While the 2012 Holiday Season for gaming is going to be full of great games such as: Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3 and Halo 4. One game that people have their eyes one is Call of Duty Black Ops II and after most fans disappointed with Modern Warfare 3, I take a look at five reasons why Black Ops II will bring the series back on its feet.
While the story for Black Ops followed protagonist Alex Mason and his journey as a military operative on a mission to stop the antagonist Nikita Dragovich, it quickly delved into the concept of MK-Ultra mind control and conspiracy theories, both real and fake, that most of us have heard of. This type of storytelling easily made Black Ops my favorite in the Call of Duty series in terms of storyline and, for me. set a new high mark for the series’ ability to tell a good story in a multiplayer driven game. With Black Ops II, it is unclear whether the game will include these elements into its story or not, due to the campaign involving two different time periods with two different protagonists, Alex Mason from the first game in the 1980s and David Mason, his son, starring in the 2025 campaign What we do know is that a new antagonist Raul Menendez is using the conflict between China and the U.S to start a new Cold War era.
2. Non-Linear Campaign:
For the first time in the history of Call of Duty, the campaign will now feature a branching storyline, allowing the player to handle certain situations two different ways, and the addition of a new mechanic called Strike Force missions. These Strike Force missions will allow the player to control an unnamed soldier, jet pilot,or unmanned robot in failable permanent death missions that can affect the outcome of the story or the antagonist’s plans throughout the main game.
3. Zombies Expansion:
Zombies is one of Treyarch’s trademark mini-games in Call of Duty, starting with World at War, and after the release of Black Ops it became even more famous than in its previous installment. With Black Ops II, Treyarch is expanding the zombies game mode even further by adding a story campaign to it, as well as increasing the player co-op count to eight instead of four and this is thanks to zombies mode now utilizing the multiplayer engine. Along with these new additions, a new game mode known as “Grief,” which is essentially player vs. player vs. zombies, and one map that has been confirmed for the game known as “Tranzit” that is essentially multiple maps in one. Tranzit will include a bus that players can use to get around the map, but isn’t a get out of trouble tactic since zombies can still get through the bus. Also new to zombies in Black Ops II will be leaderboards and a dedicated theater mode.
4. Multiplayer Additions:
While obviously the reason why most people will be buying the game, Treyarch is still taking strides to improve and bring new things for long time fans of the series. A new system called “Pick 10” which now gives players 10 customizable slots a Create-A-Class mechanic and gives the player more freedom in terms of customization by letting them bend the rules of past Call of duty games. For example: don’t use that pistol as a sidearm? Drop it for either an extra gun attachment or extra grenade, thanks to the inclusion of Wildcards that take up a player’s slot in his or her Pick 10 grid to allow for new customization options like this.
Another new addition to Black Ops II’s multiplayer are Score Streaks, gone are the kill streaks we all knew and love (or hated). Now Black Ops II gives players in-game points for playing the objective or killing enemies instead of just the latter. It’s more subtle than it sounds, the way Score Streaks work is that a normal kill in Black Ops II awards players 100 points. Getting the enemy flag in Capture the Flag gets 100 points and a flag capture awards 150. Getting a kill as the flag holder gives the player 200 points.
As those points add up, players unlock Score Streak rewards. So as an example: when a player’s score reaches 375 they can call in a UAV. At 500 points, can request a Lightning Strike attack and at 1275 points attack dogs become available and there will be many more Score streak options to choose from out of the 20 in total set for Black Ops II. More improvements to Black Ops II’s multiplayer include multi-team that can feature either three vs. three vs. three or two vs. two vs. two among other variations as well. Treyarch is saying that players won’t even be able to see everything black Ops II’s progression system has to offer just by hitting the level cap of 55 once.
Another interesting addition to Black Ops II is that for the first time players will be able to stream their gameplays through the internet (it hasn’t been announced whether this will be through a live streaming service such as Twitch.tv or through Youtube’s new ability to live stream content) and will be able to commentate or “Shoutcast” their gameplay or their friends, this is also another addition to Black Ops II’s integration with eSports.
With all of the new additions announced for Black Ops II, it’s clear that Treyarch cares about the series enough to try and bring innovation to it as well as trying new things. I haven’t been this excited to get my hands on a Call of Duty game since Call of Duty 4 and I hope that after Black Ops II fans will be pleased with the series enough to not count Treyarch out.