Call of Duty: Black Ops III Review - A Nightmarish Cyberpunk Dystopia

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Review - A Nightmarish Cyberpunk Dystopia

Black Ops III has upped its game, giving exciting updates to the fan-favorite Zombies and the classic multiplayer.

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Well that was short review.

Though I suppose the author is new to the site. Fair warning, we are used to at least 2 page reviews.

I'm also surprised that the campaign's length wasn't mentioned. They say it is a mere 6 hours. Though Zombies also supposedly has some sort of campaign, so I guess that makes up for it?

Anyway, the game intrigues me, but I am a bit tired of all this futuristic crud. Especially when you can barely tell what things are anymore. The guns look like someone turned a computer inside out and attached the remains haphazardly to an already techno-punk weapon. And there's just so much going on in the HUD. The game's aesthetic feels like Square Enix, just way too much design put into everything. My friends are ecstatic about this game though, and for some reason my younger sisters really enjoy playing CoD AW for some reason, so maybe I will pick this game up. Or at least request it as a Christmas or birthday gift.

While single-player has its perks, the multiplayer component is the real meat and potatoes of Black Ops III.

Isn't that true about every CoD? :P

Bob_McMillan:
Well that was short review.

Though I suppose the author is new to the site. Fair warning, we are used to at least 2 page reviews.

To be fair, it's a CoD game...there really isn't all that much that can be said about it. Pretty much the only way to get two full pages would be to inject the review with a full page of fluff. Beyond that: this certainly wouldn't be the first game review that was only one page, so cut her some slack.

This is the problem with reviewing 50£ games these days, the reviewer spends at most 2 days bashing through the campaign and other modes quick as tbey can for a write-up. So first impressions are often good. Like a child given a shiny sweety. But the customer will have to think about playing the game long term. And to be honest, a lot of "great" games lose their edge after a week, which to me, is not worth 50£. Bargain bin at best 10-20£. Whereas great games that are often best played slow and thoughtfully are tossed aside as slow and dull or confusing. The review system currently is messy, only suitable for gamers with ADHD and much disposable income. I read a couple of other reviews that cover a bit more than this, but still. The system could benefit with an overhaul to speak to the consumer who plays games like the average gamer.

Xsjadoblayde:
This is the problem with reviewing 50£ games these days, the reviewer spends at most 2 days bashing through the campaign and other modes quick as tbey can for a write-up. So first impressions are often good. Like a child given a shiny sweety. But the customer will have to think about playing the game long term. And to be honest, a lot of "great" games lose their edge after a week, which to me, is not worth 50£. Bargain bin at best 10-20£. Whereas great games that are often best played slow and thoughtfully are tossed aside as slow and dull or confusing. The review system currently is messy, only suitable for gamers with ADHD and much disposable income. I read a couple of other reviews that cover a bit more than this, but still. The system could benefit with an overhaul to speak to the consumer who plays games like the average gamer.

I would venture, then, that reviews pretty much are aimed at the audience for such reviews. It doesn't sound like it's a problem with the review system so much as it's not aimed at you. Which is fine. I read the review out of curiosity, but I've already got the game and I will likely play it a lot (because it's the only thing my friends will play for the next nine months). Most games, I simply wait and see anyway. If you're interested in longevity, waiting a month or two (and possibly for a sale) seems the better avenue anyway.

Wait...the multiplayer is nine unique operatives all with unique quotes?

Gee. WHY DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR!?

image

Something Amyss:

I would venture, then, that reviews pretty much are aimed at the audience for such reviews. It doesn't sound like it's a problem with the review system so much as it's not aimed at you. Which is fine. I read the review out of curiosity, but I've already got the game and I will likely play it a lot (because it's the only thing my friends will play for the next nine months). Most games, I simply wait and see anyway. If you're interested in longevity, waiting a month or two (and possibly for a sale) seems the better avenue anyway.

Perhaps i was speaking more subjectively there than originally thought. Sorry, it was unintentional. I have seen it more often the other way around with smaller releases that didn't click with the reviewer due to rushing through for either deadlines or personal impatience. Also that a lot of games journalists have to play through every major release, whereas the general public will only play what suits them. Hence the oft jaded viewpoints towards some repeated systems and techniques. This review is far from jaded however. I would like to try this latest Black ops, the beta was great. But i hear mixed views about the campaign which (i may get flamed for saying it) is where most of my investment lies. It is sounding quite subjective now, oops, sorry! :)

Nine unique operatives?

