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New information has been revealed for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, due out this November for the home consoles and PC. The single-player campaign that usually plays host to all those massive Hollywood blockbuster moments and scripted events won't be as linear in Black Ops 3 as it was in some previous titles.
Game Planet managed to get a few details on the campaign mode, revealing that this time around the player-character – who usually happens to be silent during the actual campaign gameplay – will actually be a custom creation this time around. Players will be able to make a male or female character and join with three other friends in the first ever four-player cooperative Call of Duty campaign experience.
Now, regarding the actual linearity of the stages – Game Planet takes some liberties to explain that due to having four-player co-op the game' campaign mode will have to facilitate all four players in much larger environments. They do, however, state that Treyarch has mentioned that they're committed to making the game's campaign more accommodating to four-players through adding more ways to engage the enemy, and that there will be some manner of open-area gameplay present. What they don't explain is if this means the campaign maps will be closer to what Call of Duty fans are used to from the four-player cooperative zombies or spec ops modes, or if this means that the game will be expansive like the four-player cooperative modes in the old Ghost Recon games.
One thing they do mention is that the AI in the game has been overhauled greatly with what they describe as a “goal oriented” design. This means that the computer is directing AI around with an intent and a purpose, presumably similar to the “Director” in the Left 4 Dead games, where the NPCs were being re-purposed and shuffled around in ways to challenge even the most skilled players.
Now if you're worried that because the game now supports four players in the campaign that all those amazing, blockbuster spectacles – often a staple in the Call of Duty franchise – will have to go away to accommodate more players, think again. Treyarch is making it where the cinematics will either happen from a third-person point of view so everyone can see what's going on or keep it with the first-person cinematic view that they oftentimes use to help tell dynamic parts of the story.
I imagine a lot of the story will need to center around the supporting characters when it comes time for exposition and character interaction, similar to how things are handled in GTA Online's heists: The player character just kind stands around, silent, nodding and pantomiming while everyone else does all the talking.
However, creating a character in the campaign mode is more than just about looks. The game will offer players the opportunity to modify their character with more than 40 different cybernetic enhancements. The enhancements are called Cyber Cores and they work in the same way as the enhancements in games like Deus Ex or the more recent Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Players can also utilize team tactics and skills to help each other out on the battlefield, such as identifying targets for the rest of the teammates to concentrate fire on, or highlighting threat assessments throughout the area.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is due out this November for Xbox, PlayStation and PC platforms. I'm sure we can expect to see and learn a lot more when E3 rolls around.