When Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was released, many believed that developer Treyarch had saved the first-person shooter franchise from its repetitive annual releases that were slowly suffocating it. Black Ops 2 brought fresh ideas, branching narratives, and thrilling multiplayer elements. Unfortunately, Black Ops 3 fails to build upon its predecessor’s successes and instead throws a mishmash of features at players, resulting in a disappointing and misguided step backward for the series.
Black Ops 3 takes players into the near future, delving into the concept of transhumanism. It explores the idea of enhancing soldiers with technological advancements, allowing them to hack and control machines. The game introduces players to a customizable protagonist who becomes a “cyber soldier” after sustaining severe injuries. Equipped with enhanced limbs and a Direct Neural Interface (DNI) implanted in their brain, players gain special powers. However, the story becomes convoluted as players pursue a rogue cyber soldier team led by Taylor. The game strives to mess with player perception and introduces twisted mindscapes, but it fails to deliver a cohesive plot.
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A Disjointed Campaign
Black Ops 3’s campaign mode is a mess. It abandons the narrative experiments of its predecessor and instead focuses on cooperative play for up to four players. However, the game struggles to find its identity, with confused dialogue, unhelpful pathways, and uninspiring enemy designs. The introduction of “cyber cores” and movement abilities adds some novelty, but the execution falls flat. Players must choose a skill tree for each mission, which often results in mismatched abilities and frustration. The campaign fails to capitalize on these new ideas, resulting in a rough and unengaging experience.
Strengths in Multiplayer
Fortunately, Black Ops 3’s multiplayer mode shines. Players can utilize all movement abilities without any loadout limitations, offering a fresh and satisfying experience. Unique “specialists” with individual super moves add variety to gameplay. While these abilities may not always be game-changing, they create new strategic considerations. Multiplayer is where Call of Duty fans often find the most enjoyment, and Black Ops 3 successfully expands on the core ideas of the series.
The Undying Appeal of Zombies
Treyarch’s signature “Zombies” mode continues to captivate players. Set in a film noir theme, it challenges teams to survive increasingly tough waves of zombies while completing objectives. Voice performances from renowned actors enhance the mode’s atmosphere. However, Zombies mode may not appeal to everyone, as it requires a dedicated player base willing to uncover its intricacies.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a mixed package. Its campaign mode fails to find a cohesive direction, incorporating cooperative play and new abilities without fully integrating them into the core gameplay. On the other hand, multiplayer mode showcases the strengths of the series, offering new ways to outsmart opponents. The Zombies mode delivers its usual excitement but may not be accessible to all players. Ultimately, Black Ops 3 lacks the innovation and advancement displayed by its predecessor, demonstrating that quantity does not always equate to quality.
- Multiplayer introduces fresh elements
- Zombies mode sets a fantastic mood
- Abundance of gameplay options
- Confusing cooperative mode
- Disjointed plot lacks coherence
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