No matter what you think about the Call of Duty franchise, it’s impossible to deny that their campaigns have always offered dynamic levels that pace themselves well. They have always offered a variety of combat scenarios that keeps their players active and interested, but the stories behind the missions have often been pretty linear and straight forward or easy to understand. The lack of depth in a conflict made these campaigns only ever extremely memorable through the objectives of the missions themselves, but Treyarch is planning to change that in the latest installment, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.
This news comes from a pretty big interview that you can check out on Polygon with Mark Lamia, one of the game’s devs. The game itself is going to have a lot more lore than Call of Duty games in the past that revolve around the inner workings of the world that has developed to allow for the conflicts that will be a part of the game. The fleshed out history will be accessible through an unlockable type of in game Wiki that explains any of the events related.
“We have detailed out the world. We have a full history of where the EU goes. It’s our fiction, but it’s as we have projected it out, literally, in more detail than we’ve ever done.”
Black Ops 3 is allowed this much creative license because of just how far into the future they plan to go. Unlike Modern Warfare 3 which was still very based on a possible real world conflict or even Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 intends to take everything about the future to the next level. Lamia assured us that the lore won’t stray too far from believable as they plan to create a conflict centered around the question of what exactly does it mean to be human. Many questions will arise from not only the conflicts, but the world itself, questions of the morality of war, of the advancement of technology, the integration of that technology, and the exertion of power. Reminds us of many of the things we have seen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but Lamia promises it to be unique.
“We think people are going to talk about this game. It’s an interesting fiction. The subject matter we’re going to touch on, you can draw a line from today … or not even draw the line, but talk about the issues of technology and the integration of that into every single part of our lives, and how it just happens, and the unintended consequences and how that could even occur. Is that OK or not? Sometimes it’s okay. It depends on how you feel about how that technology is getting used in our lives right now. There’s a whole very interesting thread to that. I think people will spend a lot of time talking about it…
People are still people, in Elizabethan times or today. Still the same drives, still the same anger and frustration. These things are all universal. They haven’t changed since back in the old days. When you mix geopolitics or technological enhancements, be it the DNI or the invention of gunpowder, it’s the same concepts, the same drives, the same fears that come out. That helps us keep in line when we’re moving the story forward.” — Mark Lamia
Black Ops 3’s story looks much more promising as it does build up an entire world around the theme of the complex question of what it means to be human. There are many directions in which the team could take this game and many twists and turns that would be believable as the humans themselves can be an unpredictable lot, but the promise of such extensive lore in a single player fps campaign is different. It can certainly be done as is the norm for much more complicated and tactical RTS or RPG games, but having it in an FPS might be just what the genre needs to keep franchises like Call of Duty going.