Following the news that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (and Diablo 4 for that matter) won't be arriving on Xbox Game Pass until at least 2024, I started to think about what other Call of Duty titles I'm excited to jump back into with a new audience on Xbox Game Pass. While lots of love has been thrown towards the classics in the series already as we eagerly await their arrival, I wanted to shine a light on what I think is an underrated entry - one that marks its five-year anniversary today, funnily enough.
That'll be 2018's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Now, I know what you're probably thinking - nobody really liked Black Ops 4, did they? While I admit that the main multiplayer mode was a bit of a mess with this one and didn't really fit what Call of Duty is about, the other two components of Black Ops 4 are fantastic in my opinion - and they're two modes that could absolutely thrive on Xbox Game Pass.
One of those is Blackout. Yep, Call of Duty's debut battle royale still remains inexplicably tied to Black Ops 4, and for my money it's the best BR attempt the series has ever done. Sure, I get it, Warzone is an absolute phenomenon at this point and it was really good fun on launch back in 2020, but the longer it's gone on the less it's felt like a 'battle royale'. In fact, I'd argue that Warzone is now some weird mutation of battle royale and doesn't really feel like a 'last man standing' mode at all anymore.
Blackout strips things back quite a lot - and it feels much more like a traditional battle royale as a result. The focus here is on scavenging, looting, map positioning and dare I say it, actually surviving! Blackout isn't filled with 'loadouts' and all these different ways to respawn - it actually feels like a battle royale. You still get huge player counts too, and even though they're not quite as big as what Warzone can max out with, a huge influx of players via Game Pass would breathe new life into Blackout - and I'd be all over that I can't lie.
Another really good component of Black Ops 4 is its Zombies mode. Yes, questions around the story and general direction of BO4 Zombies remain valid, but this is the last time we got proper 'classic' zombies in Call of Duty, and the formula is still super fun with a group of pals - and a good laugh with randoms too. Oh, and there'll be plenty of new randoms onboard if and when the title gets added to the Game Pass library.
Another thing to mention about Zombies in Black Ops 4 is that there's actually a decent amount of content in the base game - the version that'd be available to Game Pass players. Yes, this was still in the era of paid CoD DLC, but due to the lack of a single player campaign in this entry, the team pumped extra Zombies content into the package. There are three main maps available right away (most CoD titles of the era launched with just one), along with a bunch of extra options for custom games and the likes.
As I alluded to earlier, I didn't really like the standard multiplayer mode in Black Ops 4, but if any of you are looking for something a bit different for CoD, you might actually like it! BO4 played more like a hero shooter, with extra health and tons of character abilities fundamentally changing the way multiplayer played out. The tech behind Black Ops 4 is really solid so we can't complain on that front (multiplayer will be 4K / 60FPS on Series X), but online MP is certainly an acquired taste here.
Anyway, while we don't have any confirmed launch dates for old CoD titles coming to Game Pass yet, some of these should be arriving soon - and I just thought I'd go back and give Black Ops 4 a little chance to shine. It's not perfect by any means, and the lack of single player content within it is still hugely controversial, but it's a really good Call of Duty game when it comes to PvP and co-op PvE experiences. And for that reason, I think it'll be a really good addition to Xbox Game Pass, and one CoD title definitely worth a download once it's a part of the service.