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Call of Duty Black Ops 3: The King Returns

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Staff Editor

More stories from John Kline

Image courtesy of Activision

Image courtesy of Activision

In the history of first-person shooters, there has never been such a recognizable franchise as Call of Duty. Ever since the first game came out in 2003, it has sold millions of copies. Its arena style gameplay in multiplayer, the inclusion of zombies and an interesting set of stories drew countless fans. However, in recent years, popularity decreased. This is due to a trend of design laziness by developers like Infinity Ward in their recent game “Call of Duty Ghosts,” which has cut scenes from titles that simply re-skinned scenes and character models. There were few new features or ideas to keep players engaged. Now that Black Ops 3, a long-awaited installment is soon to release, it looks like this cycle of redundant sequels is about to stop.
This current installment has decided to take a dark turn into a possible future full of hate and fear. Taking place in the year 2065, where “the line is blurred between man and machine,” it introduces new cyborg soldiers as the focal point. This tale of humans replacing their body parts for robotic apparatuses is definitely interesting. Characters can now opt for faster legs, stronger bodies, underwater gills, long distance sight and accelerated thinking.

The story mode or “campaign” is going to be a 4 player cooperation mode. This is the first time we’ve had a co-op story mode since 2008 in Call of Duty: World at War. Black Ops 3 will also be the first Call of Duty in franchise history to allow the player to make their own character. No longer are you restricted to play as a set protagonist, now you can create a character that is important to the story. You can access a “safe house” in-between mission to customize your weapon, abilities, and your character’s look. Since there can be up to four players in a mission, non-linear gameplay was introduced. You can complete the mission in a variety of ways and aren’t limited to a set path. Unfortunately, the campaign will not be available on PS3 and XB360 due to hardware limitations and will not be able to support four player co-op.

One of the major selling points of Black Ops 3 is the new movement system. You can now thrust jump which allows you to reach higher areas. An auto mantle system has been included which gives players an unprecedented ability to navigate over obstacles. This doesn’t hinder the classic Call of Duty feel that many are afraid would be lost. You don’t have to use these features to succeed at the game.

The Call of Duty franchise wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game without its multiplayer system. Since Black Ops 2, the multiplayer has been re-designed to fit with the new movement system which makes things a little more interesting. Black Ops 3 is the first to introduce the addition of specialists. These are nine pre-set characters that have special abilities and weapons designed for them. For instance, the character Reaper is a robot that has a psychosis ability which allows him to create duplicates of himself that serve as decoys against the enemy. Also included is the gunsmith which allows customization of weapons in a variety of ways, including the ability to put up to six attachments onto a gun, impacting both appearance and function. The Paintshop feature allows for further customization. You can also rename your weapons and save its look so you can swap them out whenever you want.

Ever since World at War, the Treyarch has made sure to include a mode into the game that won the hearts of many but now plans to devour them with the new Call of Duty zombies. This year Black Ops 3 has outdone itself with loads of content, as well as future updates they have yet to reveal. A new progression system in Zombies has been added to make sure you keep playing to unlock new in-game rewards, like calling cards which show off your achievements. A new gumball system has been introduced which allows you to use special power-ups and abilities. You can call in nukes, refill ammo or get double points for kills. The new system wouldn’t fit without a new map.

For Black Ops 3, a new map for Zombies was desperately needed, a location that looked cool and sucked players into the atmosphere and story. The first map to introduce zombies is called Shadows of Evil. It takes place in Morg, a 1950’s noir city with four new protagonists, a murderous boxer (played by Ron Pearlman), a corrupt cop (played by Neal McDonough), a killer magician (played by Jeff Goldblum), and a seductive femme fatale (played by Heather Gram). Shadows of Evil is considered the biggest Zombies map Treyarch has ever made and four more are on the way in DLC (downloadable content).

Black Ops 3 is overflowing with long-awaited content and features. With four DLC map packs upcoming for multiplayer and Zombies, as well as the possibility of extra additions such as new specialists and weapon camos, it seems like this Call of Duty will retake the first-person shooter crown and once again set the standard for future games in the franchise.

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Call of Duty Black Ops 3: The King Returns