“The future is uncertain and the end is always near”— Jim Morrison
“Call of Duty: Black Ops 2,” in a sense, has a lot in common with the aforementioned quote by Morrison from The Doors’ famous song the Roadhouse Blues with its dark and futuristic worn-torn gameplay. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” is the next instalment from Treyarch and has been published by Activision.
This will be the first game in the “Call of Duty” franchise to have a completely futuristic setting and will feature future technology related to war. The title will also present branching storylines that will be driven by the player’s choice for the first time. While it is expected to be an exciting prospect for gamers all over the planet, some believe that the “Call of Duty” series is set to slowly wrap up within the next two years due to some of its many longtime developers' contracts nearing their end.
While the previous “Black Ops” also took place with a Cold War era setting, this game marks the beginning of a new Cold War. This time the contenders are the United States and China. This is a direct sequel to the earlier game and takes place in the year 2025. The gamer plays as David Mason, son of the legendary Alex Mason, the protagonist of the previous game.
Although the game will revolve around David, Alex will return as a playable character in flashbacks to the late 1980s where he is a de facto enforcer of the Reagan doctrine. His job will be to ignite and arm proxy wars with Russia in locations like Nicaragua and Afghanistan. Both the father and the son have a mutual enemy, Raul Menendez, who is a mysterious figure. It is believed that Menendez is somehow tied to the Reagan-era conflict in Nicaragua.
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Let’s take a closer look at the game and discuss its features.
The Story: First of all, Frank Woods (from the first game) is not dead. The last time we saw him was when he tackled Victor Kravchenko who had on a belt of live grenades. Both of them had apparently crashed out of the window. However, if the first game is completed and all the hidden intel acquired, there is a hint of Woods being alive at a POW camp in Hanoi.
The game, which was helped by screenwriter David Goyer (of “The Dark Knight”, “Superman: Man of Steel” and creation of Heath Ledger’s Joker) brings forward Woods again, who is now very old and is a narrator. He thoroughly explains what happened in the 1980s while he was on an assignment with Alex Mason and why it matters in the present-day perspective.
The late 1980s will be roughly a third of the game and will portray how Menendez comes to power. Later in 2025, he will gain enough power to unsettle the world.
Rare Earth Elements – The Burning Topic of War: The wars of the future will not be for oil, but for rare earth elements. These minerals are essential for many of today's most important products. From smartphones to renewable energy sources like wind turbines and hybrid car batteries, everything depends on these. Rare earth elements are also required for the creation of most modern military technology.
In reality, rare earth elements are almost entirely controlled by China and its market. It provides more than 90 percent of all rare earth elements on the planet and, in comparison, Middle East countries such as Iran controls only 10 percent of the Earth's present oil reserves. President Obama has presently stressed upon the necessity of China's participation with Western markets for trading rare earth elements fairly and how it might be a dangerous if China has complete control over them.
The hackers of the future also play a key role in the future warfare and have the ability to bring a superpower to its knees by taking over control of the Drones and other advanced robotic security systems and use them against the country which actually developed them for protection.
Single Player Mode and Strike Force: Very simply, your decisions will impact the story. Basically, both the key decisions and your skill will have significance from a narrative point of view. The narrative’s outcome will depend on how well you perform and people’s lives, both friends and enemies, will depend on you. This means you will have every authority to change the game’s outcome.
According to Dave Anthony, game director, the Strike Force missions are sets of levels that will shape the war between the United States and China. These are non-linear and sandbox campaign missions. The player will also be updated on the state of the world at large by being shown a number of conflicts. You will select one mission from a set of missions and try to complete it.
The Strike Force missions, themselves, are team based multi-players. The player will be able to shift between all available soldiers and robots on his team in a battlefield. You could hop on to a C.L.A.W. (Cognitive Land Assault Weapon) from being a normal rifleman in a matter of seconds with real-time strategy commands. Your goal is to kill the opposing A.I.-controlled team and complete a series of objectives in any order.
Multiplayer and Zombie Mods: The multiplayer will happen in 60 frames per second without any hitching. There are two maps for the game. One is downtown Los Angeles following the single-player campaign's drone attack. The other is on a small Yemen island called Socotra, which is somewhat similar to “Modern Warfare 3” DLC map Piazza.
The atmosphere created for the Los Angeles map is total mayhem with dead civilians all over the place, buildings toppling, the streets all ripped up and flooded lobbies.
The game will also have the co-op Zombies mode, but Spec-Ops and Survival will not be included. New worlds and maps are expected for Zombies with more than one way to go about the Zombie missions. This time, Zombies will actually run on the multiplayer engine.
Other Inclusions: This is one of the several missions set during the 1980s, in Afghanistan, and Alex Mason can be seen riding a horse. This was fully motion captured in the House of Moves in Los Angeles. One good example of the motion capture tech work done for the game can be viewed from the close-up of Woods in the reveal trailer.
The game is set to arrive on Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Wii U on Nov. 13, 2012.