Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has done everything from fake terrorist attacks on Twitter to threat-briefing style history lessons to tease its upcoming release, but now, with less than a month to do until D-Day, things are settling down into a more serious routine. From now until the release date, Treyarch and Call of Duty will be doing ‘Black Ops Fridays’ – a weekly series of videos that will reveal features and gameplay released, as you might expect, every Friday.
Activision’s Call of Duty channel’s latest video is a 36-minute tour of the new multiplayer map, called “Redwood,” and a rundown of the new specialist “Firebreak.” The Redwood map is set in California’s Redwood Forest and represents a break with tradition for Call of Duty. Black Ops 3 saved the development of Redwood for last, which mulitplayer designer Dan Bunting said was a good thing, as it allowed the team to apply all the lessons learnt throughout the development of the game, as well as applying new ideas that they might not have been able to implement in the more standard maps.
Bunting described the setting as “serene” and “picturesque” for the “mayhem that happens in war,” and there is a real sense that the creators are especially proud of the lush and detailed environs, arguably not usually a core focus for Call of Duty. Black Ops 3 design director David Vonderhaar also features in the video. He mentions that the last 30 days before a game’s release are probably the “most fun,” as management is attempting to clear design and development teams out of the office and encouraging them to play the game “out in the real world,” presumably in the beta that was released last August.
The new specialist, Firebreak, is, as you might have guessed by the name, a flamethrower toting pyromaniac. The last of nine specialists to be revealed for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Firebreak is equipped with a flamethrower called the “Purifier.” Bunting spoke about Treyarch’s history with the flamethrower, mentioning that the developer had included one in World of War, which was released for last gen consoles. The fact that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is positioned to take full advantage of next gen capabilities meant, as Bunting pointed out, that an opportunity existed to go back to the fundamental elements of fire and water when looking at weapon and character design.
According to Bunting, the new specialist is specifically designed for close quarters combat and the clearing out of rooms and other confined spaces. As this would clearly create situations in which the character is likely to be outnumbered, the specialist is equipped with a special ability called Heatwave. This is an area effect ability that blasts out a wave of heat energy, momentarily incapacitating the enemy and taking out their equipment.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is slated for release on November 6, which means that only three more of these videos will be released before that time. The game will release across all consoles, but there will be no campaign mode available on last gen consoles, with Activision offering a lower price for older console versions to compensate for this lack.
[Images Courtesy Activision]