Treyarch returns with another sequel to their Black Ops franchise. Here’s my Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Review.
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 is the fourth entry into the TreyArch Call of Duty franchise. However, there is almost zero relation between the story in this game and the story in all the previous campaigns (World at War, Black Ops, and Black Ops II). There is a small mention of a weapon used in previous Black Ops games, but that’s all. The campaign in Black Ops 3 is set far in the future where the soldiers become the weapons.
The story seems a bit cliched and rushed. You play as the new recruit to a team of super soldiers with special cybernetic upgrades. Just like many of the other Call of Duty games, the real bad guys are people from your own team! Don’t worry, it’s not much of a spoiler because it’s revealed incredibly quickly, and as I mentioned it has been done many times before.
It seems as if the developers tried to make the story all complex and sophisticated, but in reality it came off as if they were trying to hard. In fact, it seemed as if they were trying to repeat the original Black Ops story line. Instead of saying “What do the numbers mean?” it was “What is the frozen forest?” There wasn’t enough time or love dedicated to the story to actually capture your attention.
The best part of the campaign is how you can customize your own class, level up, unlock more parts, and even unlock and use cybernetic powers. Level up by earning experience and completing challenges called “accolades” during each mission. When you level up, you earn a fabrication kit, which is then used to unlock a weapon, perk, wildcard, or cyber core ability. Some abilities are good for robotic enemies, and some are good for human enemies. Believe me when I say this, the cyber core abilities are the coolest part of the loadouts.
The multiplayer of Black Ops 3 tries to bring something new to the franchise, but I felt as if it failed. Level up like always to reveal various items such as weapons, perks, equipment, etc. Like Black Ops II, you won’t be able to use any of these revealed items until you use an unlock token. You get one unlock token every time you level up, which means even after reaching max level 55 you won’t be able to unlock everything. This is an incredibly poor decision in my opinion.
The newest thing to the multiplayer are the specialists. You must choose a specialist to use in a multiplayer game. The specialists either have a special weapon or a special ability that you can choose between, but not both. These become available during the game as you earn points and as time goes on. It seems like a cool idea, but these specialists are so overpowered that you hardly see scorestreaks in games these days. All the specialists weapons are one hit kills, and the abilities are pretty overpowered as well. One example of an ability is becoming nearly invisible for a few seconds.
The zombies mode is probably the best part of Black Ops III. This time around there is a leveling system just like the campaign and multiplayer. You can even prestige if you reach the max level! One new feature available while leveling up is the ability to add attachments to the weapons. Once you buy a weapon off the walls or from the mystery box, they will come packed with these attachments. Leveling up also gives you the brand new GobbleGum. GobbleGum are sort of like the Perk-A-Colas, but they won’t disappear if you are downed, and they will help you out a number of ways such as spawning a nuke, teleporting to a new area, becoming camouflaged for a few seconds, and much more. You must buy these from GobbleGum machines around a map for 500 points. The base gum are unlocked by leveling up, but the mega GobbleGum must be created with liquid divinium, which will be randomly given to you as you open doors, buy weapons, and buy perks. You also get more experience points for opening doors and helping out your team.
It’s great how all three game modes have a leveling system, but for some reason the saved data you make while connected to the internet (PS Plus or Xbox Live) is not the same as when you’re playing locally. If your online subscription runs out, or if there’s something wrong with the internet and you can’t connect, you won’t have the same saved data when you play solo. This is sort of okay with Multiplayer and Zombies since everything is unlocked for you when playing locally, but the stuff available in the Campaign will not be unlocked, and it cannot be carried over to or from the online saved data.
In addition to the three returning game modes, there’s a new game mode called Nightmares. You play through the campaign levels again, but this time there’s a new story being told as you battle through waves of zombies. The zombies are a bit different from the ones in the Zombies mode. If you are hit by a zombie, you will freeze in place similar to being hit with a concussion grenade. This makes it nearly impossible to survive once a zombie gets close. It’s a cool idea to bring Zombies mode and the Campaign together like this, but I didn’t like how they changed the way you are affected by a zombie attack.
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 is packed with brand new features and content. Some were bad choices, like the Specialists and the saved data between online and local play, but some ideas really hit it out of the park. If you’re a fan of a futuristic shooter or if you want to continue the Zombies storyline from previous Call of Duty games, I recommend picking this game up! It really seems as if TreyArch is focusing more and more on Zombies content, which is what they’re best at.