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Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3  

 

The most popular franchise of the past years has returned for another explosive round. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the major new installment in the franchise and has tons of content to offer. Want to enjoy a great single player? It’s here. More a multiplayer type? It’s bigger than ever. Like to kill zombies? Take them down in Black Ops 3! The game is packed with content and is a must-have for shooter fans.

A modern story

Black Ops 3 is more than just a great multiplayer experience. The developer tries to include a thrilling solo adventure with every release. Black Ops 3 is set in the year 2065, making it a lot more modern than Advanced Warfare. The game is set in a very over-the-top future but the developer really nails the setting. After creating a male or female character, you’re dropped into the action.

The future doesn’t look that bright, that’s for sure. The very first mission is a brutal awakening in this new future and includes one of the most brutal action scenes the franchise has ever seen. Short after this brutal awakening however, you get to know the strength of the future thanks to Cybernetic attacks. These Cybernetic attacks are possible thanks to the Cybercores. By controlling those, your futuristic soldier is capable of things a normal soldier could only dream of.

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The Cybercores are divided in three major categories: Chaos, Martial and Control. Depending on which one you’re using, you can send tiny but deadly robots towards your opponent or set them on fire using another power. There are a total of 21 of these special attacks and testing them out is a lot of fun. Not a fan of futuristic warfare? Don’t worry, you can complete the game without using those Cybernetic attacks, they are completely optional.

Realistic war

This brings us to another new mode, called the Realistic Mode. This is the mode for the hardcore Call of Duty players. As the name suggests, this mode brings a more realistic warfare to the table. No health generation here, one bullet kills and you’ll need to restart the moment you get hit. It’s a very brutal mode where you’ll need to survive from checkpoint to checkpoint and use all your skills to survive. It’s not easy but it’s a challenge worth taking!

The new single player is packed with these interesting innovations and offers a very thrilling ride filled with surprises and betrayal. Another great gimmick is your safe house, a place you can always visit between missions. In here you can take a look at your medals, upgrade and test your Cybernetic attacks or read information about the next mission. This includes the amount of enemies and changing of your load-out before jumping in.

 

Packed with great content

 

If you manage to complete the single player, you’ll unlock a new mode called Nightmares. Without spoiling the content of this mode, we suggest that everybody plays this second take on the campaign since it’s one of the coolest things that happened to the franchise in years.

Offline multiplayer with friends

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 offers a great experience for the lonely player but is better with friends. Unlike Halo 5: Guardians, you can invite a friend over to play the campaign in split-screen co-op. You can automatically start the mission you like so you don’t need to worry about the progress of the other player; this is of importance during the online co-op sessions of course.

Co-op works great but made some changes we didn’t really like. The biggest disappointment is that the game follows the pace of the fastest player. Meaning the second player will get teleported to the fastest player once he reaches a new checkpoint. It’s a shame this mechanism was implemented since it takes out all the exploration of the co-op experience.

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Enter the new online battlefields

The online multiplayer, the mode most players buy the game for, has been innovated and revamped entirely in Black Ops 3. With a total of 11 prestige on 55 levels, you know you’ll get hooked on the multiplayer for months to come. Besides this, the multiplayer comes packed with a lot of classic modes and great maps; Nuk3town might become the most-played map soon.

Sounds familiar right? Well everything changes thanks to the playable characters. In Black Ops 3, you’ll need to pick a Specialist to enter the battlefields. There are nine Specialists in the game, each with their own unique weapon or skill. This weapon or skill can gets activated by gaining enough points online (you earn those by killing). Once you have enough points, all hell breaks loose.

Since everybody is using a Specialist, the battlefields are filled with unique powers such as invisibility, high speed and more. Combine this with the free-running mechanism and you know you’re playing a new Call of Duty multiplayer. This multiplayer is a lot faster and has a lot of special weapons and skills to offer. Besides the specialists, you can still unlock crazy score streaks, ranging from UVAs to giant turret-mounted helicopters.

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The only downside about the multiplayer is the loss of the iconic knife. The knife is an optional secondary weapon and can’t be used all of the time. The instant stealth kills are out of the picture with this decision. Sure, you can hit opponents with the back of your gun but that’s not the same as the iconic knife.

The Walking Dead 

Call of Duty won’t be Call of Duty without a Zombies-mode and it’s back in Black Ops 3 and it’s bigger than ever. Zombie mode plays in the giant Morg City where four players fight their way though hordes of zombies and their curse. The four players are infected by a mysterious curse, finding the solution while taking down zombies in your main goal during this mode.

Another new thing is the way perks are handled. You unlock perks with gumballs. Each gumball has its own unique perk to discover, not all of the gumballs are unlocked immediately, and so finding them all is a very fun way of playing the Zombie mode.

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The last noticeable feature is the Monster feature. Once in a while, you’ll get the opportunity to transform one of your players into a monster. This monster can unlock special doors or activate certain power lines to take down a lot of zombies at once. The zombie mode comes with enough interesting innovations to really make to mode worth your time.

Conclusion:

Black Ops 3 comes packed with tons of innovation and content to keep fans of the genre pleased for months to come. The single player is unique and thrilling but note that this mode is only playable on the current generation of consoles. The Zombie mode and multiplayer offer enough changes to feel fresh and innovating. Introducing the Specialists to the multiplayer was a great decision, including free running wasn’t necessary on the other hand. If you’re looking for a first person shooter with an interesting story and active online community, Black Ops 3 is the one you need.

8.5/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.