Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review Roundup


Here’s what critics think of this year’s entry.

Another year, another Call of Duty. The latest entry in the blockbuster first-person shooter franchise is developed by Treyarch, a studio which has a history of tweaking the well-worn COD formula.

Among Black Ops 3‘s new features are a co-operative campaign, a new zombies mode, and multiplayer that features distinct hero classes–much like the League of Legends and Dota 2 type Mobas that have become particularly popular in recent years.

But is it worth your time and money, or is it just another assembly-line shooter? Check out some review scores and editor opinions below to find out. For a wider view on the game’s critical reception, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

GameSpot — 7/10

“Black Ops III’s narrative doesn’t support the campaign in any meaningful way. It tells an incomprehensible story about AI ascendancy and the moral grays of a hyper-connected future, raising intriguing questions but never bothering to answer them. At the end of it all, after hours of soulless shooting and unremarkable storytelling, Black Ops III delivered its nebulous twist, and I didn’t dwell on it. In its undead modes, and the first 10 hours of multiplayer, it excels. But in its campaign, it merely crawls forward. Black Ops III doesn’t offer anything remarkable to the series, but does just enough to maintain the Call of Duty status quo.” – Mike Mahardy [Full review]

Giant Bomb — 3/5

“Stuff. This game has a ton of stuff in it. The modes are there, they’re many, and they’re relatively diverse for a Call of Duty game. On paper, it might be the biggest Call of Duty package yet. But the devil’s in the details here, and various changes made to multiplayer feel like more wheel-spinning from a series that’s had a little too much wheel-spinning over the last few years. The movement options are nice, but I’d rather play this game with the movement controls found in last year’s game. Perhaps some pockets of the still-large Call of Duty fanbase will enjoy different parts of it more than I did, but as I add it all up, Black Ops III is a pretty even mix of positive and negatives. It’s OK.” — Jeff Gerstmann [Full review]

Polygon — 7/10

“At its heart, Black Ops 3‘s multiplayer is still very much Treyarch’s take on Call of Duty. This means it’s fun — Call of Duty and Black Ops found a basis for solid, competitive multiplayer that worked almost a decade ago, and it still resonates here and there. But I’m surprised by how familiar, how recognizable it all feels, which is even more disappointingly the case with its campaign. Black Ops 3‘s biggest point of recommendation may be the breadth of content there, and that’s a valid point of view. But Treyarch doesn’t meaningfully move the series forward here.” — Arthur Gies [Full review]

EGM — 9.5/10

“Black Ops III is the deepest Call of Duty experience to date. With not one, but two campaigns, new multiplayer modes and more robust customization, and a Zombies mode that will suck in even the most casual of players, Treyarch has once again found a way to raise the bar.” — Ray Carsillo [Full review]

Destructoid — 8.5/10

“At this point, at least two of the Call of Duty developers (Treyarch and Sledgehammer), have it figured out. They now have a three-year development cycle, which means that technically, each individual game is not a rushed “annual” iteration. While the campaign could certainly be a lot stronger, Black Ops III is living proof of that concept.” — Chris Carter [Full review]

GamesRadar — 4/5

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a massive, varied game, but your satisfaction will depend heavily on whether you have friends to play with either locally or online. Zombies finally comes into its own here with a play-style and design all its own, while the blockbuster campaign ends up feeling more Michael Bay than James Cameron. Multiplayer is the main attraction here, and the highly customizable loadouts and Specialist abilities combine to make it one of the most varied and enjoyable in the series. Just make sure you have someone you trust watching your back.” —Maxwell McGee [Full review]

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