Search and Destroy is one of the most popular game modes in the Call of Duty franchise—and Treyarch could be set to break the mold in its upcoming title.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 private multiplayer beta went live on PlayStation 4 on Thursday, Aug. 2, and Search and Destroy was added to the beta yesterday. But when the game mode was introduced, several players initially thought there was a bug involving one of the Specialists.
Seraph is one of Black Ops 4’s Specialist characters, and her Special Issue Equipment is called the Tac-Deploy. This deployable beacon allows you and your teammates to respawn near the device after dying in traditional game modes where you have multiple lives.
Typically in Search and Destroy, each player only has one life—so many people assumed it was a bug when Seraph’s Tac-Deploy worked in the game mode and gave that player an extra life.
But Treyarch has confirmed that this is not a bug and the developer intended to allow Seraph to respawn once in Search and Destroy.
“While it’s true that [Search and Destroy] has traditionally been a single-elimination game mode, we shouldn’t be afraid to challenge conventions,” Treyarch said. “With that in mind, we’ve allowed Seraph (and only Seraph) to respawn on her Tac-Deploy ONCE per game.”
This may seem incredibly strange to most longtime Call of Duty fans (because it is), but Treyarch is doing this in an effort to “introduce some new twists on old favorites” and make sure that “all Specialists are viable and fun to use in all game modes.”
How does it work?
It’s actually quite simple. When you enter a game of Search and Destroy, select the Seraph Specialist. Once you’re in-game, you can place your Tac-Deploy by pressing R1 (on PS4). If you die during the round in which you activated your Tac-Deploy, you’ll have the ability to respawn in the same round—as long as your opponents don’t find and destroy the device before you use it.
“That gives players who choose Seraph an important strategic decision to make with a risk/reward associated with it,” Treyarch said. “Because any change will inevitably be controversial, we did not take this lightly. A lot of thought and play time went into it with the team at Treyarch, many of whom are [Search and Destroy] traditionalists.”
There is one bug with the Tac-Deploy in Search and Destroy that Treyarch has discovered, however. The developer intended to make it so Seraph can’t earn her Special Issue Equipment until the fourth or fifth round of a Search and Destroy game—but right now, a bug allows Seraph players to begin the match with the Tac-Deploy ready to be activated in the first round.
It’s important to reiterate that the Tac-Deploy can only be used once in one particular game—even if you place the device and you don’t die or get to take advantage of it, you won’t be able to regain the ability again in that match. Both teams are also notified by the in-game announcer that a Tac-Deploy has been used in a Search and Destroy round.
Seraph’s ability to respawn in Search and Destroy will definitely take some time to get used to, but many fans are happy to see that Treyarch is experimenting and providing updates for the community during the Black Ops 4 beta.