ESN Editorial: What we want to see in Black Ops III
Call of Duty®: Ghosts (2013) was ultimately a failure and Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare (2014) provided a much needed change, but many people think that the game is too fast paced and that Exo-Suits are too exaggerated. Both of these titles have not lived up to Black Ops 2 (2012), arguably the best competitive CoD game in history. The question is though, what will Treyarch have to do in order to make Black Ops III even better than its predecessors?
Exo-suits or No Exo-suits?
It doesn’t seem like there will be any exo-suits in this year’s installment, and I’m pretty happy about that. Traditional-styled gameplay seems to be the basis of what Call of Duty is. A community poll was created to determine whether people wanted the return of exo-suits, or traditional movement in Black Ops III.
After voting, I wasn’t really surprised to see that 83% of the voters agreed with me, out of a total of 60,254 votes. The reasoning as to why I believe that this game will feature a somewhat different movement, is that the game’s description did state “a new breed of Black Ops soldiers” and “cutting-edge military robotics.” After watching the Ember teaser, it seems that these redefined soldiers are cyborgs in a sense. The whistleblower within the teaser stated, “Neural control, (and) voluntary limb replacements…” I assume that Treyarch would want to move in this direction, after seeing the development of Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which introduced exo-suits. Similar to the exo-suits, these robotics could increase the pace of multiplayer warfare, “allowing players to be successful with traditional movements.” So we get the best of both worlds, traditional movement with a taste of fast paced maneuverability.
After unconfirmed images were released showing that the game’s multiplayer would be including a “momentum-based chained-movement system,” it got me thinking that something similar to exo-suits would be making its debut. I doubt the return of double boosting would return, but “thrust jumps” sounded pretty close.
Nuketown / Standoff / Raid
Nothing has been confirmed that the popular maps Nuketown, Standoff, and Raid will be making a return. It would be silly to not see the return of Nuketown (2065), similar to Nuketown 2025. Being one of the smallest maps within the franchise, it is still quite fun to play 1v1’s in any day.
Standoff and Raid are my favorite Call of Duty eSports’ maps. I hope we’ll be seeing remakes within the stock game or its downloadable content. Within CoD eSports’ rotation, both these maps included all three competitive game modes (Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, and Capture the Flag), making them the most versatile game maps.
The question is, if these maps do return, how will they be reimagined to fit robotic play, and the CoD eSports’ game modes (re)introduced at the game’s time period? The game will most likely feel and play different than any other CoD yet.
M8A1 / MSMC
Now who wants the return of the M8A1 and MSMC? I sure as hell do. Why? Because these two weapons are the heart and soul of balanced, competitive weaponry. You hop into a public match or League Play game in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and you will undoubtedly find someone using one of these two weapons.
If they’re not in Black Ops III, I hope there will be at least a similar weapon that creates roles for players on teams again. Treyarch may want to start with something fresh. I doubt it though. If you look at it competitively, having the return of these two weapons would increase the game’s popularity.
I’m hoping that there will be a larger variety of competitively-viable weapons. It is quite typical to only see one submachine gun and assault rifle that are usable, such as: BAL-27/ASM1 (Advanced Warfare), ACR/MP7 (Modern Warfare 3), or Remington R5/Vector CRB (Ghosts). I’m the type of guy that’d like to see two of everything, so that there’s not too much or too little variety.
Call of Duty eSports
Take a look back at Black Ops II. Arguably the best competitive Call of Duty to date. Other developers have attempted to outshine its predecessor, but were unsuccessful. There were many aspects that I would like to see return because of its overall success in the past.
For one, if the game mode Uplink returns into the CoD eSports’ rotation, it seems unlikely that Capture the Flag will be remaking its debut. Uplink at first turned me away, but gained my interest after the first few events of the Advanced Warfare season. I personally wouldn’t mind the return of Black Ops’ version of Capture the Flag over Uplink.
You have to take note, that if Treyarch did decide to include Uplink in Black Ops III, that it probably won’t play 100% the same as it did in Advanced Warfare. Also take note, that there most likely won’t be exo-suits to play Uplink either. I’d like to see that Treyarch would continue to stay with CTF, Infinity Ward with Blitz, and Sledgehammer with Uplink. It will keep a continuous rotation of the second respawn game mode.
The second aspect that made the game so popular was the implementation of the game mode Hardpoint. And we’re not talking about Advanced Warfare’s styled Hardpoint, we’re talking about Black Ops II’s Hardpoint. The game that required a player to anchor. If you didn’t compete in BO2, an anchor’s job was to hold or gain spawns. There’s a lot more that goes into the position then that, but great players to look for examples are: James “Clayster” Eubanks (back when he was on compLexity Gaming), Chris “Parasite” Duarte (Fariko Impact), Jordan “JKap” Kaplan (Team EnVyUs), and Joey “MerK” Deluca (OpTic Gaming).
Thirdly, League Play was a huge addition to the Call of Duty franchise. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer came out with their own versions of Ranked Play, but none of them came close to Treyarch’s League Play. If Treyarch continues to update the ruleset constantly, restricts weapon variants (if any), and balances the ranking system, League Play will be golden in Black Ops 3.
Lastly, if Treyarch, Activision, and Major League Gaming agree and listen to the community on updating the MLG Variant Ruleset to balance competitive gameplay at a constant rate, this game will make wonders. A struggle that the Call of Duty competitive scene has been having is updating the ruleset. We’ve seen it time and time again, where nothing happens. If anything happens, it happens way too late.
Stay tuned for news on the upcoming, official Call of Duty: Black Ops III reveal trailer, releasing today. Stay up-to-date with all Black Ops III announcements, over at our Twitter - @eSportsNation.