Call of Duty: Black Ops III

by Activision | Xbox One

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 93.
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  • Blood and Gore
  • Drug Reference
  • Intense Violence
  • Strong Language
Platform: Xbox One
Category: Shooter
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Release Date: 11/06/2015



Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Weird Fiction Meets Wild Action
by Daniel Tack

Blast your way through a deceptively complex campaign, then engage in multiplayer mayhem, zombie survival, and an additional revamped campaign


The settings in future Singapore and Egypt are especially compelling, with excellent scenery extending to the multiplayer maps


The beats get you ready for some shooting, but there's nothing that stands out as spectacular in terms of sounds or songs. Some of the strongest, flavor-rich voices appear in Zombies with Jeff Goldblum and Ron Perlman stealing the show


Easy to play out of the gate, and you'll pick up some of the more advanced mechanics as you work through the campaign. For those craving a challenge, multiplayer and zombies provide it immediately


What begins as a mundane campaign pleasantly diverts into wild territory. While the campaign elements are the weakest of what Black Ops III offers, the amount and quality of non-campaign offerings carry the title beyond the finish line



With a Call of Duty game, you can generally expect fast-paced boat chases, vehicle assaults, and an air-to-air combat segment packed into a Michael Bay-style cinematic experience. That's all still here, as Treyarch's campaign addition to the franchise this year starts off unnervingly similar to Sledgehammer's Advanced Warfare from last year in many ways. Thankfully, that rote ride into future-tech doesn't last long, and the plot diverts in the most wonderfully weird way. Black Ops III has the most mind-bending and bizarre Call of Duty plot yet, taking advantage of unique settings and scenarios that would feel absurdly out of place in the series' traditional space.

Without going into the legion of spoilers and twists that make up the second half of the main campaign, the basic premise sets the player up with squad leader John Taylor (Christopher Meloni) and showcases a device called the DNI (Direct Neural Interface). The DNI highlights enemies behind barriers, shows danger zones, predicts angles of grenade bounces, and allows the player to remotely interface with things like turrets and robot foes. Players also pick up a set of special cooldown core skills that add variety to the campaign, but I found it easy to ignore most of the abilities in favor of an incendiary nanobot swarm and an explosive ignite ability. You're able to switch out your weapon packages mid-level at mobile armories, so if your strategy needs some tweaking for an upcoming battle, popping in a new kit for the situation is easy.

While the campaign offers more open areas with the freedom to choose different paths, it does little to negate the feeling that much of the core experience is just big rooms full of targets to kill. You move from area to area doing much of the same routine, even if there are some decidedly interesting sections to be discovered once the narrative goes well off the beaten path. As always, the missions feature unique battles and setpiece sequences like using a bolt driver to keep heavy winds and water from blowing you off the map. These moments break things up over the course of the eight-hour jaunt, but they quickly lose their charm as you engage in the next generic open area full of 40 humans and a giant robot miniboss. I highly recommend taking advantage of the up-to four-player campaign co-op feature to move through the game, as taking a friend or two along makes the sometimes-slow adventure more palatable and entertaining. All that said, Treyarch's ambitious play to take the standard Call of Duty plot and go completely off the rails with it is admirable, and it works for creating some genuinely interesting moments and fantastically weird settings.

The multiplayer is excellent and addictive, offering players a more dialed-back and controlled experience in comparison to last year's frenzied foray into future-tech. The mobility options like wall-running and boosting are important, but they're used to traverse certain chunks of map quickly rather than integral pieces of every run-and-gun shootout. I found the slight dip in the speed of the action refreshing; I had more influence in what was going on from game to game.

See the rest of the review at Game Informer


Call of Duty®: Black Ops III takes place in a dark, gritty future where a new breed of Black Ops soldier emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the cutting-edge military robotics that define the future of combat.


Treyarch elevates the Call of Duty social gaming experience by delivering a campaign that is designed for four-player co-op and re-playability. Players encounter all the epic cinematic gameplay moments that Call of Duty is known for, as well as new open-area arena-style gameplay elements designed to allow players to approach the game with a different strategy each time they play.

And now, every player is completely customizable: from weapons and loadouts, to abilities and outfits, all with full progression systems and a personalized armory to show off accomplishments, providing a constantly-evolving campaign experience.


