Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Beta Aftermath

September 1st, 2015 -

The curtain has closed on the public Beta test for PlayStation 4 players, leaving us hopeful for what is to come. This was Treyarch’s chance to debut the new content for multiplayer and stress test the servers for the November 6launch date. I have compiled some of the highlights from the Beta to shed light on the game and what you can expect from this latest installment.

For the most part this Call of Duty feels like the other editions: fast paced, exciting closed quarters combat. There are some changes that have been shown in the Beta that add some variety, and the list below are the key changes that make this game different.

The Specialists– As of the Beta, there are nine specialists that you can pick from; this sounds like the number that the game will launch with, but the options for some DLC here is pretty strong so expect more to come out. This concept works multiple ways in the game. The specialist you pick will decide how you look, how you sound, and most importantly what bonus you will receive. Each of the nine have two options: a unique weapon – these range from spikes you can slam into the ground as a large area attack, to a grenade launcher that launches bouncing grenades which then split into three more; the second option for each is some sort of ability – these also vary greatly. Some allow you to go invisible, while others allow you to respawn immediately where you just died. Regardless of which you choose, these all work on a point based meter similar to kill streaks; however, it is separate so you will still have your standard 3 tier kill streak on top of the specialist bonus. They also work on some sort of timer it seems – there were games where I was doing awful and it still gave me my bonus out of pity if nothing else. At first these seem like an added gimmick, but as you get better at using them, these can completely sway the tide of matches and add an extremely fun twist to the gameplay.

Afterburners– If you played Advanced Warfare you may still have whiplash from the jerkiness of the Exo-suit mechanic that was introduced. That is no more!!!……..Sorry I was pausing for the happy dances and cheering. The afterburner mechanic that is now in Black Ops 3 is much smoother and allows the player to glide through the air or burst more aggressively depending on the scenario and the players’ desired affect. On top of them completely fixing this, they also added wall running; when a player desires, they can jump and latch to a wall and run across it. This adds layers of combat to the game that make every move that much more tactical and is an exciting addition. The afterburners also play a role in the power slide players can use to burst into rooms or get the hell out of dodge when needed.

black ops 3

Customization– People were overjoyed in the last addition of Call of Duty when we got to unlock gear and customize our players like never before. But when we join a team based match, in a multiplayer team based game, we didn’t get to look like our designed characters. Something didn’t quite line up there. The wonderful people at Treyarch recognized that and decided, well what about your gun? Meet the Paint shop; this addition allows you to fully customize all sides of your gun with sixty-four layers per side, giving the player the capability to make damn near any design they are willing to spend time making. As this was the Beta I spent no time making a design, but some of the ones I saw were insane, so if this is your kind of thing expect to get creative.

Safeguard– Simply put, this is the reason I’m buying this game. I have bought every Call of Duty since the creation and played them all, but the series has worn on me as of late. I still played this Beta though in hopes of something lighting the fire in my belly to go out and spend my money. All of the stuff I mentioned above was great and was putting me on the fence about what to do, but Safeguard knocked the fence down and planted me firm in line for launch night. This game mode was introduced on the weekend just before the closing of the Beta and has reminded me what I love about Call of Duty. The mode consists of two teams of six – one team is defending a circle in there spawn, while the other is moving a non-combative robot from their side to the aforementioned circle. The robot moves when a team member is within a specific radius. During this movement the robot will take its own pre-determined path through the map. The team on defense must stop the robot either by wiping out the defending team and keeping the robot still that way, or damaging the robot and temporarily disabling it as much as possible. This game mode seems simple at first, but the maps being designed the way they are with the pre-determined paths forcing players through close quarters choke points – as well as open areas of battle – ensure that the fights vary and come down to the wire almost every time.

Overall this feels likeĀ a solid Call of Duty. If you enjoyed the previous installments then this will be no different. If you were wearing thin with the franchise, this might just be the one to bring you back; I’m hoping it is for me.

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