It’s always so quick, isn’t it? Call of Duty: Black Ops III isn’t even a year old yet, and it’s already been eclipsed in buzz by Infinite Warfare and the news that Modern Warfare Remastered will come with certain special editions of Infinity Ward’s newest game. Having been the title with the highest sales of any last year, though, it’s still got plenty of players enjoying the action it has to offer — and so Treyarch and Activision have seen fit to see it off with its fourth and last DLC pack, titled Salvation.
Salvation comes with four new maps and the final part of the Zombies Origins saga; at Call of Duty XP 2016, I got a look at one of the multiplayer maps called Outlaw. This is a tribute to a fan-favorite Black Ops II map called Standoff, and its Wild West theme is undeniably cool. Despite my lack of experience with Treyarch’s most recent title, I’d already had the chance to practice my Call of Duty chops in a number of other previews, from the main multiplayer in the two games mentioned above to the Zombies in Spaceland mode in the former.
Outlaw is a pretty huge map, which made it an exciting and more tense experience than me for the ones in close quarters. I observed in my Modern Warfare Remastered preview that today’s shooters — with Black Ops III serving as a prime example — are often unbelievably fast and allow players more traversal options than ever before. Because of this, the ability to hide, sneak around and use the terrain to your advantage can often seem like a product of a bygone era; anyone can get anywhere at any time, which is exciting and liberating, but it also can reduce the tension that comes when you have to work with movement limitations.
It seems the solution to that is to spread the map out as much as possible, then, and it was immediately obvious to me why Black Ops II’s Standoff must have been such a hit. Beyond just the neat aesthetic of roaming around a dusty old Western town, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Players can climb inside various houses, perch themselves in the windows, sneak around dark back alleys and generally blow others away before they even know they’re coming.
Out of all my time with the Call of Duty games at XP 2016, the Black Ops III DLC had the most exhilarating moment; I snuck up the stairs to blow away two snipers who’d been picking off my team from the window, then activated Firebreak’s Purifier as I plummeted out the window — only to use it on another unsuspecting bystander, who was burned to a crisp before he had time to react. I tend to go on and on about how terrible I am at these games (if only because it’s actually kind of hilarious how bad I continue to be), but that was a really exciting and fun moment for me. I could immediately see the potential for players of all kinds to enjoy the Outlaw map’s large space and winding paths.
As Call of Duty: Black Ops III makes way for the newest kid on the block, Infinite Warfare, it’s nice to see some quality DLC still making its way to the game. I can’t speak for the other three multiplayer maps or the Zombie Origins conclusion, of course, but what I did play was an excellent map that led to a lot of good fun between me and the other members of the press that were there (and not just because I happened to do particularly well this time, although that certainly helped a bit). For those who really love Black Ops III and/or resent the direction taken by the futuristic Infinite Warfare, it seems there’ll be more material to extend the life of Treyarch’s latest project.
Couldn’t make it out to Los Angeles this year for Call of Duty XP 2016? Don’t worry, We Got This Covered did, and we’ve got the latest on all there was to see at Activision’s big CoD bonanza: check out our preview of the multiplayer in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, read about our time with the new combat rigs in Infinite Warfare, see what we liked (and really didn’t like) about the Zombies in Spaceland mode, and strap on PSVR with us as we go over the new Jackal Assault VR experience.