Sat. Jan 28th, 2023
Why I'm glad Treyarch lets you skip to the end of Black Ops 3

It’s been about a year now since I used the pages of Ars Technica to argue forcefully that developers should no longer lock bits of in-game content behind artificial gameplay barriers. Now it looks like that idea is getting some high-profile support from the best-selling Duty franchise, which gives players access to every story mission from the start black ops 3 starts on November 6.

In an interview with Eurogamer announcing the move, campaign, and zombies mode, director Jason Blundell reiterates many of the same arguments I’ve made against the default unlock system. “The unlock level system is an archaic mindset that we’ve had since we used to do bedroom development — you do this and then move on to the next one,” Blundell said. “Consumers and gamers in general are much more mature these days. There are so many things competing for our interests these days. It’s about ‘how do they want to consume it?'”

If a player wants to jump straight to level four after a friend’s recommendation, “that’s totally fine. I think it’s their choice,” Blundell said. If a player wants to spoil the whole story by jumping all the way to the end? “OK. Cool. That’s up to them,” he said.

Blundell compared the black ops 3 story to a Netflix TV series like House of cards. People have the option to jump straight to the last episode of the season, but they almost always don’t. “It’s about the journey,” he noted. In any case, Blundell added that the entire campaign will be ruined via YouTube videos almost immediately after the game comes out. And in a world where spoilers are so easily accessible outside of the game, keeping things under lock and key inside the game is much less logical.

I applaud Blundell and the black ops 3 team for taking a wise step to give players more complete and convenient access to all the content they purchase, and I hope other developers will follow suit. Next time, I’d even urge Treyarch to take it further by letting players jump directly into individual scenes in the game or letting them play with their weapons and abilities at will in a sort of sandbox mode. But for now, I’ll take what I can get.

By akfire1

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