black ops iiii


XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

Treyarch is ditch­ing sin­gle-player in this year’s Call Of Duty game. It’s a head­line move, some­thing the de­vel­oper feels fully jus­ti­fied in doing. In­stead of of­fer­ing the high-drama non­sense of a sin­gle-player cam­paign this time around, the de­vel­oper is opt­ing in­stead to fully round out the suite of other op­tions avail­able to you… but will that sate the ap­petite of the COD player that Ac­tivi­sion has been evolv­ing over the last decade? We have our doubts.

It’s worth not­ing that the mul­ti­player—as usual—is stel­lar in Black Ops IIII. Dur­ing time with three of the an­nounced MP modes— Team Death­match, Hard­point, and the new Con­trol—it’s clear to see that Treyarch isn’t tak­ing the loyal Call Of Duty fan­base for granted. It is keep­ing things fresh.

By al­low­ing you to carry your score­streaks, load­outs, and op­er­a­tors across all modes, you get fa­mil­iar with the more class-based game­play quicker—and that’s vi­tal. Call Of Duty is nudg­ing out of its niche as a ‘lone wolf’-friendly FPS, and nuz­zling up to the more tac­ti­cal, team­based crowd.

The now-es­sen­tial use of health packs to heal un­der­lines this re­newed fo­cus on team play, as do sup­port Op­er­a­tors that al­low quicker or more ef­fi­cient heals. It’s not trendy to com­pare things to Over­watch th­ese days, but it’s hard not to see the Bliz­zard in­flu­ence in how some of the Op­er­a­tors syn­er­gise here.

This man­ages to erase the mis­takes of Black Ops past: No longer will you face a wall of War Ma­chines grenade-spam­ming you into sub­mis­sion, no longer will you face a cir­cling pool of health wizards camped in a corner: You can only pick one Op­er­a­tor per team. Pick wisely, pick tac­ti­cally, and learn them all. This is a squad game now.

Score­streaks take cen­ter stage as you’d ex­pect, with clas­sics like UAV/Counter UAV, Gun­ship, and As­sault Chop­per all avail­able in the pre-Al­pha build we saw. But in­stead of just giv­ing you th­ese on a kill-per-kill ba­sis, th­ese will be re­warded to you for per­form­ing feats re­lat­ing to your class: Block dam­age, heal al­lies, grant buffs, scout en­e­mies… all of this will add to your score­streak. It de­moc­ra­tizes Call Of Duty’s more ‘high end’ mul­ti­player por­tion—and that’s some­thing we think could be very at­trac­tive to new(er) play­ers.

Play the ob­jec­tive and you’ll be re­warded, too. Cap­tur­ing a base in Hard­point gives you 200 points (half a UAV!) and that will re­ally come in handy thanks to the fancy new Fog of War-in­spired map me­chanic. Gun­shots and equip­ment gives you a vague idea where en­e­mies are at, but gen­er­ally lo­ca­tion is ob­scured un­til you (or an ally) tags them—mak­ing co­or­di­nated, boots-on-the-ground ex­plo­ration es­sen­tial. There’s no wall­run­ning, boost­ing, or flip­ping into space here.

Black Ops IIII will ship with a bat­tle royale mode, a mas­sive zom­bies mode with at least three cam­paigns in it, and the mul­ti­player mode we’ve de­tailed above. But—de­spite how much of an evo­lu­tion Black Ops IIII is from the third game in the series—we think with­out a se­ri­ous draw in PUBGin­spired Black­out mode, Treyarch is go­ing to come up against some stiff com­pe­ti­tion this year.

In the mid­dle of an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by Fort­nite, Bat­tle­field, Destiny, PUBG and more be­sides, Call Of Duty has never had to fight harder. Treyarch has put a good game to­gether here, but is it good enough?

above op­er­a­tors re­turn from past black ops of­fer­ings— they may look sim­i­lar, but their abil­i­ties have been re­tuned.

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