Yesterday Treyarch revealed Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 via a live-streamed event. During Treyarch talked about several elements of the game, from how there wouldn’t be a traditional single-player campaign, to the revamped zombies mode, and the announcement of a Battle Royale mode entitled Blackout. One other thing that was briefly mentioned was the addition of a “true predictive recoil pattern system”. This is something not to be overlooked and could potentially give this year’s Call of Duty an edge over previous instalments.
For those unaware of what predictive recoil actually means, it is a system built into a game that determines a specific recoil pattern for every (or most) gun(s). This pattern is either exactly the same each time the gun is fired or remains within a limited predictable range, and of course, varies from gun to gun. This system has been mostly attributed to Counter Strike: Global Offensive, it’s an element of the game that fans have praised and also mastered at the competitive level. Highly skilled players are able to learn the recoil patterns for each gun and make very small movements with their aim to counteract it, this way they are able to keep a tighter radius on their bullet spread making them more accurate and able to take down enemies more efficiently.
The video below by TheWarOwl explain this in far better detail:
Although we don’t know the exact details of how Black Ops 4’s recoil system will work, the fact that it is being included in the game for the first time shows a dedication by Treyarch to Call of Duty as an eSport, as well as their will to increase the skill cap of the pro circuit. It’s a change that won’t affect the majority of players, but those with the desire to deep dive into the upper echelons of competitive COD should find a much more complex but rewarding game. Essentially keeping Call of Duty the easy to pick up and play game it always was, but now it will be much harder to master.
Call of Duty has always had a bit of an image problem when it comes to it as an eSport. It is of course still incredibly popular – sitting at no. 5 on the top esports games of 2017 by earnings – but in comparison with Counter Strike it is a long way off. This in part could be down to the mastery of the game’s mechanics required by other eSports games. To use a driving game analogy, Call of Duty is the arcade racer of the FPS genre, and games like Counter Strike and DOTA are the detailed driving simulators. It’s Forza Horizon compared to Gran Turismo, if you will. It’s fun, easy to play and super entertaining, but ultimately the skill ceiling required to master it is low compared to other games. That is why this addition could do wonders for the Call of Duty eSports community. It may now have the potential to compete with the likes of CS:GO and even attract some of the game’s players, and with Activision Blizzard behind it there sure will be money to be made. Only time will tell, but it wouldn’t be surprising if 2019 was Call of Duty’s best eSports year to date.