Call of Duty Black Ops 4 does not have a traditional campaign. In its place is a short narrative comprised of audio intel and cutscenes. There are three main plot threads going on at once, and the player must piece together the story for themself. In this Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Story Guide, we’ll explain the final cutscene of the story, and offer some insight into what is going on with Woods, Mason and Savannah. There’s still more audio files to be discovered, but we think we’ve cracked what the Black Ops 4 campaign means for the series canon, and also how Blackout fits into everything.
For more on Call of Duty Black Ops 4, be sure to check out our Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Guides Hub. It’s got a ton of info on the game, from zombies to Blackout, and everything in between.
Spoiler Warning: There are major story spoilers for the Black Ops 4 story. We detail the final cutscene, and also give some major spoilers for a pretty significant bad-guy reveal. You have been warned.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Ending Explained
Black Ops 4’s narrative is told via a bunch of different plot threads. There's whatever is happening with Specialist stories, which piece together flashbacks culminating in an Avenger's style team-up scene against Savannah. The second thread is Savannah’s ominous Project Blackout plans, which are at risk of being outed to the world by her sister Jessica. Wrapped up in all of this are Woods and Mason, though it won’t be immediately clear as to why. It’s this third part that we’re concerned with here, specifically the final cutscene showing Woods talking to a wheelchair-bound Mason. Check it out below.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Woods and Mason Ending
The ending in question shows a conversation between Woods and Mason. Woods tells Mason “It was you in the box, it always was”, he also mentions Angola (which gives a clue as to the event he's referring to), then utters something about “her sister”. To understand this scene, we need to take a look at Savannah’s plan. It’s called “Project Blackout” and involves creating copies of dead soldiers and training them in a simulation called Blackout. It is revealed in an audio file that Menendez, Woods and Mason have all been subjects in this project, and are now considered to be ‘archetypes’. Savannah’s sister Jessica is onto her, as evidenced in the audio intel “West of Eden”. Savannah needs Jessica killed, and wants Mason to be the one to do it. This is where Woods comes in. In the audio file “Mason’s Ladder” we hear Woods reading numbers to Mason. These are the same number used to brainwash him in the original Black Ops.
It seems then, that Woods is actually a bad guy, working for Savannah and helping her get rid of her sister. To do this he is brainwashing Mason, and even throws in some extra details to make him compliant. That “it was you in the box” reference? We think it has to do with the scene in Black Ops 2 where Mason and Hudson rescue Woods from a shipping container. By mixing up the series of events, Mason now believes that Woods saved his life, and is more compliant to help him. The final cutscene takes place in the Asylum area of the Blackout map, adding further weight to the theory that Woods and Mason have been revived and are existing in the Blackout Project. If you go to the same spot in Blackout, you can find a note written by Mason showing the faces of the Specialists with names written underneath.
So Blackout is Canon?
Weirdly, it does seem like Blackout is a continuation of the story and is therefore canon in the Black Ops 4 universe. You’ll notice that the only four characters available in Blackout that also appeared in the campaign are Woods, Mason, Menendez and Reznov. The first three have been confirmed to have been a part of Project Blackout, and we’re betting that there’s an audio file explaining that Reznov is in there as well. If you check out this Reddit thread, there's a ton of info on possible Blackout Easter Eggs which connect to the main story. It's all pretty interesting, and there appears to be some code-breaking required in order to solve it all.
There’s clearly a lot more to this story than meets the eye, and having not unlocked all of the intel yet, we’re betting there’s even more links between Blackout and Black Ops where narrative is concerned. If you have any theories as to what the heck is going on in Project Blackout then let us know in the comments below.