While we’ve been getting teasers for Call of Duty: Black Ops III for a few weeks now, the game was only officially unveiled on Sunday at Activision and Treyarch’s official event. There, they revealed some big details about the game’s different modes and what we can expect.
One of the big changes is the return of the four-player cooperative campaign. In Black Ops III, the campaign will be playable from end to end in cooperative mode with anywhere from two to four players. It can still be played solo, of course, but Black Ops III marks the first appearance of the full cooperative mode since Call of Duty: World at War, released in 2008.
To make the notion as welcoming as possible, Treyarch is taking a couple important measures. 2-player split screen play will once again be available to ensure the cooperative options is available as long as there’s one console or PC and one copy of the game available. Also, if one of your friends is further along than you are, you won’t be prevented from jumping into their mission because of that. If the hosting player has opened up a mission through gameplay, any other player joining them will have access to it as well.
To accommodate the presence of four human players, levels will be wider than they have been in the past. Things will likely still be pretty linear – we’re not looking at Destiny‘s MMO-like structure or anything like that – just bigger, more complex spaces to play in. Treyarch also is expecting to have more complex AI filling those spaces. Human characters will act with more self-preservation in mind, while robotic soldiers won’t have to worry about that. Boring AI has always been one of the last things to get a bump each console generation, so I’m hoping that this really is a focus for Treyarch and not something that’ll get pushed off.
Finally, each of the players will be able to customize their characters separately. Rather than just going through as four Army Guys, each player will be able to choose which cybernetic implants they have to accomplish different goals within the mission.
As much focus as there is on multiplayer deathmatch-style in Call of Duty, cooperative gameplay has been missing for far too long, and we’re looking forward to seeing its return in Black Ops III.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III releases November 6 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.