E3 2015 – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Preview: Flow Change

Flow. Momentum. Guns up. Never stop moving. These are just a few of the words and phrases that could be used to define the overhauled movement system in the upcoming Call of Duty. In Black Ops 3, there is a mentality of always allowing the player to stay active in the battle, whether it’s taking away the cumbersome mantling over objects, or wall running while still being able to aim down sights and fire, Treyarch wants players to have their guns at the ready at all times.

Earlier this year, I was able to visit Treyarch to get some hands-on time with Black Ops 3 when it was revealed. At that time I loved what I played, and you can check out my full thoughts on the game here. Very few changes were made for Black Ops 3’s E3 showing, with the biggest additions being two newly revealed specialists — Prophet and Nomad — and a couple of new maps to try out the new movement system on. 

Two New Specialists

Prophet’s special weapon is the Tempest, which is an electric gun that can chain attacks to enemies. If you can only see one opponent camping a defense point, Tempest will make sure that everyone in the room with him receives a healthy dose of lightning. His special ability is Glitch, which sends him back to the spot he was at a few seconds earlier. If you remember when I detailed the first four specialists, this move was Reaper’s. Now Reaper has a decoy ability called Psychosis that allows him to send out three decoys of himself to trick your enemies. 

Nomad’s weapon of choice is the H.I.V.E., which shoots out pod traps. These are essentially mines filled with nano drones that will eliminate anyone who sets one off, which means they are great for area defense in tight spaces and choke points. Nomad’s special ability is Rejack, which allows you to revive when you are near death. The ability works very similarly to the Warlock’s Radiance special in Destiny, except that I found the move telegraphed what you were about to do far too much with a cloud of smoke and didn’t allow any element of surprise in appearing alive and giving you a real second chance. 

Dedication to Movement

The new maps that were shown continued to prove the dedication that Treyarch has to making sure that they have fluid and fun multiplayer maps that work seamlessly with their movement system. Aside from a few minor tweaks to abilities (like Glitch being taken down from six seconds to about two seconds), and other small changes I probably wouldn’t notice unless I was a hardcore Call of Duty player, the experience remained largely the same as the one I had just a couple of months ago, and I’m still eager to actually dive into the multiplayer when the game releases. 

Black Ops 3 E3 2015

The campaign showing was also extremely similar to the reveal, but continued to show Treyarch’s evolution of offering an open battle arena that feels much less on-rails than ever before. Enemy movements were not predictable. Having four players didn’t feel like it evened the overwhelming odds, but rather highlighted the tactical play that is possible with co-op and the new upgradeable cyber core abilities. 

In talking with the developers at the preview, they are still set on crafting something that will set the bar high and be the best Call of Duty game they have ever made, while not simply rehashing the work that they have done before. From my experience with the game, I can safely say that Treyarch is not making Black Ops 2 again. They are making Black Ops 3