What We Know About Black Ops 3 Multiplayer
The official reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was released today on YouTube. There was a lot of hype leading up to the reveal, especially from the competitive Call of Duty community, where questions were swirling. Will there be exos? Will there be league play? Is this going to be the greatest Call of Duty of all time?
The reveal trailer was only 2 minutes long and gave more information about the story behind the game rather than showcasing every new feature built into it. As usual, Treyarch decided to revamp some aspects of the game to make it unique.
"The multiplayer has influence from the campaign, and the campaign has influence from the multiplayer," says Mark Lamia, Treyarch Studio Head. This translates to complete customization for multiplayer characters, from gender, to looks, to voice. The campaign will feature more of a sandbox map-type, something never seen before in a Call of Duty title. Underwater situations, which have only been experienced so far in the campaign, will now be seen in multiplayer. From the reveal trailer, it was seen that guns can even be shot from underwater. More information from the reveal trailer can be found here.
When it comes to the map design, Treyarch is working hard to make them playable for all. "You'll have to think really carefully about which areas you push into," tells David Vonderhaar, Studio Design Director for Treyarch. By the sound of it, maps will cater to competitiveness by creating lanes, of which there are three traditionally.
Progression systems will be implemented into all aspects of the game: campaign mode, zombies, and multiplayer. Multiplayer will also have a new 'Specialist' system with 9 different class-types for players to choose from. This aspect of the game is similar to Destiny, where players can choose from several classes and then upgrade them with attributes of their choosing. While the specialist system is new, players have always been able to customize weapons, perks, and scorestreaks, but now they will be able to select specific special abilities with their loadout. The special abilities are matched with a specific character, and each will all have their own special weapon as well.
"Now we will ask our teammates which character they are playing instead of which weapon they are using." - Jericho, YouTube personality.
One character will have an ability called "glitch" where when activated, the player will be able to go back three seconds in time and replay the situation. Somehow or other, this ability is said to be implemented into multiplayer, though it is hard to imagine what it will look like for the other players.
What do these changes mean for competitive Call of Duty?
It's not clear yet what abilities and weapons each of the characters will have. With a large number of choices, competitive matches can potentially vary greatly each time around. However, we currently have a large number of weapons, perks, and scorestreaks, yet most competitive players stick with the same general loadouts. Pro players even ban certain perks halfway through the game. I would not doubt for a second that some characters will be banned because the special abilities they offer will be considered overpowered, meaning "glitch" will probably be the first to go.
Another topic of interest is the new movement capabilities. Exo suits have been controversial in Advanced Warfare. They brought along an entirely new element to Call of Duty, but many players have complained that they lead to laggy hit recognition and non-traditional gameplay that overall ruin the game. Competitive players may be happy to hear that exo suits as we now know them will not exist in Black Ops 3. Unique movements will exist though, including a thrust jump. The thrust jump will not be as advanced as boosting in the current game, so players will not be seen mid-air zipping around the map. I think I just heard a collective sigh of relief...
Besides the gameplay itself (for which we only have limited knowledge), Treyarch has confirmed that theater mode is coming back! Not only does this mode allow players to make cool YouTube videos, but rewatching gameplay is something competitive players love. It's a great learning tool that allows players to go back and watch their last match from their own perspective or the perspective of their opponents, making it a necessary component for any Call of Duty game stressing competitive play.
One last point: though it hasn't been confirmed yet, it seems that Playstation has a special deal with Activision on this Call of Duty title. For all games prior, Microsoft's Xbox has had the advantage of being the first console to release DLCs and has been the hub for competitive Call of Duty, co-hosting the Call of Duty Championship with Activision the last few years. If Playstation has now taken over as top-dog in terms of the console, what will this mean for competitive Call of Duty as a whole? This subject will surely be discussed further if the rumors are true.
Vonderhaar sounds pretty confident that Black Ops 3 will make competitive Call of Duty more fun to play. Actual gameplay from multiplayer will be revealed in the middle of June at E3. Until then, we can only speculate what surprises the game will contain. Luckily, those who pre-order will be given online beta access before the games release on November 6th, though it is not clear how much time in advance the beta will be available.