Cop A Load Of Cod In Blops 3’s Multiplayer Standalone

Activision are finally trying splitting Call of Duty’s many modes into separate games, for folks who are only interested in part or want a cheap way in, though they’ve started in a baffling way. Last night they released a standalone version of the Cod Blops 3 [official site] ranked multiplayer which costs only £11.59/14,49€/$14.99 – about a quarter of the full game’s price. I’d hoped for a standalone Zombies mode, but what’s odd about this release is the restrictions. For starters, Activision will only sell this version until the end of February.

First, what it is: the Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Multiplayer Starter Pack contains Cod Blops 3’s ranked multiplayer mode, along with the gun-decorating Weapon Paint Shop, Gunsmith weapon customisation, the Arena ranking, the Freerun parkour time trials, the Theater replay viewer, and the Black Market with its bonus cosmetic goodies.

It doesn’t include the story campaign, obviously, or Zombies mode, the Nightmares campaign, custom games, access to the upcoming mod tools or anything made in them, the ability to use the upcoming unranked server browser, or the Dead Ops Arcade II mode. Starter Pack players also can’t ‘Prestige’ their profile or use ‘Fresh Start’ to reset their progress.

Starter Packers can buy DLC to play on their new maps, but they can’t play the Zombies mode maps included with each DLC release unless they upgrade to the full version. The upgrade cost is the full price minus the Starter Pack’s price.

Check the FAQ if you’re curious to know more.

If you’re interested, head on over to Steam. Activision will pull the Starter Pack from sale on February 29th. This is a short experiment, then, and… it’s a funny one, isn’t it?

I do like the idea of portioning modes out, but as fully-featured standalone games. Blocking things like Prestiging and the unranked server browser, and not having discounted DLCs (‘cos Zombie maps), makes it feel slightly less than that. I’m sure someone could happily play the Starter Pack for yonks, but it seems Activision intend it to be the first step towards buying the full game rather than a full standalone. That’s a shame. But hey, it’s £11.59 for a fair chunk of game.


  1. Minglefingler says:

    Calling it a starter pack makes it sounds like one of those pay to win gun bundles that multiplayer games love to insist are only there to help people save time. It popped up when I opened Steam and I closed the window assuming that’s what it was.

    • Flopdong says:

      I used to hate the concept of the ‘pay to win’ unlock system, but as I get more and more responsibilities and less time to dedicate to games, I have to admit it gets more tempting. If I’m only going to play the multiplayer for about 10 hours before never touching it again, I don’t want to have to reach level 50 just to use the carbine. Especially if the game is well balanced and higher level weapons don’t necessarily give an advantage.

      • dontnormally says:

        The point is that they don’t need to be designed this way. Progression is artificially slowed down to a purposefully barely standable pace with the intent to slightly frustrate you into opening your wallet.

  2. Mortivore says:

    15 euro for the multiplayer component? I might just lay aside my pride and buy into this.

    Then again; if you’d want a full experience one would have to buy into the DLC which are what? Three times 15 bucks a peice?

  3. Zankman says:

    The lack of unranked server browsing is pretty big.

    Also, they get away with selling so much DLC…

    Solid option, but, could be better.

  4. ZippyLemon says:

    Do you write any poetry or rap Alice? I’m sure I notice a higher degree of rhyme in your writing than chance alone would dictate…

  5. Fropp says:

    I think it’s a great idea, kudos to Treyarch.

    You snobs that sneer at Call of Duty (like I used to) – give it a go, you may enjoy it! It’s mindless fun like TF2. For £11 you can’t complain…

    • Spuzzell says:

      If you like being sworn at by 12 year old boys while someone else aims for you then sure, £12 is a bargain.

  6. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Did they ever fix the poor design choice in zombie mode where it is better to go for chest shots rather than headshots?

  7. Unsheep says:

    Star Citizen and H1Z1 are doing this as well.

    Its a great idea that benefits both gamers and devs&pubs: as gamers we only have to pay content we are actually going to use, and devs&pubs will be able to reach new customers without sacrificing the old ones.

    They might also sell more units at launch since fewer people would be waiting for a sale, in order to afford the limited content they want. Recuperating costs early is, as we all know, very important in this industry.

  8. clorex says:

    I wish they would make singleplayer campaign standalones.

    • Premium User Badge

      Serrit says:

      aye was thinking the same… guess that’s less of a hook into microtransactions and continued play though so not a “business priority”.

  9. derbefrier says:

    not a bad deal. I enjoy CoD multiplayer in short bursts but not really enough to spend 60 bucks when there are so many other games to choose from but this price is sitting right at my impulse buy level. I would have rather it included all the mulitplayer components instead of just the bare minimum steps.

  10. Cronstintein says:

    As someone who likes the PvP modes but has ZERO interest in the campaign, I like this plan.

  11. ferocious says:

    I can’t help but think this is a bad thing. Any hackers that have been banned now have a really easy way to keep returning over and over again for the low low price of £11…

    Not good at all!

  12. Frank V. says:

    I thought this was a pretty reasonable deal to bash around in MP without buying the full game that I would be replaced in year…. The problem is, is most game modes are dead. You’re pretty much limited to deathmatch and hardpoint. Baring those, nothing else to play. Anyway, refund requested (responsibility) and granted. Don’t want the game if I can do kill confirmed or some of the other “unique” CoD game modes.