After the successful launch of the COD Black Ops III beta earlier this year the final end product is eagerly anticipated by fans for the love of this series. This is the third installment of the Call of Duty franchise with the latest game set 40 years after Black Ops 2 in a 21st century cold war focused solely on military weapons technology. The Digital Deluxe Edition is the ultimate package for the hardcore call of duty fans. This edition includes a digital personalization pack which brings back the iconic imagery from Black Ops 3 into your online arsenal with black and orange patterned weapon camo, 3 reticles and a custom calling card. You also get the collector’s edition personalization pack, the 115 weaponized pack brings the popular zombies theme to your weapon. You can customize your weapon with the fan favourite origins-inspired camo, reticle and calling card, which is my personal favourite. The last part to this deal is “The Giant” zombies bonus DLC map.
Now the term “Black Ops” gives you the feeling of conspiracy theories, spy thrillers and a darkside to military protocol, what we get from this game is the complete opposite with full world war, nations tearing themselves apart and focus on building human cyborg killing machines and fully mechanical killing robots likened to something out of the Terminators films. Now I’m all for change and progression but this seems like it belongs more in the “Advanced Warfare” category rather than a sneaky Black Ops campaign of killing quietly with the occasional hellfire moments. Black Ops III has certainly moved into the future in the last game and has now completely cemented its place as more of a futuristic shooter which don’t get me wrong, this game is the best of its series in terms of visually pleasing the audience but it just seems to be parting with what made it such a blockbuster of a game when it hit our consoles in 2003.
The game uses the next gen console to the max with some quite stunning backdrops and gameplay. But as this game can almost guarantee to come out every year like FIFA with only a few tweaks and improvements here and there, which persuades you to part with your hard earned cash you anticipate (as always) something revolutionary. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. From the first moment in the campaign you have an elite soldier at your fingertips than can cause havoc on wave after wave, room after room of meat heads and robotic killing machines before moving onto the next area to do the exact same thing. You see where I’m going with this…The campaign is a slugfest on your own and is quite difficult with explosions and chaos unfolding around you but it’s the co-op mode where up to four players can plough through the missions that turn the enemy into mere cannon fodder.
The A.I. hasn’t improved and just seems stale in their approach, almost lazy at there efforts of trying to foil your attempts of getting through, you can almost anticipate when they are hiding for too long they will throw a grenade etc towards your direction or try out flank you in a predictable manner.
In all fairness Treyarch have offered up some form of variety with the introduction of robots and in particular the warlord which will seriously slow you down for a few minutes! There is some saving grace as there is a new twist to your fighting style with the introduction of a user interface mid battle which you can use to overcome many obstacles such as summon a swarm of nano tech flies that will cover and disorientate your enemies making it ten times easier to clear areas you’re progressing through. But it still lacks that playability that wants me to go back and try the ridiculously harder difficulties as even when playing the campaign and moving onto a level you haven’t played you kind of know what to expect, although some of the storyline is far fetched and actually quite creative it could of been put together a lot better. I still want to shoot targets through walls and objects, when shooting an enemy with a rocket launcher who is hiding behind a plastic water cooler container and survives… for £79.99 I expect him to turn into tomato sauce or fly through a window into a million pieces, this game would benefit from some small added realism that could turn itself into a real blockbuster along with the graphics.
As we have seen time and time again with new “shooter” titles it’s the multiplayer which seems to have the main focus and outcome to whether the game is a success or not. With the introduction of ability supers known as “specialists” added to the variety of perks you can use, you really do have the chance to imprint your own unique style of play into the battlefield of multiplayer dominance.
My personal favourite being “RUIN” and the signature “Overdrive” for when I’m playing capture the flag as there is nothing better in the game to catch you and will make you an absolute boss in this mode. I have always been a fan of the hardcore game modes as for me it’s a real challenge to stay alive, a slight hit and you dead! But for us fans of the hardcore modes we are again disappointed as there are only 6 game modes to choose from which is a pathetic return and doesn’t make much sense as the normal mode has a load to choose from. Lazy from the producers on this point I’m afraid. Visually it’s a polished finish and quiet bonkers gameplay especially with the titanfall style wall running it actually makes the very small tight maps enjoyable and free flowing. This is defiantly the strongest call of duty has been on a multiplayer platform for a while as the previous titles such as Ghosts which was absolutely abysmal and didn’t even deserve a 1/10, the scorestreaks here seem more rewarding and not too overpowered. Black Ops 3 has a great selection of guns to choose from and the gameplay flow is very refreshing with not too many hiccups.
The multiplayer experience is actually quite addictive and really does frustrate the hell out of me as I can dominate in one round and fail like a turkey trying to avoid thanksgiving day in another! Unfortunately for me I have a very artistic nature and love to create which is bad news for me as I can now create my own emblems again with a lot more individual pieces than in previous titles so expect some really unique emblem creations flooding YouTube. They have also added a personalized space on your gun where you can create your own paint job which I think is a nice added bonus to make your own personal style.
