Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review Roundup

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 releases this week, and the fan-loved franchise is leaping even further into the future, dabbling in human augmentation and robotic soldiers, but is the new setting for the series something to be excited or concerned for?

We think that the game is pretty good, even if it’s far from the most original game to release this year. But will Metacritic reflect that:

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Platform Metacritic Critic Scores Metacritic User Scores
PC 78 2.5
Xbox One 83 3.7
PS4 82 4.7

User scores and critic scores are clearly at odds, but just what do the big-name critics of the world have to say for themselves:

GamesRadar – 4/5

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a massive, varied game, but your satisfaction will depend heavily on whether you have friends to play with either locally or online. Zombies finally comes into its own here with a play-style and design all its own, while the blockbuster campaign ends up feeling more Michael Bay than James Cameron.”

Polygon – 7/10

“At its heart, Black Ops 3‘s multiplayer is still very much Treyarch’s take on Call of Duty. This means it’s fun — Call of Duty and Black Ops found a basis for solid, competitive multiplayer that worked almost a decade ago, and it still resonates here and there. But I’m surprised by how familiar, how recognizable it all feels, which is even more disappointingly the case with its campaign. Black Ops 3‘s biggest point of recommendation may be the breadth of content there, and that’s a valid point of view. But Treyarch doesn’t meaningfully move the series forward here.”

Game Informer – 9/10

“Despite a campaign that struggles with occasional mundane shootouts that bring the out-of-this-world story down to earth, the overall Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 package is incredibly strong, with something for everyone. Whether you’re into traditional multiplayer mayhem or zombie survival, you’ve got lots of choices that are fun solo and even better with friends.”

Giant Bomb – 3/5

“Stuff. This game has a ton of stuff in it. The modes are there, they’re many, and they’re relatively diverse for a Call of Duty game. On paper, it might be the biggest Call of Duty package yet. But the devil’s in the details here, and various changes made to multiplayer feel like more wheel-spinning from a series that’s had a little too much wheel-spinning over the last few years… Black Ops 3 is a pretty even mix of positive and negatives. It’s OK.”

Gamespot – 7/10

Black Ops 3’s narrative doesn’t support the campaign in any meaningful way, either. It tells an incomprehensible story about AI ascendancy and the moral grays of a hyper-connected future, raising intriguing questions but never bothering to answer them. At the end of it all, after hours of soulless shooting and unremarkable storytelling, Black Ops 3 delivered its nebulous twist, and I didn’t dwell on it. In its undead modes, and the first 10 hours of multiplayer, it excels. But in its campaign, it merely crawls forward. Black Ops 3 doesn’t offer anything remarkable to the series, but does just enough to maintain the Call of Duty status quo. The franchise, however slowly, continues its inexorable march.”

SixthAxis – 8/10

“From the big marquee features to the small touches and hidden modes, Black Ops 3 features an awful lot of content, and every aspect of it is designed with cooperative play in mind. It can feel a bit disjointed in places, but it’s a broad and expansive game with plenty to enjoy, especially so when playing with friends.”

Attack of the Fanboy – 4.5/5

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is absolutely stuffed to the brim with content on all fronts, and nearly none of it feels like filler.  Changes to single player and the addition of new cooperative modes make the campaign feel like less of an afterthought than it has in recent years, and gives players plenty of reasons to come back and play it again.  Treyarch stays at the head of the class with Black Ops 3 competitive multiplayer and zombies modes as well.  While three years has given us some time to possibly forget how masterfully crafted Black Ops 2 was, Black Ops 3 is both the biggest and best Call of Duty game we’ve seen since then.”

EGM – 9.5/10

“Black Ops 3 is the deepest Call of Duty experience to date. With not one, but two campaigns, new multiplayer modes and more robust customization, and a Zombies mode that will suck in even the most casual of players, Treyarch has once again found a way to raise the bar.”

PlayStation Lifestyle – 9/10

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is an insanely full featured game. If code was a physical thing, this game disc would be bursting at the seams with how much Treyarch has packed onto one Blu-ray. There’s a little something for everyone here. Players looking for a dark, rich narrative have the campaign. Competitive players have a whole new way to play in multiplayer. Fans of roguelikes and horde modes have Shadows of Evil. Switching between all of these modes is extremely easy too, and it never felt like I was stuck playing one thing or another. Player freedom, customization, and choice are central to every element. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 isn’t just a great Black Ops game. It isn’t just a great Call of Duty game. It’s a damn good game overall.”

Destructoid – 8.5/10

“At this point, at least two of the Call of Duty developers (Treyarch and Sledgehammer), have it figured out. They now have a three-year development cycle, which means that technically, each individual game is not a rushed “annual” iteration. While the campaign could certainly be a lot stronger, Black Ops 3 is living proof of that concept.”

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review Roundup

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