It’s no secret by now that last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the first-ever major entry in the franchise without a campaign mode. Treyarch compensated for this by instead including Blackout, which is Treyarch’s take on the battle royale formula.
Well, as it turns out, Treyarch originally had a Black Ops 4 campaign in mind, but one that was entirely different from what the franchise is known for. In a new report by Kotaku detailing the awful work environment QA testers and contractual employees had suffered through in developing Black Ops 4, it was mentioned that Treyarch originally envisioned a 2v2 multiplayer campaign. And nope, it wasn’t just a concept either, as Treyarch apparently had a milestone demo done complete with “a few missions working,” voice acting, full art, and more.
Related Black Ops 4 Reading:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Pay to Win Feature Added Into Blackout in Latest Patch, Community Outraged
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Update 1.19 Patch Notes, Here’s the File Sizes and What’s New
Here are a few choice excerpts straight from the report detailing how the projected Black Ops 4 campaign would play.
This time, the plan had been to do something very different from previous Call of Duty campaigns. Black Ops 4 was set after Black Ops 3’s story, but rather than play through the campaign yourself, you’d play alongside a partner, battling against a pair of human opponents. (If you wanted to play single-player, they’d all be AI-driven bots.) Each side would pick a faction, and you’d compete to gun down enemies and battle over different objectives in a post-apocalyptic world. One side might try to destroy a convoy, for example, while the other side worked to protect it. Or maybe one faction would set off to protect a journalist while the other faction tried to assassinate them. Each mission would give you chances to get into shootouts with the other team, hampering their progress if you did well. During different moments throughout the story, you’d also get the chance to defect and switch sides if you weren’t happy with the choices your faction was making.
Unfortunately, due to negative feedback from playtesters who deemed it too repetitive, technical concerns, and other stuff, the studio decided to pivot this 2v2 affair into a traditional Call of Duty campaign. That one didn’t work out either given how the studio was strapped for time.
Again, go read the full report since it documents how hard these QA testers worked on the game, and what kind of hardships they’ve gone through.