WTF?! Call of Duty's seasonal updates are meant to bring players new challenges, new weapons, and new rewards. Unfortunately, the updates also tend to deliver unwanted bugs, glitches, imbalances, and performance issues that impact the player experience. Proving that the franchise is nothing if not consistent, the game's developers have once again delivered a less-than-desirable update package that provides the best and worst of both worlds, especially for PC players.
It didn't take long for the issue reports and criticisms to start rolling in after Call of Duty's season 4 update. Launched on Wednesday, the update was intended to give players access to new game modes, new weapons and upgrades, and new superhero operator bundles based on the recent crossover with "The Boys."
PC users began reporting extremely degraded performance shortly after the patch was deployed, with many dropping into unplayable FPS territory. Even users with high-end hardware, such as the RTX 4090 and 13900K, couldn't muscle their way past the update's issues, with many reporting as much as a 50% drop in performance. As a current 12700K/4090 user myself I can definitely back those claims.
One of the game's official Twitter accounts, @CODupdates, acknowledged the problems several hours after the patch's release and stated that development teams were looking into the issues affecting PC players. After more than two days of inactivity, the team announced that a potential fix was currently being tested. As of Friday night, the issue was being reported as "fix incoming" on the Team's Trello board.
An update was released on Friday night; however, it was less than well-received by the impacted COD community. While most players are looking for a performance fix to make the game playable, the update provided little more than a few small enhancements to gameplay that most can't even engage in at the moment. Queue the slow claps.
Those players who were not affected by the update have already voiced concerns about some of the game's recent additions, including upcoming operator skins and the introduction of the Temp V field upgrade. Black Noir, one of The Boys' upcoming operator skins, is already being labeled as the next iteration of the pay-to-win Roze skin. The field upgrade, another byproduct of this season's crossover, is described on the Call of Duty Season 4 Reloaded announcement page as an upgrade granting one of four ridiculously strong superpowers:
- Charge Jump – Operators who love fast movement techniques – or maybe remember a Haunting or two – know how much a Charge Jump propels them across the map in leaps and bounds. Just like Queen Maeve, an Operator doesn't suffer any fall damage when they land from a Charge Jump; in fact, they deal splash damage to anyone or anything within a short radius of the Operator's landing spot.
- Electric Shockwave – To put it simply, "electricity goes in, blast comes out." This shockwave sends a powerful electrical explosion that injures Operators and AI Combatants, as well as destroys vehicles and equipment. Think of this as a super-EMP that – like the other abilities – can help turn the tide of teamfights.
- Laser Vision: Upon activation, an Operator levitates and fires a laser beam that sears through enemy targets in whatever direction they are looking. It's just like one of many powers that Homelander has, but it does leave the user open to backfire.
- Teleport: Forget normal on-foot navigation throughout Vondel; Teleport warps an Operator upward, which is extremely helpful when trying to escape a fight or move to higher ground. And unlike when Hughie Campbell does it, your Operator Skin isn't affected in any way – no lost clothing, in other words – whenever this happens.
Updates addressing the PC performance issues were reportedly being deployed as of yesterday afternoon. While the updates do address some of the major FPS issues that were previously reported, many players are still reporting a decrease in overall frames-per-second and game performance. Despite the incoming fix, the combination of yet another failed deployment, along with questionable in-game additions, marks yet another black eye for the franchise's latest release of its ailing multiplayer and battle royale cash cow.