I suppose I don't really care all that much since Ghost killed all the love I had of the multiplayer but does that mean they got rid of the customization aspect of choosing your weapons and perks and killstreak things and whatnot?

tippy2k2:
Nine unique operatives?

I suppose I don't really care all that much since Ghost killed all the love I had of the multiplayer but does that mean they got rid of the customization aspect of choosing your weapons and perks and killstreak things and whatnot?

No.

The unique operatives are character models, each with one of two unique abilities for you to bring to the fight with you. The one I used most in the beta let you choose between a grenade launcher and a force feld. These are activated once you reach a certain threshold, like Titans in Titanfall, but without quite the same scale.

You still have custom classes to pick loadouts with custom weapons and perks, as well as presets. The only thing missing, far as I know, is the ability to customise your characters. You know, because each ability is tied to a specific skin.

A pity to hear that the campaign falls a bit short, but I shall reserve judgment until I play it. The last two Black Ops games have been great for me, and I hope that Treyarch still delivers here. Infinity Ward has forgotten what makes a Call of Duty campaign fun, and the other studio (Sledgehammer?) had a decent first attempt, but it was still lackluster.

Looking forward to the zombies for sure. I wonder which path they will take. Will they stick with these new characters, or will they go back to the classics like they did for Der Reise?

I kinda want to see what a pleasant cyberpunk dystopia game would be like.
Likewise a nightmarish cyberpunk utopia.

You know, just as a goof.

I'll probably end up getting it at some point, just because I generally like the CoD games(once they drop down to about 20-30 bucks that is) and enjoy getting to play through a new 8 hour roller coaster ride every year or too. I didn't particularly like MW3, skipped Ghosts but rather enjoyed AW when I got around to playing it a month or so ago. BO2 kept me from dropping the series entirely.

I am curious how it connects to the other BO games. BO2 featured numerous characters from the first BO and even BO was a sequel to World at War via Reznov. So for the first time in the series, we have 4 games that are actual story-line continuations of each other, from 1942 all the way up to 2065.

Sniper Team 4:
and the other studio (Sledgehammer?) had a decent first attempt, but it was still lackluster.

Are you talking about MW3 or AW? MW3 was technically their first game after IW was gutted by half the studio walking out after the MW2 debacle.

Bob_McMillan:
Fair warning, we are used to at least 2 page reviews.

I think at this point we're all running out of new things to say about Call of Duty

I agree, this review felt lacking in detailed analysis. I find it interesting though that the writer points at this COD feeling too busy and convoluted. Thats exactly the impression I get from the trailers. This one looks really messy. Like they're trying to distract you from the shallowness.

I might pick this up after I start my new job and upgrade my system (Think a GTX 970 can handle it?). I'm curious, as someone who hasn't played since MW2 will all the new sliding and jumping throw me off in muliplayer? I'm used to more standard run and shoot gameplay like BF3 and Halo 3.

Cyberpunk? You CALL THIS CYBERPUNK? I not insignificant part of me would like to say "I'm offended, and you are offended an entire genre of literature", then add in some curses. But that would be rash of me. So I'll just say this; It takes more than cybernetics to make cyberpunk. Granted, I haven't played the game. Maybe the singleplayer DOES feature loads of broken characters searching for meaning as the human condition is rapidly being changed by the advancement of technology and abadonment of classic social and moral values. But since this is Call of Duty, and the provided images look like Planetside, I somehow doubt it.

Silentpony:
I kinda want to see what a pleasant cyberpunk dystopia game would be like.
Likewise a nightmarish cyberpunk utopia.

You know, just as a goof.

Well, a pleasant cyberpunk dystopia would be close to Mirror's Edge with more cyber. That is, a dystopia where everyone is under surveilance but the authorities put a lot of work into creating a veneer of pleasant normality for the average person.

A nightmarish cyberpunk utopia? That depends on the kind of utopian ideal you would go after, I could say that the Helios ending of Deus Ex: Invisible War (Sorry for reminding people of that game) would be utopian but at the same time nightmarish, perfect, direct democracy but at the cost of all humanity becoming more and more mentally linked and losing individuality.

The main problem with the latter one is that all utopian ideals are inherently flawed. The real world had Marxism which is flawed simply due to human nature and Greed as well as other utopian ideals. So to create a Nightmarish Utopia isn't hard, you just have to study any utopian ideal in depth and apply it to reality.

Looks good and all, too bad it has riddiculous system requirements on PC and still runs like shit if you have a top of the line computer.

