I recently got a PS4 and bundled with it came this terrible next installment of the Call of Duty franchise. If I could have gotten the system with a few bucks knocked off and without this retarded game, I’d have done so.
I love shooters. I don’t play them often. In fact, I don’t particularly play video games much and I confess I have no particular love for the concept. That said, however, pulverizing fake people on screen and reducing them to screaming, bloody chunks is admittedly a soft spot I’ve kept over the years. Busting heads open and running people over is a great stress reliever, especially when you’re about halfway through a bottle of bourbon and it’s three in the morning.
There’s only one thing you need to make an entertaining shooter, and that’s ease of playability. Shooters exist for one purpose: allowing the player to indulge in mass-slaughter in some form. It doesn’t need a story, but sometimes just enough of one is good to keep the player occupied through level after level of blood-soaked mayhem. It doesn’t need great sound effects, but realistic gunshots and listening to your enemies scream and beg for mercy before you blow them away is icing on the cake. Good graphics are also nice to have, but even things like the extensive Brutal Doom remodding remains incredibly entertaining despite its outdated graphics engine. But you can have all of these things—great graphics, sound design, and a story—but if the game isn’t easy to jump into and play, then the game has failed in the one job it’s supposed to do.
Black Ops 3 fails in this one job.
Sure, okay. The graphics are pretty good. But at this point, who cares? The only next wow-factor in graphical upgrades that the video game industry will be able to deliver is a purely holographic experience. Everything short is essentially stuck in the same mired hellhole of pseudo-realism that has plagued all CG work since James Cameron’s movie Avatar. Making the movements of characters more lifelike, using more motion capture, and perfecting the way fluids and dust motes look are nothing short of just simple tricks that do nothing, at this point, to improve gameplay. This isn’t 1999, when the difference between a shooter like Doom and one like Quake was like realizing that pop-up books existed. This is 2016, when the difference in how a game like GTA V looks on the Xbox 360 and on the PS4 is so minute that only contrarian nerds will insist on how the shortcomings of one actually affect gameplay.
Okay. Sure. Okay. So it has a story. Why do stories even exist in video games? They’re never well-written. They’re rarely even entertaining. If they’re just there to give us something to watch while the level loads, then a simple image with some text accompanying it suffices. I don’t want to hear some badly-acted and poorly drawn up scripts animated by second-rate Hollywood-wannabes shitting up my playtime. I just want to point an imaginary gun at imaginary things and kill them. That this is even up for debate is perhaps the most mind-numbing aspect of the modern gaming scene.
So what does this terrible waste of time and money offer for playability, then? Well some of the vibrations in the controller when you fire your gun are ok. The way blood shoots out of bullet wounds is… well, not even passable, honestly. In fact it’s about as entertaining to play as watching paint dry. Or huffing glue. This game is a smoky dumpster fire behind that run-down Seven Eleven on the corner. Nothing about it is good.
The truth is, I played this game for about five minutes. One of those minutes was spent playing the game. The rest of the time was spent waiting for its retarded and un-skippable intro cutscenes to end. This game fucking sucks.