Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Hands On Preview (Gamescom)

It’s almost become an annual ritual now, spend the first hour of one day of either Gamescom or Eurogamer Expo (EGX) to go queue up for whatever the new Call of Duty is. Knowing the queues will be much longer later, never expecting much from the game, then being pleasantly surprised. This year was no different, we can’t wait to play Black Ops 3 again.


The demo we were treated to was a simple match of Kill Confirmed followed up by a Team Deathmatch. We could select from a small choice of operators (Call of Duty’s new classes that have a special ability each that charges up to be used at various points in the game) and we got to play on two separate maps. I used one operator who could launch nanobot mines, they would latch on to any surface and then kind of deny an area, if you went too close to them the nanobots would swarm and attack you. Another had a bow and arrow. This has a ridiculous amount of autoaim so as long as you are vaguely looking at an enemy you will find them and kill them. This allowed for some amazing looking shots where people would leap into the air, spin around and kill two people before landing, but I get the impression this might end up being nerfed somewhat.

Gameplay wise it was very similar to Black Ops 2 crossed with a little Titanfall. Movement is less chaotic than Advanced Warfare and much more ground-based, but you can still do a little boost to climb up somewhere higher or even wallrun for a surprisingly long time. This means you still need to be aware of more verticality than we were used to with older CoD games, but you don’t have people bunny-hopping all over the place. The new weapons all had weird names but very quickly you could identify them as the new SCAR, the new AK, the new M4. Time to Kill seemed exactly the same as Black Ops 2 to us, it wasn’t instant, but if someone got the drop on you, you’d probably be dead before you could turn around.


Killstreaks were mostly the same as in previous games, a lucky care package scored me a carpet bomb at one point which seemed devastating in the tiny map we were playing (it killed the whole enemy team) and UAVs and anti-UAVs were rampant. The little remote control cars also make a return, but it seems they can now jump to get to better vantage points.

The most striking thing about the game was the colour. This is the polar opposite of Homefront with it’s muted greys and browns. Black Ops 3 is unbelievably colourful and bright and every element of the map was detailed and interesting. The map design itself was curious, with some bottomless pits in the center of the map that could be traversed with some clever wallrunning. They definitely haven’t strayed too far from what makes CoD great, but they’ve brought in enough innovation to keep it fresh.


We’ll bring you more after the beta which launches next week so stay tuned! (Or favourited, whichever you prefer, leaving a window open all weekend is a bit weird).

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