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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.

Specialists

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.

Conclusion

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.

Call of Duty

CoD devs reportedly working on “open world RPG” with Infinity Ward job listing

A job listing from Infinity Ward Poland hints at the Call of Duty developers working on a new open-world RPG.

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Warzone operator free falling

A new job listing from the Call of Duty developers suggests that Infinity Ward’s Poland office is working on a brand-new open-world role-playing game (RPG).

Open-world video games are extremely popular because of the opportunities they provide to players for exploration of large and detailed maps, with titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 being extremely successful.

Now, a new job listing from Infinity Ward Poland appeared for a short while, suggesting that the Call of Duty developers are currently developing a brand-new role-playing game (RPG) with an open-world structure.

warzone players fighting in season 3 gulag

In a now-deleted job listing on the Infinity Ward careers page, Activision were looking for someone with experience making “non-linear narratives in open-world games” to work on a “narrative and cinematic experience in an open-world RPG.”

While the developers didn’t reveal what his project is about, the Narrative Director position in the post placed an emphasis on “story, characters, lore, and world-building” for the game that’s in development.

At the time of writing, it’s unconfirmed what exactly this “unannounced AAA project” is called, and one possibility is that it might be a new Call of Duty title as Infinity Ward have never released a game outside of that series.

It’s also possible that this open-world RPG might be an entirely new IP that has no connection to the Call of Duty franchise. We will probably learn more details as the game’s development progresses.

As exciting as this sounds, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is all just speculation based on the now-deleted job listing, and we’ll need to manage our expectations until Infinity Ward officially announce the game.


For more on Call of Duty, check out everything we know about Warzone Pacific Season 4 as well as our hub on Warzone 2.

Image credits: Activision

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Biggest AAA video games coming in 2022: PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, Stadia & Steam

2022 is a huge year for video games and here’s all the biggest titles coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and more – with release dates.

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2022 continues to be a massive year for video games. Between franchises such as God of War, Pokemon, and Harry Potter, the PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, and Stadia have some mammoth titles to host. Here’s a look into the biggest games and potential release dates.

The start of 2022 signaled over a year since the PS5, and Xbox Series X took video games to the ninth generation of consoles. Developers have had plenty of time to chew the fat and harness the power of the consoles to create immense AAA experiences.

There’s also plenty of mileage left for the Nintendo Switch, and of course, PC, Stadia, and Steam are always pushing the envelope.

With 2022 already delivering Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Rainbow Six Extraction, and Gran Turismo 7, the remainder of the year is also looking to bring the heat. Here’s a look at the top AAA video games coming in 2022.

PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC, Steam & Stadia video games in 2022

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 release date: October 28

ghost in call of duty modern warfare 2

For the first in almost 20 years, the Call of Duty franchise will be breaking its annual release schedule in 2023. This means that players will be stuck with CoD’s 2022 title, Modern Warfare 2 for two years.

The 2022 iteration of the iconic franchise is set to be a direct sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare. The game will be built on a brand-new engine, and the development of the game is being led by Infinity Ward. The Call of Duty team announced that Modern Warfare 2 will be released on October 28, 2022.

Gotham Knights release date: October 25, 2022

main characters walking in gotham knights

A Gotham City without the caped crusader is a strange thought, but that’s the threat that faces it as Bruce Wayne is dead. In Batman’s place, his former proteges need to step up and protect Gotham, batting away any threats of crime perpetrated by some of its most evil supervillains.

Featuring co-operative mode, players can take control of these plucky heroes and hopefully do Batman proud when the game releases on October 25, 2022.

Hogwarts Legacy release date: Holiday 2022

a young wizard using a wand in harry potter hogwarts legacy

There have been many Harry Potter movie tie-in games, but there still hasn’t been an authentic RPG experience that lets you become your own wizard – until now.

Hogwarts Legacy will let fans worldwide finally live out their dream of attending Hogwarts, and the game allows players to select their House, the classes they do, and customize their character, all the while fighting monsters and completing quests.

God of War: Ragnarok release date: 2022

kratos and tyr staring at each other in god of war ragnarok

Players got a juicy look at the next epic adventure in Santa Monica’s God of War franchise during the 2021 PlayStation Experience. Kratos and Atreus are set to battle with Freya, possibly Thor, and their own demons.

God of War Ragnarok looks like it’s expanded upon the reboot to incorporate more NPCs, more spectacular gameplay, and a gripping narrative that will test the bond between father and son.

Final Fantasy XVI release date: late 2022

Final Fantasy XVI protagonist

The hype surrounding Final Fantasy XVI is beginning to mount as we get deeper into 2022. It’s the collaboration between Square Enix and the combat designer of Devil May Cry 5, Ryota Suzuki that has fans of the franchise excited.

The developers have confirmed that they would release additional information about the sixteenth game in the mainline Final Fantasy franchise around Summer 2022. Hopefully, this will include a release date giving RPG fanatics something to look forward to.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet release date: November 18

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter town

2022 is a great year to be a Pokemon fan. Shortly after the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Nintendo wasted no time announcing their newest mainline titles. Pokemon Violet and Pokemon Scarlet will introduce players to the ninth generation of Pokemon games.

