A History Of The Near-Cyberfuture In Cod Blops 3 Trailer

One detail I enjoy in the world of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is that once cybernetics truly take off, the Paralympics eclipse the Olympics because cyborgs are way cooler. The cybered-up future envisioned in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 [official site] is a bit more boring. 2028 for the milestone of a lady with robolegs winning a gold medal against two with meatsticks seems unimaginative, not to mention unfair to the lowly meatbags.

Anyway, anyway, if you’re wondering about the path to cyberfuture, cybersoldiers, and genome soldiers that Blops 3 will follow, here, this new trailer’s a spot of speculative cyberfiction that might entertain until this year’s CoD is given its big reveal on Sunday.

The shift to the future means that, hopefully, they can carry on with the double-jumping and dodging introduced with CoD: Advanced Warfare‘s exoskeletons. Though CoD jumps around history and the near-future, its movement capabilities mostly stayed the same for years. It would be odd – and a shame – if they removed such a big change straight away. Still, I imagine the series will go back to the past at some point, and will need to figure out how to make up for that. Maybe after a few years’ rest for CoD, folks will be happy to run on plain old meatsticks.

Beyond a future setting with cybersoldiers, all we really know for now is that developers Treyarch are working their zombie mode mojo again. Publishers Activision are planning a big reveal this weekend, which I imagine will involve a whole load of pre-rendered cutscenes and BWAAAAMP! noises, even though BWAAAAMP! is so 2010. For now, the cyberfuture:

(Yes, the Deus Ex folks have seen it.)


  1. Orija says:

    How popular is the CoD series nowadays on pc and elsewhere? I hardly ever hear about it.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Lol, there’s your answer right there, by EmilyIngram the spambot. That should tell you all you need to know.

      As far as I know, CoD still sells a monster truck load of games and it was only because of the GTA V launch in 2013 that it didn’t get to be the most commercially successful game of that year. I don’t know what game won that title 2014, but chances are it’s CoD: Advanced Warfare and that CoD won that title several of the past years before GTA V was released.

      Overall sales of 2013’s CoD Ghosts were down compared to 2012’s CoD Black Ops 2 according to Wikipedia, but it’s hardly seen as something to worry/cheer about, because it still sold 19 million copies compared to Ghosts’ 24 million.

    • airmikee says:

      The entire series has sold 175 million units across 12 years.

      I don’t play any of the games, but it’s easy to see that anyone talking shit about CoD is doing so because of the games success.

  2. Not_Id says:

    The best things to come from the COD franchise was Modern Warfare and this Doom mod link to m.youtube.com

  3. AbsoluteShower says:

    Pistorius had to prove he didn’t have an unfair advantage to compete in able-bodied sport, good luck proving that with powered robotics!

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      Didn’t he then lose anyway and it was all a bit embarrassing?

    • Orija says:

      It’s all a bit bullshit, you have black guys dominating sprint events and marathons, and white folks winning at swimming. Genetic disposition plays such a major role that the advent of robotic prosthetic limbs won’t exactly make the game anymore skewed than it is.

      • aldo_14 says:

        It’s all a bit bullshit, you have black guys dominating sprint events and marathons, and white folks winning at swimming. Genetic disposition plays such a major role that the advent of robotic prosthetic limbs won’t exactly make the game anymore skewed than it is.

        There are rather more differences between the winners of, say, Olympic swimming and Olympic running than just ethnicity though. Resources and role models also apply.

        • Orija says:

          I donno, man, white folks have al the resources and rolemodels to excel at running but they don’t. You know, sprinters are born, not made.

          It doesn’t have anything to do with ethnicity or whatever category, my point is the significant role that genetics already play in your success as an athletes.

          • AbsoluteShower says:

            You are conflating running with sprinting. Sprinting isn’t dominated by Black people so much as it is a tiny minority of Kenyans, who come form a high-altitude area.

            Also, they weren’t competitive runners until they received specialized and ongoing Western-style training.

