Call of Duty Black Ops III Lets You Play Levels in any Order

Usually, video games tend to be played in a somewhat linear fashion.  You beat one level, you unlock another one, and this continues til you get to the end of the story.

But surprisingly, the next Call of Duty game won’t do this!  Instead, every single level will be immediately available to play from the start, and you’ll be able to tackle missions in any order you feel like.  Want to tackle the last ‘boss’ or mission right away?  Go ahead, no one’s gonna stop you.  In fact, you could theoretically play the entire game in reverse if you’re so inclined.

Call of Duty Black Ops III Mission

Above: Want to play this mission? You can choose do so right from the start of the game.

So why is this the case?  Why is a video game letting you tackle the levels in any order rather than forcing you to unlock stuff to continue?  Well, as said by campaign director Jason Blundell:

It gives them the flexibility to consume the content how they want, the unlocking level system is an archaic mentality we’ve had since we did bedroom development back in the day – you do this, then go on to the next one.

Consumers and game players in general are far more mature these days. There are so many things vying for our interests today. It’s about, how do they want to consume it? Maybe they put it down on level two, and then they’re in work the next day, and some guy says, “dude, you’ve got to check out level four!” And he’s like, “okay, I’ll have a quick look.” That’s totally fine. I think it’s their choice.

Sure, people will jump on and play the last level. Okay. Cool. That’s up to them. The way the story is constructed, it’s more than just the end moment. I’m sure there are many films and other media types where you could read the last page, or see the last minutes, but really you’ve got to experience all of the other stuff to truly enjoy it.

It’s apparently supposed to be like how a film or book works; you can immediately skip to the last page or use a scene select menu to watch parts you want in any order.

But what do I think?  Well to be honest… I’m not actually against this idea.  Call of Duty is (for the most part) a multiplayer centric title. People tend to see the campaign as mostly disposable when spending most of their time in online death matches.  And given that the entirety of the single player is already basically a barely interactive Hollywood movie as it is, I don’t really see any reason to keep the linear level progression in place.  No one cares much for the campaign, and those that do care mostly care about the various setpieces and other big moments that happen at different points in the story.
What do you think about Call of Duty Black Ops III and its new level/mission progression system?


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