Review | Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Is it still what it used to be?”

review newActivision released their latest and 3rd instalment in Call of Duty: Black Ops series, from the looks – you might have understood that this is no different from Advanced Warfare, or Previous Black Ops instalment.. Is Black Ops 3 same as any other COD game or is it? Here’s what we think about it.

At First, I have played every single Call of Duty to date, It’s just because there is no other game like Call of Duty yet.. Just like every game has its signature, Call of Duty has still that typical COD First person shooter rather more of hyped gaming session than authentic. Call of Duty was never a authentic game in my honest opinion instead leaned towards experiencing fictional story such as one of the best “Modern Warfare 2”, One of the best things that Team at Call of Duty did was coming up with characters like Captain Price, Mactavish, and Ghost.. What a game, Modern Warfare 2.

What are the Early Impressions?

Enough with Nostalgia! Right? So What is Black Ops 3? I feel It is one of the most fan hyped COD game, and most that I know care even less about the single player / campaign surprisingly compared to online. I still carried on playing single player first as I always do – does not matter to me, what the critics have to say until I experience it myself. Surprised by the fact that they dragged in Advanced Warfare and Futuristic warfare once again. [Slowly claps] Honestly, I still don’t understand what went wrong with current generation warfare? were regular guns, and vehicles not enough? Activision doesn’t think so. Game seems easy on normal mode, so incase you’d like to suffer your own wrath – switch to higher difficulty.

Single player


Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is set 40 years apart from its previous instalment in the series “Black Ops 2”, game begins in Ethiopia leaving you and your teammates to rescue the hostages, you will also notice female militia soldiers shouting in between gameplay. there begins the gameplay, since you now you will be transformed, trained as cyborg of sort.

There are two main characters in this single player, Taylor and Kane supported by CIA officeR Rachel Kane who is in Singapore, and the spoiler is you will be supporting her, plus a unexpected character that you might like to see in upcoming instalment is Lieutenant Khalil of the Egypt Army. Pretty good job with showing you emotional connection between these characters, but again.. what they fail at is creating chemistry between the players and those characters.

If you thought Advanced Warfare and Ghosts were cut short or they ended up quite fast, this instalment came up with a little bit of surprise – the gameplay duration is increased it seems. various things you do feel are like deja vu since you might have already predicted half way through about what is going to happen later-on. It’s not all about those numbers this time, beginning with story, your player is going to suffer physical rip-off leaving you confused for few seconds and then you will understand the scenario that you are going through modification process which equips you with DNI, letting you to scan memories of  the fallen, live their nightmare, and so on. Of course, when BlackOps is mentioned there has to be something under the table right? we have leak in the story where your allies become your enemies..because they know the truth of what covert operation has done to innocent lives.

Underwater shooting! they didn’t leave any chance to boast underwater diving and shooting, No hate! but sometimes It just felt that it was not needed, Next thing I know a Call of Duty instalment based underwater [No Kidding!] It does not end there, direction of the story wants you to experience the changes done to the game in overall but sadly it disappoints me with no more actual baseline, and that Black Ops is mashed up with Advanced Warfare, and a bit from few other titles like Deus Ex, Crysis, and a little bit of Terminator as well. Last but not least, I won’t refrain from saying that few missions did scare me, such as living in the nightmare of Sarah Hall “one of the allies turned enemies” surrounding her nightmare alongside her past experience like World War, Wolves, plus zombies. so incase you play the single player first instead of zombies, you will experience zombies sooner or later in the single player as well.

Multiplayer and Zombies


Online Multiplayer plus Zombies is where this game shines, In my opinion – this was the primary reason for many to buy the game despite the changes in the series. Zombies is totally different this year, appreciate the fact that someone behind the scenes took some time to think different in this segment and from beginning it did not have that baseline or story to maintain, so in this case – it is not absurd rather fine. yes, you have a cutscene than just secondary title screen, you will be seeing some retro stuff, plus zombies are kind of more deadlier than before, compare to previous instalment – it was a bit easier to deal with them and now in single player it is hard and at same time entertaining as well as a lot of fun in online co-op and so far I have no personal issues with the server or matchmaking.

