Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 makes some extensive changes to the game’s campaign mode. Although you still go through a series of levels that, together, tell a story, there is a lot more happening in each level and a huge pile of reasons to go through them again and again.
It is all a little intimidating when you start up the game for the first time. You cannot make any decisions that stop your campaign progress in Black Ops III, but there are things you can do to make life a little easier.
1. Even if you are a lone wolf, play online
There is a save feature in Call of Duty: Black Ops III that keeps your offline play save progress separate from your online save progress. Majority of people will not run into any problems here, since the game defaults to online mode. However, there are specific features – such as the Weapon Builder and cooperative play – that are not available if you are set to local. Unless you do not have internet connected to your console, there is everything to gain and nothing to lose from just playing online and ignoring the “local” mode.
2. Make it Challenging
More than it ever has in previous Call of Duty games, difficulty matters in Black Ops III. Each time you go through a level, you earn experience points from both special “Accolades” challenges and moment-to-moment play that, in turn, level you up. The higher your level, the more abilities and weapons you can unlock for use.
Above the default Regular, there are three difficulty settings, and each one provides XP bonuses. You earn 50% more for playing on the new Realistic setting, 25% more for playing on Veteran, and 10% more for playing on Hardened. Try to challenge yourself by playing on Hardened if you have no past experience with first-person shooters.
3. Choose a cyber core and go with it
Cyber cores control which special abilities you have access to at any given moment. There are three categories: Chaos (most effective against humans), Martial (abilities that enhance your physical capabilities), and Control (most effective against robotics/robots). You can only use one of these at a time, but you can switch it up whenever you choose a loadout or locate a Mobile Armory station.
As you level up, you earn a currency to unlock Cyber Cores, Fabrication kits, Cyber Core upgrades, grenades, weapons and Tac-Rigs.
Of the three upgrade trees, Control is the most useful. Possessing the ability to convert robot foes into allies and take control of enemy drones is useful during missions. However, you should go with whatever suits your style of play.
4. Use Tactical mode
Your Call of Duty: Black Ops III soldier has an array of special abilities, thanks to cybernetic augmentations – and Tactical mode is one of them. Pressing right on the D-pad prompts a special view that gives additional information to your heads-up display; everything from outlines of enemies hiding behind walls to blast radius for a thrown grenade.
By default, Tactical mode is always switched off when you first begin a mission.
Tactical Rigs are new. They power specific cybernetic augmentations that are not covered by Cyber Core abilities.
The Sensory Bluffer reduces the physical effects of explosives and flashbangs, and reduces how much your aim is affected when you take damage. You are also able to upgrade it to minimize the damage you take from explosives – which can be very useful because a lot of grenades come your way.
6. Use ammo-boxes
Ammo is very easy to find in Black Ops III. You might not have the ability to use enemy weapons (unless you have Copycat equipped), but walking over a dead enemy’s firearm automatically refills some amount of your ammo. Grenades are very dangerous tools of destruction in Black Ops III and the ammo-box equips you with them.
This is very useful in an encounter that requires you to dig in and defend a position. The small ammo-boxes are for single use, but the bigger ones can be used again and again.