Last week we covered Darksiders 2, as the August 14 release date approaches in the U.S., and we’ve also decided to cover Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in a similar vein. Not because the release date is close (November is still a way off), but because there has been new information recently on a variety of aspects.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 could be the first entry since Modern Warfare to actually attempt at progressing the series
Excited about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? Good, because you should be even if Modern Warfare 3 and its prequels deteriorated your enjoyment. And there’s a reason for that: Black Ops could be the injection of life the series needs.
Single-player in Call of Duty is a linear experience; the Modern Warfare series focuses on a Michael Bay-esque level of explosions and end-of-the-world drama. The E3 2012 demo showed some of that level of excitement. However, the campaign in Black Ops 2 will bring choice. Decisions made can affect the ending (we don’t know how), and there is a mini-real-time strategy section where players control a squad. This can be failed, at least according to the demo Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gertsmann saw earlier in the year, and again impact the campaign.
The narrative takes place in flashbacks to the 1960s, the setting of the original Black Ops, and in 2025. You play as David Mason, the son of Alex Mason (the Black Ops protagonist). Raul Menendez, whose origin to infamy you see through the flashbacks, is controlling high-tech weaponry. It’s up to you to stop him.
Of course, we’re also excited about multiplayer in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Officially we’ve seen the multiplayer trailer, below, with a preview of the new weapons influenced by the near future setting. Unofficially, we know more on killstreaks and perks.
Highlights from the leaked information, apparently courtesy of an associate producer at Treyarch, included a system where perks can be traded for weapons. So you can have no perks and highly customizable weapons, or six perks and a simple knife. Providing lunging isn’t overpowered in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, there’s going to be an interesting risk-reward dynamic at play. If mechanics are balanced.
Similar, But Just Different Enough
Along with fan favorite killstreaks including the Care Package and the chopper, new perks including a weapon emitting microwaves with the potential to kill players. A kamikaze plan is summonable, seen in the trailer, while there are drones that fly around and kill players if killstreaks reach double figures. This is where Treyarch seem to be remaining traditional, though the 2025 setting provides enough new visual variety to make killstreaks for Treyarch’s 2012 title fresh.
Zombies is probably going to remain fairly similar to Black Ops’ implementation, aside from a new mode turning players into zombies. We’re not sure how this works, though my guess is killed players turn into zombies with the aim to kill the remaining players. Perhaps there is a reward for doing so as the undead. We’ll see.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 releases November 13 on Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.