Call of Duty: Black Ops III Review | Back to the future
What is it? A fast-paced “blockbuster” styled sci-fi military first person shooter that contains single player, multiplayer and co-operative gaming modes.
Call of Duty has come a very long way from the realistic trenches of a real World War 2 and is now more of a crazy sci-fi set in a fictional future. The truth of the matter is though, that despite including Hollywood talent and a gorgeous push into new-generation graphics, Call of Duty has lost its soul. The pressure to keep adding more has left us with a game/franchise buckling under the weight of “catch up” features that have been added to keep up with the other kids.
In Single Player, the story has gone off its rocker. While there are nice attempts to add customisation and especially co-operative mode, the story itself is boneheaded and the attempt to mix bro-lific over-the-top sequences together with attempts at characters experiencing “the feels” just feels, well, dumb. The gameplay and visuals do still hold their own though, so if you’re into something that’s both pretty and pretty fun, it’s a decent few hours of fun. Do also remember to check out the new Zombie mode, as it’s a decent bit of quirky fun and can be addictive.
In multiplayer, jump-packs, wall-running and boost-dodging all detract from what originally made the games tight and fun, but because its all been loaded on, the balance isn’t quite there anymore and the movement feels both cumbersome and a far stretch from the slick movement of what rivals like Titanfall and Halo 5 are doing. You can still expect to be hit by rage-quit-worthy killstreaks seconds after spawning, and “corner whores”/campers are plentiful despite the game’s attempt to convince you that the fun is to be had in the cool movement abilities. If you already love the later COD multiplayer experiences, the this adds to that, so go ahead and dive in if you know it’s your thing. South African side note: The console version we played has dedicated servers, and that’s a big plus.
If you’re a newcomer, I’d suggest looking elsewhere for your action fix unless you know exactly what you are in for and want that familiar modern COD experience. Despite having a good amount of variety and content, Call of Duty has descended into a brainless blockbuster that doesn’t know what it wants to be anymore and anytime away spent with other shooter/multiplayer experiences will do a lot to highlight that its a grandpa that’s trying to hang out with the cool kids, and yet… no one has noticed the grey hairs sticking out from under its backwards baseball cap.
Verdict: Can still recommend for existing fans.