Call of Duty Black Ops 3: Arena First Impressions

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For Black Ops 3, Treyarch have introduced a brand new competitive playlist known as Arena. 

Arena consists of 20 levels which get increasingly harder to achieve. If you get to the top, you’ll be in the Master Division. 


Unlike League Play from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Arena now includes the exact ruleset that the professionals use, including friendly fire.The ban/protect system is a brand new feature implemented into Black Ops 3.

Players now have the ability to ban or protect a certain weapon, perk, scorestreak, specialist or attachment, meaning every single game contains a different variety of weapons which can ultimately cost your team the victory or give them a major advantage. Currently, it’s a race to see who can choose what they want to ban or protect first, so if you want to protect your favourite SMG you better be quick! 


Hardpoint is now a staple of the competitive rotation since its introduction in Black Ops 2. In previous incarnations of HP, there has been a 10 minute time limit but on BO3, there is only a 5 minute time limit. However, whenever a team is on the hill, the timer stops.


As with BO2 HP, rotation is key. Rotate too late and it’s an uphill battle to regain control of the hill. Ideally, you and your team should begin rotating at around 20 seconds to secure control of the next hill and get the most points.  


Search & Destroy

Search & Destroy is back where it belongs. No longer a fast-paced 4v4 killfest, S&D is much slower and involves a lot of strategy. Thanks to the new movement system, teams must be wary of all sorts of new flanking routes and especially aware of any underwater engagements.


New features such as the number of players alive in the top left corner of the screen allows player to keep an eye on what’s happening, without checking the scoreboard at all times.



Uplink has changed considerably since Advanced Warfare. It’s now very easy to score 1 point throws, due to the throwing arch being a lot straighter than AW. In Arena, it requires a lot of teamwork to achieve the 2 point scores, as the current ruleset does not feature a respawn delay.


In my opinion, I believe a respawn delay is necessary in order to make the game a lot slower and strategical, as teams work together to secure a 2-point dunk. 


Currently, there are a few bugs in the ban/protect system where players can still use what has been banned, which completely defeats the object of the system. Long searching times have also been a problem for players but that could’ve simply been server issues. As it is in its Beta Season, Treyarch have already done a great job with Arena.


Hardpoint works very well with the return of the classic 3-lane maps, although some of the spawns on the maps are questionable. Uplink is still fun to play but requires a lot more teamwork than it did on Advanced Warfare. I can see a few tweaks being made to the trajectory of the drone, making 1 point plays harder to achieve. For me, Search & Destroy is the biggest improvement. Its slow nature makes strategy more important than ever.

What do you think of Arena? What do you think needs changing? Let us know your opinions in the comments below or tweet us via @Gfinity.

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