          • Aetylus says:

            For a much more erudite and balanced assessment of the factors than can possible be had on an interweb comment list, try this: link to forbes.com

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          Resources? Most middle and long distance champions are from terribly poor third world countries…

      • Steve Catens says:

        Yeah, and whites dominate Golf, Sailing, Fencing, Competitive Halo, Dungeons and Dragons freestyle, the 50 yard College Graduation, and Men’s Pro Wall Streeting. The upper class seems also to mysteriously dominate any sport that requires a lot of expensive equipment–go figure. Must be genetics and nothing to do with cultural and societal differences. Too bad we didn’t inherit those sweet Bullfighting genes like the Spanish.

        Like everything else in life, nature plays a role, but not nearly as much as nurture. You aren’t born to be anything. You become what you work at becoming, shaped by the environment you live in, and different cultures promote/discourage becoming different things.

        • Orija says:

          Do you then have an answer for why black youth even in western countries are better at running? Don’t say that whites aren’t as interested in track and field because that would be naive and ignorant.

          • Steve Catens says:

            You seem to be confusing the concept of a group being better represented in a certain area, with a group being “better than other groups” in that area. I was hoping my previous comparison of sports to other activities with disproportionate representation would force you to reflect on how untenable your position is, and the slippery slope you are currently plummeting down.

            No such luck, though. Maybe whatever racial identity you identify as just missed out on those Self-Awareness genes.

          • Orija says:

            I don’t even know what you’re trying to say anymore. Do you think track and field has those of african origin better represented rather than just being better? That’s plainly wrong. Unless you want to contend that lesser number of whites go for track and field than blacks. Which is wrong as well.

          • AbsoluteShower says:

            Are they though? A lot of the top runners come from a very small percentage of Black people. It’s not as if being black or White is an advantage in itself.

            Environment plays a huge role, High-altitude runners have some advantages from that.

      • AbsoluteShower says:

        To suggest hat a (currently fictional) robotic enhancement couldn’t trump genetics shows just how laughable people’s understanding of both field’s are.

        Racial genetic ‘superiority’ doesn’t exist.

        • Orija says:

          The only thing laughable here is your reading comprehension. I hate it when westerners get all puffy and offended, and start talking ethnic/racial

          • Steve Catens says:

            Yeah, I imagine you encounter that sort of thing a lot, don’t you. People always trying to make your inherently racist positions into some kind of racial issue. Stupid westerners. They all got the “huffy” genes.

          • Orija says:

            Not really, it’s usually just white folks.

          • Jenks says:

            Science vs politics. Unfortunately one side immediately labels the other as racists to shut down the conversation. We are all exactly the same!

          • Steve Catens says:

            Except there’s no credible science that suggests microvariances in perceived racial divisions counts for anything close to training and effort in sporting success. There certainly is science suggesting that certain body types are slightly better suited for certain activities, and people from certain geographic regions tend to produce more of certain body types than others. And obviously certain body types are required for specific, highly specialized sporting activities (a 5 foot tall person of any skin color cannot realistically hope to compete with a 6 foot 7 inch tall person of any skin color at the position of professional Basketball center.)

            There is, however, a lot of science calling the entire notion of human “race” into question in general, and debunking the myth of racially based sporting dominance specifically. There is no credible scientific evidence that suggests that two people with the same body type possess any genetic microvariance based on skin color that counts for anything so much as training and effort. When it comes to representation in sports, or ANY human endeavor, there are always a dozen better, more logical cultural and societal reasons to look to first, without making a spurious connection about race.

            The sport of Polo requires very expensive equipment to maintain compared to a football or a long stretch of land to run on, and is generally only practiced by the upper class in certain social circles by the upper class. In my country, the upper class overwhelmingly looks one way. The sport of Polo is overwhelmingly dominated by people that look a certain way. Therefore people that look that way are genetically predisposed to succeed at Polo, right?

            Women are underrepresented in the gaming industry, despite being a large portion of the gaming audience. Obviously there can be no other reason for this than genetics. Care to make the argument that men are genetically superior to women at making games? Didn’t think so.

            Canasta is a card game played by overwhelmingly by older people. Surely this is a result of a glandular secretion rendering old folks vastly superior at certain types of card games, and not simply a generational and cultural difference.

