"What on earth were they thinking?" - The reception to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's first beta wasn't... great

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer beta took place exclusively on PlayStation 4 over the weekend (it's coming to Xbox One and PC this Friday), but it's been a rough one for both its players and developer Treyarch. 

With every Call of Duty game, you're always going to get some flack from the usual crowd of detractors, but a lot of real, honest criticism has been leveraged towards the upcoming Black Ops sequel after the community got its hands on the limited-time preview of the multiplayer portion (otherwise known as the only portion) of the game. 

As far as my experience with the beta is concerned, neither Black Ops 4's visuals and gameplay smoothness felt comparably subpar in light of the series reputation for polish. Given that Treyarch isn't providing a singleplayer campaign for Call of Duty this year, you'd expect to see tangible proof that the extra effort spent on multiplayer has paid off, but load times are long, hitching is frequent, and the graphics don't look much better than 2015's Black Ops 3. 

The main problem that players have experienced with Black Ops 4 so far, though, regards the new body armour system, which - in addition to the new self-healing mechanic - has significantly extended the time to kill over previous Call of Duty games.  One Reddit post simply asking Treyarch to "Remove Armour from BO4" has been upvoted over 1200 times, while others have gone to painstaking detail to show exactly why the perk (which any specialist can use) is unbalancing the game's competitive firefights. 

Otherwise, reactions have been mixed, with some praising the new abilities tagged to each customisable specialist and class, and others just enjoying the same addictive endorphin rush that's been coursing through Call of Duty's veins since Modern Warfare in 2007. 

On Saturday, Treyarch revealed the things it would be looking at changing following beta feedback, including framerate, the spawn system, and bunny hopping. Regarding body armour, the team admitted they "want to proceed thoughtfully and carefully here. 

We’re less than 24 hours into the Beta at this point, and not all content has been earned or had enough time to settle into the meta of the game." Perhaps, now that the first weekend is over, the studio can take a good, hard look at the feature, and whether it deserves to be in Black Ops 4 at all. 

Hopefully, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be a healthier, happier game by its impending release day of October 12, and the upcoming beta for its battle royale mode, Blackout, has a good chance of restoring the community's faith in this uniquely different Call of Duty game. For now, though, the picture painted by the beta is far from perfect.

Now that the beta's down for the week, read up on the best FPS games you can play until it goes live again this Friday. 

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!