In a patch earlier this week, the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 developers added in a slight tweak to movement controls: an Auto Mantle toggle. It allows you to decide when and how you want to jump over things. It makes a real difference.
The mantle system in Black Ops 4 has been concentrated on getting players over things. In the standard game, you could mantle over things simply by jumping into them. The game would automagically carry you over the waist-high wall or up onto the platform you were aiming for.
While that sounds convenient, some players have felt that the system often misunderstands the movement that they want to accomplish in the game. This GIF from a thread from a Reddit user named MantlingSystem is illustrative of the problem:
In that GIF, you can see that the player is trying to get into a real bunny-hop heavy fight, but they automatically mantle the crates on their left. The mantling animation prevents them from firing, and that causes them to lose the gunfight. You can see how that might feel bad.
As a way to fix this, Treyarch have added an Auto Mantle toggle in the game’s controls menu that changes the way that mantling works. When you set it to “on,” the the game treats mantling the way it has since launch. When you set it to “off,” the game requires a specific second button press to actually carry out the mantle itself. While that means you are having to press the button two times (once to jump and then a press-and-hold to mantle up or over), you also have a lot more control over when you mantle things.
This is great. It’s all up-side. People who feel like their game experience is ruined by the mantle get to experience the control they crave. Others, like me, who enjoyed the automatic mantling that allowed for faster map traversal, get to keep living their best life.
The decision to implement the Auto Mantle toggle into the game feels a lot like the choice to add manual healing to the game. As a design move, it is entirely in service to making a better and more interesting game experience because players are getting the exact amount of control they need over their characters. It’s not tradition for tradition’s sake (or novelty simply for novelty). It is a deliberate choice to change up how players can interact with their game.