When Modern Warfare introduced experience-based progression and the prestige system all those years ago, Call of Duty‘s RPG credentials were all but set in stone, as Activision’s blockbuster franchise incorporated a lot of the genre’s tropes to ensure its shooter was chock full of replayability. Now, almost a decade later, Treyarch is setting out to bolster the customization options by allowing players to chose which gender the play as in Call of Duty: Black Ops III‘s main campaign.
This new addition is much more than just a palette swap, too, with the studio revealing that animations and NPC interactions have been retooled to suit both male and female players.
“It’s not just a female head on a male body. It’s a different set of animations for the entire game,” studio head Mark Lamia revealed. “We knew we were going to do fully unique male, fully unique female for all scenes and all the customization that goes for both. Thank God for Blu-ray, right?. Producer Jason Blundell added.
In addition to this, Treyarch confirmed that the fan favorite 4-player co-op feature will make a return in Black Ops III, allowing you and three other friends to take control of super-soldiers and battle through the main story side-by-side. It’s a mode that hasn’t made an appearance in the Call of Duty series since World at War pioneered 4-player co-op almost seven years ago, and it’s understood the studio has specifically designed the map design, movement and character abilities to coincide with this feature.
“You need a larger space for players to move into tactical positions,” says Jason Blundell, campaign director. “As the space gets larger, you need to bring it to life. The [enemy] AI has to be able to make decisions about not only where one player is, but where other co-op players are in different groups and different spreads across the space. ”
Much like Advanced Warfare before it, Black Ops III will be situated in a far-future setting, one in which mankind has essentially cracked the singularity and fused man with machine. Whereas Sledgehammer’s shooter was all about the exoskeletons over the skin, Treyarch will focus on what lies beneath, with retina implants, DNA alterations and other such biotech underpinning the story of the studio’s upcoming threequel.
However, while Call of Duty: Black Ops III certainly boasts a dark and intriguing story, fans of the long-running franchise will have their eyes firmly trained on the title’s online component, which will boast four all-new specialist classes in the form of Outrider, Ruin, Reaper and Seraph. Whether its locating enemies through walls or being equipped with a powerful, one-hit kill handgun, each of these archetypes boast their own strengths and weakness, and we’ll no doubt learn much more about how they weigh up against one another in due time.
Multiplayer isn’t the only section that Treyarch is aiming to improve either, with the studio setting its iron sights on the beloved Zombies Mode in a bid to create an experience that is as “mind-blowing” as it is unique.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III will debut on November 6, 2015.