Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review

Written by Jake Tucker

November 19, 2015 | 12:05

Tags: #black-ops #call-of-duty #fps #shooting

Companies: #activision #treyarch

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review

I struggled to care enough to finish the campaign though, drafting in a few friends to give me the will to carry on. It's the least interesting part of the game, and even a "turn all enemies into zombies" mode affixed to the end doesn't do much to break the monotony.

It doesn't really make sense, because the game already has an excellent Zombie mode. This year's zombie side mission drops you into Morg City in a noir flavoured horror romp. There's a storyline and noir appropriate characterisation, but it's not changed all that much from what you would expect - kill zombies, open gates, buy weapons from the mystery box.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review

You can level up here too,but it doesn't seem to unlock much more than additional power-ups to collect from the gumball machines in game, offering a variety of abilities like invisibility to zombies, quick revives or the ability to fire without reloading for a short while.

It's not really designed for single player, with cooperative revive systems and the sheer weight of zombies making it quite tough to survive more than a few waves.

At this stage it's easy to assume that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is taking a stand. Every mode is better cooperatively. Perhaps fighting with your friends is the true meaning of Treyarch's latest iteration. They want you to embrace your fellow human and climb on board a ship that never sinks: Friendship.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review

But then you start playing the multiplayer and learn a new level of hatred. It's just that everyone else is so much faster. The multiplayer is by far the strongest aspect, and the maps are well designed. Some modes don't really come off so well, including one where you have to escort a robot through the map in a facsimile of Team Fortress's Payload.

I've found myself drawn to the Capture the Flag and Uplink game modes. CTF is as you would expect, with multiple paths around the levels deliver an experience not dissimilar from Tribes. Engaging sonic mode, you sprint through the levels with enemies chasing you, diving and boost-jumping around the place as bullets thud behind you.

Uplink is a revolution though. It's not the first time it's appeared in a Call of Duty but here it feels like it's reached its zenith.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review

The concept of Uplink is relatively simple. There's a metal ball in the middle of the map, by moving over the ball you pick it up and run with it, unable to shoot. You score it in your enemy’s "goal", a sphere hovering 10 feet in the area. You can pass the ball to teammates or toss the ball through the goal and at enemies, taking away their ability to fire for a split second as they wonder why you've just tossed them the objective.

The boost jumps, wall running and power slides combine to make you feel like you're playing some sort of sports game anyway, but combined with the grenades and gunfire it's instantly compelling.

There's also the standard team deathmatch, kill confirmed, and domination modes if they should take your fancy, and they often will - the multiplayer is as fun now as it's always been. They haven't tweaked the formula too much and this is a wise choice. It feels like Call of Duty. It's fun like Call of Duty.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review

Honestly? It's by the numbers. Treyarch have thrown a lot of new ideas into the mix here and they work nicely, but it still feels like a very Call of Duty experience. This is fine, and I've had a lot of fun with the multiplayer, but I can't help but feel it's a step back for the franchise after the dizzying highs of Advanced Warfare.

Black Ops 3 is so nearly a great game and you can't fault it for value (the three massive game modes are a large part of the 75% score) but if there's one flaw that's hard to ignore in a game, it's being boring.
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  • Overall
    75 / 100

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October 14 2021 | 15:04