Friday, 25 September 2015

[PC] Call of Duty: Black Ops III Beta - Impressions

This won't be a review as much as just some general impressions and overview of the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer Beta that released earlier in August, what I played of it and what I thought about it. A lot of it will be compared to Advanced Warfare which I have played a lot and so far consider the best game in the series.

One thing that struck me as very different off the bat is the focus on "Specialists". These are basically characters you play as during multiplayer, each with their own special skills and special weapons. I played as the Scout class (although I'm sure she had a different name...) and didn't get a chance to try the other ones. Her skills were a vision pulse that showed enemies around you for a while and a special recurve bow with explosive arrows.
It seems like a very cool concept to have the focus shifted from one customizable character to a whole bunch of more well defined classes to play and seems to take some ideas from games like Borderlands. I didn't get a feeling that these classes were meant to work together or synergize in any way though, which made it feel more like you chose more for your own reasons than to support your team, just choosing a class suiting your playstyle and preference.

The weapons... felt kinda boring. There was no option for akimbo weapons that I saw, which after AW's focus on different akimbo guns made the game feel almost lacking in a sense. The weapons that were shown in the beta felt very underpowered and I never felt like I dealt enough damage, even though I tried out different SMGs and assault rifles (my preferred weapon classes) extensively. I died a lot more than I do in AW as a result.

One thing i kinda like though is that the way of achieving gun attachments is enormously simplified. You now simply level up guns by killing enemies. The higher the level of the gun, the more attachments you get. Although a part of me prefers the weapon challenges in AW, I can see this system being more fun and fair for everyone.

The game also felt really unoptimized, but being a beta that's almost a given. Most of the time it felt perfectly playable but it had its slowdowns. I'm pretty sure this will be fixed in the final weeks leading up to release.

All in all, so far Black Ops 3 seems a lot less fun than AW. It has some interesting features such as the Specialist classes and I'm looking forward to trying more of them and seeing what other guns the game has to offer me. There was no customization in the game in the beta, but they promise gun customization and also custom player cards and emblems, and I truly hope there will be some cosmetic customization of the specialist character you play.
But I died a lot, none of the guns I used felt powerful even at close range and the movement felt clunky compared to AW and I couldn't really get into it. I'm probably still going to love the game, but so far I doubt Advanced Warfare is going to be uninstalled any time soon...