Augmentations are cybernetic or biological modifications to the human body, intended to do things such as improve physical or mental abilities or to heal disabilities and ailments. They appear in Call of Duty: Black Ops III and its promotional material such as V.E.R.S.I.O.N.
Several different kinds of augmentations appear in V.E.R.S.I.O.N., often of biological nature. They allow a person to change features of themselves, mostly physical, such as to make a person more beautiful. However, they can also be used to augment one's brain. Some augmentations that appear include: treating PTSD, making teeth unstainable, preventing armpit hair growth, preventing body odour, scented body odour (such as smelling of lavender) perfectly shaped and permanently coloured fingernails (that can also shift their colour), durability augmentations, night vision enhancements, larynx enhancements, hair that maintains its texture, style and length, mood enhancers and stabilisers, eradication of social anxieties as well as food-and-drink allergies, eye-colour changing (including responding to emotions, such as glowing red when aroused), plumped cheekbones, cognitive enhancements, aesthetically styled fingers, genital enhancements, elimination of smoker's cough, increased strength, enhanced musculature, lung boosts that increase oxygen flow to the blood and augmented liver and kidneys that increase alcohol tolerance.
Other augmentations are more cybernetic in nature. In Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the player is augmented, allowing them to access cybernetics and electronics via Cyber Cores. Numerous NPCs also exist with augmentations as well. One particularly notable augmentation is the Direct Neural Interface (DNI), an implant that allows a person to control cybernetics, robots and computer systems with their mind rather than physical controls. In the mission In Darkness, it is mentioned that a modification exists that modifies one's sense of taste to make all food taste pleasurable. Eidetic memory augmentations also seem to exist.
Many augmentations are produced by the private sector. One particular noteworthy company is the Coalescence Corporation, who make a variety of enhancements and seem to be a major world leader in human augmentation technology. Another company mentioned is Courtoptic, who produced a retinal implant in 2055. ThalTech was another augmentation company. One major historical augmentation company was Axcentric Systems (whose logo was a stylised "A" over a stylised "X"). Axcentric was a major pioneer in neuro-imaging. Utilising a helmet outfitted with transmitters, a person's neural activity could be scanned and within fifteen minutes a perfect virtual simulation of the brain could be created. Axcentric was experimenting with this technology by at least the late 2030's. In 2042, Axcentric was absorbed by Coalescence, granting Coalescence an early foothold into neuro-imaging and mental augmentations, as well as Axcentric's clientele. By 2063, Coalescence had developed a more modern version, a transponder mounted in the temporal lobe, which could conduct neuro-imaging in real time.
Augmentations proved to be highly profitable; by 2051, biotechnology markets were experiencing substantial growth as genetic augmentation and organ replacements became the latest luxury product. This was aided by the easing of restrictions on gene therapy and implantable augmentations, allowing companies to begin mass roll-out of augmentations in the 2050s. By the 2060s, bioaugmentations had become common throughout the developed world.
However, augmentations have also been the subject of organised crime. In V.E.R.S.I.O.N., it is explained that counterfeit augmentations are sold on the black market, often purchased by those who cannot afford the genuine article and there is a mention of "bio-hackers" who sell stolen DNA. Since these counterfeit augmentations were more risky to the point of being fatal, in some cases legislation has been introduced to allow augmentation companies to have access to the body of a person who allegedly died from a faulty augmentation in order to determine if the augment was a counterfeit; proving this was the case absolves the company from any and all liability. Proving an augmentation is counterfeit can be accomplished relatively easy in some cases; for biological augmentations, DNA DRM breaches can be proven if a single liposome is found that is not part of the augmentation. Some companies, such as Coalescence, are known to publicise the risks of black market augmentations in order to persuade customers into purchasing legitimate augmentations.
In 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that discrimination against augmented people was unconstitutional. In 2025, the International Basketball Association became the first sports league to allow augmented players to compete. It would appear that other sporting fields soon followed suit, as in the Nairobi 2028 Olympic Games, Shannon Stevens, an American sprinter with augmented legs, would defeat several unaugmented humans to break the world record to become the fastest human in history, setting a record of 6.21 seconds, despite considerable controversy over the use of augmentations in sports. By 2041, the world's first inter-cerebral communication augmentation was created, making it possible for people to telepathically communicate. It would appear that by the mid 2060's, biological augmentations have become commonplace in the developed world.
One noteworthy augmentation is Computed Assisted Memory (CAM), which works in concert with a person's DNI to allow one to instantly review everything that's been seen or heard, as well as recall any manually loaded digital information. A co-processor augmentation can be design to present complex mathematical functions as visual representations for users who work in technical or scientific fields.
Augmentations soon became commonly used by military forces as a means of enhancing the combat performance of their soldiers. The Winslow Accord pursued Project Prometheus, intended to create advanced cyborgs capable of completing high-priority missions that would be difficult or impossible for unaugmented humans or androids. This program was top secret; after a whistleblower revealed that the US military was experimenting with advanced military cyborgs in 2065, the US government denied the allegations, denouncing them as "patently absurd".
References[edit | edit source]
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 1:33-:143
- Mentioned in V.E.R.S.I.O.N.
- Appears in V.E.R.S.I.O.N.
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 1:27-1:32
- Mentioned in V.E.R.S.I.O.N.
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 0:57-1:00
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 1:02-1:05
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 1:08-1:14
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 1:17-1:26
- Mentioned in V.E.R.S.I.O.N.
- Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops III "Ember" Tease, 2:04-2:24