Five Reasons We Can’t Wait for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Including: robot soldiers, four-player co-op, and character-exclusive special abilities that destroy enemies with one shot.

Developer Treyarch has had three full years to develop its first-ever “Call of Duty” game. And with that time, the Los Angeles-based studio was able to start from scratch with its in-game engine. Translation: every version of the title will look fresh and vastly improved. They were also able to rewrite the artificial intelligence that powers both enemies and friendlies for a more engaging experience. But it’s more than just backend design: “Black Ops 3” completely reinvents the way you’ll navigate the maps and levels within this massive game, which Treyarch founder Mark Lamia promises is the deepest “Call of Duty” game ever made.  Intuitive new one-button moves like traversals, thrust jumps, wall runs, and power slides ensure you’re constantly moving and shooting, upping the action quotient substantially. Here are five reasons why November 6th can’t come fast enough.

1. Robot Warfare

The futuristic landscape in which you’ll be fighting blends elements from movies like “Robocop” and “Terminator,” but takes a more gritty and realistic approach to modern warfare.  “Black Ops” soldiers are part-human and part-machine thanks to Direct Neural Interface (which syncs one’s brain to PCs and other soldiers on the battlefield) and bio-augmentation (enhanced metallic limbs that open up super human capabilities).  This opens up the new enhanced navigation controls like thrust jumps and extended wall running, which can all be chained together for some incredible parkour-style maneuvers.  As far as enemies are concerned, there will be 20 different enemy archetypes, including humans and robots. These robots can sync up and attack in formation to protect more important weaponized machines in combat.

2. Four-Player Campaign

For the first time in a Call of Duty game, the entire story campaign mode can be played with friends.  Up to four players can connect in the online Safe House and set up their weapons and gear before playing through each of the campaign levels. And because “Black Ops 3” has been designed with emergent enemy AI based on the number of human players, co-op teams can utilize T-mode to get a visual threat analysis of the battlefield before engaging enemies.  And Treyarch has upped the replay value by creating larger open area encounters that encourage different strategies for success and take the action “off the rails” that have been used in previous games.

3. Female Soldiers

While Infinity Ward’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” introduced female soldiers to multiplayer through the Create-A-Soldier mode, “Black Ops 3” is the first game in the franchise to feature fully customizable male or female campaign soldiers. Treyarch created a female rig and did a separate animation set for female soldiers, while writing a gender neutral script and then having a male and female actor perform it.  Whether male or female, players can create a unique soldier to take into battle with custom weapons and loadouts as well as abilities and outfits.  A full progression system will track all achievements within the campaign mode.

4. Multiplayer Special Abilities

In addition to fully customizable soldiers for online multiplayer, Treyarch is offering nine specialists to the battlefield.  These elite Black Ops soldiers bring unique gameplay hooks to the fight through special weapons and exclusive abilities.  For example, the sexy assassin Seraph carries a massive high-caliber revolver called the Annihilator that eliminates enemies with a single blast.  She also has the Combat Focus ability, which increases your Scorestreak.  Before heading into a match, players can choose a weapon or ability and then unlock them throughout the online gameplay session for short periods of time.

5. Swimming with Guns

Over the years, “Call of Duty” has offered combat scenarios around the globe and even in outer space, but there’s never been the ability to fight underwater. Not every multiplayer map has water, but those that do offer new areas to hide and surprise enemies, or have all-out encounters underwater with complete access to weapons.  All of the moves you can perform above ground work underwater (thrust jump comes in handy to grab air) — although the physics are of course different. Treyarch has created custom animation to ensure the experience looks cool, and there’s no learning curve to dive into the action.