My Call of Duty Black Ops 3 review begins with a short overview of the game and then gets into detailed explanations of each mode in further sections.
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 continues the zany futuristic hijinks of Black Ops 2. Treyarch take us further into the future and further into a world controlled by technology. The entire game is tied to these futuristic, terminator-ish themes which for the most part creates a fun and interesting atmosphere. I’ve always enjoyed Treyarch’s genuine push for the series, they always seem to be reaching for new heights and trying to give the gamer more. Often regarded as the second-rate developer of the franchise behind Infinity Ward; who became a household name after Modern Warfare, I feel Treyarch have constantly stepped up their game and stayed hungry, while Infinity Ward seemed to have played it safe and rested on their laurels. Personally for me the Treyarch Call of Duty games have always seemed more experimental and unique, which I prefer.
Giving the gamer more is exactly what Treyarch have done this year with Black Ops 3. In an industry hellbent on delivering multiplayer only games (Titanfall, Evolve) that ignore any narrative whatsoever, it’s nice to see a company still busting ass on single player content and story. Black Ops 3 includes an 8 hour campaign that can also be played co-op with up to 4 players online and 2 players locally via splitscreen. Zombies mode returns this year too with upgrades. Nightmares is also included. Nightmares is a new mode that allows players to play through select levels of the main campaign with a side narrative focused on a zombie apocalypse. Of course, the mainstay of the series, online multiplayer makes a return, as does it’s pick 10 loadout system.
I found the campaign to be generic futuristic shooter fodder with some highs and lows. I really enjoyed the new safehouse system as it allows you to create loadouts, customize weapons and your character before every level. The collectibles and training missions have all be integrated also into the safehouse which is a nice touch.
Lows include a generic, convoluted story that kinda goes all over the place and yet nowhere memorable. Acting is rough in spots, where I felt dudes heavily overacted and shouted continuously for no reason at all. Sometimes the shouting bro moments go to near unbearable levels. Overall it was an average campaign. Not as awesome as the Modern Warfare or Battlefield Bad Company 2 campaigns, but not as terribly shitty as the Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 campaigns either.
The landmark multiplayer mode returns filled with more customization options and gameplay choices than ever. Parties are easy to get in and out of, there’s a huge new customization system for creating emblems, paint jobs for guns and a sharing area to showcase these things with friends. I’m not sure if they’ll ever be sharable but it’s a cool feature to have nonetheless. The pick 10 system is back allowing players to mix and match loadouts with their favourite combination of 10 perks, attachments, guns etc.
New to multiplayer and my favourite addition is The Specialists. The Specialists are essentially 10 different classes that you can chose one of for each match. Each Specialist is a character with their own look, backstory, customization options and special weapon or special ability attack. The special ability or weapon attack charges up overtime and can be unleashed once before it has to charge up again. My favourite currently is the Tempest class that shoots an electrical bolt of lightning out of his gun frying enemies in his path.
The new Zombies mode is really good and expanded upon compared to other Treyarch games. It features a band of 4 unlikeable criminals that find themselves in the zombie apocalypse in the 1940s. Morg City is the backdrop where the 4 characters; the magician, the boxer, the actress and the cop, fend off hordes of the undead. A huge area to play in with tons of unlocks, lovecraftian overtones and content and mega customization system make this version of Zombies the best yet.
It now features it’s own persistent levelling system, complete with gun unlocks, upgrades and new perks just for Zombies mode called Gobblegum. Gobblegum are gum balls that randomly roll out of the various Gobblegum machines throughout the Zombies areas. Players can unlock and customize Gobblegum loadouts to their liking as they become available.
Playing through the old levels with a new narrative having them filled with flesh eaters is a cool and fun new gameplay mode. I haven’t played through all of the content from Nightmares as of yet. From what I gather it’s select levels from the campaign that have been redone with new voiceovers and zombies.