Fans are gearing up for the next installment in Treyarch and Activision's military first-person shooter franchise. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be released just in time for the holiday season on Nov. 13th and will take place in a futuristic Los Angeles setting.
Set nine years ahead of the previous Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the 2010 sequel reflects major themes throughout the gameplay such as the consequences of technology versus society. Black Ops 2 is said to revolutionize the entire Call of Duty franchise, and devout players have been eagerly anticipating the announcement that was made earlier this month.
A slew of details on the game have already been unveiled, but the staff at CVG took an inside look at what's to come after flying out to Los Angeles and spending time with Black Ops 2 director David Anthony.
One major takeaway is that Treyarch aims to keep the Black Ops 2 storyline as feasible and realistic as possible, despite its setting in the year 2025. The development team enlisted Peter Singer, a senior defense expert for the Brookings Institute, to help them create a tangible future for the game. The Brookings Institute is a high-level think tank for Washington responsible for assisting the president with geopolitical issues. Singer will be advising Treyarch on the major issues that could come up in future war scenarios, shaping the landscape of conflict for Black Ops 2.
A prominent factor present in the storyline is the effect of rare earth elements, which will be the war-waging issue in the year 2025. These include a set of 17 chemical elements critical in the production of any modern piece of technology, ranging from nuclear batteries to smartphones. CVG writes that these rarities will be more valuable than oil in the Black Ops 2 futuristic world, and with China owning more than 95 percent of the coveted elements that will be the area to watch rather than the Middle East.
But the creative input recruited for the development of main villain Raul Menedez may have fans even more impressed. David Goyer, a screenwriter known for penning titles such as Blade, Jumper, and Batman: The Dark Knight will be writing the part of the Black Ops 2 antagonist. Goyer is credited with taking part in the writing process for one of the most renowned on-screen villains of recent cinema: Heath Ledger's The Joker. With credentials like these, Menedez's appearance in Black Ops 2 is sure to be a mind-bending challenge for gamers.
Look at what makes an iconic villain, Anthony said to CVG when discussing Menedez. Look at somebody like Tony Soprano. He's the main character of the show, but he's a villain. You can understand who this guy is as a human being; you can relate to him. You find yourself doing that, then the next moment you see him doing something so far outside the realm of anything you could ever see yourself doing.
A major distinguishing factor in Black Ops 2 is the role of failure. In certain missions, failure is actually an option, even though it may not be a desirable one. These missions can be found in the new Strike Force maps, which are open-world sandbox stages that are similar to a giant offline game of Domination.
According to CVG, Black Ops 2 will address one gameplay issue that fans have had with the entire series thus far. In previous titles, gamers were not able to control who lives and dies on the battlefield. But in the new installment, there will be more at stake when it comes to surviving shootouts and battles. Even strong players that are critical to the story will be at risk.
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 said. 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.
If this isn't enough to entice gamers into reserving a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Activision has revealed several bonuses for those who pre-order the game. Those ordering from Amazon in advance will get a digital wallpaper, according to UberGizmo. GameStop patrons will receive a double-sided poster, and Best Buy customers can expect Black Ops 2 dog tags.
Treyarch and Activision's new title has already shattered pre-sale records for Amazon, with single-day pre-orders reaching more than three times the amount of its predecessor's pre-ordered copies.