The inevitable Call of Duty 2015 edition will land on November 6th, according to leaked retail posters from good old Gamestop.
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 takes place in a "dark and twisted" near future, following Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's segue into military futurism.
In addition to the posters from Gamestop, magazine pages have leaked onto reddit, giving us an idea of some of Black Ops 3's content.
Appearing first on CharlieIntel.com, the above poster not only gives us a Nov 6th launch date, but details on a closed beta available for PS4, Xbox One and PC owners who preorder the game.
...*Beta will be available only on the following platforms: PlayStation® 4, Xbox One, and PC. Actual platform availability and launch date(s) to be determined. See www.callofduty.com/beta for more details and Beta launch dates for each platform. Limited time only, while Beta codes last, at participating retailers...
There's no mention of an Xbox 360 or PS3 versions, but when you consider the fact Activision have been re-using the same Call of Duty engine for several years it stops seeming likely that it'll be new-gen exclusive. There are still millions of gamers happy with their past-gen consoles, and unless Black Ops 3 features massive advancements in tech or graphical fidelity there's no reason to think it won't appear on the consoles of old.
In addition to the poster leak, leaked photos from an un-named game magazine give us an idea of Black Ops 3's content.
Zombies are back. This will surprise no-one, Treyarch's tongue-in-cheek Nazi zombie mode from World at War has evolved into a Call of Duty staple, now appearing in non-Treyarch Call of Duty games. According to the scans, zombie mode will now feature a full XP progression system, presumably in addition to the XP progression system typical of the regular multiplayer. In World at War at least, players procured weapons on-site, rather than as part of unlocks accrued via XP. The change will inject a little of that unlock-addictiveness that Battlefield and Call of Duty are famous for.
Alterations to movement. Advanced Warfare gave players new options for environmental traversal, adding in some limited double jumping jet packs and similar things - it was a far cry from the freedom Titanfall players enjoy however. Black Ops 3 looks to be furthering that freedom with a new movement system, that will allow players to combine thrusts, slides and vaults into a "multitude of combinations". Activision stop short of calling it parkour, but after playing Titanfall Call of Duty has felt muted for me, hopefully these changes will be to the benefit of the game, and not detriment.
Full co-op campaign. Black Ops 3's campaign will be playable by up to 4 players at a time, utilizing Call of Duty's, ahem, "world class" network infrastructure. Co-operative campaign is a welcome addition, particularly as Call of Duty's single player outings aren't very highly regarded (by me, at least).
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 will enjoy a full reveal on April 26th 2015, where I expect many of the above features to be confirmed. As a lapsed fan of the franchise, I'm more than a little cynical about annualized series' which see little in terms of alterations year in year out, but I'll retain an open mind - Treyarch have made all of my favourite Call of Duty games thus far, after all.