Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Headshot!

Hector Ramirez II

Past iterations of the famous, first-person shooter game have left the franchise to spiral out of the interests of fans and gamers alike. A consensus circulated the gaming community that the Call of Duty games have gotten stale, and were uninspiring with their annual releases. So, does Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 follow the trend, or does it break the cycle of disappointment?

Let’s get one thing out of the way: this is the Call of Duty game you have been waiting for.

I assured myself that the recent Call of Duty games lost their fun factor and creativity compared to series highlights like Modern Warfare and Black Ops. With Black Ops 3, I had the chance to try out its Beta form back in August of this year, and I was surprised at how much fun I was having. So, I kept a sharp eye on this one as its release date crept closer and closer.
Right off the bat, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has some of the most deep customizations options I have seen in the series. From creating the look of your character, to fully customizing your favorite guns, all three game modes provide an authentic individual experience I really enjoyed. The three game modes to choose from are Campaign,     Multiplayer, and Zombies Mode. Each mode has so much content that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 can be considered three games in one.

The campaign tells a story concerning the mysteries and conspiracies of the practices of military neurotechnology, and takes place in multiple areas around the world.  Each of the eleven levels provides an hour or more of epic action and gorgeous environments, like one would expect from a Call of Duty campaign.  While the story isn’t completely memorable, it’s enough to keep you going. Another gripe is that some missions felt way too long. While I appreciate the effort to have the campaign being more than its average six hours, a few missions could have been shortened to make them feel less drawn out.

A new feature is the RPG mechanics in story mode, in which players unlock weapons, special abilities, and more, by leveling up and completing certain challenges. I had the most fun with the special abilities, I unlocked, since they fell under specific play styles.

The three play styles, close-range, mid-range, and ranged, have their own, dedicated skill tree to unlock these special abilities. If you’re someone who likes to be in the opponents’ face, then unlock the power to run like the Flash and unleash devastating melee combos! Or if you like to keep enemies at a distance, then make sure to upgrade the ability that sends out a shockwave, and knocks down opponents. The campaign also allows up to 4 players to play with each other, so you can always join up with a friend, or three, and have fun bashing robots in the face.

Once you beat the story, you unlock Nightmare mode, a cool take on the campaign that replaces all of the human enemies with zombies and all of the robot enemies with rusted robots. Nightmare mode is a fresh experience that honestly makes the campaign worth playing through again.

Multiplayer mode is arguably the incentive to purchase any Call of Duty game. Its famous multiplayer is what made the franchise so popular in the gaming community. Thankfully, Black Ops 3’s multiplayer shines brighter than any other entry.
The game contains 12 vibrant maps that take advantage of fun, wall-running mechanics, while not completely breaking the game. What makes the multiplayer truly stand out are Specialists. Specialists are classes from which players can choose from that give a new edge in strategic gameplay during matches. For instance, the Outrider specialist has the Sparrow ability, where the player can wield a crossbow with exploding arrows that kill on impact. The Prophet specialist has a power called Glitch, and this allows the player to teleport to their previous location to get out of a bad situation. Since these abilities require a meter to fill before use, players won’t be able to spam it.

There are a total of nine specialists that each have two abilities to choose from. It’s the interest in the specialists and how fresh they make the experience that have me keep coming back to multiplayer, along with great gameplay that is unmatched in any other first-person shooter. With well-designed maps, a great range of fun guns to use, deep customization options, and unique specialist classes, Black Ops 3’s multiplayer is better than ever.

Lastly, Treyarch’s famous Zombies survival mode is full of Easter eggs and mysteries that will have players coming back time and time again. The newest mechanic added is the story that goes along with surviving the hordes of zombies. In this story mode, the player plays as one of four deviants that are cursed to fight for their lives. In order to break the curse, the player(s) must recover artifacts and perform rituals, all the while fighting against mobs of flesh-eating zombies and mythical creatures. Thanks to my rusty zombie slaying skills, I have not gone far in this mode… yet. Let’s just say I am more than motivated see the end of this story and not search it up on YouTube.

It goes without saying that Black Ops 3 plays better and gives more bang for the buck on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions are downgraded works that only contain multiplayer and Zombies, and lacks many other essential features found on the PS4, Xbox One and PC that make the game a lot better. So if you had to choose, go for the version that is worth every penny even if that means you would have to buy a PS4 or Xbox One. I insist.

All in all, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 breathes new life into the franchise I didn’t think possible. The single player, multiplayer, and survival modes provide enough content and satisfaction to warrant the full $60 purchase and then some. The wealth of customization options gave me the individual experience I have wanted in a Call of Duty game for a long time. Ultimately, the game is plain fun, and has become my new favorite entry. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a must buy.