Nintendo has already shared details about the game including the implementation of open-world areas as well as the three starter Pokémon: Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. On June 1, a trailer confirmed November 18 as the official release date for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release date: delayed to 2023

link running in breath of the wild 2

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 could easily be one of the most anticipated games of all time.

Breath of the Wild took the world by storm in 2017 with its rich, expressive world that deviated from the conventions of traditional Zelda games. Many millions of copies sold later, and fans everywhere are desperate for the next chapter for Link in this gorgeous, sprawling version of Hyrule.

Unfortunately on March 29, 2022, Nintendo announced that Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 would be pushed back to a 2023 release date.


That completes our guide to the biggest and most anticipated video games that are due to arrive in 2022. For all the latest news and guides on these games and more, stay tuned to Charlie INTEL!

Image Credit: Avalanche Software / WB Games Montreal / Nintendo / Game Freak / Square Enix / Santa Monica Studios / Ubisoft / Activision

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CoD Points price: How to buy, spend & do they carry over

CoD Points are the official currency of Call of Duty. Check out CoD Point prices, where to buy them, and whether they transfer between games.

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Activision’s in-game currency lets players purchase cosmetics for their characters, and we’ve got everything you need to know about CoD Points prices, how to buy them, and all the items you can spend them on.

Call of Duty offers a huge palette of extra goodies you can add to your game, requiring players to spend their own currency named CoD Points to acquire them.

CoD Points can be purchased using the menu systems in games like Vanguard or Warzone or through console marketplaces like the PS Store or Xbox Marketplace.

The gaming landscape has changed over the years with the incorporation of microtransactions and live-gaming services. Many games offer extra content – with cosmetics being a big proponent of this. With Vanguard and Warzone offering special Attack on Titan and Snoop Dogg skins as well as unique weapon Blueprints for popular weapons, it becomes easy to see why players would want to spend CoD Points.

CoD points stacked up

CoD Points prices

There are different amounts and bundles you can opt for when buying CoD Points that are tailored to different needs.

Some players just need to top up their account with a few hundred points to get the latest bundle. Whereas others need a big restock with the intention of spending many points. The more points you want, the bigger the discounts grow.

Here are the different prices for the various CoD Points bundles:

  • 200 CoD Points: $1.99 / £1.79
  • 500 CoD Points: $4.99 / £4.31
  • 1,000 (+100 Bonus) CoD Points: $9.99 / £8.49
  • 2,000 (+400 Bonus) CoD Points: $19.99 / £16.79
  • 4,000 (+1,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $39.99 / £34.99
  • 7,000 (+2,500 Bonus) CoD Points: $74.99 / £69.99
  • 10,000 (+3,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $99.99 / £84.99
  • 15,000 (+6,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $149.99 / £123.99
cod points coins

How to buy COD Points

You can be very flexible with how you buy COD Points as there are a few different ways to do so. To make sure you’re buying them for the right platform, just double-check with our guide on transferring COD Points across platforms.

There are four ways you can buy COD Points:

  • PC players can purchase CoD Points on the Battle.net website
  • PS4 & PS5 players can purchase CoD Points in the PS Store on their console, or on the PlayStation website
  • Xbox Series X, Series S, or One players can buy CoD Points on the Xbox Marketplace on their console, or the official Microsoft Store website
  • Select physical retailer’s stock vouchers and gift cards with a code that players can redeem for CoD Points.

Where to spend CoD Points

Spending your CoD Points is incredibly easy, with players able to purchase cosmetic bundles and Blueprints in the in-game store.

The stores are available in Vanguard, Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Modern Warfare, so you can kit out your Operator regardless of your preferred title.

Snoop Dogg bundle

Do CoD Points carry over across games?

The good news is that your CoD Points will transfer across your Call of Duty games, as they are linked to your Activision account.

Players who will still have CoD Points in their account from Vanguard don’t need to worry, as they will automatically be in your account when Modern Warfare 2 releases.

What can I buy with COD Points?

Call of Duty’s currency is used to primarily buy two things: the Battle Pass for the current season and Bundles containing a variety of items.

Battle Pass

Vanguard Season 1 Battle Pass

A Battle Pass is a paid Tier system that allows regular players to earn dozens of extra rewards and cosmetics for essentially playing the game.

Vanguard and Warzone Pacific are approaching Season 3 at the moment. Both titles are currently running in tandem with each other and share the same Battle Pass.

It features 100 Tiers for players to smash their way through the course of a season, and if players are committed enough, they can actually earn enough CoD Points, through leveling up the pass, to get the next one for free.

You’ll be able to buy the Vanguard & Warzone Season 3 Battle Pass via a couple of different methods on April 27, 2022:

Bundles

Attack on Titan bundle CoD

The other main content you can buy is a wide range of Bundles and Operator Bundles. These special bundles vary in price, and each comes with its own unique items.

The collectibles you can expect to find are Calling Cards, Emblems, Operator Skins, Weapon Blueprints, Weapon Charms, and more.


Also, check out how Vanguard is officially getting a round-based Zombies map after Season 3 or how Warzone players are begging for Godzilla & King Kong Operator skins.

Image credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games / Raven Software

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