Editor’s Note: Activision sent us a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for us to write a review of the game.

Treyarch’s finally back. After three years of developing Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, the title is finally available now worldwide. We’ve been playing multiplayer all day today. Here’s our impressions and review.

Movement System

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s movement system has been talked about a lot. Treyarch brought all new thrust jumps, power sides, and more to multiplayer. As we noted in our impressions earlier this year, Treyarch has made the movement system in a way that players are not required to use it. Players can be successful without using the movement system because of the map designs. Movements in this game feel like an evolution from the movement set in Black Ops 2. As we’ve said before, Treyarch’s implementation of this new movement does not resemble Advanced Warfare’s Exo Suit mechanics. Sledgehammer Games’s focus with Exos was adding verticality, and a diverse ways to control your character. Treyarch’s focus seems to be evolving the core movement system to better fit the futuristic setting of the title, while at the same time retaining the classical movement feeling.

When playing with the new movement system, it easy to tell Treyarch is attempting to evole upon what Black Ops 2 had. We know a lot of players may say they want boots on the ground only, but Treyarch’s new system does not take away from the experience like Exo Suits did; these movements add to the experience, giving players quicker ways to get across the map.


Black Ops 3 introduces 9 different specialists. This is probably the biggest change to multiplayer that Treyarch has included with Black Ops 3. No longer are all players limited to the same set-ups; with specialists, each of them provide different voice overs, abilities, and more. Treyarch has taken a page out of Bungie’s book here. Destiny has different character classes with their own abilities and personalities. That’s the same way specialists are – each one is unique. The specialists all have their own back stories, which can be read in game through the specialists menu.

At first, we were skeptical about the specialists. Would adding characters with such game-changing abilities keep the game balanced? Those abilities looked quite overpowered at first. After playing for a while, we have realized that the abilities of the different specialists balance each other out. Ruin’s Gravity Spike can end Firebreak’s flamethrower. Seraph’s handgun can be knocked down by Battery’s grenade launcher. All of the abilities can be countered in one way or another.

The best part about the specialist system is the ability for the specialist abilities to change the entire pace of the game. Your team could be dominating a Hardpoint location, when out of nowhere Ruin can storm with a Gravity Spike and change the entire pace of the game. The abilities provide for unexpected changes to the game; you do not see it coming, and it somehow feels enjoyable that the pace of a game can change with the abilities. Of course, the abilities stand out the most in objective based games. There are many instances where players are cluttered together for objectives, and these abilities can be devastating.

Black Market

Ah, yes…the Black Market. Technically, Treyarch never actually revealed this feature pre-launch. This feature was revealed following leaks from early copies. But let’s talk about it. The concept of Supply Drops was introduced to Call of Duty with Sledgehammer Games’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Supply Drops offered fans a new loot system, where players could earn new gear and more. With Black Ops 3, Treyarch took a different approach to Supply Drops then Sledgehammer. And we approve of this new way.

Instead of getting Supply Drops randomly, Treyarch has added an in-game currency specific to the Black Market. The currency is called Cryptokey. This currency can be used to get Supply Drops in the Black Market. Players have the ability to buy either a Common or Rare Supply Drop. Common Drops costs 10, while Rare cost 30 (which changed this morning from 40). And the best part about these? There is no weapon variants. Sledgehammer Games’s version was heavily focused on weapon variants, and that seemed to give players an unfair advantage. Why should someone have a better gun because they’re willing to pay for Advanced Supply Drops?

But there is an issue with with Black Market. The Cryptokeys are hard to earn. We have had to play 10 games to get 10 of them. You can track how many you have in the Black Market or in the After Action Report. Treyarch needs to offer a way to get these more often, either by completing challenges or increasing the rate at which players can earn them.

With the Black Market, all of the items you can get are cosmetic. New camos for specific weapons, new taunts, new specialist gear, and more. There is a Common, Rare, and Legendary status for the items that can be earned. All of the items do not impact actual game. This is the right and – we believe – the only way to do it. And, it’s pretty obvious to think the next logical step in this is micro transactions. Activision and Treyarch will – or should – implement a way to acquire Cryptokey with real money.

Map Design

With Black Ops 3, Treyarch has kept their map design they’re known for. The maps take on similar feel to that of Black Ops 2, with the three-lane, fast paced design. Majority of the maps are medium sized, which is fantastic for the new movements. Unlike Advanced Warfare, the verticality is limited. While the new movement allows for thrust jumps, players cannot jump as high as they could with Exo Suits. The map themselves all play very well. Treyarch has done a fantastic job incorporating fan feedback into their designs of the maps.

Another aspect of the maps: the looks of the maps are incredible. The graphics and design are superb. If you get a chance to take tour of the maps with theater*, looking at the attention to detail Treyarch has put – not just within the maps – but also the exteriors are incredible.

