Black Ops Gulf War will continue controversial MW3 campaign feature

Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War will reportedly have a “map more akin to that of Far Cry” as the main location for its campaign on PS5 and Xbox.

Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War: Adler with a scar on his face and wearing sunglasses. He's holding a cigarette. The logos of PS and Xbox float next to him

Despite no official reveal for PS5 and Xbox players as of yet, a mountain of leaks means that Black Ops Gulf War is widely expected to be the 2024 Call of Duty title. And here’s one more rumor to add to the pile: a new report claims that BOGW is going to build upon one of the most controversial elements of MW3’s loathed campaign – open-world missions.

Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer (and, surprisingly, its Warzone-inspired Zombies experience as well) has been a blast since it launched a few months back. This is a fun Call of Duty, and so far the stream of new content has been as good as you’d expect it to be from a COD title these days. However, there’s no escaping the disaster that was its short, review-score-wrecking campaign. For a game that’s comfortably one of the best FPS games out there at the moment, its campaign was nowhere near the same standard as the other two core modes.

MW3 did at least try to innovate with Open Combat Missions – more open, choice-based levels that could be completed in several ways – mixed into the more traditional, linear levels. While OCMs showed promise, even they fell pretty flat.

It seems though that Activision wants to give it another crack, as a new leak from Insider Gaming claims that this year’s Black Ops Gulf War will “embrace an open-world campaign”.

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“The game’s open world will see the player and their squad navigate [a] map more akin to that of Far Cry than anything we’ve seen before in the Call of Duty universe,” Insider Gaming alleges.

Now, that sounds pretty scary if you ask us. Zombies already received the open-world treatment in MW3, and while the gameplay loop there works fairly well, we can’t see that translating into an actual campaign storyline. Plus, the aforementioned Open Combat Missions left a lot to be desired. However, there will apparently still be some linear missions thrown in as well, although Insider Gaming doesn’t know the full ratio of open-world content versus linear content just yet.

Despite the game being headed by Treyarch, which is looking after the multiplayer and Zombies experience, Black Ops Gulf War’s campaign is allegedly being developed by the studio that made MW3’s campaign, Sledgehammer. While a lead developer has reportedly not been assigned to COD 2025 yet, that game is also said to be leaning towards an open-world campaign.

We haven’t even had this year’s game revealed by Activision yet, so, as always, take this leak with a grain of salt. However, if it does materialize, we can’t wait to see if Black Ops Gulf War manages to perfectly blend a linear COD campaign with open world game elements, or if it receives a similar reception to Modern Warfare 3.

This leak follows a revelation from data miners that an iconic Zombies weapon is set to return in Black Ops Gulf War Zombies – and it could be hinting at a remake of Black Ops 2’s Tranzit map. For other COD news, check out why Xbox players shouldn’t get their hopes up about Call of Duty games coming to Game Pass.