Massive explosions, lots of murdering and a society that has been brought to its knees. We’re back, with this year’s iteration of global Juggernaut Call of Duty, Black Ops 2.
If the extended demo at E3 last week had one message it’s that Treyarch are on the same page as the fans. They know rehashing the same old stuff that has brought inexplicable success over the last 5 years won’t continue to break sales records.
More importantly, they’ve reacted.
With sandbox levels, branching storylines and the additions of drones (and other 2025 tech), Black Ops 2 looks to revitalize the Call of Duty experience, at least in terms of single-player. The open missions are breaking ground for Treyarch, who is looking to lose COD’s “playing it safe” moniker.
Players actually have a choice in completing objectives -- possibly a first for the previously linear shooter. One example gave the player the option to snipe from afar, or grapple in guns blazing. We also manned an artillery gun and got behind the wheel (yoke) of a futuristic hover-jet.
With sandbox levels, branching storylines and the additions of drones (and other 2025 tech), Black Ops 2 looks to revitalize the Call of Duty experience.
The campaign is much the same with the addition of new weapons and branching storylines. Black Ops 2 looks to offer unprecedented control to the player who can now actually fail a mission. That’s right, for the first time in the Call of Duty universe, you can fail something and still progress; although, not in the main campaign.
This is part of an entirely new channel to the Call of Duty experience called Strike Force: more reminiscent of the iconic multiplayer, Strike Force is a series of squad-based sandbox missions away from the main campaign that can be played at any time. They aren’t totally separate, however, as you can fail them, and influence the events of the campaign.
Strike Force is where Black Ops 2 reinvents Call of Duty. You can play it in classic COD fashion, or use your head and tactically retreat to issue commands or deploy some of the innovate gadgetry, such as the Quad Drone.
It’s noticeably a little more polished than the original Black Ops and looks to be pushing the aging current generation of hardware that little bit further. Its slick presentation is exacerbated by the move away from modern warfare and the Cold War, to a near, but believable future. The crumbing remains of Downtown L.A. also make it one of the most atmospheric instalments in the long-running series.
I know this isn’t why you buy Call of Duty. Multiplayer will be similar, and that’s why it will sell another 5 million units on day one. But for what it’s worth, Black Ops 2 and its new Strike Force missions will refresh the Call of Duty formula away from its repetitive online mayhem.
By Ben Salter - Bio