8 ways the Black Ops 3 beta got us hyped for launch
The Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 beta ended just a few days ago on PlayStation 4, but we can’t stop thinking about. Going in with a general ‘oh great, another Call of Duty!’ attitude, the beta never stopped impressing us.
With the Xbox One and PC beta due to start this week, it’s time for us to go over the most interesting ways Black Ops 3 is taking the series forward.
1: Blood and gore return
Treyarch – for some reason – remains the only studio still adding proper gore, dismemberment and giblets in its games. Black Ops 3 continues the studio’s tradition and makes it even more spectacular. Because of how mobile players are this time around, you never know when you are going to encounter someone’s severed leg or arm.
Giblets could come raining down because someone exploded mid-air, or while wall-running. It happens often enough that it makes those grenade or explosive kills satisfying.
2: Being able to monitor your ping in-game
It’s unbelievable how much help this little tool is when you’re trying to determine if you’re having lag spikes. It shows an actual number, rather than the bars.
The bars are still there on the scoreboard with different colour highlights that make it easier to check your ping at a glance. What’s more, it also monitors your packet loss, which helps you understand why enemies are suddenly bullet spongy.
It’s not perfect and sometimes reports incorrect data (or at least not conforming to ones shown on the scoreboard), but just like most things in a beta, it should only get better.
3: The dedicated ‘mute all’ button
Call of Duty players over the age of 24 and the human race at large can finally rejoice. In the year of our lord 2015, we now have a dedicated menu option to automatically mute everyone in every match, forever.
The option is bugged and will sometimes turn itself off, but it has already reduced instances of kids screaming in your ear and people with open mic by 85%.*
*not an actual statistic.
4: The Specialists
We like the Specialists. In fact, we think they’re the best thing about Black Ops 3 so far. At the very least, they add a welcome touch of personality to multiplayer and open up a new range of ways you could play the game.
The abilities are fun to use and usually offer solutions to problems. If you’re using them correctly. Each of them also serve as a nice distraction that you know you’ll reach, instead of chasing the next scorestreak.
5: Parkouring and wall-running for days
Black Ops 3’s movement system is the most fluid of any Call of Duty game. You can mantle over anything, clamber up to any ledge and wall-run on any wall.
This mix of not-quite-Titanfall-and-not-quite-grounded maintains an incredible balance of keeping the action in your general cone of vision without taking away from the freedom of movement too much.
Advanced Warfare’s Exo thrusts and jumps were a noble effort at evolving the franchise, but they lost their appeal earlier than anyone would’ve expected and wound up messing with the core gameplay loop too much. It was like a circus at times. None of that this time.
6: The lobby music and general sleek design
Never underestimate what little design touches and small details can do to your overall experience. Remember how everyone hated Ghosts’ clunky menus and the way it crammed Squads into everything?
It’s because these things matter. You arguably spend half your game time in lobbies.
Black Ops 3 handles menu transitions perfectly. Everything scrolls and moves around in a neat way on the same page once you’ve chosen your game mode.
The music is excellent, too. Up there with Modern Warfare 2’s, which is the series’ peak. It gets you in the mood and never got old during the few hours we played.
7: The creative Specialist combinations players will come up with
The beta wasn’t long and already players have devised the most entertaining of Specialists/perks/weapons combinations. Some equipped no weapons and ran around throwing knives and punching people.
Others are already planning knifing classes with Spectre (who has an arm blade) that look like they will be a lot of fun, especially when everyone can move freely around the map, thanks to the movement system.
Wall-run knifing here we go.
8: The return of three-lane map design
Coming off Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 feels like a return to the classic, tried and true philosophy in designing maps with three key lanes. While you can move freely in the latter, you can’t hop lanes or get to any vantage point you want like you could do in the former game. This means the action is mostly predictable, while still leaving you options.
Advanced Warfare was too chaotic most of the time; you didn’t know which angle to cover as you rounded corners, which meant that the only way to survive is to jump everywhere.
No lanes and nowhere is safe and it everyone jumping all the time doesn’t make for a fun Call of Duty.