Update: Treyarch has released a statement on how it will address the gestures concerns. It reads:
“We’re aware that players have been able to use Gestures (often referred to by the community as ‘Emotes’) to peek around corners in modes where that can create an unfair advantage. We’re currently working on an update that creates two systems for Gestures – the default system that is in the game now, and a competitive version that disables free look and applies different camera settings to prevent using it to see around corners. The default system will be used in parts of the game where corner peeking won’t affect gameplay balance (like the staging area of Blackout), and the competitive version will be used in modes where a more restrictive camera system is needed. We want players to always have fun with Gestures as intended, but never at the expense of fair gameplay!”
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 may only a day old but already players are discovering a game-breaking glitch within the game’s Blackout battle royale mode. By using emotes, players are able to peak around corners and over structures in order to gain an unfair advantage over opponents.
Developer Treyarch has yet to acknowledge the issue but it shouldn’t be long before one of the dev team comes forward to give a statement. As it stands right now, emote peaking isn’t running rampant in Black Ops 4 but it’s better to make players aware of the capability rather than give certain individuals an unfair advantage.
Emote peeking is a fairly new concept for multiplayer shooters and one that isn’t often addressed. Another Activision product, Destiny 2, switches to third person during emotes and players have been using that trick to see around corners since the D1 days. But the fast pace of Destiny 2’s multiplayer helps mitigate the emote peeking abuse.
For Black Ops 4’s Battle Royale mode, however, emote peeking can practically break the experience, especially if a player can sit on a rooftop and have a 360-degree view of the massive multiplayer map. As seen in the video below, a player could use an emote to crouch down to hide their head and then look for any incoming players.
It makes sense why Black Ops 4 would include emotes – cosmetics in multiplayer games can be a very lucrative endeavor (read: Fortnite). But if players can purchase an advantage via an emote, then that will surely need to be addressed. Coincidentally, Fortnite dealt with a similar issue involving one of its emotes giving players an advantage, but it wasn’t as big of an issue. And for a third person shooter, there is already a greater field of view.
As it stands right now, Treyarch has a couple of options. The devs could disable emotes in Blackout Battle Royale, they could make it so emotes don’t take the player out of first person view, or they could leave the emotes in. If the game is going to make a play for the competitive scene a la Fortnite, though, it seems more likely that the emotes are going to get changed in some way.