Team Deathmatch, is it still fun? Indeed it is. I played it only for couple of hours, I felt there’s too much of jumping, walking on walls, and it’s quite annoying as if it wasn’t enough for people to shoot on ground, I’d prefer this is a optional instead of primary way of warfare, since they partitioned the zombies segment, why not something different with online team deathmatch or free for all, If you know what I mean. Still it does not replace the fun that we’d in other non-futuristic warfares. In addition, to those wondering about the maps, it might be a bit of deja-vu again since it still is somewhat inspired by previous maps, and if you are on the verge of asking about the season pass, it costs about the same as the game itself which is 60 USD (220 AED) and Not a fan of DLCs, but definitely Nuketown will come & go time by time to keep it fun and entertaining.

Graphics and Sound Effects


Somewhere Call of Duty has improved, is the graphics, whether underwater, electrifying robots or smoke effects which are highly popular since its all about smoke and gunfight.. expect a good smooth improvement in that segment. Physiques still need here and there since I felt it was improved but still lacks when it comes to destruction in some scenes. [Shway!] I Liked the shadows, that it had depth and at same time it was smooth along with the characters. You might find little bit of textures that is not sharp or call it blurry, at certain specially with walking on metal platform, the rusty orange texture does not look sharp at all nor did it with quarantine zone, the weather was stunning but only if the rain felt a bit more authentic although it doesn’t end there, the game fluctuates with Frames every now and then.. especially the quick action – lot happening cutscenes. “Sometimes its there, and the other half – not”

If I had to compare the graphics overall to a previous COD instalment, I find Advanced Warfare somewhat more smoother. I’d still suggest you to get the game on PlayStation 4, Incase you have both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 like me, I’d recommend you to get it on PS4..because the graphics felt a bit more sharper, crispier, less blurry, and more fluid like. I won’t be comparing it to PC since people who have rigs, they have infinite possibilities of modifying it, and we are not at all close to that, and as far as I am concerned, we pay around AED 1300 to 2000 for PS4 or Xbox One, and we know what we are paying for since some of us cannot travel with a mini built either, cannot afford one, or find console more user friendly. 

Talking about the sound effects, as much as guns look futuristic – sounds quite from the present however I wasn’t expecting laser guns but I feel this segment is quite mixed again, not getting dragged away by that. Sound effects are bit here and there, it has no delay within although it feels few guns without the silence or mufflers felt muted flat but no compromise in action sequence, as any cutscenes or action was not an issue.

Verdict and added thoughts..

Modern Warfare was about present warfare, Black Ops was about past and present fictional covert operations, Ghosts was all hyped just because we all know how much we loved that character, ending up like a toddler when he was no more.. then we have Advanced Warfare, still a better story with Kevin Spacey in the limelight as a villain. Now I feel, Every Call of Duty hereon will be repeated with Machines, robots, and technology.. A sincere note to brains behind Call of Duty, “War is about Emotion, Courage, Propaganda..leave future for now, we have a lot that we haven’t played in video games yet, we have had so much actual black ops, one can come up with amazing storyline on the basis and facts of past and present conspiracy theories with non-futuristic things. Having a base-line is important for any game, especially Call of Duty since Modern Warfare was a perfect series with horrible sequel, Mixing every series won’t make any sense to gamers.. Don’t trust me? Bring back Modern Warfare trilogy for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it will break that new record of yours. I am pretty sure, a Female CIA agents and fighting giant mechanical retards might sound fun to you, but as a Call of Duty that it borrows the title from, its just not that, this is more of Tech ops than Black ops, I feel that in no time we will be fighting in outer space, with aliens, and then it will be a man-made apocalypse [Brain Freeze] I still ought to wonder how do they make huge sales out of these, are gamers these bored or just can’t wait for any game that says “Hey, I am Call of Duty, Wink Wink”

Final Thoughts

Too complex at times, and then too simple. Feels like multiple minds collided with few different ideas in one segment, too much or too less. Mixing baselines or the series wasn't the great idea of all times, Might be the most entertaining Call of Duty compared to the few titles in the past but not the best of COD, yet. It had be better if the developers focus on the present warfare and come up with their fictional theories of covert operations than to dive in the future yet since we have advanced warfare series for that not the Black Ops. Baseline of every series is important, without that - It's just not happening folks! If it ain't broke. Don't fix it!

Overall Score 65%