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Games : Highly Recommended
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Release Date: November 6th, 2015 Movie Release Year: 2015

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Overview -

Don't call it a comeback, but the black sheep of the massive 'Call of Duty' franchise is back. Treyarch's 'Black Ops' series has the single most devoted 'Call of Duty' fan base in the history, and Treyarch has helped to keep the community active in part by relentlessly teasing a new installment. Once 'Black Ops III' was officially announced, the excitement boiled over as interest in the sci-fi and traversal aspects raised a lot of questions, many of which were answered with a successful public beta on the PS4, Xbox One and PC.

While the new game screams not too distant future in many ways, there is also a partial return to the WWII era in the form of the very noire (1940's style) Shadows of Evil co-op zombie mode, which is fully included in the game.

But zombies is hardly the only co-op aspect. 'Black Ops III' has the series' first ever four player co-op campaign. If that's not enough firsts, 'Black Ops III' is also the first 'Call of Duty' to emphasize the PlayStation platform (specifically the PS4). Though this mainly translates to a PS4 first DLC schedule, it's nevertheless a big part of the biggest 'Call of Duty' release in the new generation of consoles.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
Audio Formats:
LPCM 7.1
Release Date:
November 6th, 2015

Video Review


'Black Ops III' is a perfect example of certain games that are spoiling us visually. While there is still plenty of in-level uncanny valley stuff, the level of detail executed here puts some other games to shame. The move to the new platforms and development schedule has paid big dividends. I can still look at various areas and start picking out models and BSP, but the techie military look of 'Black Ops III' on the PS4 blows away PC engine demos of just a few years ago. (Heck even some recent engine demos seen barren by comparison.)

The mocap and character modeling is even better than last year. Christopher Meloni has never looked so good, though in-level cutscenes can still be spotty. 'Black Ops III' allows for some welcome character customization for use in several modes, including the campaign. Not only can the player choose to be a female character (or switch back and forth between levels), but the battlefield has its fair share of ally and enemy female soldiers. (Not just a single character model recycled everywhere.)

Call of Duty: Black Ops III PS4 Review Team

Character shadows are a mixed bag (self-shadowing can get very errant), and some of the textures used in the particle effects look to either have been dialed way down or have been carried over from 'World at War.'

As opposed to the typical PS4 experience, the campaign wasn't ready to go right away and seemed to install while I played the zombie mode. The in-level performance was butter smooth, and easily crushed some other recent games I've enjoyed.

Audio Review


Treyarch has a thing about using real guns or guns styled to feel mechanical, which I really appreciate. The expectation is for the game sound to follow suit and be well-executed, which it is. Voice acting is pretty good; it's more sedate than the series has seen for some time. There are still plenty of stilted lines, but I think they might help with the surreal feeling the story seems to be going for.

Prepare to be surprised by the soundtrack. The sci-fi influence on the music has helped the game have an amazing sound to it. Jack Wall in particular is strong, and I think the overall result outshines previous installments. (The in-game music player helps as well.)

Final Thoughts

Messing with the core 'Call of Duty' gameplay is tricky work, but Treyarch has delivered a AAA beast with 'Call of Duty: Black Ops III.' On the one hand, there is an accessible speed and mobility that keeps everything moving in a guns up way. On the other hand, new abilities will make even the least adept player feel like a powerful part of a team. No doubt, the performance on the PS4 will spoil players. With robust options ranging from a slick co-op campaign to a moody underworld trip into zombie purgatory, playing 'Call of Duty' "just for the multiplayer" has new meaning.