Theater Mode*

Treyarch has brought back Theater Mode* from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Infinity Ward decided to leave it out with Ghosts, as did SHGames with Advanced Warfare. Theater Mode allows players to access recordings of their gameplay to view, edit, and share with friends. In addition, players can remove the HUD to get some incredible screenshots to show off.

As you expect, you are able to enter Free Camera mode and roam around maps; you can follow third person view of players, and you can change the player that you are currently viewing. The controls are simple, and easy to use. Treyarch has made it more accessible for fans.

Gunsmith and Weapon Paint Shop

Black Ops 3 also introduces completely new ways to customize and design your weapons. The Gunsmith allows you to design weapons that can be used in multiplayer and campaign. Gunsmith allows players to add optics to their weapons, add attachments, paintjobs, and camos. The game features a set of camos for each mode in Black Ops 3, but players can also create their own creations with the Paint Shop*.

Using the Paint Shop*, players are able to customize up to 64 layers on three sides of the weapons. The Paint Shop feature was available for use during the beta, and many fans instantly got hooked to it. It lets you create incredible designs just the way you like, bringing a whole new way to customize weapons in Call of Duty. There are also decals in the Paint Shop that are classified. According to the game’s messages, you have to unlock those from Supply Drops from the Black Market. The Paint Shop brings a new level to customization in Call of Duty, giving players more control over the look of their weapons.

As we said earlier, there is the option to apply pre-set camos to your weapons. The game features different set of camos for the campaign mode, multiplayer mode, and the zombies mode. Camos are unlocked via headshots. In addition, there’s a whole set of camos that can be unlocked via Supply Drops in the Black Market.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s multiplayer is the best multiplayer in Call of Duty since Treyarch’s last release, Black Ops 2. Looking at the development studios, Treyarch seems to be the most grounded and have understood the desires of the fans, and they have found ways to incorporate so many of those into Black Ops 3. Infinity Ward seemed to be too shy to bring new innovation with Ghosts, and Sledgehammer Games’ first attempt at Call of Duty on their own did not mingle well with players because of the advanced movements.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is Treyarch’s first go with the three year development cycle, and it has paid off. While there are things that Treyarch could have done better – and maybe even explained better, like the Black Market – this is the first step in the right direction for the first 3 year-cycle Treyarch. And this is just the start. There’s plenty more to come with DLC, Call of Duty World League, and the mod tool support for PC players.

*Certain features, including Paint Shop and Theater, are not available on PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of last-gen. Our review was conducted on PlayStation 4. More info on last-gen available here.



  1. I played 2,5 this evening. Its 9 AM now but what has happened? The people on mp are unnbeliably good. Global KD on PS4 is 0.88, or at least that was it 8 hours ago. Global spm 324. Even in AW my kd is 1.40. I really wonder if my kd will stick under 1.
    Anyone else?

        • its somewhat hidden but its there. it took me a while to find it also.
          start>baracks> press a/x on the middle tab (I think it said combat record)>look left leaderboards. (If i remember correctly)

        • Why do you care what others do in a game? Is your real life that bad that you need to be better at a game then someone?

        • Why are you worried about someone elses K/D? Suits me just fine. I play nothing but Ranked/Arena play. And to rank up in those, usually those people who are K/D wh0res do not help their team win. I go for the objective to rank up in competitive. Worrying about K/D isn’t going to do my team any good.

          • I’ve had to tell many a kid who will try to tell my their K/D is better than mine, “yes, your K/D is better than mine, but my team won and we are ranking up while you are ranking down. Thank you, come again!”

  2. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s multiplayer is the best multiplayer in Call of Duty since Treyarch’s last release, Black Ops 2.”

    ……no shit.

    • Ghost shit’s all over anything failarch has ever done. # of the 4 worst CoDs are done by 3arch. [email protected] being the only good one.

      P.S. only trash players think scabarch makes skilled games. #for the noobs

  3. stay in a head glitch and you’ll win every gun fight. why is there no fucking toughness or anything to reduce flinching..

  4. I love the way Treyarch changed supply drops! I can get them when ever I want, Everyone has an equal chance, Its just for design and I love it

  5. This game completely blows advanced warfare out of the water. Zombies is great, campaign is great, and multiplayer is great. But there needs to be a toughness perk if it’s going to take 5 body shots to kill someone. They need to bring back toughness.

  6. Best MP game since BO2, Really? BO2 is the 2nd worst CoD ever made. The lag in BO3 is so bad. I run 150/20 and I’m shooting first and dying first(using my Netduma R1).

      • It’s not about those speeds though… Ping, Ping spikes, package loss… Those things matter. But also the general quality of your connection. And don’t trust the in-game stats about ping etc. to much. They are not using specialised programs to run the exact stats.

    • BO2 was better than both ghosts and aw. I’ve experienced no lag and I’m on 60/5, it’s all about your ping and the stability of your connection mate.

