Story Critique – Call of Duty: Black Ops III


Ladies and gentlemen, where did the story go?

The new Call of Duty is a great game and I love playing its multiplayer mode with my friends on the Xbox, but the story was lackluster at best. Now, I already see most of you saying to yourself, “Call of Duty was never known for the story stop complaining.” The issue with that statement is that Call of Duty  is partly known for that exact reason, its amazing stories. I will agree that while it isn’t primarily known for story, the story made it a better franchise.

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I was never a big fan of Call of Duty until a few years ago when I played Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and I immediately fell in love with the campaign. The characters were well developed and I didn’t feel like I was a terminator just killing for the heck of it; I felt like a human being who has morals. David Mason wasn’t a mindless hero, he was a man who wanted revenge for his father’s death.  Raul Menendez wasn’t a pure evil villain, he was a man who desperately wanted to avenge his sister.  Then the choices, oh the choices, they felt so great to make.  I could choose to save certain people, do my duty, or get myself killed.  I could even choose whether I wanted to capture or kill the man who was responsible for my in-game dad’s death. I won’t lie, the choices in this game made me replay it four times and even look up Youtube videos to see the consequences of certain choices.  Then, after all that, the endings made me tear up a little.  In the first ending I got, my uncle is killed by Menendez and then Menendez sets himself on fire in his sister’s grave.  My favorite ending is the one where you get to see your dad alive again after thinking that he was dead for the entire game.  After playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II for almost 2 years, I screamed a little when I heard Call of Duty: Black Ops III was coming out. But, boy, I was pretty disappointed.

(Spoilers Ahead, read at your own risk)

If I’m blunt here, the story was awful. It’s the same mundane story that our friend is actually the enemy, but the twist is that once we eliminate one of our allies we find out that another one is evil. There is no replayability at all, it’s the same campaign all over again with no difference except the opportunity to  play with new abilities. The characters were poorly developed.  The most connected I ever felt to my character was when his arms were getting ripped off and that was just because it’s cringe worthy. I also just felt like I was killing for sport (except for the fact that my gun seemed as powerful as a BB gun). The enemies were bullet sponges that felt impossible to kill without a high-impact assault rifle, which no one likes (except for those looking for a challenge).

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Now, after that rant about everything I hated about the story, there are some positive aspects. The premise behind the story was an intelligent way of showing the power of the human mind. Those who don’t know, your character has been dying throughout the duration of the story; the adventure was just a story your character’s mind came up with out of nowhere. Your adventure was some of your character’s last thoughts on Earth, that can be considered deep for a Call of Duty game.

Now overall, the game is great and I recommend that you play it with all your friends, but if you’re purchasing and playing the game for the story then you might want to look elsewhere. The campaign could have been better, but there are still many people out there that will definitely enjoy this story.