As free Battle Royale big hitters “Apex Legends” and “Fortnite” duke it out for supremacy, “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” expands not only its 100-player survival mode but also Zombies and traditional Multiplayer through a February 19 update and its “Grand Theft Auto”-baiting title, Operation Grand Heist.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” may have been overshadowed of late by the continued successes of “Fortnite” and, more recently, surprise release “Apex Legends,” but the October debut still outsold predecessors “Black Ops III,” “Advanced Warfare” and “World War II” in a three-week comparison.
Having foregone the series’ traditional single-player spectacle in favor of an expanded co-operative Zombies mode, traditional versus multiplayer, and Blackout, a “Call of Duty” greatest hits-style interpretation of the Battle Royale last-person-standing formula, “Black Ops 4” is soldiering on with a third season of planned content.
Operation: Grand Heist begins February 19 for the game’s PlayStation 4 population, its name recalling another recent juggernaut in “Grand Theft Auto V,” and will land on Xbox One and PC the following week, following the pattern set by December’s Operation: Absolute Zero and October’s Operation: First Strike.
It brings three new vehicles and a new Ghost Town location to Blackout, plus the new Casino and Lockup maps and a spacesuit-wearing Silverback gorilla character for Multiplayer, in addition to a new Outrider specialist character class and a selection of new weapons, camos, and outfits.
Along with the Casino and Lockup maps and the Silverback character, a bonus Zombies map set within the US Pentagon, called Classified, is included for owners of the $49 USD Black Ops Pass.
Operation Grand Heist is expected to run until April.
The update also marks the introduction of loot boxes (or “cases,” to use in-game parlance) to “Black Ops 4,” though not to the franchise as a whole.
At launch, those cases contain cosmetic items, and will be purchasable through the game’s Black Market or unlocked via progression through Blackout or Multiplayer.