With Black Ops III, Treyarch premieres a new momentum-based chained-movement system, allowing players to fluidly move through the environment with finesse, using controlled thrust jumps, slides, wall runs, and mantling abilities in a multitude of combinations, all while maintaining complete control over your weapon at all times. Maps are designed from the ground-up for the new movement system, allowing players to be successful with traditional movement, as well as advanced tactics and maneuvers.


Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer redefines how Call of Duty is played, with the franchise's deepest, most rewarding and most engaging experience to date, with a new chain-based fluid movement system, as well as new ways to rank up, customize, and gear up for battle.

Specialist Overview

Black Ops III multiplayer introduces the new Specialist character system, which allows players to choose from a number of elite black operations soldiers - each with their own look, personality, and voice - and then rank them up and master each of their battle-hardened weapons and special abilities. With this addition to Global and Weapons XP progressions systems, Black Ops III multiplayer gives players three different ways to rank up.


Weapon: Gravity Spikes - Spikes that create an explosive shockwave when slammed to the ground.

Ability: Overdrive - Cybernetic leg augmentation that enables a temporary burst of speed.


Weapon: Annihilator - Massive high-caliber revolver that fires devastating penetration rounds.

Ability: Combat Focus - While active, all score earned will trigger a bonus multiplier towards Scorestreaks.


Weapon: H.I.V.E - Deploys pod traps which release a deadly swarm of nano drones when triggered.

Ability: Rejack - Recover from the position of your death with an injection of nanoparticle serum.


Weapon: Tempest - Charge-shot weapon that fires an arc of electricity, shocking targets and chaining to all nearby enemies.

Ability: Glitch - Flash back to a previous position with this system mod that hacks the battlefield simulation grid.


Weapon: Sparrow - Compound bow that fires bolts with increasing force the longer it is drawn and explodes enemies on impact.

Ability: Vision Pulse - Sonic pulse that pings the surrounding area and reveals enemies within range.


Weapon: Scythe - Arm-integrated quad-barrel mini-gun.

Ability: Psychosis - Infiltrate enemy DNI systems to simulate three instanced decoy Reapers.


Weapon: Ripper - Spectre deploys mono-edged twin blades before gracefully dissecting victims with lethal, surgical precision.

Ability: Active Camo - Advanced meta-materials rapidly change their properties, guiding photons over their surfaces instead of reflecting them, rendering Spectre temporarily invisible.


Weapon: War Machine - This grenade launcher fires time-fused bouncing frag grenades which explode on contact with an enemy.

Ability: Kinetic Armor - Charged electrically-reactive armor that sublimates enemy bullets on contact, turning them into a vapor which dissipates harmlessly.

Movement Systems

Black Ops III features a new chain-based fluid movement system, allowing players to move through the environment with finesse, using controlled thrust jumps, power slides, wall-running, swimming, and fast mantling capabilities in a multitude of combinations - all with complete control over their weapon and character. Utilizing Treyarch's signature guns up philosophy, players maintain full control of their weapon at all times and have 360-degrees of motion through all maneuvers.

Tailored Map Design

Maps are designed from the ground-up for the new movement system, giving players a feeling of power over how they use the environment for advanced tactics, while at the same time pushing strong head-to-head engagements for classic Black Ops boots-on-the-ground action.

Gunsmith and Weapon Paint Shop

Treyarch is taking weapon modification to a whole new level. With the new Gunsmith system, any weapon can be tailored to your preference with multiple models for each attachment, distinctive camos, and custom emblems. Multiple attachments and an optic can be added to weapons, giving you the opportunity to build out the ultimate weapon for battle. And on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, the new Weapon Paint Shop feature goes beyond the standard emblem editor and lets you create custom graphics that are displayed on the sides of your guns. With up to 64 layers and three sides to design, you'll be able to create your own signature weapon variants with a practically infinite number of possible combinations.



No Treyarch title would be complete without its signature Zombies offering - a full-game experience with its own distinct storyline right out of the box. Black Ops III Zombies is the most immersive and ambitious Call of Duty Zombies to date, with a full XP-based progression system for players that adds depth and re-playability to the engaging gameplay Zombies fans have come to expect.


