Hands-on Preview: Call of Duty Black Ops III

Picking up several decades after the events of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Black Ops III takes place in a world that has continued far down the road of technological advancement. Armed forces and science have formed an unholy union, resulting in genetically augmented troops, or supersoldiers. Put simply, it is the arms race on a whole new level.

While we only had a brief time to play, there were several noticeable improvements over its predecessors.STILL_BO_0002_Layer 2Returning players will notice an improved movement system. The boost jumps that made for some frantic multiplayer in Advanced Warfare does not return. Instead, players are equipped with boosters that can enable you to hover for short periods, or reach higher ground. By jumping onto walls at an angle, players can also wallrun forwards and in reverse, resulting in a whole new way of traversing the map.

In addition, players can now travel underwater (for as long as their oxygen holds out, anyway). While it certainly provides a whole new and strategic way to move about the map, I advise players to be cautious of that very fact, as my team was indeed outflanked on more than one occasion.STILL_BO_0001_Layer 3Before each match, players now have the opportunity to select from nine different Specialist classes, each with their own unique ability and weapon. Players can then customise the loadouts and perks of their selected Specialist to their own liking. Special abilities include the power to rewind to an earlier point in your character’s path, or speed boosts. In terms of weaponry, they can range from explosive bolts to pistols that can kill in a single shot. To prevent players from using these repeatedly, they can only be used after a certain amount of time, or once a player has racked up enough points in a match.

Overall, I feel that the game’s pace may have slowed down, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Players of Advanced Warfare may agree when I say that most players just boost jumped at the onset of every match, eager to get into the fight. With the improvements and new features, players now have the option to more strategically move by their enemies, rather than offer up easy targets to their opponents.STILL_BO_0000_Layer 4Call of Duty: Black Ops III comes out on November 6, and will be available on both current and last-gen consoles, as well as PC.

*Note that the last-gen editions will only include Black Ops III’s multiplayer and zombie modes, with the campaign being available only on current-gen consoles and PC.