Call of Duty: Black Ops III Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Call of Duty: Black Ops III. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
It's cool these days to hate Call of Duty. While not all of the hate is unwarranted it seems like the series can't catch a break, but what if I told you that the last two games in the series have been nothing short of stellar? While Treyarch's Black Ops III doesn't feel as fully developed as last year's surprisingly Advanced Warfare it does serve as a fantastically gutsy shooter that dares to try new things in a series that doesn't technically need to if it wants to make a ton of money. Black Ops III is still unquestionably Treyarch's brand of Call of Duty, but it does enough different that you'll likely be spending a lot of time with it this fall. With an action packed campaign, an addicting new zombie mode and of course the series trademark multiplayer modes, Black Ops III is the biggest and most daring Call of Duty yet.
Black Ops III continues the series' story of man versus machine in the not so distant future. The game primarily revolves around a new technology called Direct Neural Interface or DNI for short. Essentially DNI acts as a link between a human mind and something else, be it man or machine. The story is your typical Call of Duty fare and it's unquestionably the game's weakest point. It feels rushed and hardly even makes you care about any of the characters before it goes for the big payoff and the result is an astounding "meh." Was it full of giant popcorn movie style action set pieces? Sure, but I didn't care about many of the people in the middle of them or their fates. The game dares to ask some pretty tough questions about technology and how we care for our soldiers but it never really bothers to answer them either.
No, the real story here is what the DNI technology means to the tried and true Call of Duty mechanics. In Black Ops III you'll pick a specialist role and it will dramatically effect how you play the game. Each of these specialists will have access to new abilities and powers that are all completely upgradeable through a surprisingly deep set of skill trees. What was most interesting about this new style of Call of Duty is how much it encourages working together especially when playing with other people. One of my perks for instance had me being able to become completely invisible for short bursts, allowing me to go in for fun melee kills while my squad mates provided cover fire distraction. What surprised me most about Black Ops III was just how much content there is here. It's almost a bit daunting even when you first start playing it, but a clear welcome addition once you start to get the hang of it.
I really can't tell you how much I enjoyed co-op with Black Ops III. All of these additions add to a game that feels completely different from what came before it and that's a very good thing. Rather than just all of us shooting everything that moves, we're strategizing and plotting, trying to figure out the best way to deal with a situation with our selected classes and abilities. It's so incredibly rewarding to have someone initiate something like a giant ground pound to make enemies disoriented and then have my explosion specialist use the opportunity to blow them up with an awesome display. This is what makes Black Ops III so different and so interesting even to series veterans. It also adds a ton of replayability to the game that wouldn't be there otherwise as on the first play through you're forced to commit to one style but going through again gives you the ability to switch between specialist styles, which becomes a whole lot of fun.
Of course, at the heart of Black Ops III is exactly what the series has done so well for so long; tight gunplay and it's not often done as well as it is here. Weapons feel remarkably well weighted and different depending on what you're using in each situation and it still feels great to go through a level as a complete badass, shooting everything that moves. Interestingly enough the DNI mechanics are in play here as well here as most weapons are locked to a user's interface, meaning you won't be able to pick up as many weapons that your enemy drops and you'll be using one gun for the majority of the level you're on. It's an interesting idea that likely won't sit well with many of the Call of Duty diehards, even if it does force you to experiment with the abilities and powers the game grants you.
These abilities transfer over to the series' trademark multiplayer suite as well. You'll pick a specialist class again and adapt your play style to better suite them, or rather to have it better suit you. Some characters can see enemies through walls and some are just plain faster than others. While I'm still terrible at playing online and constantly get killed, I did highly enjoy experimenting with the different abilities and how they affect gameplay. The team at Treyarch pretty much stole wall running and boosting from Titanfall but it's okay since it fits in so well here. I've seen some pretty cool examples of these abilities being used in multiplayer sessions and they make the game feel like a much different experience than just another Call of Duty game.
Where I spent most of my time with Black Ops III is in the zombie mode. It plays like the zombie mode you've already experienced, blast zombies in the head, repair windows to keep them out…repeat, so what sets this zombies mode apart from others? Two words my friend; Jeff Goldblum. Black Ops III's zombie mode takes place in the 1940s and features a pretty all star cast of Ron Pearlman, Heather Graham and yes, Mr. Goldblum...as a magician. Let that sink in. The mode also features an entirely different story mode and skill tree. Even after playing through the campaign twice, I still find myself going back to the zombie mode.
Above all else, Black Ops III is a Call of Duty game; but it's a great one at that. I wasn't as thrilled with it's campaign as I was with last year's Advanced Warfare but Treyarch's gutsy move to add abilities that completely change how you'll play the biggest shooter in the world more than pays off. From it's multiplayer to it's campaign and zombies in between, Black Ops III is another step in the right direction for the series and more fun than you're probably willing to admit.
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Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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