CoD: Black Ops 2

Scott Tortorice

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Some interesting stuff in this article:

Black Ops 2: 7 things we learned from the new demo

Highlights:
2. China is the new Middle-East: By 2025, oil will be yesterday's news. Instead, wars will be waged over what is known as 'rare earth elements' - a set of seventeen chemical elements which are used in the production of pretty much any modern piece of technology you care to mention - from nuclear batteries to the smartphone in your hand.

Now, consider that a country such as Iran currently controls 10% of the world's oil reserves. Now consider that China controls over 95% of rare earth elements. With that in mind, it's easy to predict that it'll be bombs over Beijing rather than Baghdad in 13 years' time.

5. You can fail your missions: The missions in question are the new 'Strike Force' maps - open-world sandbox levels which play out a little like a giant offline game of Domination.

The stage we were shown took place in a Singapore shipping yard, where the goal was to capture and control points of the map within a twenty minute time limit.

There's a strategic element, too. At any point during the fight, you can leap out of your soldier's body and zoom out to a screen where you can take control of various drones. Useful, because as ever your squad finds themselves heavily outnumbered.

If you fail to take control of the map within the allotted time, you fail the mission but the game continues regardless. In practical terms, this means that for the first time in a Call of Duty game we have branching storylines and the possibility of multiple different endings. But as we discovered, this isn't the only way you can shape the Cold War...


6. Your teammate's lives are in your hands: Black Ops 2 addresses one of the biggest problems we've always had with the Call of Duty series - namely hat you've never really had any control over who lives and dies on the battlefield.

...

"When you get to the end of the game we're gonna make it very clear to you the different things that could have happened" Anthony explains. "We're gonna make it clear that if somebody died, that that person could have survived. We're gonna make it clear that the Cold War with China was lost or didn't go well - but that wasn't necessarily the only outcome.

"We're gonna make it clear that Raul Menendez succeeded or failed at certain things owing to your actions. So when you get to the end of that game you're probably gonna want to replay it to see how things could have changed if you'd have played in a different way.
It sounds like Treyarch is going to expand the core gameplay mechanics nicely! I'm starting to really look forward to this.
 

Scott Tortorice

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IGN has another preview:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/22/call-of-duty-black-ops-ii-on-trial

This was interesting because the editors are clearly down on the franchise. However, having said that, one of them wrote:

The Black Ops II demo made me do a total 180. This is now one of my most anticipated games of the year. Honestly, seeing the campaign demo, I feel like Treyarch has been listening to the feedback fans have been giving. This feels different than the last few COD campaigns. Setting Black Ops II in the future sets it apart enough that it doesn’t look like the same Call of Duty game, but making it only a decade away keeps it realistic. There are no crazy futuristic cities with flying cars here. In the demo Activision showed us, we saw a familiar Los Angeles, but one besieged by futuristic planes and soldiers carrying high-tech weapons. Treyarch has kept it grounded enough to be believable and, more importantly, scarily plausible.

Strike Force gives me a lot of hope for the franchise as a whole. Fail-able missions and multiple endings are a huge step in the right direction for Black Ops II, and these missions are probably the most interesting part of the content we saw. Instead of looking at this as just another blockbuster shooter, I’m looking at it as a game with the potential to breathe new life into the franchise. I’m not sure what Infinity Ward is working on at the moment (probably Modern Warfare 4), but if Treyarch continues to innovate, I’m definitely looking forward to watching how the series evolves with other teams.
 
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