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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has a dog problem

The good boys have gone bad

An image of the dog from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Treyarch/Activision

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has refined the Specialist character system from Black Ops 3, and one character’s special ability has been causing a combination of anger and angst when it’s deployed on the battlefield.

The game features a character named Nomad, who can send out an attack dog to take down soldiers on the opposing side, or patrol player-selected areas on the map. It feels horrible when I’m killed by this dog, but killing the dog before that happens feels even worse.

How can one dog make me so angry?

Dogs have existed as killstreaks and scorestreaks in past Black Ops games, but the attack dog of Black Ops 4 is just Nomad’s special ability; no need to be on a roll to use it. That means I see the dog often, even if the other team isn’t doing well. And the dog has some serious problems in its implementation.

The first issue is that the dog is able to soak a significant number of bullets without dying. I’d love to be able to wear whatever armor they gave that dog, because holy heck, is it ever effective. And I’m not the only person to think so.

It doesn’t help that a dog is lower to the ground than a standard soldier, so I’m stuck shooting at Oddjob from GoldenEye N64, knowing he’ll be able to soak up a bunch of bullets, but his teeth are enough to kill me almost instantly.

And killing the dog doesn’t help; it only makes me feel bad for a different reason.

That poor thing!

The high-pitched “Yip!” sound the dog makes when it’s killed goes straight to my soul. It’s emotional manipulation; the dogs are set up as one of the biggest threats when they’re unleashed and then the sound design seems set up to make me feel as bad as possible when I take one out.

It’s such a pitiable little bark. The community may have found a solution to both problems, however: Just give up.

“Just hit it with the rocket launcher,” one fan suggested. “The explosion helps drown out the sound.”

I’m scared of the dog when I hear the bark that means it’s coming after me, and I’m scared of the sad sound it makes when I’m able to shoot it enough times to kill it. This poor pupper is just designed in a way that causes bad feelings, across the board. I don’t even feel good when I activate the dog, because I know I’m sending this poor little guy out to kill with me and then die for me, while terrorizing the other team. Our furry friend is despised by everyone on the map, for different — and valid — reasons.

The dogs are engines for discontent. Just a few tweaks to their armor and the sad sounds they make upon death, however, would go a long way toward fixing them for everyone’s sake.

Until then ... pray for the dogs. And us.

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