E3 2015 Debrief: Black Ops 3 Multiplayer Impressions – Thrust jump, Wall-running & more [Part 1]


E3 2015 has been and gone, and this year showcased Black Ops 3 Multiplayer for the first time. Over the course of the next few days, we’ll have several ‘E3 2015 Debrief’ articles and videos where we go in-depth on all things multiplayer.

First and foremost, a huge Thank You to Activision for inviting us out to E3 in LA – myself (Peter), Keshav and Victor attended this year (the first time we’ve all attended the same event).

Black Ops 3 is the third instalment in the Black Ops series, with the return of Treyarch after a 3 year absence. With Sledgehammer Games now in the development rotation, the next time we see Treyarch will be in 2018 once Black Ops 3 hits shelves.

We’ve had several hours of hands-on time with Black Ops 3 Multiplayer across multiple game modes and maps. We were of course playing on PlayStation 4 consoles given the recent exclusivity contract announcement. Going forward, DLC will be appearing first on PlayStation, followed by Xbox & PC.

Here’s a nice panoramic picture from inside the Call of Duty booth at E3:


Let’s jump into movement within Black Ops 3. Keshav has already put together a great article you can check out here.

There’s no denying the Call of Duty Community had an element of concern when the Black Ops 3 Reveal Trailer initially dropped. From the limited gameplay seen, many assumed the exo-suit from Advanced Warfare was making a return in an even bigger fashion, with the addition of wall-running.
Yes, Black Ops 3 does have a thrust jump ability, and you can definitely run along walls, but the effectiveness of both abilities is hugely different to the exo-suit in Advanced Warfare.

If you don’t like reading, we’d suggest watching the 2 videos below!

The thrust jump ability in Black Ops 3 is a very toned down version of the exo-jump ability in Advanced Warfare. Where it might take barely a second to reach peak double jump altitude in Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 is closer to 2+ seconds. Let’s not forget you can’t even double jump in Black Ops 3 – it’s more of a ‘gradual’ climb vs. a boost jump.
By the time you’ve exhausted your power meter when thrust jumping, you’ve barely exceeded 4 or so metres off the ground before falling again.

So, what’s the point of the thrust jump? To be honest, it’s merely there to keep you ‘moving’ across the map. Instead of walking around a car, you can ‘move over’ a car. Instead of climbing a short flight of stairs, you can thrust to the ledge on the side instead.
Thrust jumping will rarely allow you to reach the second floor of a building, and it definitely won’t get you from one rooftop to another – you’ll simply fail to even come close.

It’s also not very effective in gunfights, simply because the thrust jump is gradual and slow in contrast to the exo-suit boost jump in Advanced Warfare. You might occasionally ‘get away’ from an enemy if you react quickly enough, but by the time you’ve started climbing in front of an enemy, you’re basically dead.

You might be noticing a pattern here – yes, Black Ops 3 is definitely a more grounded Call of Duty – in fact, the YouTube gameplay videos speak for themselves. You’ll find yourself running along the ground a whole lot more in Black Ops 3, and this feels surprisingly refreshing.
You’ll definitely find yourself double tapping A/X for the first hour or so expecting a double jump, but once you’ve become accustomed to the Black Ops 3 style of gameplay, you soon convert. Black Ops 3 feeling ‘slow’ after playing Advanced Warfare was an initial concern, but it didn’t feel slow by any means – if anything, quite the opposite.

Since Black Ops 3 is definitely more toned down vs Advanced Warfare when it comes to movement, it did feel a tad ‘clunky’ at first, but this soon wears off after an hour or so. Additionally, Black Ops 3 has unlimited sprint which increases the ‘base pace’ of the game.

With the thrust jump ability combined with unlimited sprint, and map layouts accommodating the new movement mechanics, you never feel far away from your next gun battle. Black Ops 3 is definitely a fast game in that respect, with an evident emphasis on gun-on-gun battles. In fact, high scoring games seemed to be more common during the Community capture sessions that took place during E3. Getting a 40+ kill game definitely felt more achievable vs Advanced Warfare during the capture sessions last year.

You also have a power slide ability somewhat similar to Advanced Warfare which gives you a noticeable jolt forward. You can also adjust the direction of travel mid-slide to assist in navigating a corner, or even a doorway. It’s surprisingly useful in evading enemies in the right circumstances, as the slide is quite aggressive in terms of speed and motion – much quicker than the thrust jump.

Both the thrust jump and power slide will draw energy from your power meter, which is showcased within a white bar towards the lower center part of the screen. Energy depletion is rather quick in Black Ops 3, meaning you need to be intelligent with your movement actions – that being said, it also recharges quickly enough.

Wall running is also making an appearance – a system many have compared to Titanfall. Although it’s the same concept, it’s significance in Black Ops 3 is definitely toned down also. Wall running is effective in numerous areas, and acts as a tactical movement option, but most definitely not necessary to move around the map.
For example, there are some instances where you can flank on the ‘outer edge’ of the map, not normally accessible by foot in order to bypass a particular pathway. This is useful for either taking people out by surprise from behind, or merely evading potential action for a short period of time.

Personally I didn’t find myself using it all that much, but once we become familiar with the maps, it’s definitely a viable movement mechanic for many situations, and ultimately increases the pace of the game in a positive way.

Fall damage has also returned to Black Ops 3, although you’ll struggle to find circumstances where this will be impactful – at least from the maps we played. As long as you have a small amount of juice in your power meter, you can soften your landing with the thrust jump. In fact, only once or twice did I experience noticeable harm from a landing, which I could have prevented with thrust.

Generally there is nothing negative to say about the movement mechanics within Black Ops 3 – it’s definitely down to personal preference. What I can confidently say however is, movement is definitely closer to that of Black Ops 2 than Advanced Warfare. You will find yourself on the ground a whole lot more, and there’s a real emphasis on gun-on-gun action and overall gunskill.

That’s all for Part 1, but be sure to check back for Part 2 where we cover even more.

Let us know your thoughts below.