Every year, Activision’s Call of Duty franchise is lambasted for its lack of originality, merely acting as a palette swap to what came before. However, in benefiting from the new-fangled, three-year development cycle, Treyarch has opened up about the company’s decision to overhaul the enemy AI ahead of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, paving the way for heightened player agency.
Speaking in a recent issue of EDGE (via PlayStation LifeStyle), Game Director Dan Bunting touched on the finer details going into the shooter’s mechanics, and how the fluidity made possible by next-gen systems will give the online component of the series a much-needed shot in the arm.
We still push people into choke points and constrain heights, but we wanted to give players an extended mastery curve, to expand the upper limits of how they learn movement through the map…We automate a lot of things. We let players concentrate on the combat; everything else is fluid – it sublimates to a primal part of your brain.
To compliment these gameplay tweaks, Bunting also discussed the refined enemy AI, which has been given an overhaul in order to set Black Ops III apart from past entries in the blockbuster series.
With the greatest reverence and respect for [Call of Duty], sometimes the tactic is just left trigger, right trigger, dead…With some of our new AI archetypes, that won’t be viable. We’ve also opened up the spaces, so you need much better situational awareness.
Taking place in a war-torn future, Call of Duty: Black Ops III will jettison soldiers into the year 2060, where biotechnology and other cybernetic technology has changed the face of war for good. Expect to hear much more about Treyarch’s return at the helm during Microsoft’s conference at E3 next week, but don’t be too surprised if this latest installment ditches the age-old exclusivity deal with the platform holder.