Call of Duty is regularly berated for its single player campaign – mostly because it’s a five hour slog and then it’s done, with the multiplayer standing as the game’s star attraction. Superfluous (but often fun!) modes like Exo Survival and the much-favoured Zombies pad things out a bit, but in general there’s very little single player content in Call of Duty games, making them poor value propositions for people like me who hate playing with others.
That changes this year. Black Ops 3 will have 15-20 hours of single player story content spread across 20 missions. But even that’s going to be handled differently. It’s going to work a lot like episodic content – but like Netflix, you’ll be able to play through whichever missions you like, in whatever order.
“Maybe you get to Level 3 and you stop because you’ve got something to do, your job takes over, your partner asks you to do something – whatever,” says Black Ops 3’s campaign & zombies director Jason Blundell. “You stop for a bit. Then someone at work says… ‘Dude, you’ve got to check out level 5, man,’ and you’re left like ‘I’m only on Level 3, I don’t know if I’ve got the time…’ – that sucks.”
So instead of that content being locked away, you’ll be able to play it whenever you like.
“To me, as a storyteller, I just… I always wanted to be able to give people access to the stuff that we worked very hard on,” Blundell says.
“The mentality is really that this is your content. You’ve paid for it. This is your content, and you should be able to access any of it however you want. Hopefully this can open up campaign and storytelling to the audience who maybe would put it down for a second and then struggle to get back in again.”
How that will work with weaving a compelling narrative is beyond my comprehension, but it’s something I’m keen to see when the game is out next month. Treyarch is putting a great deal of work in to the single player modes, and I’m rather glad. While people always say that Call of Duty exists to serve its multiplayer fan base, the research paints a different picture.
“It’s really interesting, because at a first glance, people say ‘Oh, y’know, it’s all about the multiplayer’,” Blundell told VG247. “But we actually found out through the analytics we gather when people play the game that everyone plays all three modes.”
“It turns out there’s a very vocal group that talk about one very specific thing – but then if you actually look at the numbers, everybody is spending time in all three modes. There are certain modes that certain players identify with more, of course, but the numbers also don’t lie in terms of how much time is spent by players in each of the different things.”
Videogamer, when they’re not being silly muppets, are quite insightful. Here’s their 8 things you need to know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. This year, in Call of Duty, choice is everything.
Last Updated: October 13, 2015