Black Ops 4: Hands-on Heist mode impressions

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Heist mode - Treyarch

Last week, Treyarch brought us the first hands-on experience with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in the form of a Multiplayer Beta exclusive to the PlayStation 4. This week, Xbox One and PC were able to join all the fun. I covered my impressions of the multiplayer beta as it was largely all I did last weekend. I jumped back into the beta on Friday to give the new Heist mode a go.

For starters, I’m going to be as plain as day about my feelings on the Heist mode. This is unequivocally my favorite mode to date. In fact, I didn’t go back to any other game mode once this weekend. I was playing Heist with every passing match, and I had an absolute blast.

What’s Heist mode?

If you didn’t have the opportunity to play the Multiplayer Beta this weekend, you might be wondering what exactly makes Heist mode so thrilling. So let’s get right to it. The point of heist mode is to find the bag of cash before the other team does and extract it. A team must win four rounds in order to claim victory. Every player starts out with a pistol in the first round. After each round, both teams receive cash to buy more gear. Weapons, attachments, body armor, ammo, some scorestreaks, perks, and specialist equipment are all available for purchase.

To win a round, one of two things must happen. Either one team is fully eliminated, or one of the teams secures the bag of cash at the extraction point. Players whose health bar is initially depleted will fall to the ground and are able to crawl. They do have an allotted time to stay alive on the ground in order to be revived by a teammate. However, the enemy combatant can shoot downed players on the ground to finish them off, as well. Once you die, you’re gone for good until the next round. Every life counts just like in Search & Destroy. If you’re downed from a distance, crawl to cover fast. If you’re downed by an up close and personal encounter, you likely don’t have a prayer for revival.

More Money, Less Problems

When an enemy team is fully eliminated, the victorious team still has precious seconds left in the match to find the bag of cash and take it to the extraction. Retrieving cash provides a boost (above the normal cash allocation) for that team in the next round. Obviously, this is the advantage that you want in order to buy even more gear, perks, or scorestreaks. Additionally, medical syringes and ammo boxes are placed throughout the map. So, be sure to pick those up when you find them. Players can carry multiple syringes for health recovery. And, it’s crucial to keep ammo stocked. I found myself running from shootouts to grab ammo. Finding the ammo first and filling up early can prevent this.

My Impression

What I absolutely loved about Heist mode is that everyone starts in the same position and has all of the same opportunities. Loadouts and specialist choices really have no place here. For example, I can be playing as Ruin but still have the opportunity to buy Prophet’s seeker shock mine with my cash.

Additionally, there’s something to say about the game modes that don’t offer respawns. Just like Search & Destroy, this adds an exciting layer of intensity to the combat. It also pushes teams to be strategic and band together or come up with a tactical flanking strategy to secure the bag of cash. Strategizing is a much more viable option, as well, since players know exactly where the hotbed for action is going to be. Firefights are going to break out at the indicator on player maps where the bag of cash resides. Both teams will want that cash.

Additionally, I’ve always preferred the game modes where teams can assist each other instead of just shooting and dying next to each other. Being able to revive downed teammates impacts the game in a positive way. Players want to keep teammates alive to win the day so it becomes important to attempt the retrieval of a downed mate.

Heist mode is a solid game-type and one that I’m ecstatic to play more of in the future. All of its elements really push teams to work together. Even if you jump into a game with no mic and the rest of your teammates are also lacking a mic, the teams can still strategize with each other’s movements. What are your thoughts on the new Heist mode? Is it a keeper? Let us know in the comments below!

Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night.  Somewhere in between all of that, I’m a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too.  If a game is all about action, there’s a safe bet I’m playing it.  I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin’ on the ol’ Atari and haven’t stopped since.