Today I almost cried. Almost, but I held those tears back like a real tough guy and retreated to garden for a smoke and held my nerve while my partner stood in the kitchen, baffled at my response.
Let’s backtrack a little.
Activision didn’t send The Games Cabin a review code for Black Ops 3. No biggie, I understand that there’s only a finite amount of codes to be distributed to reviewers and such. No hard feelings. When this happens I’ll usually make sure I go out and get a copy of whatever game it is on release day, or if it’s possible, a day or two before release. Failing that, one of the other Cabin lads will do a review on the game. We make things work.
Today I’ve been a little sick so I’ve been resting up on the sofa with lots of Early Grey, lots of Modern Family, and a little bit of working on the laptop. My partner suggested getting me a little treat to make me feel better, to which I nodded and gave a raspy “yesthhh”. I like to lord it up a bit when I’m poorly, it usually works in my favour. So off she went into town and off into the shops. I got a text saying “Black Ops 3 is only 49 euros” so I tapped back my reply and resumed feeling sorry for myself.
A couple of hour passed by and a couple of hundred bloody Euros left the bank, the good lady returned with my game. I was actually quite excited at this point as I’d been looking forward to giving Treyarch’s new game a go. I’ve always been a fan of Treyarch’s take on the Call of Duty franchise, more so than what Infinity Ward churned out.
My nursing woman placed down the little plastic bag next to me before taking my temperature. If I wasn’t burning up before, I was most definitely getting hot and bothered as I peeled open the little shopping bag. I didn’t even need to look inside. I knew what lay within that bag; I could already see the outline of a box that wasn’t the same size as a PS4 case. I pulled the box out and to my horror, Black Ops 3 for the PS3 was in my hand.
“What the hell?!” I exclaimed, my graspy voice finding strength through anger. It turns out my partner isn’t really all that clued up when it comes to games and what not, so when she saw a cheaper copy, she assumed I’d be happy with it. Normally, yes, I love saving money, but not at the expense of 1/3rd of a game. So off I went, storming out into the garden to find solace in cancer sticks. (It’s a bad habit, I know, and I’m working on quitting. Nicotine gum is brutal, though.)
Black Ops 3 doesn’t ship with a campaign on the last-gen consoles. Instead you only get the online multiplayer and zombies modes. I booted it up and waited and hour for the downloads and installs to finish. Eventually all was ready to go and there I was, DualShock 3 in hand, waiting to play my expensive, last-gen disaster.
And that’s what it is. Truly. It’s rubbish. I cannot fathom how Activision looked at this as a product and decided it was still fit to go on a store shelf. Yeah, they knocked down the price by a few quid, but for the Christ’s sake, it’s still nothing short of a rip-off. The menus are horribly slow and online play is nothing on previous editions. It doesn’t look good and it doesn’t run smoothly. Call of Duty’s appeal is the smooth 60fps that makes competitive play so, well, competitive. The fact that Black Ops 3 runs well below that for the majority is a shocker. The zombies mode is a little better and I gave it a few minutes of my time before taking the disc out and putting it back in its case.
Personally, I play the Call of Duty games for their stories. I know, I’m in the minority on that one, but I really enjoyed Black Ops and Black Ops 2’s stories and I was hoping to find out the conclusion to the trilogy with Black Ops 3. For anyone else that receives this game by accident, I feel for you. Just make sure you have your receipt and you should be able to return it with little fuss – most of the time. That’s exactly what I did. Fueled by anger, my illness was now a background problem: I needed my money back.
Thankfully I’m now in possession of a next-gen copy of Black Ops 3 and I’ll be giving the campaign a good going over this weekend before going online to be told that my English accent is gay and that my mother is a whore. I’ve actually kind of missed it…
The bottom line is that Black Ops 3 on PS3/Xbox 360 is crap and it’s an insult that it’s being sold at such a high price. If you’re still stuck with a last-gen machine, please, don’t waste your money. It’s not going to be like previous games and the new additions don’t make up for the severe losses. Save that money for buying a PS4, Xbox One or a decent gaming PC. If you are going to get Black Ops 3 for the PS4, Xbox One or PC, perhaps you’ll avoid the same fate that befell me by picking it up yourself.