It's that time of year again. Or rather, it's slightly before that time of year, they have yet to make the proper announcement in the form of a trailer first. At this point, the only thing to know about the next Call of Duty is that it's the third and certainly final Black Ops instalment. Much of entertainment today comes in trilogies, and while you can debate whether World at War technically counts as the first part of this series and Black Ops its sequel, I think I can state with confidence that there definitely will not be a Black Ops IV.
Regardless, the other piece of information relating to Black Ops III is Activision's official description found on the website, and it goes something like this:
“Call of Duty®: Black Ops 3 is the first title for next-gen hardware in the critically acclaimed Black Ops series. Developed by Treyarch, the award-winning creator of the two most played games in Call of Duty® history. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 deploys players into a dark, twisted future where a new breed of Black Ops soldiers emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the technology we created to stay ahead, in a world where cutting-edge military robotics define warfare. With three unique game modes: Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies, it providing fans with the deepest and most ambitious Call of Duty ever.
There's also the teaser trailer, but I'd rather not discuss that, for it's just a bit too vague and suggestive to get some real details out of. So I'll offer a brief opinion on these two definitive articles about the title.
First, there's the fact that it's the third Black Ops (or fourth, if you like). Now I personally knew that it was never going to be a return to the Second World War in some way. I based that opinion on how the series has changed since the release of World at War way nearly six years back. I concluded that since then, the real meat of the series has been its multiplayer component, something that I feel Modern Warfare 2 radically changed, and since then every title has adapted from, prioritising the elements that a recent time period can afford. This would make a World War Two scenario difficult, as it would severely restrict such multiplayer features.
But still, that was not enough for some people. Some were absolutely convinced that a return to World War Two was the only course of action, because all this emphasis on the future is gonna get old real quick. Well maybe, in some very wishful thinking, we may return to that period in the form of Infinity Ward's next instalment. That probably won't happen, but since there's going to be a Call of Duty every year for potentially as long as there are video games, it's not so farfetched to assume that they will have to return to some period not in the future at some point.
That's the first part of my take on the title of Black Ops III. For me, it's a bit of a compromise; I would have liked for Treyarch to deliver a completely new experience altogether, which they will almost certainly do after this one. Since I knew there would be no World at War II, it was obviously going to be the game that we will get this November.
Now, onto the part that puts me in quite the precarious position; the details mentioned in that statement, along with the picture of what appears be the cover art, showing a followup to Advanced Warfare's exoskeleton. The silent majority will likely go "awesome, can't wait to play" as always. A vocal minority I've come across seems to be dismissing the exoskeleton, or whatever it will go by in this title. I don't really understand the mindset behind that though, because whenever I've seen a comment going "pls, no exosuit treyarch" (and I've seen a lot), not one of them has ever offered up an alternative. Instead, they just want it to be exactly the same as every other COD. It's quote funny, because for all of Advanced Warfare's... advances, it was still very much the same game, both in singleplayer and multiplayer. A health bar would likely shake up the formula of Call of Duty far more than a mere double jump and dodge move would, which was all the exoskeleton really was in essence; an effective tool for some better gameplay design, but it was still the same basic method of playing.
But that's not what concerns me regarding Black Ops III. What bothers me, is the description about the game in general; futuristic robotic warfare with a new breed of soldiers. To me, that really doesn't sound all that different from Black Ops II and Advanced Warfare. At this stage, it just seems like a mixup of the two, with emphasis on technology once again.
Fortunately, all this is based on only a small teaser that is serving as a prelude to an actual formal announcement. Once we get more information on the actual reveal date, we'll have a better idea of just where exactly this Black Ops III is taking us.
Until then, it's sixteen days and counting...