    • I’m not gonna base the entirety of my review on lag. I had worse lag in Advanced Warfare. I actually am not experiencing issues with lag. I can only review with how I’m playing. Servers are working and lag is usual level for me, because of Internet.

  7. The writer of this article has to be kidding. Specialists don’t throw the balance of the game off? Are you kidding? If they didn’t, not even Treyarch would limit a player’s ability to choose whatever Specialist ability they want based on whether someone else already selected it in Arena play(Specialist Draft). Even Treyarch knows it throws the balance of the game off, otherwise they wouldn’t have instituted the Specialist Draft.
    Specialists in regular MP, ok, fine. As cheesy and garbage as they are, in regular MP I can deal with getting killed by cheese. But in Arena? Specialists have no business in competitive play.
    The ONLY thing Treyarch did to make the jet packs not as crappy as SH did is no side dodging. There is STILL verticality. I could boost just as high as I could in AW by continuously tapping the button. Wall runners? Geez, really?
    Why don’t they just make it where you can fly and get it over with? After this year, if there are jetpacks, I’m DONE with CoD

    • Well, that and at least no boosting to 3 story hiding places. That’s the ONLY thing better about the jetpacks over AW.

    • Stop being a cry baby.
      If it is “too fast pace” for you because of the boosts, go play battlefield.
      I rarely use my boosts outside of getting on top of things.
      “As cheesy and garbage”
      If they are, then why are you bitching about it in arena?
      They can all be countered one way or another.

      But as seeing you like to nitpick and whine, it’s inevitable you’re going to reply with some stupid ass remark.
      Treyarch is not going to give you a binky.

      • Who needs a binky when you all are sucking on Treyarch’s cock?

        Specialist are trash, simple as that. Never should’ve been added to the game, never belonged in COD. This won’t be the end of it, you’ll hear bitching for months to come. Just like last year with SBMM. So pull your panties on tight, and relax.

        • But again, if they are so “trash” then don’t use them.
          They can all be easily countered.
          Never has using a bow and arrow been so satisfying in this game.

          • Exactly. But Crypt Treyarch fanboy likes his cheap kills. So you hurt his feelings bad when you called out the cheese that are Specialist abilities.
            If it doesn’t throw the balance off the game, why did Treyarch institute a Specialist Draft in Arena? Answer: because it does throw the balance off. Otherwise no need for Specialist Draft.

          • They can all be easily countered? How the hell do you counter an ability that doesn’t take aim and kills you when not even half accurate at hitting you? Like the bouncing grenades, or the gravity spikes that can kill you from up to 50 feet away and even while you are in the air. Teleporting. How do you counter a teleportation when they already executed it?
            Wow. Why don’t you think before you type.

      • Ok, I give my opinion, and this is what you come up with, slamming me. I can discount your opinion because you are a CoD fanboy. Note “boy” in that title.
        Sorry I hurt your feelings for your beloved Black Ops 3.

    • Sure, the specialists stuff is cheese. But the movement? It sounds like you want only basic 2 dimensional movement and the aiming to be as easy as possible. AW definitely lacked refinement but bo3 is clean and smooth and it raises the skill ceiling nicely.

      • After playing bo3 multiplayer for the last 2 days on ps4 and I’ve found the the pace, the movements, and the matching system to be lacking when compared to AW, just my opinion. The pace of the multi is slow, not being able to strafe left and right but being able to slide for 30 feet or run on walls seems odd. I’ve found that when one team mate has a low ping it drastically changes the game play for everyone on the team. Killcam replays often show you getting killed without firing a shot when you’ve unloaded 15 rounds at your opponent, or you’re dead before your opponent even rounds the corner and fires. I know the game is new and still needs some tweaking so I’m hoping gameplay will improve. I think I’ll be sticking with AW until some patches have been released.

        • I agree, coming from AW the movements in BO3 feel weird, and the pace is much slower. I kept side boosting all the time hahaha gotta get used to it I guess.

          • I will have to go and compare with Advance Warfare but after playing BO3 for about an hour, I’m starting to like it alot. The one thing that bothered me about Advance warfare, were jump packs. I hated how everyone used them. It was just ridiculous. I’m glad they are gone.

            I don’t understand why people keep changing the formula and try to make it more “titanfall” like. If you get the mechanics down, everything will just work out.

            I just wish developers would find a way to fix spawning issues.

      • No I’m sure this isn’t on the developers side but your own and the people within your lobby.
        It’s either the host or you, either way – blaming Treyarch isn’t going to solve the issue.
        Blame your/their internet provider.

        • Nope, I’ve only ever noticed it with Treyarch games. All other CoDs I never had this problem. If it was a problem on my end, then why does it not happen with Advanced Warfare? Why do I not have this problem playing Ghosts?

