Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has been officially announced. The game is leaping once again into the future, and while that means we’ll have new movement systems and futuristic tech, Activision says it’s important to note that Treyarch’s Call of Duty doesn’t share a universe with last year’s Advanced Warfare.

“Under our independent studio model, every studio fosters its own unique culture and creative approach,” Rob Kostich, Senior Vice President at Activision Publishing tells me. ”Black Ops 3 reflects Treyarch’s vision for Call of Duty. It stands alone and is a unique experience within Call of Duty with its own distinctive universe, characters, and innovations. Plus, this marks Treyarch’s first three-year development cycle on Call of Duty, of which they are taking full advantage.”

In a lot of ways, this year’s Call of Duty really does sound different. Some big changes have come to Black Ops 3.

First, here’s the gameplay trailer

A few quick thoughts: Mechs and bows! Really cool looking costumes! Great song choice!

Black Ops III is shaping up to be one of the more exciting entries in the Call of Duty franchise.

Let’s go through some of the new changes each piece by piece.

There will be dedicated servers.

Black Ops 3 will use dedicated servers to host not only its competitive multiplayer, but also its Zombie mode and single-player. Wait…dedicated servers for single-player? That’s because…

You can play up to 4-player co-op in the single-player campaign.

This is perhaps the biggest change coming to Black Ops 3, at least for now. Players will be able to join up with three friends to tackle the single-player campaign, something that could potentially increase replay value exponentially.

The campaign boasts “cinematic, “arena” style level design.

This is my favorite piece of news, at least for the single-player campaign. I’ve always wanted to see Call of Duty’s level design improve. Treyarch is describing Black Ops 3′s levels as “arena” style and open-ended, something that should increase replay value and make the game a lot more fun. But not to fear, the “cinematic” experience isn’t going anywhere according to the developer.

Player “Specialists” are customizable and level up.

Now, in all the modes in Black Ops 3—Zombies, Campaign, and MP—players can progress and level up unique characters. In Campaign this means you can even customize loadout. If implemented properly, that’s a huge change. Usually in Call of Duty you’re forced to begin each level with whatever the game developer deemed appropriate for the level. Hopefully this makes the campaign a lot less on-rails.

In the past, you could rank up your character in MP, customize load-outs, and so forth. The new Specialist class system allows you to level up unique characters with their own special abilities on top of this.

There’s a new “momentum-based, chain-based” movement system.

Players will experience “a new momentum-based, chained-movement system that allows players to move fluidly through the maps, all while maintaining complete control over their weapon at all times” says Kostich.

This isn’t altogether different than what we saw in Advanced Warfare, and Treyarch says they’re designing all their MP maps with this new movement system in mind.



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