I’m not going to shy away from my sub 400 scores at Team Deathmatch or my continued mistakes that see me get shot in the back as I stop to line up a precise headshot or even my stupid fallings from the map as I wonder what something is.
This is me playing Call of Duty and, as much as I suck giant man b***s at it, I really do have a good laugh while being “That kn*b head who keeps dieing” and, so far the Call of Duty Beta for Black Ops 3 really seems to capture that sense of fun that maybe some other players miss out on.
While I am bad at the game personally, I think there is a lot of promise in the new Call of Duty and there are some things that really stand out as positive for the series, particularly the inclusion (and popularity) of female characters; the futuristic theme combined with some of the moves and specialist abilities.
All of which on one hand make it a very fun multiplayer experience, but on the other it turns the game more towards Halo or Destiny in its overall feel which might not work for all gamers out there.
So I started playing the Beta late last week and over the weekend after Catching Up On Some MGL Reviews, and already I was a small fish in a big-ass pond.
People were pushing level caps while I was still figuring out how to even load my gun!
I had a look at the specialisations in depth, as with all good RPG gamers, I take character selection very seriously and picked the Sparrow weapon with a female specialist, Alessandra “Outrider” Castillo which left me happy on one hand and a bit frustrated on the other.
I like the specialist system, I think it’s a nice way to create multiplayer characters and it gives us the option to really think about how we want to play. On a personal level, and for players on a low level in general, it seems better to take a more defensive specialisation than an offensive one in the first instance. I liked the bow for some good kills but, more often than not it came at the cost of my own life too.
But overall, I like the system and there are some interesting ones to unlock down the line if you are willing to earn them. In future it might be best to have some more detail on each specialisation based on player skill and level before you pick.
Once setup I could get into the guns and perks but you are pretty limited initially and need to get unlocking things as you play with more experience. It was time to take my level 1 ass into battle to be kicked!
I started on team deathmatch only to find myself struggling, I liked Advanced Warfare last year and did The Official Review but I am not a player who played CoD games regularly so it was all re-learning some things from previous experience. This choice was a mistake and while some guides you may read are saying, go with team deathmatch to learn the basics, I actually think differently on this one.
Once I dipped into Domination I really had some fun and got off the bottom of the table, even finishing in the top 3 on a couple of occasions. I genuinely had a WTF face on when I saw it, but also some serious gamer pride!
My scores in this, and other games like Capture the Flag and Uplink, were considerably better than Deathmatch early on since scoring is not just based on your ability to kill people who are, mostly, better equipped than you. At least in these there are other ways to get points on the board, work more as a team and get those unlock points to get better weapons and equipment.
Maps are seriously tight too, there is not much space to get around at all in the 4 they have put into the beta. This all leads to fast action and quick kills but also means the need to keep moving is essential to survive. There were times I felt like if I stopped for more than half-a-second I would be dead… and I was right for the most part.
Keeping moving is simply essential and using the boost jump, in combination with wall running to be harder to hit, is also something that people have already started to master and works well to keep the game action packed and fun.
I ended up falling to my death a lot trying this at first but keep going, and remember to shoot while you are doing it! You can pick up some cool kills this way and you will really feel good about yourself when you get it right and rack up some kills in a row! Just don’t celebrate like you scored a 30 yard screamer in FIFA like I do and end up dead half a second later… cos, like I said, you can’t stop moving!
So what do I think then? I like the fact it’s fast and fun, some players may feel this takes away some of the seriousness to the game but I want to play CoD to have fun not to be ultra-competitive about it all. The game runs very smoothly so far, hardly any texture issues but then again, it’s small maps and small teams so you wouldn’t expect it from an experienced developer.
Where the game will be a success or potentially a failure in fans eyes is in the specialisations. There are some that seem very unfair and unbalanced, Rejack in particular seems to be one that is being spam used since you can delay some time before using it after being killed. It’s a cool power that sees you able to come back from the dead, surrounded by a protective cloud as you recover but maybe needs looking at how it works for quick kill-backs.
I personally think the biggest issue people are going to have with the latest Call of Duty is the more-of-the-same factor in that it’s more like an expansion on the principles of Advanced Warfare and a lot like what we see in more sci-fi games like Destiny or Halo. Boost jumping and wall running with fast action and futuristic setting might be getting a bit much for some gamers out there who are fans of more realistic editions of the game.
But could their answer be in the Black Ops 3 Zombies pack that drops you into the 1940s? Time will tell when we see that in action but it might be enough to keep both sides happy but being an annual release, it is a danger to keep the same theme running one year into the next.
As it stands, the game looks good so far. It’s nice and stable for a beta with a bit of tightening up to do on the specialisations but as a principal they are cool. Having written about the need to see some more Female Characters in Annual Games a while back, it’s personally great to see Treyarch making female specialists and players using them.
The focus seems to be on fun which is something some gamers will embrace and others won’t. As with all multiplayer you can’t predict for the type of players that will be on a match with you but I hope the matchmaking and player profiling is worked out well so people who want to take it very seriously can, and those there for a bit of fun can do that too.
Ultimately, as someone who’s not a big Call of Duty fan, it’s looking like the multiplayer mode is going to be very enjoyable to play and it’s looking like the job to get it finished is tightening up a few elements of the game, particularly specialisation perks.
More coverage on CoD Black Ops 3 coming up on MGL over the coming weeks.