The Call of Duty sales machine had stuttered before the release of last year's Black Ops 3 with Advanced Warfare and Ghosts not hitting the sales or quality expectations for the shooter juggernaut with competing games including Halo 4 and Battlefield 4 stealing some of the limelight. Black Ops 2, released in 2012, smashed records and was praised by critics and fans alike for developer Treyarch's focus on delivering a solid multiplayer experience.
The release of its highly anticipated followup in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has seen the franchise vault back up to being number one. The NPD Group reports that Black Ops 3 was both the highest selling game in December and of 2015 overall, counting retail units sold in the U.S.. Publisher Activision doubles down every year on their massive unit sales and player bases with DLC expansions and season passes, and Black Ops 3 is no different with the Awakening DLC revealed last month, coming first to PlayStation 4 on February 2nd.
The Awakening DLC, the first map pack included in the game's season pass or bought separately, has four new multiplayer maps: Skyjacked, Rise, Splash, and Gauntlet. Maps range from a flying airship overlooking a metropolis to a subzero construction site set in Zurich. The pack also includes the Der Eisendrache Zombies map featuring returning characters and jump pads for the co-op enthusiasts - the new trailer for the zombies mode content released Tuesday (viewable up top).
A brand new live-action trailer released today however, titled ‘The Replacer Returns’, sees the comeback of fan-fave Peter Stormare as The Replacer, seen in Black Ops 2's successful marketing campaign. Awakening will release on March 2nd for Xbox One and PC, a month after its PS4 debut, with the other four map backs contained in the season pass follow a similar timed-exclusive release schedule. Activision has yet to confirm if the Awakening DLC will be coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game after a trailer before launch confirmed the season pass would be unavailable for last-gen consoles - although the publisher stated there was a possibility for individual map packs to make it. Those versions of the game didn't not include the single-player campaign either.
Activision recently announced the Call of Duty series has surpassed 250 million units sold and it's a safe bet the schedule of at least one COD game per year will continue. This year’s game will be from Infinity Ward since there are currently three studios working on different titles in tandem, the others being Treyarch (Black Ops series) and Sledgehammer Games. It was recently announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider's creative director has moved to Infinity Ward to help with the development of either a sequel to the poorly received Ghosts or something new entirely as many fans call for a return to the World War 2 era for the acclaimed franchise.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is currently available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The Awakening DLC will release on February 2nd, 2016.