Fewer titles are as beloved in the Call of Duty series as Call of Duty: Black Ops. Created by created as a sort of follow-up to World at War, the series began with a Cold War angle before going full-on futuristic in Black Ops 2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 continues that trend but takes it to a whole new level, introducing robotics, nano-machines, wall running and much more. That’s not all the changes we can look forward to though as Treyarch seems to be reshaping what the Call of Duty experience can be in both the campaign and multiplayer experience.
GamingBolt’s Leonid Meikhov spoke to Jay Puryear, who is director of brand development for Treyarch Studios, about the number of changes Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will introduce. In addition to the various inspirations for gameplay, Puryear also talks about the campaign and how players will discover the various weapons they can use in multiplayer.
"In multiplayer we really wanted to make sure it was easy for developers to keep the movement fluid and fast-paced/action. The wall-movement is just one of many elements they have added to the core movement system."
Leonid Meikhov: Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the sequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops II. You guys are introducing a number of additions to the franchise. What prompted so many different additions as compared to Black Ops 2?
Jay Puryear: The team is always looking at what they can do to bring a new play experience to all of our players and our community/fanbase is so great. Moving the game to 2065, moving it forward, the new features with some of the creative DNI (Direct Neural Interface) really allowed our designers to look at new play mechanics such as the cybercore, the cyber-rig abilities. When you start too look at some of the multiplayer with the new fluid movement system, the power of having a 3 year development cycle has enabled our team to look at the technology on next-gen platforms and really push it and be able to do things that they haven’t been able to do in the past.
Leonid Meikhov: I see, sounds good. One key gameplay element we saw was wall running, which resembled Respawn’s Titanfall. What will the movement system in Black Ops 3 be like in addition to this? Is it really similar or are you guys adding anything on to it?
Jay Puryear: I think that is just one part of the fluid movement system. In multiplayer we really wanted to make sure it was easy for developers to keep the movement fluid and fast-paced/action. The wall-movement is just one of just many elements they have added to the core movement system. So you have unlimited sprint, you can mantle while you have your guns up and really being able to move through the environment and keeping the action and pushing that action to keep that fast-paced set piece going is something that Call of Duty is known for. The core principal of it was the movement.
The great thing about the wall-running portion is it just adds a degree of “You don’t have to use it if you don’t want too” so sort of this risk vs reward. So if you’re playing Capture the Flag or Domination it just gives you an alternate routes, but those routes can be dangerous so it can really add some different variety to the multiplayer experience. So, wall-running is just one portion of that new fluid movement system.
Leonid Meikhov: Speaking of inspirations, there’s a fair bit from the reveal trailer which reminded us of Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s augmented abilities. What will be the extent of these abilities? Will they be contextual or can you employ them at any given point during gameplay?
Jay Puryear: If you’re referring to the cybercore abilities, those will be the things that you’ll earn throughout the campaign. And you will be able to use them accordingly based on the situation. So, really giving the players those abilities to use them in the four-player co-op, each player can actually adjust their loadout. You may find someone who wants to use them just to hack the drones or someone who wants to hack the players and really using those together with 3 of your friend really adds a new element to the single-player campaign and adds replay-ability with your friends.
"I think it was extremely important for the team to be able to have players go from single-player experience to the multiplayer experience, to zombies as a group."
Leonid Meikhov: They’re on a cooldown?
Jay Puryear: Each one is a little bit different. So you’ll see a little bit of a cooldown. As you earn them, you’ll see as you’re playing through the game.
Leonid Meikhov: The character creation system is also interesting. What kind of options will players have in customizing their character’s appearance? Will this include gear and weapons, much like the supply drops in Advanced Warfare’s multiplayer?
Jay Puryear: We don’t have Supply Drop in Black Ops III currently. So, what you’ll be able to do on the characters, you’ll have helmets, you’ll have the ability to change gear and you’ll earn those as you go through. But there are currently no plans right now for changing faces, but you’ll be able to add the gear that you’ve earned throughout the campaign where you can actually go in and change those in what we’re calling ‘The Safehouse’. This is where you’ll be able to go in and really set your character loadout, so we’ll have loadouts in single-player where you can actually go in, you gear up to make sure you have the appropriate gear for that level and then you go out into the environment
Leonid Meikhov: What kind of different gameplay scenarios did the four player co-op mechanic introduce and how did they freshen up the normal Call of Duty experience?
Jay Puryear: I think for us it was really this ability, we have a single executable. So, I think it was extremely important for the team to be able to have players go from single-player experience to the multiplayer experience, to zombies as a group. So, really keeping your friends together and playing, because there are so many different abilities/ways that you can go through different levels it adds a fresh sense of replay-ability to that campaign and that just adds a richness to the experience.
"The team has worked 3 years to pour their hearts and soul to deliver a product that will push on single-player campaign with four-player co-op on next-gen. We're really pushing the system in the machine and hardware."
Leonid Meikhov: Zombies mode is intriguing because it will be bundled with the game while Advanced Warfare’s version was featured in DLC. How much will the two differ and what differences can be observed in Zombies mode as compared to Black Ops 2?
Jay Puryear: Right now we’re just talking about campaign and multiplayer.
Leonid Meikhov: We’re actually intrigued by the story of Call of Duty Black Ops 3 but there’s the concern that the campaign won’t be as meaty as the multiplayer experience. How will you be encouraging replay value with the single-player?
Jay Puryear: The four-player co-op like I mentioned and having a level-progression inside the campaign. So if you start to look at the level progression you have, the ability to unlock new customization for your character and playing with your friends. You may have unlocked something your friend hasn’t, so really playing together you’ll really have that replay-ability for campaign
Leonid Meikhov: Is there a specific reason why the game is coming on last gen consoles?
Jay Puryear: Is there a reason?! We’ve got great fans. Call of Duty experiences is always about the community and fans and we want to make sure that everybody who wants to play Black Ops III can.
Leonid Meikhov: I see. Given the somewhat mixed to positive reaction to Advanced Warfare, do you believe the hype and anticipation from fans surrounding Call of Duty Black Ops 3 will be justified come launch day?
Jay Puryear: Of course! Right? I mean look at it, the team has worked 3 years to pour their hearts and soul to deliver a product that will push on single-player campaign with four-player co-op on next-gen. We’re really pushing the system in the machine and hardware. If you look at all the innovations that we’re doing on multiplayer and really adding this combat loop, progression system and specialists characters. So, there is just so much content on the disc and then when we rollout our zombies I think you’ll see that we’ve got 3 games in 1. So, as far as the content and the experience we’ll get out of this, we think is absolutely by far the best.