Video Game Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Rating:

I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing to do this time of year is to listen to political commentary. Just kidding. It’s actually blowing up shit in whatever the latest Call of Duty release is. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the latest in the first person shooter series and fourth in the Black Ops story line. The other three games are World at War and Black Ops I and II.

The game itself looks stunning. It utilizes the same gaming engine from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Even though that specific gaming engine is old, it has also been upgraded. An improved AI, a new renderer, a new animation system and a new lighting system help the game look alive on next-gen gaming consoles.

A view of what to expect during campaign mode. (Photo credit: forbes.com)

A view of what to expect during campaign mode. (Photo credit: forbes.com)

The campaign is what you’d expect from the franchise. No more, no less. The game is set 50 years in the future, in the year 2065. As you begin the campaign you get to pick some basic features for your character, the biggest option being the gender of your protagonist (a first for the series). Expect gender-neutral dialog. As for the mechanics of the game, it’s still the same controls. It plays a little cleaner, but it’s still what you’d expect.

One of the reasons why people like the Black Ops franchise is for its zombie mode. For the unblemished, this mode is a game of clearing out different maps full of zombies. The difficult part is the weapons that you get. The more kills you get, the better weapons you can use or upgrade.

Zombie mode has all the glowing eyed walking dead that you could ask for. (Photo credit: ign.com)

Zombie mode has all the glowing eyed walking dead that you could ask for. (Photo credit: ign.com)

I have to say, generally, I love this game but I find this mode the least fulfilling to play. Granted, it can be fun if you’re playing with friends who know how to play. If you are expecting to get paired with knowledgeable teammates, don’t get your hopes up.

The only part of this mode that I find interesting is the voice actors. Heather Graham, Neal McDonough, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Pearlman and Robert Picardo provide the talent. With a cast like that I expect a certain level of awesomeness.

When I began to play COD my older brother once told me, “You don’t play Call of Duty for its story.” It’s true; while the story can be fun with its twists and turns, multiplayer mode is where the fun’s at.

A multiplayer map in action. (Photo credit: wccftech.com)

A multiplayer map in action. (Photo credit: wccftech.com)

This game continues what I like to call the boost jump that was introduced in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Except in this game you get a little bit of an extra boost on top of that, like something you’d expect to see in Halo.

One of the things that I like about the new multiplayer maps is the ability to run on the sides of walls. For instance, at the edge of the map you might encounter a building too large to jump over. With this new ability, you can boost jump up and then run along the side of the building to cross impassible paths.

One of the new modes in multiplayer is Safeguard. Here you have to escort a robot to the enemy’s base. The only way the robot will move is if there is a player near it. The game divides everyone into two teams; each gets a chance at escorting their robot.

The game’s graphics look fantastic, fluid and flawless. The plot of the campaign is fun. After about 20 minutes of gameplay you reach the “Oh Shit” moment and you realize where the game is heading. The game’s music, in my opinion, is nothing special. Gameplay is great. With the ability of the boost jump and ability to run on walls the gameplay has improved. This is one of the few games that has tons of replayability. First off there’s the campaign mode to play. Once you beat the game there’s multiplayer mode and if that’s not enough then you can play zombie mode.

Games first female protagonist. (Photo credit: ign.com)

Games first female protagonist. (Photo credit: ign.com)

I rank games based on five areas: graphics, plot, music, gameplay and replayability. Based on those criteria I’d have to give the game a solid four. I couldn’t give the game a perfect score due to the music, and we at TuffGnarl.com don’t deal in half points.

This is a fun game and worth the buy if you’re on the fence. If you pick up the game for Xbox One, look for my gamer tag, @TheBigLibrarian. Hope to see you online!

(Slider image credit: youtube.com)

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Creator and host of the podcast Beer, Bros & BS, teller of stories, drinker of beers, reader of (comic) books, watcher of sports, devourer of food, mostly entertaining. From Miami. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @thebiglibrarian.

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