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How Black Ops 4 aims to be "best PC version of COD ever"



Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 rolls out its multiplayer open beta this weekend, today at 1

0.00 PST / 6pm BST if you have ordered; same time tomorrow if you did not. Developers Treyarch and Beenox believe it might be "the best PC version of Call of Duty ever," and tell us that it pulls from Destiny 2 and Overwatch in some areas.

Beenox is a subsidiary of Activision who developed a feature-restricted, multiplayer-only version of Black Ops 3 for PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles. Creative director and co-studio leader Thomas Wilson tells me that it is involved in Black Ops 4, a multiplayer-only COD, without single-player campaign. It's no coincidence, but the studio's focus is natural on this weekend's multiplayer beta.

We have a long history of PC development, "said Wilson. "In-house, we have PC players, we even have retired pro players who are very passionate about the PC version. Basically, we are using the amount of resources and time the PC version needs for the first time. We look at what the PC community would expect – and it comes down to flexibility options and it ensures we have a wide range of features supported so we address which players want. "

Wilson says this means to throw a wide web over what it's raining that PC players want – show the visual fidelity, competitiveness performance, ultra wide screen support, and more screen support among many other things.

"Keyboard and mouse controls must also feel natural," adds Wilson. "There are many options that players can fine-tune, such as FOV. One thing we tried to do is also try to match the sensitivity of games like Overwatch and Destiny 2, both other Battle.net games. That way, it's a natural transition if you're used to playing on Battle.net.

"When we talk about being serious about putting the best PC version of Call of Duty out, it's part of the process – getting feedback early, and we can address it for launch. "

Jonathan Moses, Treyarch's senior PC producer, tells me Black Ops 4" never had a traditional singleplayer campaign from the earliest days "and that it was always busy telling its story in a different way from previous COD games.

As the press about "secret new mode that has been kept under tight cover", as Treyarch mentioned on Reddit earlier this week, Moses remains expected. Likewise, both Moses and Wilson sidestep questions ab out the possibility of loot boxes and Black Ops 4 incoming Blackout combat royal mode. I guess we will find out more about all this over time.

Moses insights in the similarities between his team and Beenox's work against his console dev- colleagues are still interesting.

"I think the big thing is really how the similar process is," says Moses. "The ability to work with Beenox meant we could bring a big team on earlier and be focused on PC version one. This meant that Beenox had been able to run along with the console game development follow-up and make changes as they needed for the PC version, so that we could get the public beta coming out this weekend with the same features and content as the console version.

"We have regular telephone conversations between Treyarch's designers and the developers at Beenox, who talk about weapon balance and features as to how the changes needed for the PC can be done while meeting the design expectations while being credible to the PC's mouse and keyboard support. "

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's PC multiplayer beta starts today. Here are the system requirements.


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