Releasing a specific franchise-based game yearly is a tricky business, because it runs the risk of becoming repetitive and stale. Yet, the Call of Duty series has still sold millions, and is worth a stupendous $10 billion in value.
The regular shifting from Infinity Ward to Treyarch continues, as Black Ops 3 was announced during Sony’s E3 briefing for the PlayStation 4. Activision seems to have switched sides for exclusive content, but that’s something we could talk about some other time.
Right now, the focus is on Black Ops 3 itself, what it offers, and whether it can bring anything new to the table. Treyarch showed us a detailed demo of the singleplayer gameplay, followed quickly by a very nicely worked montage of the game’s multiplayer. This is a Call of Duty that is being built from the grounds up, even though it does share a lot with last year’s Advanced Warfare.
Much like Advanced Warfare, it’s a futuristic setting, but the future is a bit more automated – we have large mechs and use of nifty robots, along with magic-like abilities through mech suits that set Black Ops 3 from the more stream-lined, combat-focused Advanced Warfare.
With these tools come added responsibilities and general demand for awareness by the players as well, as there seems to be a lot more mayhem in some of the busier missions. It all reminded me a lot of the original Resistance game for PlayStation 3, which Black Ops appears to take a lot of inspiration from.
Treyarch is going to be adapting another aspect from Advanced Warfare: the implementation of cinematic-oriented story-telling, which will smoothly transition into the gameplay. While there is no news of any actor being involved in the campaign mode, Marshawn Lynch will be appearing as a character, and we expect him to be joined by at least one big name.
The true test for Black Ops 3 however is not how effective it will be in its changes to the gameplay experience and overall feel of Call of Duty, but how effective it will be in its daring quest to make sales in a release window that features massive giants this season.
This year is the year of Star Wars, the biggest entertainment franchise out there, and the stunning Star Wars: Battlefront demonstration at the E3 was a display of absolute quality. That game, combined with the likes of Fallout 4 and Halo 5: Guardians will give Black Ops 3 a run for its money, meaning Treyarch will have to be pushing real hard to convince gamers into prioritizing their title.
Whatever happens, we can certainly say that this is the most intense November (for gamers) in the past five years.