We’ve played it! Here’s everything we know about the new FPS from an exclusive trip to Treyarch Studios in Santa Monica
It’s official: the next Call Of Duty will be Black Ops III. Which is something you probably already knew thanks to this teaser, but now there’s a trailer, screenshots and we even played it at Activision’s Treyarch Studio in Santa Monica. Here’s what you need to know:
First up, that trailer...
Never has the Rolling Stones' Paint It Black seemed more fitting, especially when it kicks in around 35 seconds with some fairly impressive bullet-beat matching. If this doesn't get you excited for the new game, then we're not entirely sure what will. It's like a John Woo directed shootout for crying out loud.
The Campaign Has Co-op
So single player doesn’t have to be just single player. It can be up to four-player. And it’s changed how the levels are designed, with huge open spaces so different players can take up different tactical locations and relay enemy positions to their teammates.
There are Terminators
Okay, so they’re not saying there are Terminators in the game (trademark laws are annoying like that) but, during the time the game is set, technology has advanced to a point where combat robots are in the field alongside human enemies. They have no regard for their safety, so serve as tactically different opponents.
It’s Just For New Generation Consoles
Not upgraded yet? Maybe it’s time. The team at Treyarch has been working on this game for three years (rather than their usual two) and that, coupled with the extra power of the PS4 and Xbox One, has given them the opportunity to overhaul its enemy AI system and create a completely new animation system.
Zombies Are Back
It wouldn’t be a Treyarch Call Of Duty game without Zombies, and the studio has a dedicated team working on this part of the Black Ops III. It has its own XP-based progression system and studio head Mark Lamia considers it its own game that you get for free on the disc.
The Multiplayer Has Been Revolutionised
Two bits of Treyarch’s internal jargon for you: "combat loop" and "Guns Up philosophy". The game was pulled apart and built up again so it’s quicker (or, the combat loop is "tighter" if you happen to work at Treyarch) and no matter what you’re doing, you’re always able to shoot your gun – there’s no lowering it to climb over or onto obstacles, for example. You can just "thrust jump" thanks to your military issue, cybernetically enhanced suit.
Fitter. Stronger. More Productive.
Well, faster, stronger, more deadly if we’re being honest. Set in something like 2060, the game’s cybernetic technology also allows you to wall run, sprint for an unlimited time and power slide around the levels. All while shooting enemies. Or, if you’re like us, shooting just past enemies while they shoot you instead.
You can now swim. Certain multiplayer maps have underwater sections that allow you to surprise people by shooting from them, or dive into to take cover quickly.
You’re Special Too
Specialists are characters you can play in multiplayer, so instead of just dropping in as an unnamed grunt, you can choose to play as an elite solider. They’re for players who don’t usually experience Scorestreaks (unlockable perks based on racking up high scores) – each one has a unique weapon and ability that charges on a timer.
Meet the specialists
Callsign: Ruin (seen above)
Real Name: Donnie Walsh
Bio: Raised in a military family in a tough neighborhood, he is fearless and headstrong, an infantry soldier through and through. He uses his unique abilities to rush into battle and surprise the enemy with sheer force.
Weapon: Gravity Spikes – creates a devastating area of effect shockwave in the surrounding area.
Ability: Overdrive. Initiates a burst of speed that accelerates all movement for a short period of time.
Real Name: Zhen Zhen
Bio: Militant enforcer of the 54I crime syndicate’s rule of law. She is known for her focused and unflinching combat discipline, striking fear within the ranks of the cartel.
Weapon: Annihilator – massive high-caliber revolver with penetration rounds.
Ability: Combat Focus – triggers a bonus multiplier to score earned towards Scorestreaks for a period of time.
Real Name: Alessandra Castillo
Bio: Developed keen observation skills growing up in the streets of the Favela, traversing the rooftops to watch the action of the city below, and this earned her a place in the ranks of the Brazilian Special Forces. She outsmarts enemies by finding them before they have a chance to know what hit them.
Weapon: Sparrow – compound Bow w/explosive bolts and variable range.
Ability: Vision Pulse – pings the surrounding area and tags the location of all enemies within range for a period of time.
Real Name: Experimental War Robot (EWR)
Bio: Started as an expensive military R&D project to supplement Special Operations soldiers in the field, the EWR was a cutting-edge prototype combat robot, the most advanced in the world at the time. Budget overruns and embarrassing political incidents left the project all but a resource for scrap metal, except for the one prototype that remained.
Weapon: Scythe – robotic arm transforms into a high power Mini-Gun.
Ability: Glitch – flash back to a previous position by using this system mod to hack into the DNI of the other soldiers on the battlefield.