Activision is finally adding the tip to the marketing spear for Call of Duty: Black Ops III by releasing a trailer about the story for the game, which comes out on November 6.
I’ve always enjoyed the single-player campaign stories in Call of Duty games, though many also play just for its multiplayer. This year, Activision and Treyarch released only rudimentary details of the story and showed much more of the multiplayer for this first-persons shooter than in the past.
Call of Duty games draw about 40 million players a month who play year round, and over the past decade, the franchise has generated more than $10 billion in revenues. So Activision Blizzard, the parent of publisher Activision, has a lot of stake in the release of Black Ops III.
The trailer highlights the theme of augmenting humans for combat — a theme that we’ve seen before in the Deus Ex series. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set in the year 2065, 40 years after the timing of Black Ops II. And that means that soldiers can augment themselves with artificial limbs that give them tremendous killing power.
On top of that, they can be outfitted with a Direct Neural Interface, which marries the machine and computer technology with the human brain. That overview explains the theme of the story, which is about whether humanity has gone too far.
“We wanted a perfect future, and fuck, we got it,” says the main character in the narration of the trailer. “I wanted to be a killing machine, and they made me one.”
One of the main character’s comrades, named John Tailor, has apparently gone off mission with a team that is accused of a massacre. The main character is sent in to investigate. That sets up a conflict that forms the center of the story on a personal level, against the backdrop of a wider war.
“The way I look at the hard truth, I may not want to come back,” the main character says. He also says, “My brothers have gone dark, but nobody knows just how far. I have to chase the chaos as far as it goes.”
There’s also a female combat soldier who plays a friendly role, but it’s not clear how she fits in the story.