Here's a bonus 16th point for you: your customisable hero for the main Black Ops 3 campaign can be a female character. The option to play as a woman has existed before in COD - mainly in the multiplayer from Ghosts and AW, as well as a few appearances here and there in past titles - but this is the first time a main protagonist in a COD campaign can be female, fully voiced, animated and integrated into the story with gender-specific interactions, and not just a re-skin.
Or you can just play as a dude if you want. Choice! It's a good thing!
It's Treyarch's turn with Call of Duty this year, with the studio's Black Ops 3 being revealed over the weekend. Here are the 15 most important details about the game:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 releases November 6, worldwide.
- It's coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC only. There's no PS3 or Xbox 360 versions, and certainly no Black Ops 3 on Wii U. Sorry.
- The game is set in 2065 and follows the events of CODBLOPS 2: the world now has something called DEAD (Directed Energy Air Defense), making air superiority irrelevant. As such it's all about your augmented troops on the ground.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 sees four-player co-op for the first time since 2008's World at War. The mode encourages splitting up and strategic play through its 'T-mode' system (spotting, basically), meaning you won't all be bunched up shooting at enemies. There's also support for two-player local splitscreen.
- Maps are more open, moving away from the whack-a-mole in a corridor that previous CODs have been. It's not quite open world, but the broadening helps with the aforementioned four-player co-op, and enemy AI is now said to be 'emergent' to cope with the non-corridor setup.
- Your super-troopers have powers which you've seen a bit of in the trailer and look a bit like Bioshock's tonics, oddly. As well as NANO BEES OF DEATH (not the official name), there's also stuff like immolation (setting people on fire with your hand) and you can customise your soldier's abilities throughout the campaign.
- Zombie mode does indeed return. Details are thin on the ground right now but it has its own campaign and XP-based progression system, so will be more than just a throwaway bolt-on.
- Those pre-ordering Black Ops 3 on any format will be eligible to play in an open beta, held at some point before the November release. This is the first time a COD game has seen a beta since, again, World at War.
- The minimum PC specs have been revealed, though recommended ones haven't yet. Treyarch has said it's aiming for a scalable experience, up to supporting 4K and all the shiny bits you'd hope:
OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8, and 8.1
CPU: Intel Core i3-530 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.60 GHz
System RAM: 6GB
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 1GB / ATi Radeon HD 6970 1GB
Hard Drive Space: TBA
- Booster packs make a return from Advanced Warfare, but are tweaked to make movement more flowing and open to unique application. But it's still a bit like Titanfall. Choice quote here from Treyarch, as reported on EuroGamer: "Here's what I'll say. Number one, we've been wall-running since Spider-Man - before all of this! Number two, the team's making a movement system. It feels unique. It's integrated into the map design in a way that no other game does. It feels like it's connected, and it's fluid." The movement system has been likened to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, in a way, with players chaining their moves together on the fly – it does deplete a meter though, so isn't unlimited.
- You can always shoot thanks to Treyarch's 'guns up' thinking, meaning you're always in combat even when traversing/boosting around.
- In multiplayer you choose a specialist type, each of which has a power or weapon you choose to use in the match. The four specialists revealed so far (of nine total) are: Ruin, who uses gravity spikes as a weapon (an area of effect shockwave) and overdrive as a power, which speeds him up for a bit; Seraph, whose weapon is the annihilator (a one-shot-kill revolver that can take out two enemies at once), while her power is combat focus, which is a bonus multiplier on score streak points; Outrider carries the sparrow as a weapon (a bow with exploding arrows) and her ability is vision pulse, which shoots out around her and marks enemy locations; Reaper is a robot, so obviously the best, and its weapon is a minigun that pops out of its arm (called the scythe), while its power is glitch, allowing it to go back in time a few seconds to a former position. You also choose a loadout as normal, which can be changed whenever you like.
- There's a social hub called the Safehouse, which will allow you to see other players' setups and customise your characters.
- Continuing the customisation theme, the Gunsmith in multiplayer will allow you to assign up to five attachments and one optic sight on each weapon, as well as your own choice of customisable camo/paintjobs.
- It's not the first time a game has featured the Rolling Stones' Paint it Black. Obviously last time it was also in a game with 'black' in the title. So imaginative.
Are you looking forward to Black Ops 3 then? Does Treyarch have your vote? Has the series (boost-)jumped the shark for you? Comments are below - comment away!