Once you’re done messing around with all the little touches to this game we now move onto the gameplay itself, the controls are the same as they have always been and can be adjusted to your preferred sensitivity. I started on 8 and now I’m on 14 (insane) as I have gotten used to the controls and can turn around at a much faster speed to try and stay alive! With the added boost jump and wall running there really is a new twist to online multiplayer firefights and a new generation of gameplay is unfolding. I do love the fact that you can boost jump up in a room into a building instead of taking the stairs which was always protected by claymores or C4 by an annoying camper (I hate campers) so it’s actually a good way to weed out the wimps that pay for a game to sit in a room. The feel of the game is very futuristic with the scorestreaks being designed in a way to make you feel like it has progressed, for example the famous RC-XD is now a HC-XD which instead of being a remote controller toy it’s now a mini hovercraft which flies towards the enemy controlled by a fancy virtual tablet! Although I do miss sitting in a chopper circling the map firing the minigun and tearing the place up old school style but that’s just me.
What I first loved about the original Black Ops game was the multiplayer maps, which had real depth and character to them. They just seemed massive in comparison to the new maps which just seem clustered and put together by a trainee graphic designer who seems hell bent on using every tool he /she has at their disposal to create utter chaos across our screens, they just don’t seem finished.
With titles such as battlefield and destiny in comparison for size then COD Black Ops 3 comes nowhere near and are severely lacking this time round. There is one map I do actually like which reminds me of a very good movie but you guys can see that for yourself! But one out of 13 is not a good return, especially for £79.99. I’m still 50/50 on the multiplayer as to whether its good or bad, maybe that’s a good thing as I can’t make my mind up but still go back for more. What does initially worry me is will I bother prestiging? Doesn’t really seem worth it at the moment, there are no challenges offered to warrant continuously prestiging and starting over again, especially as the one thing I have found strange is the match making. How can putting 6 prestige and above players verses 6 players who have hardly reached lv 20? My very first game had me pipped against a team that was prestige 2 and above whilst my team was full of people like myself around levels 1 to 15. This is a serious unfair advantage over players that will know that map inside out and have a lot better equipment etc. Now for me I don’t mind too much as sometimes I get excited to see a team full of new players as it will improve my K/D but as a whole I definitely feel in this day and age there should be a filter or at least a maximum you can have between two players. But that’s just me.
Zombies has made its welcome return and I must say its jaw dropping, visually compared to its counterparts. This time round they have gone for a 1940’s film noir feel with your character likened to a certain legendary Dick Tracy. The zombie city is full of neon lights and is a massive playground of yellow eyed zombies looking to feast on your clean flesh!
There are four characters in this year’s Zombies, first up we have “Femme Fatal” a woman who belongs in the movies but instead works as a sexy burlesque dancer at the city’s upscale nightclub, where she attracts the attention of Morg City’s most powerful and rich men to manipulate their own weaknesses and desires for her own personal pleasure. Next up we have the “Magician” who was born into enormous wealth and has been brought up around people who have constantly praised him and told him how amazing he is which has turned his personality to a very arrogant person! “The Cop” is next up, this is the character that reminds me of Dick Tracy and Indiana Jones with the leather jacket, cowboy hat and the iconic Tommy gun, this dude is my favourite. And last but know means least is “The Boxer” who besides removing the padding from his gloves, the Boxer replaced them with brass knuckles hidden beneath his hand wraps, his attitude is he wasn’t looking to win, he was just looking to cause damage! These people are not nice people. everyone of them is a lying, conniving, manipulative and selfish individual with a long and sordid history of past misdeeds.
Morg City is an ideal backdrop for a noir horror story that is a fantastic platform for zombies, featuring a theater district, jazz clubs and a suspension railway, all these elements add to real depth and complexity as you try and survive wave after wave of the un dead. It has a great feel to it and will really throw up a few surprises which I’m dying to tell you but what you to find out for yourself as this is by far my favourite zombies for years! It’s not a full game like Dead Rising or anything like that but it’s a great time filler for solo runs or with your friends that has a lot of features that will draw you back for more and more.
This is a hard one to summarize, for £79.99 you really do get a lot of content and as for multiplayer likability then this is the best for years for a call of duty game. For a cooperative point of view if you have a bunch of mates you play with then you will enjoy this as it offers plenty of options throughout the three game modes to keep you satisfied. But as there is so much content throughout the game it is my belief that much more focus should have been applied to the campaign where they really could have set the world alight especially as the previous titles have been a let down. This was a lucky 7/10 from me but fear everyone will not share my generosity.