Black Ops 4 Original Campaign Concept Revealed

call of duty black ops 4 campaign
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Campaign

Call Of Duty is a long-running franchise with many ups and downs, Black Ops 4 was a decently successful title for the franchise with its multiplayer and zombies modes. Among this success, though, was a common question about the game, where is the campaign?

Black Ops 4 is the first and only game in the franchise to release without a campaign. What is even crazier than that is that its original campaign was revolutionary. What was in it and why it was canceled had been on people’s minds for a while. Now a video from Youtuber, TheClosetIndian, has revealed much of what happened to the Black Ops 4 campaign.

What Was The Blacks Ops 4 Campaign?

campaign mode in Black Ops 4
A screenshot of the factions that would have been in Career mode.

The Blacks Ops 4 campaign was initially designed as a 2v2 experience that would tie directly into multiplayer and would have been nothing like the other COD campaign. Each set would have chosen between the two in-game factions and competed against each other to complete objectives and missions. These missions and other features would have had far-reaching effects on the game as a whole.

The game mode was going to be set around the conflict between two different factions that erupted in 2070. The two factions would be the World United Nations, the WUN, and the Free Peoples Army, or FPA. Depending on the faction that you choose, the equipment, look, and companion that your character could have would differ. These two factions were fighting in the first place because of economic and ecological disasters due to a global plague.

The most considerable effect of this mode would have been an encouragement to play all aspects of the game. It would have engaged multiplayer fans to get into the campaign and vice versa. The career mode, as it would have been called, would have shared a lot in common with multiplayer, from the layout of missions to the customization and monetization options for your character.

Regarding missions, the game would have been far from the chapters of other campaigns. Instead, there would have only been six maps that would have been available. Each map was double the size of a regular COD map and would have been divided into different subs sections. Sections would have been accessed as missions progressed or a new mission was started. In addition, the game would have a variety of factors, from weather conditions to time of day.

In addition, each map may have several structures or other points that would be affected by the game as they went. For example, one of the changes that can occur is a mission where the two factions will fight over a data center that is a tower. If one of the sides succeeds, the tower will blow up and fall over.

This event will alter the map and cover it in debris you would have to fight in as the game continues. There would have been multiple of these on the maps, and they could severely change the map and gameplay when affected.

There would have been significant changes to the format regarding the narrative. They were aiming to avoid cutscenes and other expenses as much as possible. Any that would appear would be rendered live in-game as the player progressed. This would have allowed the game to be developed throughout seasons like Zombies.

Choices Would Have Mattered

Campaign Choices in Black Ops 4
A visual aid of what the mission structure would looked like.

An excellent example of how choices and factions would impact the story was in the data-stealing mission we discussed earlier. In the mission, the two teams are given two different objectives. They either would have needed to infiltrate the facilitate the facility to steal data as the Free Peoples Army or destroy it as the World United Nations.

Depending on who succeeded, a second mission would load immediately after about that faction trying to escape the aftermath. Whether they did or not would influence the next mission in line.

These missions could also impact the game world as a whole going forward. The data from the mission was about how the WUN was secretly funding black market convoys. If the FPA had succeeded in its mission, that information would become public.

News would then spread information, and the WUN took a hit in its social standing. Many career modes would have played like this, where your choices affect the grand nature of your character’s world.

Another thing that would have been prominent in career mode would have been the companions. These would be the specialist from the multiplayer mode but now with some fleshed-out personalities.

They would start as strangers to you, but once you had been on missions together, they would build a rapport with you. For example, formal addresses would give way to nicknames and funny dialogue.

The player would also be able to undergo companion missions that would explore their backstories and potential futures. These would give the character more nuanced than just being the standard class load out in multiplayer.

There were also meant to be commander characters for both sides that would relay orders and information to the players. For the FPA, it was an important figure named Sawyer, and for the WUN, it would be a colonel named Mcqueen. These two would have had a significant influence on the story and been the face that represented the player’s faction.

All this storytelling would begin to give rise to an ending that would be action-heavy and create thought-provoking questions. The idea was that the WUN had developed a cure to the plague affecting the world but wasn’t delivering it fast enough to countries outside their group. So the FPA broke into the facility to get some.

They would then discover the cure was made from human subjects. Specifically humans from countries outside of the WUN. This setup would give the players a choice. Let the production continue and violate human rights or stop it and allow the world to sink further into the plague and its problems.

Other features should be added to the career mode and placed in other game sections. One of these was vehicles the player could just hop in and use. This feature was mainly added to the blackout mode. Another was the use of mutator in skirmish mode.

These would allow you to replay a career section for just the action and combat and use the mutators to change events or factors in the game. This aspect would later be added to zombies.

What Happened To It?

Black Ops 4 campaign mission
A mission from multiplayer that was on a map from career mode.

The final build of this mode was handed off to Activision from Treyarch in the holiday season of 2017, according to TheClosetIndian’s findings. But it was dropped from production when everyone came back in 2018. So why was this mode removed from the game when it seemed so intrinsic to its identity?

The answer is both time and money. The game had been sent to QA testers before the break. The QA testers commented that the mode had felt too stale and repetitive. When the primary development team got back, the final penny dropped.

Red Dead Redemption had been announced to drop Black Ops 4’s release date a week before November. In an attempt to compete, the game was moved to launch in early October, severely crunching the deadline.

The development team decided they couldn’t invest more time into the game mode to make it fun to play. It would also cost too much to retool it into a traditional campaign, so in the end, the development team salvaged what they could and dropped the mode. There was also a lot of behind-the-scenes turmoil that ended a lot of potentials that the game may have had.

What are your thoughts on the subject matter of dropped Black Ops 4 campaign and the newly leaked footage? We would love to hear them in the comments section down below.

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