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Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Eclipse
Score: 80%
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2 (Local); 2 - 18 (Online)
Genre: Action/First Person Shooter/Online

Another Quarter, Another Fifteen Dollars:

Summer 2016 has kicked off, and what better way to pad out a software drought than downloadable content? Well, I actually can think of better ways, but whatever -- Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Eclipse is here to inject a bit more life and content into the latest installment of the perennial shooter franchise. It's becoming difficult to review these without sounding like a broken record, but in terms of quality and value, things haven't changed for either since this business model was adopted. People don't tend to be on the fence for these kinds of releases; they know exactly what's on offer and they have their own idea of whether or not it's worth taking the plunge. Eclipse is not out to change that, and the result is a very standard, risk-free package.


Competitive multiplayer has been the lifeblood of the Call of Duty franchise since the generation-defining Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. While the Campaigns usually accomplish more than a simple checked-off box, they generally aren't what people return to over the years. It's the quick-fix rapid fire online action. Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Eclipse freshens up the map list with four brand new themed arenas.

Spire is an airport in the sky. You read that right. The purpose and logistics of such a facility escape me, but it makes for an interesting combat locale. Its vertiginous heights combine with a slick, futuristic aesthetic to sell the illusion, and it does so well enough. I don't think there are quite enough opportunities to fall to your death, however; that would have made things a bit more interesting. But of course, this is Call of Duty, and the shooting is far more important than the movement.

Verge is a post-apocalyptic playground inspired by the likes of Mad Max, though it's a great deal more colorful than any of those movies. Everything looks like it's been jerry-rigged to make some kind of mad architectural sense. On top of that, it actually looks lived in, which is an unsettling thought.

Knockout is a lovely Asian-inspired setting that delivers a rather common contrast between the delicate beauty of cherry trees and pagodas against mass murder. It's here that your combat skills are put to their most comprehensive test, as the map undergoes some pretty radical changes as you move throughout it.

Rift is a facility positioned directly above a... you know, a rift. At the center of the map is a sizable fracture filled with molten rock. This zone is wide open, requiring anyone who dares to set foot in the general area to have either preternatural twitch skills or a death wish.


Zombies returns, but like in the last expansion, it plays it too safe. While I've found this mode duller and duller as the years went on, the core release's Shadows of Evil episode was a breath of fresh air. While this episode, Zetsubou no Shima, isn't particularly bad, it's simply content with the status quo. If you are, then you'll be happy with what Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Eclipse offers on that front.

The theming for this episode is a mysterious island in the Pacific on which our tenacious heroes have found themselves marooned. Conveniently enough, it just so happens to be the site of some serious wrongdoing, and from the get-go, you're dealing with the aftermath of Division 9's latest experiments...


If sixteen multiplayer maps and four Zombies levels sounds like it's worth half a hundred dollars, you should own the Season Pass for Call of Duty: Black Ops III; otherwise, you're wasting an extra ten if you buy them all in separate purchases.

My thoughts on Call of Duty's downloadable content scheme are not going to change, as the scheme itself isn't going to change. It works, however, and I can't fault good business. If you play Call of Duty year-round, go ahead and pick up Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Eclipse.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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