Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PC/PS3/360 - November 13th)
In a surefire bid to reinvigorate a quickly stagnating property, Activision and Treyarch are embracing something rather uncommon in the Call of Duty series: change. The biggest retooling would be the developer’s use of choice-oriented tactical missions that are spread throughout the story campaign. These Strike Force missions are more than interesting distractions, as their outcomes and your performance in them changes the overarching story, even down to who makes it through the war alive. There’s several different branches to take during a Strike Force mission, finally promoting single-player replay.
Co-written by one of Hollywood’s favorite genre screenwriters, David S. Goyer, the narrative pushes forward with the events of the 2010 original, bringing back familiar faces Mason and Woods (Sam Worthington and James Burns reprising their roles respectively) in covert ops taking place in the ‘80’s, while the bulk of the campaign sees Mason’s offspring, David, fending off the escalating conflict between the U.S. and China in the year 2025 (where you will fight literal fuck tons of enemy robot drones).
Mum’s the word on multiplayer, although it has been mentioned that Treyarch is shaking the cobwebs out of the totem feature in order to liven up the joint. It should be noted combat online will take place solely in the future, not the ‘80’s, so as to avoid time collapsing in on itself.
Oh, and by the by, they’re fleshing out zombies mode. Running on the multiplayer engine and decked with dedicated matchmaking, Zombies returns with its own set of unspecified modes (yeah, plural), and more than we’ve ever experienced from what once started as an Easter Egg.
The Future is Unsafe as Hell in Call of Duty: Black Ops II Debut Trailer
2025 plays host to a new Cold War where the height of our technological prowess once again ushers a self-inflicted doomsday. History may be prone to repeat itself — as are Call of Duty games — but this certainly is a unique departure for a franchise soberly based in the real world.
Future warfare may not be a brand new bag for gamers (psh, especially not this year), but I’m still fascinated to see what Treyarch envisions for the shootah world of tomorrow. Black Ops had its detractors, but after Infinity Ward shook the faith fans had rested on MW3, the playing field is level between the two developers — making me even more anxious to see how Treyarch plans on one-upping their friendly rivals.
Expect Black Ops II for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on November 13th, 2012.
Black Ops 2 is Definitely Our Call of Duty This Year
Sent into the site by an IGN reader, the above Target pre-order card officially confirms what the dull roar of the internet has been saying for weeks: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is Activision and Treyarch’s next annual release.
Set for an official reveal May 1st during the NBA play-offs, Black Ops 2 is rumored to actually take place in a near-future setting rather than carry on with the first game’s Cold War backdrop. Whether this places continuity after Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare timeline is yet to be determined. More than likely — just as in the first title — we’ll see a narrative that hops from date to date in an effort to tell a more encompassing story; something that Treyarch is getting better at pulling off.
I know Modern Warfare 3's staleness left a lot of dour fans out there but I'm personally leaving my misgivings for that game and its now fractured development team at the door. Treyarch, a studio once famous for shitty ports and forgettable sequels, acts as if they have something big to prove every time the CoD ball is in their court. I’m hoping when Black Ops 2 drops on November 13th this year — in response to MW3's dulled edge — that Treyarch once again comes out swinging.
Now excuse me while I mourn another year without Space Warfare (you’re fucking killing me, Activision).