Game review: Call of Duty: Black Ops III will appeal to all adrenaline junkies
Every year a Call of Duty game gives you a front row seat to epic theatres of war and its cinematic brand of first person storytelling. The last year took you deep into the trenches of a futuristic war in Advanced Warfare. This year, the view shifts behind enemy lines, as a covert operative in a dystopian future in Black Ops III.
The year is 2065 and the Earth is lashed with storms, forcing humans into mega cities. Technology is advanced with robot armies and air defences. As a result, the primary method of warfare is of the covert variety. After a rescue mission your soldier is brutally mauled by a robot and is rescued and fitted with cybernetic implants controlled by a Direct Neural Interface (DNI), putting you in the front line. The implants grant your soldier powers to deal with both robots as well as humans alike.
You select and create your own male or female soldier, which is a first for Call of Duty. The single campaign powers you through a story spanning several massive missions with all the adrenaline pumping cinematic action you come to expect from a CoD game. Not to mention, this is one of the longest campaigns in the franchise's history. The story starts off with a bang, but eventually will slowly set your head spinning as it jumps to and fro from narratives and realities, with an existential man and machine thread at its core. The best way to play Black Ops III is to marvel at the techno-geekery of it all and just go with the flow. Once you get all the powers and better weapons, the fun factor just amps up.
Usually, Call of Duty missions are strictly on-the-rail affairs, distracting you with things to shoot at. With Black Ops III, it's still on the rails, but parts of each mission lets you decide your own route. Should you storm the area guns blazing using multiple routes, or hack into turrets or drones and let them clear the area for you. While the missions sometimes feel like they're throwing you into one mindless shooting section after another, again, the powers, wall runs and more make these a blast to fight through.
Once you're through with the main story, there's still lots to do, for starters there's the Nightmare mode which lets you replay the campaign with Zombies. There is an entire Zombies storyline you can cooperative play through a zombie infestation in a fictitious city called Morg. A whole noir-like story, featuring four characters and its own progression system. That's not all. You can jump into the multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer lets you choose your Black Ops specialist, each with unique powers and guns associated with them. These powers are great to use in arenas, but require a cool-down after some use. Much like the soldiers in Titanfall, you can use thrusters, wall jumps and runs in a "fluid" movement system to get around the map, with complete gun control. There is also a deep gunsmith weapon customisation system, giving you the chance to level up both your soldier as well as your gun.
Black Ops III, despite its storytelling flaws, is one of the biggest Call of Duty games, or rather three games rolled into one. It has a highly entertaining campaign and multiplayer with cool cybernetic powers and a superb zombie game. Highly recommended.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Platforms: PS4, XOne, PC, PS3, X360
Price: PS4, XOne: Rs 4,399; PS3, X360: Rs 3,499; PC: Rs 3,599
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