COD Black Ops 6 is always online, even for campaign

Black Ops 6 header

In the tiniest of small print tucked away on a support page for Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, Activision has revealed that their latest COD will require an active internet connection to play any and all game modes, including the single player campaign.

Per Activision’s support page, this is for texture streaming, in an effort to keep install sizes down:

To deliver the highest-quality visuals while also reducing the game’s overall storage space on your hard drive, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will use texture streaming across all game modes. This means you’ll need a continuous internet connection to play any game mode, including Campaign. If you’re on a console, Campaign can be played without a premium subscription service such as Game Pass Core or PlayStation Plus.

Smaller game installs might sound great, but… how small will it make the game? Well, the Xbox store page for Black Ops 6 puts it at a still eye-watering 309.85GB – a figure that is certainly subject to change.

It’s certainly a… unique reason for a game to be always online, though we have seen this technology used in the past. Microsoft Flight Simulator used streaming in of world assets to keep the initial game install size manageable with basic assets and then dynamically bring in regional terrain, landmarks and building types. These can also be loaded in in advance by users, and the dynamic cache size managed in the settings.

In recent years, Call of Duty has ballooned in size as more and more components are brought into the melting pot of game content. Campaign, multiplayer, Zombies and the standalone Warzone can all draw upon a shared pool of assets, and there’s also core assets shared between Black Ops Cold War, Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3. However, users have had control over installing and uninstalling additional data that each mode uses, potentially saving tens of GB from the total install size.

However, it’s still complete and utter bobbins that Black Ops 6 will require an online connection and cannot have a fallback mode for offline play. We’ll see if Activision can provide clarity on what happens here, as an internet outage could stop you from enjoying the game’s campaign. Will there be a provision for those with large enough storage to download the full package? It also means that, as with other online-only games, Black Ops 6’s campaign will now be beholden to Activision and Microsoft keeping the content servers online.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is coming out for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One and PC on 25th October, with a day one launch into Xbox Game Pass.

Source: Activision

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