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Black Ops 3 changes up the Call of Duty formula

13 Nov 2015

With a game coming out every year, it can be hard for the Call of Duty franchise to stay fresh. However, Treyarch has managed to offer a somewhat refreshing experience with Black Ops 3. Sledgehammer Games released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and that game was also experimenting with new gameplay elements. The futuristic setting helped it to add several different gadgets to make you feel like a cybernetic warrior. Black Ops 3 on the other hand takes this even further as you really are a cyborg. As futuristic as Advanced Warfare was, it's not as technologically advanced as Black Ops 3. For the first time in Call of Duty history, the game adds robotic enemies for you to shoot up as well. Robotic enemies come in all shapes and sizes and you have to use various different techniques in your arsenal to take them down. What I like most about the gameplay in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is that being a cybernetic soldier feels a lot more fun that being a normal human being. You can now run across walls, jump higher than before and also have access to special abilities to exploit the weaknesses of all the enemies that you go up against. As different enemies come into fray, you have to change up your strategy in order to beat them. The gameplay is similar somewhat to Destiny and Halo 5: Guardians in a lot of ways. Not to mention this year's campaign offers 4-player co-op so you can add your friends in all of the fun too. Another first for the series in terms of the campaign is that you can choose the character you want to play as. However, you cannot really alter the appearance of the main character apart from their gender. The character models given to you all look the same even though there are 18 faces to choose from... However, customisation goes much deeper this year in terms of your loadout. Much like in multiplayer, the campaign now allows you to choose the types of gadgets and weapons you want to use in the missions. This is a helpful mechanic because some enemies will be weaker than others to certain types of weapons. The last thing I want to talk about on the campaign is that the story is decent and it's is much lengthier than in previous Call of Duty games. Advanced Warfare's campaign was roughly eight hours long, but Black Ops 3 is longer than that. This is great as older Call of Duty campaigns were very short. The cybernetic abilities also cross over to the game's addictive multiplayer mode too. Multiplayer is great because the level design let's you take full advantage of the new abilities that have been added to this game. You can expect to see some fast-paced action with players walking on walls and more. The levels are also beautifully animated as Treyarch chose some unique locations for you to fight in. You can do battles in exotic locations such as in an Aquarium, a Redwood forest to even a guy's fancy mansion. Not to mention the game's graphics engine makes these locations look even better.  It's also worth mentioning that it's great to see that Black Ops 3 retains offline split-screen gameplay. Unlike Halo 5: Guardians, you don't need an internet connection to enjoy the multiplayer. You can assign A.I. controlled bots and play the multiplayer mode fully offline. This is one thing that I love about the Call of Duty series. It's the only major AAA shooter franchise that offers bots in its multiplayer. Every other shooting game forces you to have an internet connection to play against human players all of the time.  However, there is a weakness to the multiplayer in Black Ops 3 and that's variety. Sure there are numerous different game modes on offer, but something is missing and that's vehicles. I had so much fun piloting vehicles in games like Halo 5: Guardians and Star Wars Battlefront. Hopefully vehicles are added in a future COD game instead. To round out the whole Black Ops 3 package is a new Zombie mode as well as a free-running mode.The zombie mode features a story mode of its own and is far different from the main campaign. It has a more old-school feel to it because you don't have all the modern abilities like in the main game. As for the free-running mode, this is a fun mini-game where you have to go through an obstacle course. It is fun, although a little on the short side. It would have been cooler if this mode offered more courses for you to go through. It was refreshing to play after all of the shooting that's involved. Overall, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 offers a lot of content. Whether you play offline or online, there is lots of modes that will keep you busy for a long time. This is a step in the right direction to make Call of Duty feel fresh again.   Verdict: 8.0/10  

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