I Guess CODBLOPS Is Basically Unreal Tournament Now

Wall-jumping and robo-soldiers and crazy weapons and teleporters and OTT awards for doing almost anything: whatever would Captain Price think? Me, I’m sort of relieved that Call of Duty Black Ops III [official site] has given up all pretence of military realism and entirely embraced science-fictional absurdity: it’s as though the series is finally allowing itself to be what it’s wanted to be for years. This trailer is focused on the hectic-looking multiplayer, which conjures up Titanfall as well as UT, but I sorely hope there’s a healthy dose of deliberate silliness in the campaign too.

Very important: the sound effect at approximately 1m28s.

Y’know, I know I get my hipster badge and gun taken away from me if I express anything other than cold contempt for Call of Duty, but that looks like a giggle. I’ll be absolutely terrible at it, of course, but if it feels like a party I won’t mind. It’s probably a kick in the teeth for poor old Brink and Titanfall, which had a more ambitious go at a similar things, but I’m glad to see the biggest fish taking this many liberties. Not just in terms of silliness, but in terms of pushing movement, that most vital aspect of a good first-person shooter, front and centre rather than a mere means to an end.

I wonder if this is a deliberate attempt to make Black Ops more of its own sub-franchise, able to stand alongside Modern Warfare and, I guess, Ghosts rather than merely the on-off year schedule? There’s probably room for it, though it means splitting the audience vote.

It’s harder to get cautiously optimistic about stuff like “TAP THE POWER OF THE WEAPON PAINTSHOP TO GIVE YOUR WEAPON A SIGNATURE LOOK”, however, but then again people go nuts for weapon skins in CSGO.

Game’s out November 6, BTW.


  1. Mathute87 says:

    Screw it, I will buy it and make it my first CoD since Blops II, and I’m not into zombies at all.

  2. tangoliber says:

    At this point, how would they even be able to go back to past or modern warfare?

    The movement here looks better than the Kevin Spacey one, which did not deserve its comparisons to Titanfall. The important thing will be whether or not you can build speed by chaining wall-jumps together. If you can’t, it won’t feel as good as Titanfall, and its sustained pinball movement.

    Maybe next time they can just add strafe jumping.

    • thestjohn says:

      It looks a lot more like Titanfall true, but it does seem a lot slower. You’re right that the sustained movement in Titanfall is what makes it feel good, and I’m not seeing that here, although the wall-running in this does look alright.

  3. TimRobbins says:

    I was going to say your comparison to unreal tournament may make this the first call of duty I buy since 2, but considering activision never gives them a real sale on pc… probably not.

  4. Xocrates says:

    You know, with shooters going back to increasingly over the top action, I wonder how long it will take until people start clamouring for more “old-school” military shooters.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      They already have. Insurgency markets itself as having old-school gameplay.

    • ButterflyRogers says:

      It’s a on going tug of war.

  5. Troubletcat says:

    I really wish the gaming press would stop comparing every game with a greater focus on movement than CoD4 to UT.

    This does not look anything like UT. People are dying instantly from hitscan auto weapons, for starters. I expect, like every other Cowondoots in recent memory, the skill ceiling will be about 5ft above the floor and the skill floor will be at the bottom of a deep sea trench. It strikes me as a sick joke that games like this get taken seriously as competitive platforms. I’m exaggerating slightly there, but like I said, this really bugs me.

    And that’s not to say the game won’t be a lot of fun. I actually like these kinds of games because they’re good for a “turn your brain off and see heads explode” kind of buzz. But that’s not what UT is to me and the comparison upsets me because there are so few games these days that ACTUALLY capture the depth and feel of old-school arena shooters. There are a few examples but none of them are doing well or getting much press attention. That’s okay I guess. I guess the genre is dying in the face of a much more accessible breed of shooter. That’s the way the world works. Just please don’t pee on the corpse.

    • XX says:

      Wot Troubletcat said. Its still nice that there is more focus on movement instead of this point n click adventure genre that fps seemed to turn into over the past x yrs.

      I wonder if classic arena shooters haven’t had there day. High skill ceilings generally mean a steep learning curve. Those communities starve themselves of new blood. New games don’t help because all the recondite buggery you need to know to be good at these shooters is mostly transferable and it makes for a brutal environment for all but the most masochistic new player. Maybe we don’t need/want a game like UT or Quake, maybe we need/want a game sufficiently different to reset, sufficiently complex to be interesting but also sufficiently accessible not to have the primary producers (you know, the ones buying the compendium) entirely devoured.

      ps. I’m not sure whether to be depressed that FoV sliders are listed as a sort of feature (presumably along with adjustable sensitivity or the ability to turn mouse accel off!) or sort of relieved that at least they now recognise that it is a thing.

      • KDR_11k says:

        I dunno, high skill ceilings and complexity are often brought up as potential audience killers but then there are the DotA-likes…

        • kevinspell says:

          CS:GO? By far the most played MP FPS these days…

          • XX says:

            I always assumed cs:go was one of those games nobody played but a lot of people watched. Looking at the Steam Chart it seems I was quite wrong. Idk, it isn’t “my kind” of shooter, so I tend to forget about it when I complain about the state of the fps genre (although I do enjoy watching it).

