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Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing

Treyarch was so successful at its first attempt that it ended up developing an entire mini-series of Call of Duty Black Ops games. The third installment, just like its predecessors, gained recognition within the famous franchise and it was made available simultaneously on Xbox One, PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. The Call of Duty Black Ops 3 release date was November 6, 2015, making it the most recent of all military science fiction first-person shooters.

Key facts about Call of Duty Black Ops 3

  • Call of Duty Black Ops 3 was designed in such a way as to support four-player cooperative gameplay.
  • The campaign is truly unique, featuring an original progression system with unlock tokens.
  • Call of Duty Black Ops 3 is the best looking game in the franchise so far but also the most demanding.
  • Once players finish the basic campaign set, they can unlock Nightmares mode and the adventure continues.
  • The multiplayer brings into the spotlight the innovative momentum-based movement system.
  • Zombies make a return in this Call of Duty game and this mode has its own progression scheme.

What is Call of Duty Black Ops 3?

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 is a standalone product that has its own narrative, despite the fact that it is a sequel of Call of Duty Black Ops 2. The premise of this game is original, with the world changing beyond recognition, due to the introduction of new technologies. Climate change has shaped our world and competing powers are now using covert ops to fight behind enemy lines, using the latest military technologies. The campaign is divided between the standard set and the Nightmares mode, featuring zombies as villains.

If you are interested to find out more about the other games in the Call of Duty series, check out the following reviews:

Gameplay of Call of Duty Black Ops 3

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 met the high expectations and is a proud heir of the second installment in the miniseries, improving the game all around. The campaign represents the core of the new release and players can now participate in joint ventures, which allow as many as four of them playing together. The big and open level design is a significant departure from the traditional corridor shooting and players enjoy more freedom in customizing their characters.

Both the standard campaign and the zombies alternative enable players to unlock tokens and add perks to their collection. Hard-core players have the option of activating the realistic difficulty mode, in which one bullet is enough to cause their downfall. Once players complete all the available missions, they can unlock the Nightmares mode and take on zombies that are always hungry for brain. This can be a great way to spend some quality time while making sure that the demanding campaign doesn’t wear you out.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3’s gameplay shines brightly in multiplayer mode, with the momentum-based movement system working as intended. Compared to the previous installment, this game builds on the popularity of the Pick 10 class system while also introducing new characters systems. These go by the name of specialists and players can choose between as many as nine of them, each mastering a different weapon and having a unique set of skills. There are also a couple of gimmicks, such as the Paintshop feature, allowing players to create custom prints to personalize their weapons.

Screenshot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing
Screenshot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing

Plot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3

A lot of time and energy was invested in Call of Duty Black Ops 3’s storyline, so it can be a bit surprising to know that the protagonist is only known as Player. Gamers can choose their character and customize it to some extent, but this doesn’t make it any easier to care about this generic soldier. The plot starts with the player leading a team of enhanced soldiers in Ethiopia, on a difficult mission to rescue hostages.

Players get to appreciate the advantages of using the Direct Neural Interface, which enables them to completely control the cybernetics and interact with machines. This also helps in communicating with fellow soldiers, but beginners might find the learning curve a bit steep in Call of Duty Black Ops 3. As the storyline progresses, players will find more about the connections between the group of soldiers and the ones responsible for attacking a CIA black site.

Powerful opponents, such as the Immortals need to be defeated and their leader Goh Xiulan will pose a serious challenge even to experienced players. The missions take players to Singapore, then Egypt and eventually to Zurich, as they try to find the root of corruption and defeat their foes. Some of the assignments don’t pit players against other soldiers or cyborgs, but instead they need to face advanced computer systems that use military drones against people.

The implications of some of the findings are so profound, that quite often players will be left hanging, trying to figure out what happens. As the campaign approaches its inevitable final, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 delivers one final blow to those confident that they were able to figure everything out. It is worth clawing your way to the last mission, because the final revelations will make the effort worthwhile.

Development of Call of Duty Black Ops 3

The 12th game in the Call of Duty franchise also happens to be the largest, with so much content that it spans three years in the making. The results met the high expectations, which proved once again that Activision’s three-year development cycle pays off. It is not yet certain if the software developers will come up with a sequel, or will start a new cycle from scratch. The game uses the IW engine but this was modified to such extent, that it only bears a few similarities to the original.

Screenshot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing
Screenshot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 can now be played on all consoles as well as desktop and laptop computers and the same applies to the upcoming downloadable content. However it is now official that the DLC pack will be first released on PlayStation, before being gradually introduced to other platforms. Treyarch is expected to release more missions for the zombies pack, while also adding new maps for multiplayer games, to be used that major tournaments.

Where can I download Call of Duty Black Ops 3?

In anticipation of Call of Duty Black Ops 3, fans were presented with a chance of pre-ordering the game and they can now purchase the Digital Deluxe Edition. This package also comes with a Call of Duty Black Ops season pass, but those interested have the options of acquiring it independently. Those who preordered the game gained early access to the multiplayer map "NUK3TOWN", which can now be downloaded as well.

What are others saying about Call of Duty Black Ops 3?

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 received mixed reviews, with the scores ranging from 7 to 9.2. Some reviewers were swept off their feet by the strength of the campaign set, the adrenaline rush generated by the Zombies mode and the sheer thrills of the four player co-op. Others however were slightly disappointed by the fact that the latest installment didn’t bring anything truly innovative to the franchise and they considered the game to dwell on the success of the prequel.

The fans were surely impressed with the quality of the game and the sales were better than expected, outstripping Advanced Warfare and Ghosts in every imaginable way. It was the best selling game of 2015 and given its tremendous popularity among fans of the genre, it is expected to sell well in 2016 as well.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 tournaments

The single player campaign is outstanding but it represents just the tip of the iceberg for truly competitive players. Call of Duty Black Ops 3 tournaments are in full swing and the high mobility mechanics introduced by the software developers proved to be quite challenging.

Screenshot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing
Screenshot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. © Activision Publishing

In multiplayer, players are still expected to choose their loadout in the same way they did in the previous game, but all of them benefit from a thruster pack. One year before, when the concept was introduced in Advanced Warfare, players were overwhelmed by the complexity of using it in multiplayer. By now, all professional players know how to use it effectively and the Call of Duty Black Ops 3 tournaments are a pleasure to watch at the highest level.

My rating of Call of Duty Black Ops 3

This is a huge game and those who choose to purchase it can expect an excellent return on investment, as the game is packed with innovative features waiting to be discovered. The single player campaign is a gem, although some players might be a bit disappointed by how it winds down to a conclusion.

As a long-term fan of the Call of Duty series I was anxiously waiting to see if the latest release would rejuvenate the franchise. By walking down the less traveled paths, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 earned my respect and a rating of 9/10.

If you are interested to find out more about the other games in the Call of Duty series, check out the following reviews:

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