Call of Duty: Black Ops III is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. It is the twelfth entry in the Call of Duty series and the sequel to the 2012 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II. It was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 6, 2015. A feature-limited version developed by Beenox and Mercenary Technology that only supports multiplayer modes was released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and was also the final Call of Duty title released on those platforms.
Black Ops III takes place in 2065, 40 years after the events of Black Ops II, in a world facing upheaval from climate change and new technologies. Similar to its predecessors, the story follows a group of black ops soldiers. The game’s campaign is designed to support 4-player cooperative gameplay, allowing for bigger, more open level design and less corridor shooting. As the player character is cybernetically enhanced, players have access to various special activities. The game also features a standalone Zombies mode, and a “Nightmares” mode which replaces all enemies as zombies.
Announced on April 26, 2015, the game is the first Call of Duty video game released after Activision parted with Microsoft Studios and partnered with Sony Computer Entertainment, which secured the timed exclusivity of the game’s downloadable content. Upon release, the game received generally positive reviews from critics, albeit slightly lower than the previous two games in the sub-series, with critics praising the gameplay, Zombies mode, and content. However, it was criticized for its story, absence of fan favorite story mode characters, and its lack of innovation. The seventh-generation console versions in particular were criticized for the lack of a campaign and numerous features, as well as it being online-only. It was a commercial success, with it becoming the top-selling retail game in the US in 2015, and one of the most successful titles released for the eighth generation of video game consoles. A sequel, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, will be released in October 2018.