          • Troubletcat says:

            CS:GO’s a great shooter with a lot of depth ( and pretty much the only current shooter I play more than utterly passively), but it’s got a very different feel from games like UT as well.

            As for MOBAs… Those games are really different in terms of HOW, exactly they’re challenging, and I think they’re actually much more accessible. i.e, you can watch a bunch of youtube tutorials on how to play a character in DotA 2 and you can then go into the game and do reasonably well just thanks to a little theoretical knowledge. To get really, really good requires a good team and lots of practice. But in arena shooters you have to practice for dozens of hours until you can even move properly (in CS:GO you need to do this for shooting more than moving, I think that’s one of the key differences between CS and Quake/UT-like competitive shooters), and that’s assuming you take the same effort to research as you did with the MOBA. The barrier of entry is actually much higher.

    • kevinspell says:

      Comparing this to UT… I wonder when was the last time the author of this text has played UT. If he really is telling the truth and he sucks in a game like this, I’m gonna go and guess he never played UT.

    • shadybearfaced says:

      Honestly, I feel like the author was referring more to the player skins or something than anything else. The gameplay really doesn’t seem all that UT-y

  6. SuicideKing says:

    Well, this looked fun!

  7. clippa says:

    FOV slider and dedicated servers have been confirmed for PC, however, there has been no mention of a server browser :(
    Every treyarch cod had one until they decided to ditch it for some unexplainable reason in black ops 2. I can’t see them adding it back in.

  8. merbert says:

    Just watched the trailer.

    What a load of absolute bollocks.

    I am so over this kinda FPS nonsense.

    • bartman says:

      Glad its not just me. Call of dudebro became very old a very long time ago.

  9. skorpeyon says:

    It looks like a lot of fun, but I cannot handle the ultra-twitch speed at which games like this need to be played. I did, however, before clicking play say “Can I play as a robot?” and was pleasantly surprised that I could. I wouldn’t say it’s quite UT since the weapons and high damage limits are what made UT in my opinion. It’s closer, but I highly doubt they’ll ever make it as hard to kill a person (on average, thanks to health powerups and shields). It just means this game isn’t really my kind of game. I can see getting one-hit-killed with a sniper rifle, but with a more basic weapon in the older FPS games you plainly couldn’t single-shot someone with full health, not even with a headshot.

  10. gnalvl says:

    All the movement gimmicks in the world won’t make it like UT if plebian hitscan point-and-click bullet spam still deals high damage, with absolutely no emphasis on low-velocity, high skill projectiles like the rockets, grenades, and plasma of UT and Quake.

    That’s to say nothing of the resource control game instilled by weapon/powerup/health pickups which is completely absent from COD…

  11. loldrums says:

    I’ve had more luck finding a game in the Unreal Tournament alpha than in CoD:AW… I didn’t realize the PC crowd had moved on entirely when I picked it up for $9 the other day. It seemed like a bargain but turned out to be a total waste.

    Looks like there’s a modest crowd playing now, actually. Maybe I’ll try and get in a quick game before they all disappear again.
    link to steamcharts.com

    • clippa says:

      Advanced warfare was peer to peer so most pc gamers didn’t even bother picking it up.
      Nowadays, since you have so many multiplayer fps that are made specifically for pc, with all of the standard essential features you’d expect, and are often free to play, a 40 quid, half arsed port of some made for console shooter is never going to have much of a player base a few months after release.
      After cod 4, cod just went to the dogs. Treyarch make much more of an effort than the other lot nowadays but the mouse control on black ops 2 was pretty woeful, so I’m not holding my breath.
      I just have such fond memories of playing cod 4 that I keep coming back every year and getting my hand bitten again.

      have you tried dirty bomb yet? It’s a thing of beauty.
      link to store.steampowered.com

      I think I was the only person in the world who adored brink and I was so sad to see the playerbase getting lower and lower every day. Dirty bomb is pretty much brink 2, it’s free to play so lots of people playing, and it’s fantastic.

  12. Grey_Ghost says:

    I’m confused, does Auto-Aim come built in to this game?

  13. Daemoroth says:

    Yeah, just like UT, apart from the fact that ADS is a thing, and most kills seem to be one/two-hitters, with no opportunity for a proper “duel”, the victor being the one who saw his opponent first. Limited (Static) spawning weapons with no pickups? Side-arms doing the same amount of damage as the main weapons (By virtue of EVERY weapon shown in the trailer show a maximum of two hits for a kill)?

    This is COD, through-and-through. Shouldn’t have even mentioned UT at all in the article, never mind the damn title.

  14. Apocalypse says:

    Like UT? Really? It still super slow, even when the new toys are nice and make the gameplay more liquid, it still needs to ramp up the speed about 100% to become close to ut, and 300% to become close to the style of games I like ;-)