The latest in the incredibly popular Call of Duty Series has arrived and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a nice mix of old and new that goes a long way to combating those who say that each game is basically the same thing with new maps.
Set in a future where combat technology is now imbedded into soldiers, allowing them to hack systems, control machines, and release all manner of electronic warfare, Black Ops 3 is a very ambitious entry into the series. The game also has a great feature that allows players to customize their appearance, weapons, and special features in the campaign instead of just relegating that feature to the multiplayer portion.
As if that was not enough, the game also allows up to four human players to play through the campaign as one unit, which is great for those with new players in the Call of Duty universe in tow.
The campaign is a mixed bag as at times the story is convoluted and the virtual reality based campaigns towards the end become frustrating as well as at times overly difficult.
Graphically the game shines and it is clear that the artists spent considerable love and effort on the game. Just walking around the ready room before missions alone lets one see the incredible level of detail in the game. The levels are pretty impressive as well from secret laboratories in Singapore to high rise locales in Egypt; the future is truly captivating and terrifying as envisioned by Treyarch.
The campaign despite the issues I had with it is not really the selling point of the series, as the multiplayer is where the game truly shines. With multiple formats of online play available as well as numerous maps and the ability to once again customize your weapon loadouts and killstreak rewards, comes a new class system. This allows players to play as a unique character with a special weapon or ability that becomes available to them after a certain amount of time.
While lots of fun, the old Call of Duty imbalances are there which become highly annoying. For instance, you unload a magazine into the chest of an oncoming enemy point blank. You hear the hits taking place, and while being hit, they can stop, draw a bow, and shoot you dead, all the while taking a barrage of machine gun fire. This sort of thing becomes highly frustrating as does the never ending barrage of hackers with their aim bots and other annoyances.
The Zombie mode of the game is a true classic With Jeff Goldblum and other Hollywood stars providing their voices and likenesses to a retro-locale where players can battle the undead.
In all, the game is a nice step forward as if the story of the campaign matched the customization it would really be something epic. But fans of the series know what to expect and Black Ops 3 gives them what they love about the series as well as some new features to push the series forward.
4 stars out of 5.