Call of Duty: Black Ops III videogame review by Martin Wharmby
Roll your eyes as much as you want when it comes to annualised franchises, but you can’t deny that series like Call of Duty continue to deliver good quality, content-heavy packages year in, year out. More so even than last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops III is rich in modes, options and versatility – just steer clear of the ugly, Campaign-less 360 and PS3 versions.
The Campaign is a co-op friendly future-tech romp, starting off similar to Advanced Warfare but diverging into almost nonsensical weirdness before the end. It’s forgettable fun, full of energetic, explosive set-pieces and larger, more open environments designed for co-op, and for the first time in the series, customisable loadouts.
Zombies continues to be a bafflingly popular mode, packed with even more esoteric tasks, secrets and now Jeff Goldblum’s golden voice, promising hours of undead battling in a film-noir inspired setting. While fun, playing with strangers is still a daunting task and the difficulty remains insane.
Multiplayer remains the beating heart of the game, and is strengthened by the movement-enhancing future-tech, while the Pick-10 loadouts (a class-building feature introduced in Black Ops II that allows more freedom for the player to customize their loadout) are built upon thanks to the Specialist system. Pick a character and either his/her special weapon or ability, which can turn the tide of battles.
With a huge array of maps and modes, multiplayer remains a quality prospect, but there’s something that feels off about Black Ops III. There are no standout moments beyond the weirdness in the Campaign, Zombies requires crazy dedication and multiplayer is fun, but not spectacular. This is the real downside to annualisation: there’s little room and time for excellence.