Friday, May 18, 2012

Activision Announces Black Ops 2

Since you can set your clock to a yearly release of the Call of Duty franchise, it was an inevitability that something would be announced about the next FPS to come from Activision. This year Modern Warfare takes a backseat to Treyarch’s Black Ops franchise. Week after week, more video content and information is circulating about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, revealing a few interesting twists to the old run-around-and-shoot-people strategy.

One of the intriguing bits to think about is that the story will jump from the first Cold War, experiencing it through the eyes of the same characters you interacted with in the first Black Ops, and the second Cold War in 2025, where robotics and drone technologies have revolutionized combat and warfare. Since it is set in the future, Treyarch has worked to create this “fringe future” where the fictional second Cold War is presented as a somewhat plausible future for the real world. Most of the details involve conflict over rare earth metals, which are used in most technology today.

Another twist in the storyline of Black Ops 2 is the unprecedented application of choice in an FPS. Throughout the campaign, you will come across various “Strike Force” missions, which have an impact on the broader storyline. As some happen at the same time, you as a player will have to choose which mission to partake in, and that choice, as well as whether you succeed or fail in your mission, will have an impact on the story as a whole. To go even another level deeper, you can switch roles inside the “Strike Force” missions, from controlling various drones on the battlefield, to changing soldiers in a larger theatre of war, experiencing the combat from different angles. As a player you have the option of setting up troops in an “Overwatch” mode, which has some RTS influences, and then zoom in on the action to experience your strategy in a first person view.

And of course the multiplayer aspect will be as present as ever. Treyarch is pushing what they can do in the realm of multiplayer, but haven’t yet announced any specifics on how they are doing that. What they have released, to the happiness of many, is the return of zombies in full force. So far it seems that Black Ops 2 is going to offer a more complete package than most FPS’s have in recent years, and looks to be a fun game this November.
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