Black Ops 6 is a totally new era for Call of Duty – and it couldn’t be more needed

Jacob Hale
omnidirectional movement in Black Ops 6

The Black Ops 6 Direct took place on Sunday, June 9, showcasing a sneak peek of the upcoming title’s gameplay ahead of its launch in October 2024. So far, the player base’s excitement is proof that there could be something huge brewing, with Call of Duty entering a whole new era.

For long-time COD players, it’s hard not to get excited when the marketing cycle for the next title begins each year, but more often than not in recent years, there’s a lingering sense of caution — a desire not to get burned on a game that you enjoy less than the last one.

With Black Ops 6, though, it feels different. Just from the details we got on the game, without even seeing proper multiplayer gameplay, it’s evident that players have been listened to and innovation has come purely for improvement, and not merely for the sake of innovation.

Just like how “eras” have shifted between Call of Duty titles, Black Ops 6 looks like it will be the first of a brand new era that could see the game return to its glory days.

Omnimovement: Creativity & a new skill gap

The new omnidirectional movement — with players able to sprint, dive, and slide in any direction — is perhaps one of the biggest changes Call of Duty has seen in years, if not the biggest change.

Movement can completely change how COD is played — we had the jetpack era between Advanced Warfare and Infinite Warfare, followed by the slide cancel era that has loosely spanned from Black Ops 4 to Modern Warfare 3.

With each bold movement change in the franchise, the ability for players to be creative with their movement expands, and it also expands the skill gap as some players master the system, while others struggle to keep up.

After years of players accusing Call of Duty of purposefully minimizing the skill gap — and the famous “safe spaces” quote from Modern Warfare (2019) — this could really separate the wheat from the chaff.

A return to COD roots

While the movement looks to be more advanced than ever before in Call of Duty history, developers Treyarch have paired this with a return of classic Call of Duty features that long-time players love.

Perhaps the biggest of these is the announcement that the traditional prestige system would be returning. Rather than the seasonal level cap and ongoing leveling progress of current COD titles, BO6 players will fight to hit Master Prestige, grinding levels 1-55 before entering Prestige and starting over again.

Not only that, but the game will bring back Theatre Mode, round-based Zombies, and is expected to feature a much-longer Campaign, putting the memory of the poorly-reviewed MW3 campaign firmly in the past.

Of course, it’s far too early to make any real judgments about the game. It may well be that everything about Black Ops 6 sounds fantastic, but it fails to capture that when the game comes out.

That said, it’s very easy to buy into the hype right now, especially after the division of recent years. The Zombies community has been frustrated, Campaign enjoyers have felt forgotten, and old-school COD players have been annoyed with many facets of the game.

Black Ops 6, with a full, proper, 4-year development cycle, looks to be the game to help steady the tide, and that’s before we even know anything about Warzone, beyond the leaked Verdansk return.

If they can nail the battle royale elements of the franchise, too, BO6 may truly be the start of a whole new era for Call of Duty, exactly when players need it the most.

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