Mission accomplished: create a unique Call of Duty

Mission accomplished: create a unique Call of Duty

It is a shooter fan’s duty to check out Black Ops III.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops III” is the latest entry in the popular first-person shooter series developed by Treyarch.

Treyarch is known for creating the more unique entries in the series. They allow tons of player creativity, customization and have more surreal-style storytelling. They also created the fan-favorite Zombies mode in their first entry in the series with “Call of Duty: World at War,” which has since permeated other games in the franchise.


Campaign starts out slow, but picks up about midway through and becomes more engaging. As expected the story gets strange, especially near the end. I can see fans who prefer the more realistic approach of previous Call of Duty games being both confused and annoyed with this approach. However, I like the risk Treyarch takes with its unorthodox storytelling approach because it freshens up the experience and is different from the norm.

Another difference in this storyline is the small but nice touch of romance in the story. It is not anything too dramatic, but it adds much needed emotion Call of Duty games usually lack.

Gameplay has received an improvement as well. Not only can the player choose what equipment they bring into missions, but they are granted special abilities through the characters robotic limbs and implants. These abilities range from controlling enemy robots to sending out swarms of small robots to stun and defeat foes.

This campaign also features the largest enemy variety to date. Players can expect to see soldiers, robots, flying drones and giant walking tanks. This is particular great for Call of Duty because previous entries have almost no enemy variation.  

For the first time, Call of Duty players can play as a female in the campaign mode. Giving players more options is always better. While it is good the developers are being more inclusive with women, it is odd that you can only play as a white protagonist. This is not a flaw, but it would have served the game better to include more diversity.

Classic Call of Duty multiplayer returns in every way a returning fan would expect and it plays well. The addition of movement options such as wall running and double jump help freshen the game and forces players to be more creative in their traversal of various maps.


The biggest change is the introduction of a class system, in which players choose a class before going into battle. The classes all play the same except for their special ability. These provide a slight boost in the player’s power, giving them varying advantages. For instance, some players can choose to have a bow with explosive arrows while others can increase their durability. Every class also has its own appearance, providing a unique visual identity and emotes. More classes can be unlocked by leveling up in online rank.

Zombie mode returns and is as bonkers as ever. Set in the 1940s, this cooperative mode allows players to fight multiple waves of zombies and other monstrosities. This is just as fun as before and should keep fans of the mode enjoying it for a while to come. The setting of the new map is also incredibly detailed and oozes style, and is the most impressive feature of the mode. Unfortunately, there is just one map to play on. However, if history repeats itself, future downloadable content will most likely include zombies maps.

To add to the zaniness, four Hollywood actors lended their faces and voices to the playable characters, all with their own aesthetic and personality. The actors include Jeff Goldblum, Ron Perlman, Heather Graham and Neil McDonough.

Nightmare is a new mode that combines the campaign and Zombies mode. You play through campaign levels, but enemies from the zombies mode inhabit them. The idea has a great deal of potential, but ultimately falls short. There is a unique story, but it is only told as narration over the campaign’s cutscenes and much of Zombie mode’s tension is lost in the campaigns open environments. Furthermore, the amount of enemies thrown at players is excessive and in earlier levels players will fight wave after wave of slow-moving, boring zombies. Ultimately, Nightmare is a missed opportunity.

Overall, “Call of Duty: Black Ops III” is a solid entry into the series. It is not groundbreaking and mostly more of the same, but it has one of the stronger campaigns of the franchise and has more content and options than any previous Call of Duty.

Stars: 4 out of 5