As franchises move along in their existence, certain features and elements come and go. When you look at a series like Call of Duty, this could not be more true, but when you are trying to push a franchise forward and keep it fresh, changing things up must be done.
If you played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s single-player campaign, you will surely remember the Strike Force Levels you got to partake in. These allowed you people to experience the game in a real-time strategy (RTS) environment, where they controlled individual units or all of them to help complete a mission. They provided a nice off-flavor from how the rest of the single-player came across.
Now you may be wondering to yourself, will they be returning once again in Black Ops 3? While we didn’t get a flat out no, it doesn’t sound like Strike Force Levels will be returning in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. In an interview with GamesBeat, Treyarch Studio Head Mark Lamia talked about how the Strike Force missions in Black Ops 2 don’t match up with the objective they have for Black Ops 3.
“In Black Ops 2 we made a choice to have different types of campaign levels. That was a fundamental design decision. We designed levels for more traditional flow of campaign gameplay and then we created these distinct Strike Force levels. In this game that wasn’t one of our objectives. We wanted to create, instead, greater differentiation inside the core level gameplay.
“We wanted to be able to deliver on the core tenets of Call of Duty — cinematic intensity, the great things about having a tightly scripted, meticulously [constructed], carefully crafted cinematic setting and narrative setting — but also, inside the level, in the same level, have open areas of gameplay for people to explore and play with,” Lamia said.
Strike Force Levels were a nice experiment in Black Ops 2, but they really don’t seem like they’ll fit very well with the tone and angle Black Ops 3 has. Considering the nature of the futuristic technology that players will be able to control in this next game, restricting them to a RTS mode would be a bit cruel.
One of the drives Treyarch has in Black Ops 3 is enabling certain features to be “level-agnostic.” Lamia gave the example of a player hacking a drone and then having control over it, allowing them to then go back to a level they’ve already played and use it there. He further explained how this will work in Black Ops 3.
“You could go back to a level where you never played with that, and we’ve [constructed] the game so you can play and have fun with that. It doesn’t have to be a distinct level or a choice for the player. We didn’t have to change the game for the player when they make that choice.
“We wanted to make sure we gave you all the tools to have fun and then make it your choice about how you wanted to approach each level. We want you to go back and replay those levels and have a different experience and get more enjoyment out of the campaign than you’ve ever had in a Call of Duty game,” Lamia said.
We often hear the term replayability used in gaming today, but when you think about how this element could be employed in the game’s single-player campaign, it screams replayability. Using certain weapons in different levels provides people with a unique lens to view something they’ve already done before, ergo creating something new.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be releasing this Nov. 6 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. We’re not sure if the game will come to additional platforms or not, but we’ll update you if we hear anything on that front.