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Video Game Review: Call of Duty Black Ops 3

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Or as I like to call it “BLOPS TRES”. “Call of Duty Black Ops 3” is the latest installment in the long running series. What started out as the original WW2 shooter became the highly innovative modern shooter and has now become the financial juggernaut of first person shooters but because of this the originality in the series has been dwindling over the past few years and although “BLOPS TRES” promised to reinvigorate the series it unfortunately has not and instead is another dry installment to add to the ever growing collection of boring games that is the “Call of Duty” series.

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Let me start this out just by saying I liked the “Call of Duty” franchise. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every game it was not until recently where I’ve started falling out of love with it. After the mess that was “COD: Ghosts” and the strangeness of “Advanced Warfare” I was really feeling fatigued with the series but when they announced “BLOPS TRES” I lost it. This was going to be the valiant return of the “Call of Duty” franchise. It was “Black Ops”! My personal favorites of the “COD” franchise. I loved the first and second ones, I played nothing but “Black Ops’ multiplayer and zombies for months so seeing another installment in to the series actually had me excited. Although I didn’t pre-order it or anything I was able to get a free copy thanks to a friend and after playing a bit of everything I have come to the conclusion that this game is a let down.

To begin lets start on the campaign. I loved the “Black Ops” campaign story arc from the past 2 games. They were intriguing stories that capitalized on the paranoia and tactics of the Vietnam and Cold War and involved a great all star cast including Sam Worthington, Calvin Harris, Michael Rooker, Gary Oldmen and more! The story was revolved around the Mason family with Alex Mason living throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and David Mason living in the year 2025 unraveling a terrorist conspiracy throughout the future and past and try to prevent world destruction, it’s really good story telling and results in a fun time so how does “BLOPS TRES” top this? It doesn’t. Now you see “Black Ops 3” supports a 4 player campaign where you and 3 the friends can play the campaign together this is actually a down side to “Black Ops 3” because they totally cut out the Mason story line and instead replaced it with  another “advanced warfare” style story with the future being bad and how technology can turn on us the same way “Black Ops 2” originally started the future warfare trend within the last few “COD” installments.  Although the story does unwrap with a government conspiracy and develops David Lynch-esque elements near the end the total absence of all the great previous characters result in a boring campaign that’s a drag to finish. Also that’s only on the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. You do not get a single player campaign in general on last gen consoles (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3).

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The multiplayer is also butchered down. the maps are small and badly designed. They’re mostly made to accommodate the game’s parkour system with large out of place walls and swimming pools and rivers for you to swim and shooter in, that’s right you can swim and shoot people in the multiplayer which sounds fun but is actually no different from just actual combat on solid ground. The class systems are still the same too with the “pick 10 items to use” formula that was again made popular in “Black Ops 2” with the newest feature being “Specialists”. Basically at the beginning of playing multiplayer you can choose 1 out of 6 specialists that has 2 different abilities you can choose from. I personally didn’t utilize their abilities as much but from the matches I played I can see other and better players are but I still feel like this multiplayer isn’t going to last long. Most of the game modes are desolate with really only team death match and search and destroy having the most population. Seeing how this is a “COD” game I’d expect to have more players playing different modes. People are still playing “Modern Warfare 2” and that came out in 2009.

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Finally I will talk about the Zombies. The one thing everyone was looking forward too myself included and as I said before I loved “BLOPS” Zombies, I spent months playing it and enjoyed every installment but ever since Treyarch (The developer of the “Black Ops” series) released the “Moon” map DLC for the first “Black Ops” game, the zombies mode as been more about completing extremely convoluted Easter eggs over actual gameplay and although it does add more of a sense of purpose compared to “World At War’s” one small map I feel that over the years the modes have become over bloated and really cripple what was a great addition to the series. The game mod titled “Shadows of Evil” only cements my point and as nice as it is having an all-star cast (JEFF GOLDBLUM) it makes no difference to the game’s over bearing yearn of it wanting you to do it’s Easter eggs which again are convoluted and a chore to do, well almost impossible to do, thankfully I found a guy on XBL who had studied Zombies and learnt the Easter egg inside out so I was able to finish it but it’s not worth the time or achievement/trophy and the worst part is, it’s the only zombie game mode to play until some DLC comes out. Again they watered down this game mode too for some reason and compared to it’s predecessors fails to compete.

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In conclusion this is another underwhelming “Call of Duty”. It promises great thing but fails at it with a bad campaign, boring multiplayer and underwhelming zombies this installment just like the others are dead and bloated. Activision, give it a break. I give “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” a 5 out of 10. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.

 

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