On the night of November 5th, I made what seems like my routine trip to my local game stop, I awaited patiently in the dripping rain with dozens of anxious gamers just like myself. All ready to drop semtex grenades on campers and attempt to prestige as fast as humanly possible in Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3.
I began to wonder, what brought me back? Just three years prior, I was in the exact same place, standing in line for Black Ops 2. What makes me consistently come back to this franchise? It could be the game itself, but I also like the fan-base. Am I a shallow fan of an outdated game series? Or am I simply a loyal admirer of one of the largest video game franchises to date? What made me fall in love with Black Ops Originally?
Modern Warfare is the more beloved series(no they're not the same), Black Ops has always been the annoying little brother of the group, faring to younger audiences. But I've never felt completely comfortable with the slower paced system of Modern Warfare. It seemed almost too technical for me at first, especially considering I wasn't a consistent player of the earlier Call Of Duty games. I took a chance on the original black ops, simply because of word of mouth and curiosity, and the result was pure admiration.
Black Ops 1
The campaign actually kept me interested, which is something not many games can do. Dealing with the damaged psyche of abducted soldier Alex Mason was an invigorating experience. Being dropped directly into the Cold War was entertaining as well and the multiplayer was the icing on the cake.
Never had I played a game with such a captivating online experience. Fighting for rankings, and joining clans were apparently things Call Of Duty had already offered but it was completely new to me. Add in awesome game modes like search and destroy and ground war on all new maps like nuke-town and firing range and I fell head over heels. Not to mention the addition of my favorite move the dolphin dive.
Any real Black Ops fan would be upset if I went without mentioning the iconic zombie mode Black Ops offered. Either online or off, players could immerse themselves in a world filled with nazi zombies for a short period, or a long one depending on how good you were. I believe the farthest I ever got was level twenty which isn't anything to brag about at all, but I had fun doing it, even if my partners were slacking a little.
Black Ops 2
Black Ops 2 introduced us to two separate story-lines in campaign mode one based in the 1980's and the other in 2025. The campaign improved in many ways by giving the players creative control. Player choices depicted the plot of the game making it a little more interesting than its predecessor. This made the games ending different for each player depending on the choices they made.
Not only that, BO2 added some new things to multiplayer as well, Nuketown 2025 anyone?!
The new multiplayer introduced wildcards which allowed players to add even more perks or attachments to their classes. Zombies mode was changed to allow twice as many players as before on a faster engine. The new game mode hard-point was introduced, where teams attempted to hold a single place on a map for as long as they could. The developers even brought a game mode from Modern Warfare in called Kill Confirmed also known as 'Tags Or It Didn't happen' where players had to pick up a persons dog tags after killing them in order to receive points.
Overall BO2 was relatively familiar in that there weren't any major changes just a few additions to an already good game. Which wasn't a problem at all for the 2.5 million fans including myself that flocked to stores at the games midnight release. The game took over $500 million dollars from our pockets its first 24 hours alone, and eventually grossed over a billion dollars nationwide in 16 days beating Modern Warfare's record of 16 days. Making it pretty much inevitable that the franchise would continue.
Black Ops 3
As the line of gamers got shorter and shorter I got even more excited but I began to wonder why I was at a game-stop at 12:15 AM spending sixty dollars on a video game. I even reserved my copy months before. Why do I like this game franchise so much? Then I realized why...
It's because it's one of the most consistent franchises available. It's run and gun style of play makes it easy for first timers but its levels, weapons and constant evolution continues to make it challenging for returners.
Despite the bad mouthing it receives from fans of other franchises it's stayed pretty much consistent and faithful to it's fans over the years. Making only minor changes to perfect the system, instead of trying to ruffle feathers with overhauls.
I fell in love all over again once I got my hands on BO3. The campaign is set in the year 2065. It follows the story of four distinct characters, allowing multiplayer campaign for the first time. All of the games missions are available from the start so you don't have to be bored through the entire campaign.
Activision took some of the best updates of Advanced Warfare and inserted them in BO3 to give it a modern update allowing players to walk on walls, power slide and boost jump. The boost jump addition makes the pace even faster. Maps are larger but less likely to have campers in every nook and cranny. The new weaponry is interesting and actually has more of a differential making players personal preference actually mean more. Like choosing accuracy or damage, fire rate or distance. Depending on what best works for the individual player he or she may sacrifice one for the other.
The best new addition in my opinion is the new Specialist class customization.
Players can now choose between nine specific character types instead of being a general soldier. This makes the battlefield extremely unpredictable, as the specialists each have different power weapons or abilities that could instantly kill an opponent. The new Gunsmith option allows players to add more attachments than ever before and give them paint-jobs and swimming has been added, allowing some pretty cool under water gun fights.
Zombies has some of the biggest new additions of the third installment. It now has it's own XP system and story-line separate from that of normal multiplayer. Set in a noir Morge City in the 1940s it has four main characters with different backstories, with Jeff Goldblum and Ron Perlman contributing their voices. The mode even offers a second story with alternative characters, making it the stand out zombies mode by far.
The Fun Never Stops
A Black Ops fan will find himself occupied with the third installment even longer than the first two games of the series. The campaign runs deeper, the multiplayer has more upgrades and options giving it replay value that was desperately needed. Things like zombie xp and realistic mode makes things harder for easily bored hardcore gamers. While things like nuketown 2065 will make regular and hardcore fans rejoice.
Black Ops 3 reminded me why i was a fan of the black ops franchise. It's progressive while still being consistent. It's challenging but still can be learned by a regular gamer, and most importantly it's impressively fun. Hopefully the series will continue on for as long as it can, because fans like me will stick around forever.