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"Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" Review

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.–Video game developer Treyarch released its third installment of the “Call of Duty” video game franchise, “Black Ops 3,” on Nov. 4.
Unlike the first two versions, “Black Ops 3” brings a new story to campaign mode. In a futuristic  setting, there is a new cold war and you and your partner are trying to find answers while by hunting down another Black Op, John Taylor, who is played by actor Christopher Meloni of Law & Order fame.
Campaign mode can be played in a variety of difficulties, from beginners to experienced players who want a more realistic gameplay. Players can expect a variety of attackers, including humans, robots, and war lords that have a stronger armor. Those who are familiar with multiplayer mode will appreciate the choice to earn stripes, camos and achievements while also being able to create weapons classes.
Overall, the Campaign mode in this game is one of its weaker points. The story is confusing and difficult to follow, and many of the missions seem to be very repetitive. Although Treyarch’s graphics are some of the best of the franchise, the story just does not meet expectations.
As with all of the “Call of Duty” games, online multiplayer is one of the most popular game modes. Many of the old game types are still around as well, including Team Death Match, Demolition, Domination and special types like Gun Game and Ground Wars. Some players will be disappointed to find that other game types like Infected and Team Tactical have been left out.

Photo courtesy of Peter Douma
Photo courtesy of Peter Douma

Multiplayer mode gives players the opportunity to select from a variety of characters, or specialists. More are unlocked as levels are gained, but overall, there is no class significantly better than another. Each class features a specialist weapon, such as a unique gun, or specialist ability, like extra speed or hardened armor.
Online multiplayer mode features many unlockables as well. Camos, weapons, specialists, perks, and calling cards can all be unlocked as players gain experience points. This is one of my favorite aspects of the game. With so many things to unlock and challenges to complete, there is always something for players to do and makes the game exciting even after playing for an extended period of time.
Another way in which players can unlock items is through black market supply drops. Players exchange crypto-keys, which are earned in-game, for packages that contain extra camos, weapons attachments, and specialist camos.
The gameplay itself is some of the best that players have experienced since developer Infinity Ward‘s “Modern Warfare” games. Characters have more fluid motion, as well as new abilities like wall running and boosted jumping. Just like in campaign, the game features very realistic graphics.
Yet another feature that makes the multiplayer play great is the maps. The maps are well-thought-out and diverse, allowing each map to play most game types seamlessly.
One feature  that  some players have not been very excited about, however, is the fact that the knife melee is no more. In past versions of “Call of Duty,” one could get a close-up kill just by using the knife. This feature is no longer available, and some players are having a hard time getting used to it.
“It doesn’t seem like a big thing but I’m just so used to it being automatic that I keep doing it,” said Monmouth student and gamer Kevin Brockway. “It’s taking some getting used to.”
Zombies mode has also made a return to the “Black Ops” franchise. It is very similar to Zombies mode in “Black Ops 2,” so players should be ready to play long games. Playing with friends might be a wise choice to make it easier, but otherwise it is a good change of pace from Campaign mode and Multiplayer.
Overall, “Black Ops 3” surpasses expectations. So far, it is one of my favorite games in the franchise to date.