Call of Duty is one of the biggest series in gaming history, with millions of players and millions of copies sold across the franchise. Black Ops 2 will be the newest game in the Call of Duty family, and in doing so, will bring players further into the future than any other previously released game in the series.
Black Ops 2 is the sequel to the 2010 hit Call of Duty: Black Ops, developed by Treyarch Studios. Players will take on the role of David Mason, the son of Alex Mason, during the cyber-attack against the Chinese economy in the year 2025. The game will follow a story arc through the 1980s where players will play as Alex Mason, as well as 2025 as his son. Some of the known places players will fight their way through so far include Los Angeles, The Vault, Singapore, Yemen, and the Cayman Trench.
Black Ops 2 will take a new turn in the series by following a less linear story than the other games. Treyarch has decided to take a non-linear and sandbox approach to the game, a la Skyrim. The campaign will rely on player choices heavily, giving significant decisions to make throughout the campaign that will change the course of the game in various ways. The choices will be expansive and not just your ordinary “A,B, or C”. In Black Ops 2, you won’t need to protect certain important characters as closely as you did in other games. If a character dies, their death can change how the future story comes out.
Along with these new story-telling changes, gamers can expect a large variety of new weapons, including futuristic takes on some old favorites and some completely new guns. A player favorite, the Tomahawk, will be making a return as well, albeit with a futuristic look to it. There will no more quick knifing, and now you will have to physically draw the knife as if it were any other weapon in the game to be able to use it. Some people won’t be happy about this change I am sure, but there will always be others ready to accept it and move on. Hopefully this change will bring along some extra balancing to the competitive world of Call of Duty multiplayer. Unmanned vehicles will also take a big part in this new game. This will allow players to take control of vehicles, jets, and robot cars.
Treyarch is throwing in a special set of missions as a side to the campaign, called Strike Force. The missions will also have a sandbox-feel, and will play out like a Real Time Strategy game. The RTS elements have you playing as the commander, commanding the ground forces. You can also opt for the traditional FPS experience and fight in the battles yourself. If the player dies in Strike Force the game will not end or bring you back to a previous checkpoint, instead the game will go on and a record will be kept of all of your deaths. The player will take on the role of another soldier on the battlefield, keeping the flow of the game going.
One of the features a lot of fans are excited about is the return of Nuketown, this time dubbed Nuketown 2025. The player favorite from the original Black Ops will return, updated to be even better than the original. It will offer a multiplayer experience for those addicted to the fast paced run and gun gameplay for which the small map is famous for.
Aside from the return of Nuketown, another fan favorite will be making a highly anticipated return–Zombies. Treyarch hasn’t released a whole lot of detail concerning its Zombies game mode yet, but a teaser of a welcome sign has been released, the sign reads Welcome to Nuketown Zombies, with bloody handprints and blood smears across it. This could be something to look forward to, as zombies on such a small map could make for some interesting scenarios. I am sure a lot of screaming and swearing are likely to ensue.
What is known about Zombies so far is that players will be able to enjoy larger maps to play around on. Treyarch is going to run Zombies on the same engine they use to run multiplayer, allowing them to use larger maps. Along with the larger maps being introduced, the player limit has been doubled to eight, allowing you and seven of your friends to team up and fight zombie hordes. You will need these extra teammates this time around as the number of zombies has been doubled as well, bringing more carnage and flesh-eating monsters to the table.
Perks will be returning in the multiplayer mode again, but Pro perks will no longer be available in Black Ops 2. There are three tiers of perks to choose out of.
Some of these are returning favorites, and some not so much. New perks will give players something fun to try out and see what they like best.
Killstreaks are also going to play another big part in the Black Ops 2 multiplayer experience. This time around, kills are no longer the big currency of these fancy war machines. Now players will need to acquire points to buy different killstreaks. Some favorites are returning such as the care package, UAV, and sentry guns. Some new ones just for Black Ops 2 include the War Machine, a semi automatic grenade launcher; and the AGR, a bi-pedal robot that has machine guns and cannons attached to it. Killstreaks will require more and more points for the better ones in the game.
From the trailers released so far Black Ops 2 looks to be running on the same engine as Modern Warfare 3 did. Not to say that is a bad thing however, as Modern Warfare 3 was a beautiful game. Call of Duty has always tried to make an effort to keep as realistic as possible without sacrificing the fun gameplay the series has been known for. Black Ops 2 is no different, and the assortment of new features being added all look quite good. The cinematic experiences shown so far in videos have certainly caught a lot of people’s attention, throwing flaming vehicles into the players’ face nonchalantly. Graphically the game looks good enough–it doesn’t need to be improved to make it look any better than it already does.
For those addicted Call of Duty fans who want more out of their game purchase, a Hardened Edition will be available alongside the normal $59.99 version. Hardened will cost gamers $79.99 and feature a limited edition two sided steelbook, two collectible challenge coins, exclusive content for your system of choice, Nuketown zombies, Nuketown 2012 multiplayer map, exclusive weapon camo, and exclusive multiplayer and zombie player card backgrounds. That’s quite a bit of content for your money from the Hardened Edition. But for those wanting even more there is the Care Package edition for a whopping $179.99. This version comes with everything the Hardened Edition does as well as a remote controlled quadrotor drone and stand, official soundtrack, and a care package themed case to hold it all.
Black Ops 2 is shaping up to be a Game of the Year-worthy title for 2012, with tons of features already known and more new content promised. Treyarch is going to give Modern Warfare 3 a run for its money and break some records of its own along the way. Make sure you pre-order Black Ops 2 as the game will be out November 13,2012. Make sure to get there early, as I am sure you will end up in a long line if you don’t.
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