            Most people would never jump to those conclusions, and yet they still have no problem trotting out the racial dominance myth for sports, based on nothing other than skin color. It’s inherently, if not intentionally, racist, and a stone’s throw from making judgements in other areas based on skin color , for instance in the area of college graduation rates, the criminal justice system, and in economic strata. After all, all those areas are racially skewed.

            Not everyone of a certain skin color has the same physical characteristics, and cultural, societal and environmental pressures play a far greater role in determining the player base among social groups, as well as physiological differences. Talent is a skill you work at for years. I’m a painter and sculptor. The reason you are statistically probably not as good (just making a wild assumption) of a painter and sculptor as I am, is because I’ve been doing it for years, and you probably haven’t, instead choosing to focus on doing something else which you are no doubt better than me at doing. Genetics may play some infinitesimal part in that, but for the most part, it just comes down to the doing. Some cultures, for any number of reasons, have a higher rate of people doing certain things than others.

          • Steve Catens says:

            That’s not the worst part of enforcing the racial dominance myth. The worst part is that it takes extraordinary people of ability, who have trained and sacrificed to reach that level of skill, and says there’s nothing special about them. It’s all in the blood. The only reason you’re better than me is because you were born that way. The only way you can be extraordinary is because of genetic superiority, rather than superiority of determination, commitment, and personal brilliance. It’s racist (intentionally or otherwise), it’s demeaning, and a shockingly petty insult.

          • Steve Catens says:

            ^ “Reinforce”, not “enforce”. Please give us the edit button back!

          • Orija says:

            It’s an insult and offensive to white people who like acting pissed off the mention of the word race or ethnicity. I appreciate your detailed response, but you are giving fallacious examples to back up your argument. College graduation, polo or formula one can not be used to gauge racial predilection because of how, like you yourself say, these fields see disproportionate participation from one group. Track and field is a discipline that sees participation from across categories and ethnicities which is why it serves as a good measure.

            You talk about altitude training, well, white athletes do it too. It would only take someone who is scared of racial boogeyman like you to deny what’s in front of him.

          • Steve Catens says:

            It would only take someone who is scared of racial boogeyman like you to deny what’s in front of him.

            Ah, “what you see right in front of you”– the traditional rallying cry to support any number of unfortunate human ideas. The problem is, and science bears this out again and again, human beings are really bad at reliably making sense out of what is “right in front of us.”

            We are aggressive pattern matching engines, which has served us well in evolutionary terms, but it leads us to make overly simplified connections in complex situations. We see shapes in the clouds as our brains struggle to fit complex systems into familiar patterns (pareidolia). We prefer simple narratives to complicated ones, and our political systems suffer for it. It leads us to connect poor weather with angry deities offended by some deficiency in our offerings, rather than the unfortunate collision of warm and cold fronts in complicated global weather systems. And it has also led some people to come to truly unfortunate and demeaning conclusions about some human beings based on factors as superficial as skin color.

      • OmNomNom says:

        Who gives a shit. Robot vs robot I say.

      • airmikee says:

        Do you have any facts or evidence to support your claim that it’s all about genetic differences and not say, cultural differences?

        Cause I’ve got some facts to prove your opinion is nothing more than bullshit.

        link to bloombergview.com
        link to bleacherreport.com

  4. ribby says:

    Pretty neat trailer I thought

  5. Unclepauly says:

    I never asked for this.

  6. D0rkAngl says:

    Best tease for a 4 year old game ever.

    Yeah, I know, DX isn’t the only game that gets to do near-future cybernetics, but it seriously looks just like a teaser for Human Revolution.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      The same notion occurred to me. Pretty good trailer, all in all. I very much doubt CoD will be able to live up to it, though.

  7. vlonk says:

    The irony of it all is this:
    This COD will come and go. Lets take a wild wild guess and assume it actually depicts this fundamental crisis of the human future that will shape the coming generation acurately, thoroughly and with a obvious/hidden/deep/take your pick political moral attached.

