Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Beta Impressions

September 4, 2015

Throughout the years, I have had a love-hate relationship with Call of Duty. It is a gamble every year whether or not that installment will be well-received. I have always been of the mind that all 3 of the studios working on the Call of Duty franchise do well with the series. Therefore, there isn't much of a science to determining whether or not a particular installment will be "good." I've generally enjoyed the Black Ops games, and this year's iteration is no different.

 

For starters, let me mention that I wasn't a fan of Advanced Warfare. The movement speed and mobility was cranked up so substantially that during most of the time it felt as if using and automatic SMG was the only way to play that game. While mobility is still relatively similar in Black Ops 3, the stage design and weapon damage is scaled in a way that makes all weapon choices valid.

 

The specialist system is one of the most notable additions to this particular installment. When creating a class, the player is given the option to choose one of several classes. Each of these classes have an ability and a weapon that can be selected. Note: the player can choose only the weapon or ability, not both. This ability works as a separate reward. Unlike the typical scorestreaks, your specialist weapon or ability is constantly having its time reduced. Additionally, the progress made toward the ability or weapon persists through death. This fundamentally changes the way that matches happen. Constantly moving towards your class reward eliminates the frustration of having your scorestreak reset upon death. The abilities of some of the classes vary drastically. Sparrow has a temporary radar pulse allowing the player to detect enemies through walls; whereas, Prophet's glitch ability allows the player to teleport to a previous location and, presumably, out of danger. All of the options provided by the specialists make matches play out in unique ways constantly.

 

Scorestreaks are always a big part of the Call of Duty franchise.  In some of the more previous installments, I feel like there hasn't been much in the way of experimentation when designing the scorestreaks. Obligatory airstrikes and choppers diminish the freshness of each installment. Black Ops 3 breaks that trend. While I won't spoil the surprise of the killstreaks for those who are trying to preserve the mystique, scorestreaks such as the R.A.P.S (YouTube it) serve as a testament to Treyarch's willingness to constantly try new things with an otherwise traditional franchise. The amount of scorestreaks is also massive in comparison to Advanced Warfare's selection. The fact that after 20 hours with the beta between Xbox One and PS4 I still haven't seen all available streaks, or even a majority for that matter, is astounding.


While this is a beta, everything I played I enjoyed. And with the game being a couple months away, it is a safe bet to assume that this experience will be indicative of the finished product. Black Ops 3 is shaping up to be a great addition to the long-running franchise.

 

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