  8. The text in in menu and mp and zombie should be bigger. My eyes are not that good. And splitscreen
    zombies and mp is not good. The graphics are ugly and it lags alot in zombie mode. And the sound mix is not that good for example if you repair a window in zombies the sound is to loud but the weapon sounds and the voice if the character are not.

  9. First people are praising the bo3 game and now they are complaining.. When will the childish cod community learn to love an cod multiplayer game… -.-“

    • I’ve loved every single one of them, even Ghosts. AW is the first one I flat out hated. BO3? Eh, I don’t flat out hate it, but the Specialists are a cheese addition. Put them in multiplayer? Fine. But they should be base banned in Arena.

  10. I don’t want to sound like one of “those guys”, but as for multiplayer being good I feel like they could’ve done better. The customizations are satisfying, but the specialist choosing feels out of place, not to mention it takes about half of a normal game mode to actually charge it up. Not to mention some guns feel way too strong compare to others. by the time you’re shooting them they already killed you with their powerful gun. Black market doesn’t explain anything, which should have at least a slight explanation to it. Honestly if I was a game critic I’d give this game’s multiplayer a 6/10. People are going to hate on me for this, but Black ops 3’s multiplayer is lacking a lot of its key elements. When they decide to patch their game’s MP I’ll give it either a 7 or 8.

    • The specialist abilites are balanced and not spammable, and what the hell is wrong with specialist “choosing”?

      The gun balance is pretty solid so far and the whole cod community agrees. We are also the same people who complained about ASm1 and Bal27 being way too strong in AW.

      What does it lack specifically?

      • Choosing is limited per gender, meaning you’re stuck with the gender it is. Want to play as a male bow? or even a male grenade launcher user? Well you can’t, ’cause it’s mainly focused on age per specialist. Sure, many would disagree, but the variety..it’s just not there. Specialists only have 2 skills, which kinda sucks.
        And honestly, some guns feel slightly stronger than others, imo.
        What it lacks is more maps, TDM to have at least 100 kills instead of 65, because it goes by really quick just in a normal lobby, and what bothers me is..why is the knife a separate thing? It was never separate before which kind of upsets me. Not only that..but it requires a high lvl to unlock it. Knives are never supposed to be separate, let alone high rank to get. Name one call of duty game that does this.

        • Dude they are created “heroes” with distinct personality and voice, every game that has heroes does not allow you to change their gender (LoL, Overwatch, Battleborn)

          And i dont what you saying in terms of variety. In previous cods we just played as randomn grunts shouting out words in arabic, now we have 9 distinct characters to choose from.

          “Specialists only have 2 skills” so theres about 18 different abilities to choose from .. didnt destiny only have like 3 supers???

          Many agree that this is one of the most balanced cods ever. All of the AR’s and SMGS are amazing. They nerfed the only OP gun already, the gorgon.

          “What it lacks is more maps” This cod has 13 maps while every other game only ships with around 8-9.

          “TDM to have at least 100 kills instead of 65,” first of all its 75 kills and second of all its SUPPOSED to be like that. The devs have already said that its supposed to be a super casual playlist that you can hop in thus why the games are pretty short and why TDM is first listed playlist.

          “why is the knife a separate thing?” ITS SUPPOSED to be like that and many would agree thats its best like that. No longer can you have a gunfight with somebody and then they randomnly knife you.

          You want a deadly 1 hit kill weapon in close range, you have to pay for it.

  11. “Conclusion
    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s multiplayer is the best multiplayer in Call of Duty since Treyarch’s last release”
    WRONG. It sucks! The jetpacks need to go, the Specialist abilities allow for way to easy and cheesy kills, Arena mode is a joke.
    Hell, as bad as Advanced Warfare was, the gameplay is at least more reliable, and better than BO3.
    Specialists, ok, if you have to have them fine, so that the little kids can get cheap kills, but BAN them in Arena. Specialist abilities have no place in competitive play. Nothing competitive about cheap kills.
    If Infinity Ward doesn’t 86 the jetpacks next year, I’ll be buying whatever FPS does NOT have them.

  12. Eclipse DLC SUCKS ASS. Four maps old news recycled no innovation whatsoever. Every single map from SOCOM 3 on the ps2 look and played better. Designers need to just get fired replaced cause they aren’t even trying. Maps are all same shit a bunch of turns corners no open spaces get shot in back bullshit. Waste of money. Don’t play zombies could care less about it. The term refund keeps popping in head cause games dead dying uninteresting same shit will happen on next DLC. D

  13. There needs to be new shit were paying for not recycled crap period all banter about anything else is just useless thoughts. COD dying no innovation, too many boosters, glitches. One thing they could do kill cam get rid of dam thing. I refuse to quick snipe its gay, and I’ll true snipe hide and move, why should my location be handed out. Gay gay gay