Source:
https://youtu.be/ITFhdAPMVrU

Something Amyss:

tippy2k2:
Nine unique operatives?

I suppose I don't really care all that much since Ghost killed all the love I had of the multiplayer but does that mean they got rid of the customization aspect of choosing your weapons and perks and killstreak things and whatnot?

No.

The unique operatives are character models, each with one of two unique abilities for you to bring to the fight with you. The one I used most in the beta let you choose between a grenade launcher and a force feld. These are activated once you reach a certain threshold, like Titans in Titanfall, but without quite the same scale.

You still have custom classes to pick loadouts with custom weapons and perks, as well as presets. The only thing missing, far as I know, is the ability to customise your characters. You know, because each ability is tied to a specific skin.

Well you can customize the characters a bit. You can unlock different uniforms and head gear for them, and also change what they say in certain situations.

Xsjadoblayde:
This is the problem with reviewing 50£ games these days, the reviewer spends at most 2 days bashing through the campaign and other modes quick as tbey can for a write-up. So first impressions are often good. Like a child given a shiny sweety. But the customer will have to think about playing the game long term. And to be honest, a lot of "great" games lose their edge after a week, which to me, is not worth 50£. Bargain bin at best 10-20£. Whereas great games that are often best played slow and thoughtfully are tossed aside as slow and dull or confusing. The review system currently is messy, only suitable for gamers with ADHD and much disposable income. I read a couple of other reviews that cover a bit more than this, but still. The system could benefit with an overhaul to speak to the consumer who plays games like the average gamer.

The problem is that in the current ecosystem, we don't want reviewers to accept pre-release review copies (because then they're "on the take" and "biased") but we still demand in-depth and comprehensive reviews as close to "the minute of release" as can be had. Until we all start funding Kickstarters to buy game reviewers DeLoreans and flux capacitors, that's not really going to work out.

The Rogue Wolf:

The problem is that in the current ecosystem, we don't want reviewers to accept pre-release review copies (because then they're "on the take" and "biased") but we still demand in-depth and comprehensive reviews as close to "the minute of release" as can be had. Until we all start funding Kickstarters to buy game reviewers DeLoreans and flux capacitors, that's not really going to work out.

I doubt we're going to be willing to pay more for reviewers to buy out of pocket, either. Seriously, I rarely made enough money off a review gig to pay for a game, so VG reviews without in some way being "on the take" strike me as unfeasible unless games reviewers get paid a lot more than other reviewers. But the reality is even crowd funding doesn't negate such accusations, so even when the consumer is willing to foot the bill, it always comes down to whether or not I like the outcome of the review.

In short, reviewers might as well take the review copies and do the early reviews, because nothing's changed by any other solution.

Dalisclock:
I am curious how it connects to the other BO games. BO2 featured numerous characters from the first BO and even BO was a sequel to World at War via Reznov. So for the first time in the series, we have 4 games that are actual story-line continuations of each other, from 1942 all the way up to 2065.

Outside of 2 out of nowhere brick in the face mentions of stuff from the Blops 1 (gas thing) and 2 (villain guy) it's not connected at all. Oh, also some stuff on the ingame internet(this games' version of the thing that throws backstory at you, replacing intel), but that's fluff. The gas one is especially funny, because it just randomly happens and is literally only there to unceremoniously kill off a character 3 seconds before the ending sequence starts.

Very disappointed after the gloriously contrived nonsense that was Blops 2. 3 is easily the weakest Black Ops campaign, but it does have its moments. Also, no choice system. Guess that was a one off.

The Rogue Wolf:
Snippetybee

Something Amyss:
Snippetybuu

What about keeping people reviewing only part-time, perhaps on a rota with franchises so they don't burn themselves out? I wouldn't think code provided early creates much of a problem (maybe with let's plays and that WB fiasco). There will always be doubters as there may always be the fallibility of human-mound-creatures. But most jobs can wear you down eventually. I wonder whether using your preferred entertainment as your full-time job is worth it in the long term. Maybe there is a fairly high staff turnover in the profession, or maybe it isn't as bothersome to be in that position as i assume it is. Maybe they are in the best position already and i should stop trying to imagine being them and feeling that joy would slowly drain from this past-time. Maybe too many maybes...oh the doubt, ramble must be aborted!

My opinion on this game is that you can buy the entire Deus Ex series for the same price and see the basic premise done better. Or possibly even Crysis.

That and the cyber-powers seemed very ripped off from Bioshock, right down to usually being shot from the left hand.

 

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