Call of Duty Black Ops 3 allows players to customize their character in the game's single player mode campaign, which makes a lot of sense especially since nowadays majority of games allow you to customize your own character and many people prefer using an avatar which they modified as oppose to the generic default character. Not only can you customize your avatar but for the first in history players are given the option to choose their preferred gender, a feature which hasn't been possible before.
Now this might seem like the perfect campaign unless you're a poc who enjoys playing as someone who resembles you, while the game does allow you to play as a female character, it doesn't allow you to change your skin tone whatsoever. That's right folks, a multi-million dollar game with hundreds of developers still manages to exclude a diverse experience in the single player campaign mode by not allowing players to change their skin colour, a feature which we feel is of the most importance in character customization, you can't really make this up in 2015 and you shouldn't have to either, especially for a long-established franchise.
"you can change your gender but are unable to choose a different skin tone."
What's funny is that Activision has taken two steps forward and one step back, which is evident since you can change your gender but are unable to choose a different skin tone. The game is set in a modern real-world setting so it doesn't make sense why you can't choose another skin colour besides the default white skin tone which the game locks your avatar with. What's pretty strange about all this is that you can actually play as poc characters in the online multiplayer's portion of the game, so the real question is why is this not an option in the single player mode?
Massive blockbuster games that feature character customization should at least commit to building diverse character customization options which reflects it's fan base and consumers, it's quite inconsiderate to cut diversity from a popular video game franchise which has players from multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds. Cutscene issues? Well tons of games allow you to see your custom character in cutscenes no matter what they look like so that shouldn't be used as an excuse under any circumstance.
Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain allows you to play as multiple characters from different ethnic backgrounds once you reached a certain part of the game, you can be black, white, Hispanic or Asian. Being able to change the default character was a pleasant surprise, something which is not possible in Blops 3, a game which where you start of as a random soldier unlike in MGSV which you are playing as a recognizable protagonist of the series.
The last game Call of Duty: Advance Warfare had a more diverse cast so it's kind of surprising that Infinity Ward and Treyarch would decide to take a step backwards in regard to implementing extra skin colours, what's even's more disappointing is that are actually poc characters in single player, only they are not playable. When we look at the character select screen in the game, we're pretty sure majority of the faces look the same, which has us asking where's the diversity? Variations on face dirt and hair isn't what makes a character customization desirable.
If you think it's to with the voice acting in the game, then you're most probably aren't looking at the bigger picture, while the main character's voice actor is white that isn't an issue neither especially for a massive studio with a large number of staff, they could have easily gotten a bunch of low tier voice actors, thus having multiple race options, problem solved.
So again we ask where's the diversity in single player campaign? A quick fire solution would be to broaden out the colour pallets and facial features but doesn't it feel a bit late? Not being able to adjust the skin tone on any of those faces is disappointing, what's the point in them allowing you to choose, but only allowing you to those choices? Character customization in games should give players more options, never limiting the player's experience. Conclusion.. Despite the opportunity to play as a female character they really dropped the ball here. what do you think?