An icon for having redefined the shooter genre, it appears Activision needs to seriously reconsider its strategy of “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” as Call of Duty: Black Ops III bring nothing new to an evolving medium.
The series had twice redefined the concept of the military shooter while the Black Ops series always raised the bar. But as gaming evolves to new frontiers, the series continues to keep itself in the past. Hence, when old school gamers says the series has hardly changed, they know what they’re talking about because they probably have been playing Call of Duty since the early 2000s.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is another installment in a series that has hardly changed while desperate to give the illusion that each new entry is unique. Unlike the disappointment of Ghosts or the mediocre achievement of Advanced Warfare, this title could have been promising given how the Black Ops story arc had raised the bar for the series.
Instead gamers are treated to a game with a forgettable story that seems to mix and mash elements from other memorable games (like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) along with a multiplayer that once again feels like a parkour simulator with a lot of shooting.
Yet its even more disappointing given the only connection this game has with the Black Ops arch is just a title. While the Black Ops series is memorable for its unique story along with unforgettable characters, this installment is just a hollow shell with no real context. All Treyarch had to do was continue the story of Alex and David Mason during the Cold War — instead it’s set in some future where air assault is now useless thanks to new technology, so wars are fought using Special Forces that have undergone mechanical enhancements (just like in Deus Ex). Also there is some plot about a commando unit going rogue and some robot virus that makes augmented soldiers go crazy.
The gameplay is the same run and gun with maybe a few trinkets to give the illusion that something has changed while hoping you forgot about Advanced Warfare. The set up is basically run, shoot swarms of bad guys, do some jumping and then some scripted event happens that is suppose to feel epic (just like in every other game).
However this is a Call of Duty game, which means its more about the multiplayer than the single-player story. Again, if you played Advanced Warfare then you have played Black Ops III multiplayer. This games has Nuke Town, but so did the last two Black Ops games and they still have an active online community. It’s only redeeming feature is Zombie, a co-op game based on a horror genre that has become extremely over saturated.
Overall there is absolutely no redeeming aspect of Black Ops III or any reason for gamers to want to waste their hard earned cash unless this is their first shooter or they just hit puberty. With so many other titles to pick from this Holiday Season, there is no need to waste ones time on this stubborn relic.
Video games have entered into a new era as titles like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Fallout 4 are pushing the boundaries while Call of Duty: Black Ops III continues to be the same game with only a few new gimmicks. This demonstrates more then ever that the series needs to recreate itself or face the possibility of no longer being relevant before gaming enters the Ninth-Generation.
Disclaimer: The game used for this review was played at a friends house