The holiday season is nearly upon us, with some of the biggest video games of the year set to launch in the next few weeks. Competition is going to be fierce, with yearly franchises like Assassin's Creed going up against long-awaited sequels such as Fallout 4. As the deluge of releases begins across consoles, there's a game out there for everyone.
Of course, it wouldn't be the holidays without a new Call of Duty on the shelves. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, the latest installment in the bestselling franchise, is continuing the series' path into military science fiction and the exploration of a dystopian future. Coupled with the futuristic campaign is an expanded Zombies co-op mode, the largest in the series to date.
With only two weeks to go before the game's release, Activision has released the launch trailer (above) for Black Ops 3. The truncated video shows brief clips from the game's three main modes: campaign, competitive multiplayer, and the co-op Zombie mode.
The game's campaign takes place in a new version of the Cold War, where the main character must try and find missing soldiers in the most active zones of the war. The campaign can be played either solo or cooperatively with up to four players, with an optional "realistic" mode that allows players to be killed by a single bullet. The competitive multiplayer is fast-paced, with verticality being a major factor in the player's movement across the map.
Even in this brief trailer, the new Zombie campaign - titled Shadows of Evil - looks to be the most interesting component of the game. The mode has its own unique storyline, taking place in the fictional Morg City during the 1940s. The story revolves around four character archetypes: the Femme Fatale (Heather Graham), the Magician (Jeff Goldblum), the Boxer (Ron Perlman), and the Detective (Neal McDonough). The story draws inspiration from film-noir, with the addition of zombies and mutant creatures.
The developer also revealed new information about the game's season pass, which will include four DLC map packs as well as new Zombies content. The map packs will feature the return of fan-favorite maps from Call of Duty: World at War as well as the previous entries in the Black Ops series. The season pass also includes "The Giant", a remake of the Zombie map "Der Riese" from World at War. This new zombie mode will pick up the story told in the previous games, starring original characters Dempsey, Nikolai, Richthofen, and Takeo. It should be noted that the season pass is exclusive to the current generation of consoles.
There's no doubt that Call of Duty will be a big hit this year, but the franchise has slowed down in terms of sales the last few years. The game will also face stiff competition, with competitors like Halo 5:Guardians and Star Wars Battlefront vying for dominance in the First Person Shooter category. Considering the massive amount of hype currently around the franchise, though, it wouldn't be a surprise if Battlefront came out on top this holiday.
Call of Duty's biggest advantage is that it will be releasing on the last generation of consoles, albeit in a diminished form. So while it's very possible that Call of Duty isn't the top seller on PS4/Xbox One, odds are it will top the charts of the 360 and PS3.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 releases on November 6th, 2015.