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Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil looks kind of epic

Is Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil an homage to BioShock?

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Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil

Is Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil an homage to BioShock?

It’s easy to lambast the Call of Duty series for its short campaigns, heavily scripted action and cookie-cutter releases. I do it all the time, actually.

Sometimes I wish they’d just bite the bullet and stop messing around with “Modern” this and “Advanced” that – just name it Call of Duty 2015, Call of Duty 2016 like an EA Sports franchise and be done with it – at least they’re honest about the fact it all comes out of one big incremental sausage machine.

See? I did it again with the absolute minimum of prompting. It’s just that easy.

What the Call of Duty games might lack in substance they often make up for in quantity and style, though – there’s always a tonne of extra modes and multiplayer fun to be had, combined with Hollywood flair and massive production values – and Black Ops 3 looks to have both of those in absolute spades.

Case in point: Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil, otherwise known as Black Ops 3: Zombies.

Call of Duty’s zombie mode, originally a silly diversion in Call of Duty: World at War, has become a staple part of the series. Available as a four-player co-op – either online or split-screen, much like a certain Valve zombie-frag-em-up which shall remain nameless – and bristling with power-ups, frenetic action and new objectives, Zombies is usually one of the highlights of a Call of Duty title.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Zombies has taken the regular zombie mode and supercharged it – so much so, that it’s now worthy of a proper title all of its own – with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: Zombies – Shadows of Evil, to give it its full name*.

So what makes Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil quite so special?

First of all, the setting looks amazing. Away from the hyper-modern world of Oorah grunts in mechanical exoskeletons, leaping buildings in single bounds and having frankly ludicrous firefights on a space station, Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil has a 1940s film-noir feel to it.

Second, it’s got a ridiculously impressive cast – Jeff Goldblum, Heather Graham, Ron Perlman and Robert Picardo, to be precise – which alludes to the sort of effort that’s been poured into Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil, something that used to be little more than a minigame.

And third, well, you’ve seen the trailer – somebody at Activision has basically decided to make an homage to BioShock, and sneak it into a Call of Duty game under the anything-goes zombie mode – there’s a fine line between insanity and genius, but I’m going for the latter on this one.

Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil looks epic.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (including Black Ops 3: Shadows of Evil) is released on November 6 2015.

Pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 from Amazon now.

* That’s nearly as stupid a title as Batman: Arkham Knight – Batgirl: A Matter of Family.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.