CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 3 1st Impressions
**This impression is with an X-Box One version.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III deploys players into a dark, twisted future where a new breed of Black Ops soldiers emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the technology we created to stay ahead, in a world where cutting-edge military robotics define warfare. With three unique game modes: Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies, providing fans with the deepest and most ambitious Call of Duty ever.
Graphics & Sound
Graphically speaking, I can only speak on the current-gen version of the game. As good as the graphics were in CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS, they are much better in this game. In watching videos of the 360 version, it’s time that they upgrade to current-gen consoles. Barring that then maybe it’s time to cease support of the older consoles and focus on the current gen (PS4 and XBox One)
The campaign is your standard Call of Duty single player story. It takes place in the not-too-distant future of 2065, 40 years after the events of Black Ops 2. The battlefield is now littered with drones and humanoid robots, with the human soldiers being cyborgs. Christopher Meloni and Katee Sackhoff lend their voices and likenesses to game this time around. Just like every Call of Duty/Modern Warfare game before it, this game has a shocking and defining “Holy sh*t!” moment early on. I won’t spoil it, but I’ll tell you that it’s something that is guaranteed to make you shudder. The campaign has an online co-op mode. I was unable to really test this out because of connection issues with their servers. These issues also caused me to have to run thru the first level three times and the second twice because of the way that the game saves your progress to the cloud.
The multiplayer aspect of the game is fun—when you can actually play. The problems with the servers are infuriating, to say the least. One might get 3 matches in and then suddenly constantly get dropped from the MP servers. The problems are on Activision’s side and not Xbox Live or my local network, as I was able to confirm via all of the various complaint threads online. Nothing new is added to the multiplayer modes. The Pick 10 system from Black Ops II has returned, and the 10 points will be used for picking Guns, Lethals, Tacticals, Attachments, Perks, and Wildcards. What is different this year is the addition of the Specialists. Instead of playing as a generic grunt, you get to choose one of these highly skilled soldiers:
Ruin: an infantry soldier from a tough neighborhood who volunteered for cybernetic limb replacements, despite not having an injury necessitating it. Ruin’s special weapons are the Gravity Spikes. They are two spikes that will kill anyone within a small area when stuck into the ground. His special ability is called Overdrive. This gives him a massive speed boost for a short time.
Outrider: a product of the Brazilian favelas, where she earned a place in the ranks of the Brazilian Special Forces. Outrider’s special weapon is the Sparrow. It’s a compound bow that fires bolts with increasing range the longer it is drawn. Furthermore, the bolt will explode shortly after making contact with a surface. Her special ability is called Vision Pulse. It’s a Sonic pulse that pings the surrounding area and reveals enemies within range.
Prophet: a member of the British Engineering Corps. Prophet’s special weapon is the Tempest. It’s a charge-shot weapon that fires an arc of electricity, instantly killing enemies and chaining to all nearby hostiles. His special ability is called Glitch. This allows him to flash back to a previous position while keeping all other conditions intact, such as damage or tactical grenade effects.
Seraph: an enforcer for the 54I crime syndicate who is known for her discipline in combat. Seraph’s special weapon is the Annihilator. This is a one-shot kill pistol with great penetration power. Her special ability is called Combat Focus. While active, all score earned will trigger a bonus multiplier towards scorestreaks.
Battery: an armored explosives specialist. Battery’s special weapon is the ‘War Machine. This is a grenade launcher that fires bouncing grenades which detonate after a short time. They will also auto detonate if they make direct contact with an enemy. Her special ability is called Kinetic Armor. This is reactive armor that deflects enemy bullets away from the body for five seconds. However, headshots and non-bullet damage will still be active.
Nomad: the last surviving member of an elite rapid deployment force that specialized in jungle warfare. Nomad’s special weapon is the H.I.V.E. This fires out pod traps that release nano drones upon enemies. The pods can be stuck on various surfaces in-game. His special ability is Rejack. This allows you to recover from the position of your death. However, this is not possible when killed by a Specialist Weapon
Spectre: The futuristic ninja. Spectre’s special weapon is the Ripper. These are twin blades that give extended melee lunge. The rippers replace the standard melee attack, and can be used while holding your weapon. His special ability is Active Camo. As you would expect, this allows Spectre to become nearly invisible on the battlefield for a short time.
Reaper: a combat robot prototype. Reaper’s special weapon is the Scythe. This turns his arm into a quad barrel mini-gun. His special ability is called Psychosis. This allows him to create three decoys of himself that run forward.
Firebreak: The pyromaniac. Firebreak’s special weapon is the Purifier. This is a flamethrower that can scorch enemies within close range. His special ability is called Heat Wave. Firebreak will emit a massive heat blast that stuns enemies and destroys hostile equipment within range.
Each Specialist also has their own personality, and will shout quotes and orders in the field freely. The player is also able to pick gestures and taunts for their specialists.
The Gunsmith is another element of Black Ops III multiplayer meant to give players even more choices when customizing their soldier, allowing them to choose how attachments look and apply custom paintjobs and camos to their weapons
I’ve never been a big fan of this mode, especially when one is forced to play it solo because of the aforementioned server issues. As I haven’t (yet) purchased the season pass, I only had access to “Shadows of Evil”. Set in the Morg City in the 1940s, it throws in a dash of noir to the mix. You play as one of 4 protagonists: Magician Nero Blackstone (voiced by and given the likeness of Jeff Goldblum), Burlesque performer Jessica Rose (voiced by and given the likeness of Heather Graham), Detective Jack Vincent (voiced by and given the likeness of Neal McDonough), and Boxer Floyd Campbell (voiced by and given the likeness of Ron Perlman). None of these are sympathetic characters as you find out in the intro. As I said, I was only able to play by myself which I didn’t really find much fun.
Differences Between Versions
Besides the obvious differences graphics-wise between last and current generation versions, there are many other changes which gamers will want to consider before purchasing the game for PS3 and Xbox 360.
- The campaign is not available.
- Nightmares mode is not available.
- Custom paintjobs aren’t available.
- Gunsmith isn’t available.
- Ground War isn’t available.
- Maximum framerate is limited to 30 FPS in Zombies and between 30 and 60 FPS in multiplayer.
- NUK3TOWN isn’t available.
- The Giant and the Season Pass are not available.
- Theater Mode is not available
The game is very fun, especially when the server connections were up and you can get a party going. Hopefully the server issue will be taken care of soon, which will lead to stable connections and hours of uninterrupted fun.
I give this game 4 care packages out of 5
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