    This game will sell – as always – better than books will ever do in the target demographic. It WILL be played by the generation that grows into this human techno drama Lhama. Those people will have experienced all the nuances of this conflict already before it ever happens. They might have formed an opinion on it already and might be therefore more vocal about it when those things arise in the real world.

    When they now have flashbacks of their youth and need to align themselves in the “je suis charlie” of their times… will they instinctively remember the human tragedy, conflict and loss depicted in the trailer or will they remember the double jump and kick ass eye enhancements?

    Something something morals in games might matter something something.

    • that_guy_strife says:

      While I can agree that as a depiction of a future based on our reality and recent times, I really don’t think that a CoD has all the nuances of following serious papers, reading texts from Descartes, Voltaire, Kant, reading well developed sagas of fictions, listening to or playing music, etc.

      That’s why I think that while games can help with analycal reasoning, problem solving and mechanicals, most of them follow the hero type and thus are somewhat uni-dimensional.

      • vlonk says:

        I can agree with everything you say except, that I believe to understand one thing about the human mind that differs from your assessment: A person can – and occasionally does – decide on sweeping life defining choices just by his gut feeling. The gut feeling is most often a sum of all of his life experiences that vaguely connect to the topic.
        This gut feeling (boosted by our beliefs and dreams as a young adult to achieve the double jump) then could show itself in a grown man as a bias towards body enhancements because of unquestioned sympathy for it.

        And now the simpleness of games like COD can become a problem.

        Now if I associate with body alterations and technology my personal empowerment and superhuman abilities that makes me probably steer towards them. If I associate the alterations with health risks, transplant rejections, phantom pains and a gradual loss of my humanity I will probably steer away from them.

        Meet the lvl up system of Deus Ex HR (and most Cybergames), where the player power progression is achieved by becoming more of a cyborg with no negative repercussions.

        Now contrast it to lets say the RPG system Shadowrun where human purity is a limited resource of your character where every modification pushes you towards becoming an emotionless quasi lifeless robot. And since every mod is irreversible you tend to go towards insanity. Knowing this conflict most players carefully set their own limits with what little humanity left they feel comfortable on their character sheet. Faced with the grave loss of personality and potential for growth by loosing your own legs forever this double jump might not be that interesting anymore.

        Same topic, two very very different approaches. To be fair DX:HR as all Deus Ex games weave the negative sides of enhancements deeply into their storylines, showing tragic victims of their times like the “outdated” cyborg who gets beaten by every metric by the newer teched Mr. Dent, talking about unwilling receivers of implants (sex enhancements for slaveworkers) etc.

        To make one point clear: I care more for the opinion of the young people then my own, because when this tech comes around I am probably a rather privileged old fuck and get plastered all day with ads that I can trade my money for life expectancy. I get to ask this tragic question: blow all my money (maybe in vain) into my own life expectancy or boost the overall life quality of my kids with leaving them a heritage.

  8. Synesthesia says:

    That was actually pretty good! Good for them.

  9. vorador says:

    So Call of Deus: Black Ops Revolution?

    Well, modern CoD games don’t do anything for me, but at least this time the plot might be smarter than their average. We will see.

  10. Ejia says:

    The Olympics in Nairobi! Kenya believe it?

    I don’t like the action movie thrill ride style of the CoD campaigns, so I usually stay away from them. I will make an exception for lasers, though.

  11. OmNomNom says:

    So…this is the same as the last COD but now you have robot legs and auto aim is turned riiiight the way up? xD

  12. yhancik says:

    We will have solved human augmentation, but these damn video glitches will still be there, obviously.

  13. Dave L. says:

    That response tweet from the official Deus Ex twitter account needs an article all to itself.

  14. c0rethebastard says:

    So they are trying to be Deus Ex?

  15. The_Ramen_Within says:

    Why would an augmented person ever be allowed to run against fleshies? How is that obviously not a thing which is directly comparable to doping?

    Also, whenever brain to machine interfacing appears I can’t help but think that all soldiers will be replaced by remotely controlled androids with 1:1 feedback, lighter and stronger because they don’t require organs and ultimately cheaper because they’re being piloted by soldiers who aren’t at risk.