Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Game review on PlayStation 4
Sam Heatley / Thu 24th Dec 2015
728 views / 13 bites
OVERVIEW Despite the futuristic setting, Treyarch has failed to move forward with the Call of Duty franchise.
The year is 2065 and the player is tasked with a rescue mission in Ethiopia. While the traditional soldier still exists, it is clear robots and cybernetics are the future now. During the mission, the player is critically injured and is fitted with advanced cybernetics in order to survive. Fast forward five years and the player is now investigating a CIA black site gone quiet and must hunt down the people responsible for leaking classified information.
Unlike its predecessors, Black Ops 3 has opted for the players to make the decision on who they want to be. The cosmetic choice of a male or female soldier has no effect on the story which is the game's downfall. The story is messy and unable to shine due to the lack of a relatable main character.
Treyarch proposes many interesting ideas during the campaign, although, they are mostly left unanswered. Adding to this, is a confusing ending with a plot twist that seems to fall flat. The story has a poor attempt at adding depth to what is a simple first person shooter.
Treyarch has offered nothing really new in regards to the campaign. At times it can feel boring as there is little enemy variety and challenge. Most enemies are bullet sponges on higher difficulties and it soon feels like a chore to finish the current mission.
However, there is variety on how to approach missions. With fully customisable load-outs, perks and abilities, there are endless ways to adjust the play style for each mission. At first, the cybernetic abilities are interesting. These abilities allow players to hack or destroy enemies in different ways, on the fly, once fully charged. They quickly lose their charm when using a gun has more effect in later stages of the game.
Black Ops 3 feels like it pulls players from one objective to the next, in typical action movie style. Yet, the game is far from memorable compared to previous entries in the series as it is missing the magic that they had.
GRAPHICS The graphics for Black Ops 3 are solid for a next-gen game. Treyarch manage to capture plenty of pretty moments during cutscenes and the game itself. While character models are improving each game, more focus is needed on expressions and movements to be more convincing.
Christopher Meloni manages to carry the game with his excellent performance. It is a shame that the rest of the cast wasn't as capable in their roles. Often the characters sounded unenthusiastic or were missing the emotion needed for the scene. This brings down the potential impact of the story as there is no connection between the player and characters.
The soundtrack for Black Ops 3 has room for improvement. There is no atmosphere or noticeable build-up with the music in cutscenes or battles. Gunfire and explosions are overly loud and other sounds seem soft in comparison. The game accomplishes what it needs to without too much effort.
Zombies and Multiplayer is where it's at for most fans of the franchise. New characters and progression system have been introduced to improve the experience for Zombies. Meanwhile in Multiplayer, Specialists have been added. Similar to the campaign, each character has a unique ability and weapon that suits a certain play-style. These two aspects of the game will provide more hours of entertainment long after the campaign is completed.
Treyarch continues the trend of setting the Call of Duty franchise in the future. While the story is a dark and confronting take on war and technology, it feels like it has strayed too far from its roots. Black Ops 3 is another futuristic shooter that promises much and doesn't deliver.
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