While most Call of Duty games put players on the front lines, the Black Ops series plays by different rules. Call of Duty: Black Ops’ characters aren’t soldiers fighting their way across the battlefield one bullet at a time. Instead, they lurk behind the scenes, carrying out clandestine missions from among the shadows. Of course, Black Ops and its sequel are still first person shooters, with all of the quick-paced and brutal combat that fans have come to expect from the Call of Duty franchise. But patriotism and battlefield glory have no place in Black Ops. This is a world of secrets and lies, where espionage and brainwashing are just as effective as a bullet to the head.
As such, it’s fitting that the first real details about Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 weren’t officially reveale, but were instead found by a few intrepid fans poking around where they don’t belong. Following the release of Black Ops 3’s teaser trailer, which confirmed that this year’s annual Call of Duty title would return to the Black Ops universe, users began looking at the source code on Activision’s website. Inside, they discovered a treasure trove of information about of the upcoming game.
That’s not hacking, exactly – website source code is public, after all – but the information is probably something that players probably weren’t supposed to see yet. Of course, if Activision didn’t want players to hunt down information about Black Ops 3, the studio probably shouldn’t have introduced the game via a stealth announcement using QR codes and SnapChat. Intentional or not, hiding data in the website code couldn’t be more perfect, given the series’ themes.
According to Activision’s official description, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 plunges “players into a dark, twisted future” in which “the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the technology we created to stay ahead.” As in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, “cutting-edge military robotics define warfare”; in other words, it sounds like Advanced Warfare’s game-changing Exosuits (or some variant thereof) might return. Call of Duty: Black Ops will also feature three gameplay modes: Campaign, Multiplayer, and the returning fan-favorite, Zombies.
Ultimately, none of this is particularly surprising. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 already took its story into the near future, and Advanced Warfare’s Exoskeletons, which gave players new movement options while preserving the heart of Call of Duty’s gameplay, wgave the franchise a much-needed shot in the arm. At this point, taking them out would feel like a step backwards.
Activision promises that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be “the deepest and most ambitious Call of Duty ever,” and says that more information will be coming on April 26, 2015.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will arrive sometime this year.