Treyarch launched the first of several livestreams on Friday leading up to the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III for PlayStation and Xbox consoles plus the PC. The first livestream contained a wealth of new information about the shooter including maps, modes, co-op play, and a new Specialist that has an unhealthy obsession with fire.
Today’s Black Ops Friday was the first of four planned to run every week through October 30. They all are scheduled for 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT for those that want to catch them live.
The brand new multiplayer map revealed today is dubbed “Redwood.” As its name suggests, it is set in the California Redwood forest and has a mix of rustic charm such as a log cabin. There have been some technological improvements, however, with some gun towers and various platforms that would be the envy of any Ewok. An underwater path can also be found to sneak around to the opponent’s flank.
Treyarch’s Dan Bunting described it as a “balanced map” that caters to all play styles. This map was co-developed between Treyarch and Raven Software.
A hint was also dropped that re-imagined maps from Black Ops and Black Ops II may show up later. This includes the “Raid” map from Black Ops II.
The ninth Specialist introduced for Call of Duty: Black Ops III is named Firebreak. Yes, he does have a flamethrower.
Treyarch described this Specialist as a “room clearer” who’s a “master at close range” thanks to his ability to set multiple targets on fire. His flamethrower is called “Purifier” for whatever creepy reason and he has a power abilities named “Heat Wave.” This ability compliments his room clearing ability because it causes an incapacitating blast of heat that effectively stuns and disorients nearby players. It doesn’t do any damage to players, but it will damage equipment and leave players vulnerable to attack.
Treyarch also confirmed that Hardcore modes will return with Black Ops III. There will be a limited selection of modes available to start, but the playlist will be adjusted based on feedback from fans.
For those unfamiliar, Hardcode mode gave players significantly less health, a limited HUD that removed enemy markers, the mini-map, ammo counter, and equipment slots. It also turned friendly fire on.
Black Ops III will also feature the ability to play against bots in an offline mode. This is similar to what was available in Call of Duty: Advance Warfare and Black Ops III. It’s typically a good way to practice to get used to new abilities or test setups or get familiar with maps before taking on real players.
It seems like a given at this point, but Theater Mode will return in Black Ops III. Bunting stated that it will be even bigger than before with more usability and options than what was available in Black Ops II. Unfortunately, further details were not revealed.
Local Co-op Play
Fans of local co-op play got some good news with Black Ops III. The game will support up to four players in split-screen to play Zombies and multiplayer offline. Online play is limited to two players, however, and it does not appear the campaign will support local co-op at all.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation of consoles has unfortunately made split-screen play less common. Even games where you would expect split-screen play, like Halo 5: Guardians, are disappointingly not supporting a feature that was extremely common in previous generations.
Celebrate Your Win with Taunts
This won’t be abused at all. Treyarch is adding taunts and gestures for the top player of the winning team to use at the end of each match. This includes custom dialogue. I can’t wait to see the reaction to this.
Did you enjoy the Diamond Camouflage from previous Black Ops games? It’s back and Treyarch promised something even better beyond Diamond.
[Images via Call of Duty]