While Call of Duty has always included action-packed single-player campaigns, the focus of the franchise has definitely shifted to multiplayer in the days since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
That doesn't mean the game series doesn't have some interesting storylines, and among them the Black Ops series of Call of Duty titles from Treyarch truly stand out. Now Treyarch has released an official story timeline video ahead of the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III to get players up to speed, and it serves as proof that there is a lot more story going on in these games than some players might give the creators credit for.
In Black Ops, Treyarch mixed the realms of fiction and reality in ways we hadn't seen before in a Call of Duty game, as players took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion, interacted with President John F. Kennedy, met Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and uncovered a bizarre, sleeper cell assassination plot, all set during the Vietnam/Cold War era. Though the story of Black Ops technically begins with the first Black Ops game, it pulled in elements and characters from Treyarch's previous entry, World at War, as well. For players who played through World at War, it was exciting to see Viktor Reznov and player character Dimitri Petrenko return in such a surprising way.
From there the series launched itself into the future in Black Ops II, while occasionally allowing players to play through various flashback missions that occurred during the 1980s. The series continued to pull in characters from previous entries in the series, with the descendants of major characters taking center stage. Black Ops II envisioned a future of warfare dominated by drones and played up the potential dangers of hacking and cyber terrorists. Black Ops III looks to continue with some of those themes, as the series is launched even further into a future where soldiers are mechanically augmented and robotic soldiers are a reality.
You can check out the full timeline below. Call of Duty: Black Ops III releases on Nov. 6, 2015 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC.