Electronic Theatre Preview: Call of Duty: Black Ops II

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The official reveal of the long-rumoured Call of Duty: Black Ops II may not have gone according to plan for Activision, with leaks on both sides of the Atlantic leaving little to be seen when the preordained time came, but you’d still be foolish to bet against it being another groundbreaking success for one of the world’s most successful franchises. The fact that such leaks were championed by global media organisations proves just how much weight Call of Duty still carries, and just how important to the videogame industry Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be.

“Hands down, this is the most ambitious Call of Duty ever,” stated Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in the days following the official reveal. “We are bringing disruptive innovation to the franchise and we areElectronic Theatre Image doing it on several fronts. We’re pushing the boundaries technologically, graphically, and from a narrative and gameplay perspective.”

Exactly how this will translate into the final product is not yet known. After all, we’ve heard that same hyperbole with nearly every AAA videogame product for the last two decades. Hirshberg continues; “At the same time, we need to stay true to the epic realism, authenticity, heart pumping adrenaline, and cinematic action that so many people love and expect from a Call of Duty game. Treyarch’s vision for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will redefine the Call of Duty franchise for the future – both literally and figuratively.”

Again, there’s little to go on here that doesn’t simple suggest a regurgitation of the usual PR speak for any new product expected to sell in the millions. Hirshberg may not be the most well known face in videogames, butElectronic Theatre Image he’s certainly got top marks in his PR awareness training. What was more interesting was of course that trailer, which revealed some interesting details about Call of Duty: Black Ops II that no spokesperson would be willing to discuss at this point in time.

Set in the year 2025, Call of Duty: Black Ops II propels players into global conflict featuring advanced weaponry, robotics, and drone warfare in a new Cold War scenario whose seeds are being sown in today’s headlines. The videogame will feature all the cinematic action that Call of Duty has become known for, but also promised for the single-player campaign is a series of branching storylines and non-linear missions. Mark Lamia, Studio Head for Treyarch, has stated that the player will be given ‘meaningful choices’ throughout the campaign, which could potentially alter the path of the storyline.

In addition to the single-player campaign, Call of Duty: Black Ops II will also see a return of both the multiplayer and Zombies gameplay that made the original Call of Duty: Black Ops such a success. Running in the multiplayer engine for the first time, the Zombies gameplay mode is promising to give players a bigger and more Electronic Theatre Imagediverse set of gameplay experiences, as well as entirely new ways to wage war with the undead. Exactly what this means is not yet known, as Activision and developers Treyarch are yet to reveal any footage of the Zombies mode, or even a screenshots for that matter.

Despite the lack of evidence offered to the public at this point, Treyarch remain confident of their ability to deliver what the fans want. “With Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the team is crafting an experience that Call of Duty fans have never seen before,” said Lamia. “We’re all in and we won’t rest until we’ve launched nothing less than the best Call of Duty we’ve ever made.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is set to launch on 13th November 2012, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. More details are likely to be revealed next month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), where current rumours suggest the videogame will be playable behind closed doors. Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and other titles in the Call of Duty videogame franchise.

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