Treyarch is doing things a little differently for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3: all campaign missions are unlocked from the start.
It means you can play Black Ops 3’s final mission as soon as you get the game going upon its 6th November release.
Jason Blundell, director of campaign and Zombies mode for Black Ops 3, told Eurogamer Treyarch made the decision to give players more choice.
“It gives them the flexibility to consume the content how they want,” Blundell said.
“The unlocking level system is an archaic mentality we’ve had since we did bedroom development back in the day – you do this, then go on to the next one.
“Consumers and game players in general are far more mature these days. There are so many things vying for our interests today. It’s about, how do they want to consume it? Maybe they put it down on level two, and then they’re in work the next day, and some guy says, ‘dude, you’ve got to check out level four!’ And he’s like, ‘okay, I’ll have a quick look.’ That’s totally fine. I think it’s their choice.”
Of course, because you can jump right to the end of the game as soon as you pop the disc in the drive, some players won’t be able to resist spoiling the Black Ops 3 campaign for themselves.
Blundell is unconcerned by this, comparing the release of the Black Ops 3 campaign to that of political thriller House of Cards (Netflix releases an entire season of episodes all at the same time).
“If you see the end you’ll say, I need to understand this more,” Blundell said. “When Netflix release House of Cards and do all the episodes, does everyone just jump to the end and go and play the last episode? Sure you can. But it’s about the journey, though, right?
“Sure, people will jump on and play the last level. Okay. Cool. That’s up to them.
“The way the story is constructed, it’s more than just the end moment. I’m sure there are many films and other media types where you could read the last page, or see the last minutes, but really you’ve got to experience all of the other stuff to truly enjoy it.”
No doubt Black Ops 3’s final level will be uploaded to YouTube extremely quickly, but as Blundell points out, Call of Duty campaign levels always hit the internet quickly. So, Black Ops 3’s final level will be online to watch in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
“Whether I put this system in or not, the same thing will happen,” Blundell said. “And also take into account you’ve got a world now that consumes this kind of content at the same moment. So, by the time you wake up and you’ve got your build, the guy’s already done a speed runthrough and published it online. It’s like when Breaking Bad comes out, you’ve got to go Twitter and internet blackout.”
Black Ops 3’s campaign lets players “lend” weapons to other players to use in levels their friends perhaps haven’t reached (you have to hand them bacl at the end of the mission). You won’t get all of the achievements unless you complete the entire campaign, either.
And Blundell believes players will want to play the entire campaign in order to see the whole story, which is set in 2060 and touches on the hot topic of data leaks and the ethics of human augmentation.
“Will the videos all go up online of, hey, look, here’s the last level? Sure they will,” Blundell admitted.
“But the debate and some of the conversation about some of the meaning of that story will be interesting. I don’t think playing the last level will give you everything. You’ll just look at it and go, okay, there’s the last level.
“I think it’s something that will encourage debate and engagement, rather than detract from it. And it’s a reason people can play together easily, rather than excluding people. It’s a more inclusive mentality.”