In an announcement sure to raise a few eyebrows, Activision and Treyarch have revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops III for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will not include the Campaign mode featured as part of the PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC release. Instead the last-gen versions will just feature the Multiplayer and Zombies gameplay modes.
According to the announcement, the “ambitious scope” of the cooperative campaign, which can be played cooperatively by 1-4 players, “could not be faithfully recreated on old generation hardware.” A number of other features designed to leverage the new hardware, such as the Weapon Paint Shop and new suite of eSports tools, will also be absent from the PS3/X360 versions.
Last-gen players will not be left entirely without a narrative experience, since all versions of the game will still include “Shadows of Evil,” the Lovecraftian 1940s film noir-inspired zombies gameplay mode. The narrative elements of the mode will be supported by its cast of Hollywood notables, including Heather Graham, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Perlman, and others. Call of Duty campaigns have also always been secondary to the competitive multiplayer experience, which will still be accessible by all players: “PS3 and Xbox 360 players can continue to look forward to a new experience of Black Ops 3 multiplayer, including the new momentum-based, chain-movement system, as well as the all-new Specialist class of 9 Black Ops soldiers, which fundamentally change the way players engage in combat.”
The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Black Ops III will retail at a recommended price of $50 (as opposed to $60 for the new-gen versions). That will also include a bonus download of the original Call of Duty: Black Ops, which remains among the best-selling video games of all time.
What do you think? Is this fair encouragement for players to upgrade to the new generation of consoles, or is it an insult to series fans? Would you rather play a limited and slightly discounted version on the older consoles, or skip it altogether? Sound off in the comments!