Call Of Duty has always been one of my favourite series of games, so getting the chance to preview the campaign and multiplayer of Black Ops III at Gamescom 2015 was pretty exciting.
Black ops III is set roughly 30 years after its predecessor and showcases the major advancements in technology – specifically, human augmentations. There is a large focus on having limbs replaced to make soldiers faster and stronger, with some elements seeming similar to Advanced Warfare.
The first area of the campaign that we saw at Gamescom featured a safe house, the hub level where you get mission briefings, as well as customise yourself and your weapons. Your safe house is also customisable, which your friends can visit too if they are undertaking a coop mission with you. The gun editor (called Gunsmith) is the part I’m personally excited for the most, as it allows you to create your own custom paint jobs for your weapons.
The snippet of action I saw was set in Cairo, after you’re sent there with two other advanced soldiers, specifically for a high value target. Whilst watching one of your partners interrogate the target, chaos starts to break out in the city above you, and that was when the typical COD-action started.
Above ground, remote control drones appear to be attacking your building and the surrounding area, and it’s your job to take them down. One of the coolest features implemented is the ability to see under the surface of the pavement. This means that you can spot weak areas in the floor, and take down the enemies more effectively by blowing up vast areas. There are also moveable barriers, almost like walls, which can be used to shoot over or shield from explosions.
None of the guns seemed to be particularly different to what we’ve seen in previous titles (although you will be able to customise its look in Gunsmith), but the SMGs and Assault Rifles seemed pretty efficient at taking down enemies. The scene ended with an epic explosion as the floor crumbled behind your squads barriers, and it appears you’ve won the battle, for now at least.
*UPDATED* Multiplayer Beta (Xbox One)
My favourite part of Black Ops III is undoubtedly its multiplayer. It features a new style of travel, wall running, allowing players to move around more easily. I found this quite useful when playing, especially when you combine in the use of your thrust jump, as it allows you to climb over walls/jump up some buildings, as well as sneak up on enemies from more obscure angles. Even in the preview, there were still some people camping, but using the thrust jump gives you a chance to view them from a different perspective, making them slightly easier to kill.
Of course, there are still score streaks and perks, similar to pretty much every other Call Of Duty title, but they’ve added a few new ones into the mix. One of my favourites was the Afterburner perk, that simply recharges your thrust jump faster, which was pretty helpful seeing how much I spammed it.
As much as I enjoyed playing the multiplayer, I don’t expect it to be ground-breaking. I didn’t go into the preview expecting it to blow my mind, more just wanting to recreate some of the fun I’ve had on both Black Ops I and II, which it definitely does. The maps seem a bit more interactive now that you have the ability to run along walls, but there isn’t anything hugely different about the style of the maps, especially when compared to Advanced warfare.
The only major disappointment was not seeing anything to do with Zombies, undoubtedly the feature I’m most looking forward to in the game. Although I wasn’t expecting a hand-on experience, unlike multiplayer, it would have been interesting to receive some information about it, even briefly at the end of the campaign preview.
Although what I’ve seen wasn’t ground-breaking, the storyline does seem pretty enticing, and looks set to include some pretty dark themes. Multiplayer is something that every COD fan will enjoy, nothing too significantly different, but with enough new features to keep it fresh. Keep an eye on this one.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will release on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on November 6th 2015.