Call of Duty: Black Ops III feels familiar, but the beta maps are great so far

Check out some gameplay

Call of Duty: Black Ops III runs the risk of falling into the trappings of some of the previous bad games in the series, but as always, I have faith in Treyarch, the best developer in the franchise’s history. Even if the campaign and multiplayer are lacking, their unique take on zombies should allow for a certain degree of entertainment value.

But based on my playthrough of the Black Ops III beta, I’m seeing a lot of worthwhile hooks, specifically when it comes to the game’s richly detailed maps.

The first thing I noticed about Black Ops III is the addition of specialists — a clear nod to other class-based games like Team Fortress 2. Here, you’ll be able to choose between nine different “characters,” all with unique names, a special weapon, and an ability. For instance, “Ruin,” a Berserker-like, has short-range gravity spikes and a speed boost, and the sneaky “Outrider” sports a bow and extra vision. Don’t fret though, as you can still fully customize your killstreaks, loadout, and abilities just like the previous games — the characters are merely a template.

In terms of the beta, the following playlists were available — Team Deathmatch, Demolition, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy. The vast majority of players flocked to the former, and I have to say, I had a blast. The maps are just so varied this time around, especially “Hunted,” my personal favorite. It’s an outdoor map set at a resort-like location, with caves, underwater paths, and plenty of variety. It really highlights how far the series has come in terms of sound direction, because with headphones, all of the ambient sound effects are top notch.

In terms of movement, Black Ops III feels like a more grounded Advanced Warfare. While you can double-jump you can’t airdash, and players won’t be zipping around quite as much, in favor of a more methodical playstyle. All in all, I’m not crazy about the multiplayer so far, but I’m happy with how it’s turned out if the rest of the maps are as vibrant as the ones included in the beta.

The beta officially starts tomorrow for PS4 users, and next week for Xbox One and PC gamers.

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!