Despite official statements to the contrary, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 seemingly did have a story campaign at one point during development.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 gameplay reveal nearly two years ago was jam-packed with content, but everyone remembers how developer Treyarch tried to spin not having a single-player campaign in the game as is custom.
At the time, Treyarch said a traditional campaign was never in development for Black Ops 4, but later reports revealed that the studio was, in fact, working on an ambitious concept for the campaign that it couldn’t finish in time.
Things have been quiet ever since, but this week, footage of one campaign mission surfaced online. Reddit user ForeverDexus posted what appears to be a mission form the campaign, set in one of the locations that ended up becoming a multiplayer map.
The video isn’t long, but shows the protagonists being briefed on their mission to secure Aquilus CEO. At the start, the HUD reveals that five lives are remaining, which is something you never see in campaign missions. This lends credence to reports that the ambitious campaign was designed as a 2v2 affair where one team would be tasked with completing an objective while the other would try to stop it.
As the video goes on, we see other multiplayer-style objectives pop up like area secure. The mission certainly doesn’t look finished, but the general structure and flow is entirely different from that of your typical, scripted campaign mission. We may never see the full potential of Treyarch’s original vision, but that small peek is certainly interesting.
ForeverDexus also dug up test footage of various in-game effects like interactive gas and steam pipes, but they’re nowhere as interesting as the campaign mission above. They also admit to not have datamined the files themselves, rather re-posting the work of someone who did.