After more than 12 games and billions of dollars later, Call of Duty will finally feature a female protagonist in its campaign mode ... if you want it to.

The recently revealed Call of Duty: Black Ops III from developer Treyarch will feature fully customizable campaign characters for the first time. These characters can be male of female, as revealed by Black Ops III executive producer Jaso Blundell.

"And, by the way, that means you've got a full female track for the whole thing," Blundell says.

These custom characters will be joining up with the characters of other players in the game's four-player enabled campaign mode, another first for the series.

Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia says the game's script will be gender neutral for the most part, so the experience will be the same whether you choose to create a male or female hero. He cites Sigourney Weaver's script in the first Alien film, originally written with a man in mind for the lead role, as an example of Treyarch's approach.

"The emotions and dynamics between characters is kind of gender neutral," Lamia said at a roundtable interview session for the Black Ops III reveal.

Female characters have appeared in Call of Duty before, but not in such a major way. Players stepped into the shoes of one woman warrior for a portion of the campaign in Call of Duty: Finest Hour way back in 2004, and could also play as Chloe "Karma" Lynch in the optional Strike Force missions seen in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Advanced Warfare included an important (but unplayable) female soldier in the form of Ilona and also gave players the option to create a female avatar for the game's multiplayer modes. There have been various playable female characters throughout the various zombie modes seen in the game's as well.

That makes the addition of a female hero a big deal for female fans of the series who may not have felt well represented in past games. For once, a girl can be the star of the show if you so desire. In the bleak future of Black Ops III, where nanomachines, robotic soldiers and superweapons run amok, it is at least comforting to know that women kick just as much butt as the men.

For our full history of the Call of Duty franchise, click here.

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