Call Of Duty: Black Ops III is a bit of a black sheep in the family of Call Of Duty games as, of the core games that are available through retail, it is the only game in the series to have launched without a campaign. There was a lot of reporting that pointed to troubled development which eventually led to the game’s campaign being scrapped so that the multiplayer suite could still launch in the usual holiday period. Now, our first tease at what could have been, with a Reddit user, Purpletoaster20 revealing a few blockout images, and a description to go with them.
Here’s some early blockout images from Black Ops 3’s open world campaign. It was originally envisioned as a “hub world” experience, where players would travel through a large area interconnected by hubs. In the Singapore hub, you’d have areas such as the Chinatown, Downtown, Hilltop Park, Black Station, Biodome, etc – all with unique objectives, outposts and missions. You could explore the areas freely, taking down enemies, completing side missions, collecting upgrades and progressing the story at your own pace.
Examples of objectives are eliminating scientists, neutralizing bio-caches, destroying weapon caches, sabotaging outposts, defending an area, and so on. There would’ve been a safehouse connecting all of the hub world locations and a VTOL exfil system, additionally the screenshots seem to depict a day/night cycle with a night vision mechanic. Jetpack was also planned at this point in development, so scaling buildings and environment would’ve been much easier.
Other interesting notes. The game world seems to have included ammo and equipment crates, some form of token/currency system and buyable defenses such as barricades. It’s seem they really wanted to make the game world super interactive, as you’d be spending large portions of the game in these hub worlds.
Keep in mind these are early prototype images, so the environments are still in blockout (although some such as the Hilltop area seem far more detailed). This version of BO3’s campaign was worked on for a bit over a year, pretty much all of 2013, before being scrapped entirely in early-mid 2014 with the current vision of the campaign. Interestingly, some of the locations (such as all of the Singapore hub world locations) would be reimagined as missions in the actual BO3 campaign; albeit likely remade from scratch.
We’ll never know how far they got completely, but this is some fascinating insight. Hopefully more emerges in the future.