There’s no doubt that Call of Duty will once again be the biggest game of the year. And this November’s entry is a sequel to 2010’s Black Ops, the best selling title in the series so far.
Black Ops II will refresh the franchise by setting the main plot in the future – a first for the series, which had previously concentrated on modern day and past wars.
The game is split between two different time zones. The first is set in the year 2025, which follows soldiers during a global conflict with technology taking centre stage. Players will face advanced weaponry, drone warfare and robotics in a future Cold War scenario.
The other side sees characters from the original Black Ops, with sections set in the 1970s and ‘90s. Black Ops II will also be the first Call of Duty title to have branching storylines in a new mode called Strike Force. These missions see player’s choices directly affecting the mission and story overall, making each play through unique.
These missions can see gamers suffer great losses while failing missions can result in serious ramifications in the Strike Force campaign storyline.
THE FUTURE’S BLACK
Of course, no Call of Duty is complete without an addictive multiplayer mode. All the usual bells and whistles are there but there are two new features that will impress fans of the series.
Taking an even more serious focus on current eSports culture on video bloggers, Black Ops II’s multiplayer mode comes with a whole host of options to make it much easier for gamers to broadcast their gameplay.
There’s built-in shoutcasting features that are designed to allow gamers to broadcast gameplay with their commentary as well as manipulate the footage.
There is also the ability to CODcast without the use of expensive broadcast or capture equipment. This will allow players to simply switch on live streaming to broadcast it online.
League Play also introduces skill-based matchmaking that allows gamers to compete against those of similar skill level. This means players will be playing against a smaller pool of 500 to 1,000 players in their skill set.
Of course, expect the usual marketing blitz and for Black Ops II to become the biggest game of the year.
It’s the must have shooter of the year and is guaranteed to create queues at any retailer stocking the title.
A sister game will be released on the Vita entitled Declassified. Developed by Nihilistic Software, the game will feature its own story, four-vs-four multiplayer and Near functionality.
Some of the most popular videos on YouTube are of Call of Duty gameplay footage. Treyarch plans to make this a little easier for gamers who can’t afford capture equipment by allowing them to broadcast gameplay live straight from the game.
A CoD launch wouldn’t be complete without a huge marketing campaign to support the game’s launch. Ads will run on TV, radio, print, online and outdoor. There will also be an in-store POS push and mainstream and specialist coverage.
The popular Zombie mode returns with its own story campaign. Zombies will support eight-player co-op and feature several modes such as Survival and Grief.