With every new year comes a new Call of Duty. It has joined Death and Taxes on the list of inevitabilities. Thankfully, Black Ops 3 once again gives us the pleasure of blasting the heads off of shambling corpses. I’ll be honest, it’s the main reason I bought the game. Ever since they were introduced back in World at War, I have been an avid zombie hunter. This year, they changed it up a bit -although it does borrow some mechanics from older maps.
Previous games have had well known faces and voices in your control as you take on the hordes of undead, and this one is no different. We get Neal McDonough (Arrow, Minority Report), Heather Graham (Boogie Nights, The Hangover), Ron Pearlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy), and my personal favourite – Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day, Jurassic Park). All based in a 40’s era noir-esque map accompanied by some catchy jazz riffs. However, even with others boasting awesome names and aesthetics, I don’t recall a map that had as great a story as Shadow of Evil gives us. We follow these four sinners as they are sent to a dark realm by the Shadow Man, and must complete a series of tasks to repent for their sins and save the world.
It also introduces a few new elements to the zombie gameplay. For instance, now you can turn into a tentacled Lovecraftian Beast thing for a limited time to power up generators and grapple to places out of reach for a normal human. As a plus, nothing will come after you when you transform allowing you more or less free reign of wherever you can get to within thirty seconds. Along with being able to Beast Mode, there are also new Gobblegums – essentially bubble gum machines that will give you bonus abilities for a limited time. Some are really handy, like extending your bleed out time, or being able to respawn with the weapons you had when you went down. Others are… well, useful, but only in certain, specific situations.
They’ve also gone ahead and introduced new enemies as well. The first one you’ll encounter is the Parasite. It looks as if a bat out of hell got freaky with a giant prehistoric firefly. They fly around and shoot their acidic snot at you. They are easy enough to take care of, so long as you keep moving. It’s the next guys you gotta look out for. The Margwa’s. Huge three-headed mofo’s that get angrier and faster the more you damaged them. Your best bet is to just run and gun – just keep aiming for their open mouths.
And that’s just the start of it. I haven’t seen it myself, but once you get past the first few steps there’s still buildables and other upgrades to get. It’s nice to see they are making it more than just mindless zombie killing. The goals make for a better challenge and exercise you brain as well as your trigger finger. I know this isn’t this first map to do so, but it’s the first one I’ve been really invested in. Except Der Riese. That will always hold a special place in my heart.
All in all, it’s an incredibly fun, and challenging experience. It even gives you a boss fight if you can manage to get that far. I usually only last until round 7-9, and don’t even get the Pack-A-Punch unlocked. I’ve slowly managed to develop a strategy, and it’s gets me a little closer each time. Im gonna let you guys and gals figure it out on your own though. That’s where 90% of the fun is. Give another 5% for excellent dialogue, 4% for some wicked guns, and 1% for one of the most satisfying headshot sounds in gaming history.