Black Ops III Zombies is the most immersive and ambitious Call of Duty Zombies to date. Shadows of Evil will bring darkness and chaos like never before while delivering a totally unique and highly creative gameplay setting, complete with a mind-blowing experience with a captivating storyline, as well as its own XP progression system.


Set in a fictional 1940s city, Shadows of Evil is a film-noir-inspired horror story centered around four particularly troubled individuals - the Femme Fatale, the Magician, the Cop and the Boxer - and spans an entire metropolis swathed in evil... Welcome to Morg City.

Each of the four characters awaken to a nightmarish world overrun by the undead. Each character fights to overcome confusion and amnesia - in the hope that they may piece together the events that brought them to this twisted world.


Morg City is the ideal backdrop for a noir horror story, featuring a theater district, jazz clubs and a suspension railway - elements that add new depth and complexity as you fend off the undead.


Shadows of Evil introduces players to the Femme Fatal, the Magician, the Detective and the Boxer.

Femme Fatal played by Heather Graham

She belongs in motion pictures, but instead works as a burlesque dancer at the city's most "upscale" nightclub - where she inevitably attracts the attention of many powerful men, manipulating their weaknesses and desires for her own ends.

The Magician played by Jeff Goldblum

Born into enormous wealth, the magician grew up surrounded by lackeys and sycophants... and a lifetime of constant praise and attention has only fueled his deeply misplaced arrogance.

The Cop played by Neal McDonough

After years of taking mob bribes and framing innocent men, the cop is a likely suspect in a department wide corruption investigation... The timing of which couldn't be worse.

The Boxer played by Ron Perlman

Besides removing the padding from his gloves, the boxer wore a pair of brass knuckles hidden beneath his hand wraps - he wasn't just looking to win, he was looking to cause damage.


Personalize your Zombies experience with a full XP-based progression system that adds depth and re-playability that fans have come to expect.

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    If you are a fan of the Call of Duty franchise, check out all the latest Call of Duty WWII games and accessories available for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC now.

    Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing addition to the COD series. Call Of Duty:Black Ops 3 is actually a very good addition to this great series. with great graphics and excellent gameplay,plus a pretty good campaign, this game is very underrated by most gamers used to playing the older COD games. overall an amazing addition to the series.
    Date published: 2017-06-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Game
    Date published: 2017-05-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Boost jumping, and many guns including dlcs. Great game only thing i play grab a mike and your gonna have the time of your life
    Date published: 2017-04-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Game, But some lag Everything in the game is amazing but there is lags in some of the Matches I play in. I Love the multiplayer, and the zombies is ok, I bother to touch the campaign, but the multiplayer is the bomb.
    Date published: 2016-11-01
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Way better than AW but I expected more I will break this down into two parts. My Pros and Cons, then I will follow with my opinion/experience with the game. Starting off I am a die hard Call of Duty fan and will always be. However I am not biased to the point where I will not criticize a game if it needs to be. Pros; This game has beautiful visuals, which is something that Treyarch always does a great job with. The graphics themselves are nothing amazing and are good, but the colors and animations and other things related this visual effects are spot on. I also love the dedication of Treyarch to try and balance the weapons as often as they need to. The movement in this game is LOADS better than Advanced Warfare's and is not nearly as jumpy or annoying. It does take cues from Titan Fall but I think that this movement is way better than boost jumping. Its fast paced without making the game look like a freaking kangaroo farm. I also like the arena game mode system. The maps themselves are also quite nice although the remakes of certain maps do not really play all that well in this type of movement system. I also like the diversity of weapons that are available to unlock via leveling up or supply drop. Overall the game is a huge improvement to Advanced Warfare. Cons: there are a lot of these. The first thing is without a doubt the spawns. I normally would say its just the movement but these spawns are some of the worst that I have seen, This is a problem Treyarch seems to have everygame they put out. What is more interesting is how Treyarch managed to make the spawns worse than when the game was first released. Playing on Fringe is only enjoyable if you are in to making your K/D ratio go from 1.81 to .65. This problem occurs on other maps as well where I will literally spawn into a plethora of lead pelting my face with no chance to move or go towards the objective. Speaking of the lead, hit detection is absolutely god awful. As in complete AIDS. I can't count the number of times that I have watched a final kill cam where a person's point of aim is about a foot behind (probably less) a person and they just proceed to melt someone even though the aim is not on the intended target. I even complain about this when I kill someone in this manner! These two cons are already bad, but the worst has to be matchmaking, which also somehow got continually worse as the lifespan of the game progressed. I pretty much 90% of the time get put into games with players that are absolutely trash and I have no chance of winning because of the players I have on my team. This pretty much limits my game play to only TDM where I usually play Dom or Demo, along with some other game modes. I am not by any means an amazing player but I enjoy a competitive match between players of equal or greater skill. That is how you get better. It doesn't help that I have kids with a .88 K/D and a .70 W/L ratio when mines is significantly higher. My K/D is a solid 1.80 and my W/L is a solid 1.57. Again I am not an amazing player. The other thing that I am not that big of a fan of is without a doubt specialists. Some of them are cool while others are absolutely stupid and annoying. The Ripper is so cheap that I can have a kid within one shot and if he presses the bumpers he will automatically lock on and kill me in any close quarters engagement. You should be able to more easily out run the H.I.V.E.S, and you there should be anything in the game that is even remotely close to Kinetic Armour. The range of the purifier might as well put it into the sniper rifle category, and the tempest literally shoots through objects when it should not be able to. Funny enough I think the kill streaks are well balanced and I don't have any complaints about the. Lets wrap this up. I think that this game overall is good. However I cannot sit here and play this Call of Duty in the same manner that I have older releases. After about an hour I am done and need to cool my head completely before I pulverize the game. This is annoying as I usually play Call of Duty on the weekends I have nothing to do and I usually play for hours on in. The last thing that I will as a con before ending this review is that the supply drop system in this game is not as bad as AW's but it still is flawed. Some people straight up have better luck than others which to me is no way to get people coming back to play them game. If you have the ability to earn these weapons via leveling up or some other way that doesn't require grinding for crypto keys with no guarantees, then you should not have weapons that are in supply drops plain and simple. Overall a good game but not great. Definitely can't wait for Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare remastered!
    Date published: 2016-10-17
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from This game used to be good.... When I got this game as a gift, I was excited that I got to experience the "new" era in Call of Duty. After grinding the game for countless hours, I was getting the hang of the new controls, but I had nothing against the new movement system, I enjoyed it. The thing is, after 11 months of getting Dark Matter, Master Prestige, and half way through Hero Gear, the game has been falling apart. The server connections are terrible, I get more hit markers than a 5 year old quickscoping, and most of the time you can't find a single master prestige. If you're wondering, no, I am not buying Infinite Warfare nor will I ever in my life time. I honestly recommend Battlefield 1 when it releases. And if you're looking for a legit Call of Duty game on the Xbox One, I recommend Black Ops 1 via backwards compatibility. (gamertag: TornFantasy)
    Date published: 2016-09-25
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dissapointment I bought this game because of how great and addicting black ops 2 was, thinking it would be pretty much the same, but with better graphics, sound, etc. What I actually got was a game, completely based of spending extra money, on an already 60 dollar game, to get a chance to get something you actually want from one of the cases. Not only that, but the guns you get are not only cooler, but BETTER than the guns you unlock regularly. So if you spend extra money, you get an easier time killing people in the game. Not only that, but all the dlc, you would think this game would be 15-20 dollars. But no, instead you get a 60 dollar game, that has dlc, and a pay to win concept. To make it even worse, when I started playing this cash grab, I was being matched up with people with level 60's and 90's, while I was level one. What kind of a system is that? Because of it, it was impossible to level up, or get the in game currency, meaning I couldn't get supply drops. If you were planning on buying this game, I hope my review showed what my experience was on this pathetic game in this franchise.
    Date published: 2016-09-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from My First COD Game Ever This is my first COD ever my friends told me to get it so I was like why not. The game is not that bad. The storyline is really dope and you use all these different weapons and mods. On the multiplayer side its the same thing you pick one the specialists and head into the game mode of your choice. Overall its a good game.
    Date published: 2016-08-10
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