Details of the cancelled campaign from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – the only game in the franchise without a dedicated single-player mode – have been leaked after four years.
As reported by Eurogamer, Reddit user Purpletoaster20 posted a detailed explanation of what was going to be a “co-operative live service” campaign that connected to Black Ops 4’s multiplayer modes and specialists. The report arrived following months of research and discussions with those familiar with the cancelled campaign, the post said, and also included more than 400 images of concept art, storyboards, early mission planning, and more, lending credence to the leak.
The campaign was reportedly set in 2070 during “the year of chaos” and followed on from the events of Black Ops III. A global pandemic and several climate disasters reduced the world order to two main factions – the World United Nations (WUN) and the Free People’s Army (FPA) – and the player would choose which to fight for.
Though also playable solo, the game would revolve around a 2 vs. 2 “race to the finish” mechanic with the world-state changing depending on which teams accomplished their goals first, essentially producing a number of different campaign experiences depending on performance and faction.
One mission, for example, called Data Control, saw the FPA infiltrate a data centre in Zurich, Switzerland to extract critical information, and naturally have players take down a number of enemies while doing so. The reverse perspective mission, however, saw the WUN infiltrate the lower parts of the facility and plant charges to destroy it. If the WUN players could do so before the FPA’s data was extracted, the entire facility would be destroyed and the WUN would take the victory.
Developer Treyarch had created a number of original characters and cutscenes to go alongside the gameplay, with each faction having its own “handler”, characters that would talk the players through each mission and generally oversee the campaign.
Sticking to the live-service theme, several DLC episodes were also planned according to the post, each featuring a handful of new missions (around one hour of content if played just once) and continuing the story of the two main factions.
The ambitious nature of the campaign may have led to its cancellation, as reports first emerged in April 2018 that Black Ops 4 would not include a single player mode for the first time in franchise history. It was allegedly scrapped because Treyarch couldn’t meet the deadline, potentially threatening Call of Duty’s annual release schedule.
The game instead prioritised the multiplayer and zombies modes and also saw the introduction of the franchise’s first Battle Royale in the Blackout mode.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
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Author: Ryan Dinsdale