HomeTech First look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 6: 300 GB of spies, zombies and Margaret Thatcher

First look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 6: 300 GB of spies, zombies and Margaret Thatcher

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First look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 6: 300 GB of spies, zombies and Margaret Thatcher

METERMicrosoft pulled no punches with its Xbox showcase this year. After a series of announcements about job losses and studio closures, the company looked to give players what they wanted at its Sunday night Summer Game Fest slot, which ended with a full 40-minute preview of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, such a large game, will require a 300 GB download, as well as continuous online access even for single player mode, due to the number of textures that will be streamed from remote servers. As expected, the Xbox version will be available on day one on GamePass, but there will be no platform exclusivity: the PlayStation version will arrive on the same day: October 25.

The game itself is set during the geopolitical tumult of the early 1990s, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the Gulf War, and the transition of the American presidency from George Bush to Bill Clinton. As always, the Campaign story is a novel airport spy thriller that encompasses deniable CIA operations, clandestine power struggles, and conspiracies that go to the top, damn it. Series regular Frank Woods has been seriously injured and removed from active duty, making way for reckless special operations squad leader Troy Marshall and brainy CIA handler Jane Harrow. When a mission fails, they are forced to go rogue and recruit a ragtag team of tech nerds and glamorous assassins. It will almost certainly be his There’s an ass on the line here, sir.

In keeping with the most recent Call of Duty titles, Black Ops 6 promises a bit of variety in how you can attempt campaign missions. Most scenes, whether you’re in a glamorous southern European casino or a northern Russian tundra, allow for a gun attack or a stealth approach. There are even sequences where players can converse with NPCs to open up new possibilities, such as bribing senators to allow access to forbidden areas. We’ll see familiar faces from the era, including Saddam Hussein, George Bush and Margaret Thatcher, although perhaps fortunately Activision has confirmed that the latter will at least not be a playable option.

Call of Duty titles are usually created in a short two-year period, but for this one, co-developers Treyarch and Raven had double that time. “We were really given the opportunity to redefine what a Black Ops game is,” says associate design director Matt Scronce. “We could be very intentional in every decision we make along the way. In the past, each game built on the last, but with this one, it really was kind of a basic build: a redefinition of Black Ops.”

One of the biggest changes to the feel of the game is a new system called Omnidirection that allows players to run and slide in all directions. “Motion fluidity was a big topic we talked about a lot,” says Yale Miller, senior director of production at Treyarch. “That created the desire to see what we could do.”

Ground floor construction… Call of Duty: Black Ops 6. Photography: Microsoft

Scronce explains: “At first we tried to do a juke, a quick side step. But when we looked at movement in Black Ops 6, it was about keeping players in this state of flow, and fluidity and fidelity fueled that, and something like a juke just didn’t do it for us on that side. So we went back to the drawing board. For over 20 years you’ve only been able to run forward in Call of Duty, so we look at the best of the best in the real world: NFL players, NBA players, tennis players, they can all move very quickly in all directions.”

Players now have 360 ​​degrees of movement to run, dive and slide, which should allow for a greater variety of evasive maneuvers: you can supine and roll for cover, or even recreate that classic move from Hong Kong action movies of the time. : Sliding back on his butt while shooting forward. Naturally, the system required thousands of new frames of animation and motion capture, which could only have happened with that extra development time.

According to the team, accessibility has also been an important element. A new smart motion system has been introduced, adding crouching, running and hovering assists that can be turned on and off. Players can choose to fully automate jumping over walls or sliding under low obstacles. The inspiration for this came from a variety of different games. “I looked at the Forza series, with traction control, anti-lock and turn assists,” Scronce says. “Also, mobile games are a great example that you don’t have physical buttons, so what are they doing there?” The HUD has also been made customizable so players can navigate on-screen information such as minimaps. It’s a feature created with Call of Duty streamers in mind, as they often want to add a camera view of themselves in-game and have a hard time deciding where to place it without hiding vital information.

The crucial multiplayer component has been reworked considerably, cutting back on some recent mods. There are 16 new maps, mostly adopting the traditional three-lane layout, while the Prestige system, which allows veteran players to show off their mastery with exclusive outfits, accessories and ranked weapons, has returned to the style of previous Black games. Ops. Treyarch also promises a vast arsenal of period weapons, with dozens of accessories.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 – Capitol Station. Photography: Microsoft

Elsewhere, the normal Call of Duty Zombies mode, which Treyarch first introduced in 2008’s World at War, is returning to its roots. The latest Modern Warfare titles introduced a new type of open-world zombie game, but Black Ops 6 returns to the old round-based structure where players work together to survive waves of undead attacks while unlocking new weapons. and explore contained environments. .

So the Call of Duty monster truck rolls on, bringing with it a convoy of concerns about the appropriation of recent historical events, the glamorization of American foreign policy, and the enthusiasm for military-grade weaponry. But like the best blockbuster war movies, it has its appeal, and Black Ops 6 looks to bring some interesting additions to the feel of the series, perhaps showing the benefit of giving the studios a little more time. . As Scronce puts it: “I think overall the extra time has allowed us to pay attention to the details and bring that little bit more to where we can all say, whether it’s the fidelity or the movement of the characters, the animations, the audio or our multiplayer mode. maps, this is the best thing we have done.”

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