If you’re like me, you most likely head right to the multiplayer portion of any Call of Duty title upon booting up the game. Though CoD is known for delivering action-packed, thrilling single player campaigns (I’m still awestruck with the first Black Ops, the best campaign in the series) with Tom Clancy-esque narrative, it’s no secret that the main draw is the multiplayer portion of the games. Given that you can finish any CoD campaign in less than a few hours, it’s clear where the developers expect players to find longevity with the game until another title is released the following year.
Activision may be getting the hint of this, as it has released the Black Ops 3 Starter Pack this week on Steam. Instead of providing players with the complete “BlOps 3” experience, the Starter Pack provides a standalone (though slightly watered down) multiplayer client. The black market, free-run modes, weapons paint shop, gunsmith and emblem editor will also be available to players who purchase the standard edition. Players will only be able to reach rank 55 online (no prestige) and will not have access to the hugely-popular Zombies mode. This omission may seem a bit odd as many fans of the series now consider the Zombies campaign integral to the multiplayer experience. Given that there are strong hints that Zombies may become its own “franchise within a franchise”, it comes as no surprise that it is not included in the full package.
This is similar to the multiplayer-only offerings Sony has released on the PS3 digitally with Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3, though the latter two were provided free of charge. Though the free multiplayer offerings were rather stripped down, they offered gamers a chance to enjoy the more popular parts of the game without having to invest in the full title. Given that I personally never touched Uncharted 3’s single player for all the years I have owned a copy, I can see the application.
The starter pack is only available until February 29th, so hop on this as soon as you can. Though the gameplay seems derivative at this point, Black Ops III is one of the more unique entries in the series and is still a blast to play for veterans and beginners alike. For those who wish to have the complete Black Ops 3 experience, Activision will be offering 33% off the standard edition of the game, along with a 20% discount on the deluxe edition. Given the game is still being sold on consoles at full price, this is a real steal for a game that’s only a few months old and still selling hot both in stores and digitally.