn’t be implemented
with Black Ops 4 due to the team’s focus on making Black Ops 4 functional. That single fact, Getting Black ops 4 to Work,
will be the continual roadblock for progress in Black Ops 4’s launch cycle. As the months ticked by fans latched onto
Factions to become the saving grace to the game. Players were subjected to so many other ideas
becoming abandoned by Treyarch due to their need to fix the game. To me, this is a point where some members
of the community latched onto something, so hill to die on due to their inability to accept
the reality of the situation. Factions was going to be something cool, but
not revolutionary. I believe it got delayed due to the game’s
broken launch. Eventually, it was clear it was better to
release nothing than releasing a poor product. I think Treyarch was smart to cut their losses
with faction given their situation if that was the case. Factions may be the feature that gets the
loudest remarks online despite it never being marketed like many of the other modes, save
that one comic-con panel. But there is a load of other features that
got dropped in Black Ops 4 zombies that we should talk about. Rush never was expanded in any way. No weekly challenges, no specialty events,
no changes to the game mode or evolution within the mode. With each Call of Duty Zombie map from World
at War to Revelations, there was always a step forward in trying new things. With every rush map released the same exact
gameplay was copy and pasted into the latest zombie map. The game mode went nowhere just like mutations. Mutations were another selling point during
the Black Ops 4 reveal event. This promised to breathe life into Call of
Duty Zombies for years to come by allowing the player to customize nearly everything
in the game to create the most unique challenges or experiences to date. But no one played due to gameplay issues,
easter eggs being turned off, the lack of XP, the lack of incentives for playing, and
no evolution of the mode throughout the life of BO4. The AI system of black ops 4 was an excellent
step forward for helping players who can’t get a group of people to play with the chance
to squad up. There was talk of a better system to be implemented
to control and command your AI teammates in order to accomplish easter eggs. Think of the appeal of having the ability
to jump into a 4 player easter egg whenever you wanted with AI that was just competent
enough to complete the egg. Finally, solo players wouldn’t lose out
on quotes or the chaos of four-player easter eggs with this option. Yet in reality, another avenue for the player
to get involved was dropped. One of the promises Treyarch stuck with all
season was gauntlets, you can’t fault them on their dedication to make that mode possible. Although Treyarch was forced to stop work
on hardcore gauntlets around the time they had to make another game a year early thanks
to Sledgehammer and Raven’s falling out. All the resources it took to make those gauntlets
still wasn’t enough to finish the hardcore gauntlets. With so much on their plate yet another feature
that was abandon was customization. Facepaints never evolved into anything more
despite blackout and multiplayer having the infrastructure to create custom outfits for
characters. The potential was there for outfits and customization
but Treyarch didn’t have time. DLC weapons never received an update to allow
custom attachments for some of their weapons. To this date, there are 7 items that can’t
be customized in the armory. Black Ops 4 Zombie’s story can be summarized
as a misallocation of resources. Launch must have set Treyarch so far behind
that they never recovered in the lifespan of the game. Marketing for zombies declined with each map,
Zombie Chronicles 2 was probably abandoned, and the fully animated CGI cutscenes were
slashed due to the restriction of resources. Music trailers, secret websites, memories
videos, interviews with the developers, and viral marketing campaigns all but disappeared
from Black Ops 4 zombies pushing the game away from the most devoted fans. Black Ops 4 zombies is the story of what-ifs. What could have been if Treyarch could have
stuck with it? That idea is enough to ruin the game for so
many players. It is too frustrating to play when you know
how close Treyarch was to greatness. But if you go in blind, not taking any other
judgments into the game,taking everything at face value you will probably enjoy BO4
zombies. Thanks for watching this episode of the mainframe! Every Friday at 4:30 pm est a new episode
is released! So be sure to subscribe to catch them. Leave a comment and rating for the YouTube
algorithm and if you want to pick up an Aether poster they are available through my website
linked in the description. Thank you to all the patrons who make these
videos possible. Thanks for watching and be safe until I see
you next!