Well we all saw it coming. One of the worst kept secrets in the industry, yesterday Call of Duty Black Ops II was officially announced by Activision. While several leaks lead to what the name was, what many of us did not know was how the story and setting of the game would be. Black Ops II will be a direct sequel to 2010’s Black Ops and continue the story with Mason and Woods in two time periods, the Cold War in the 1980’s and in the near future of 2025.
The setting for the near future revolves around a real world possibility, that China controls a majority of the rare earth materials used in many electronics today. This leads to war in 2025 and introduces a new character, David Mason, who is the son of the protagonist in Black Ops, Alex Mason. Joystiq reports the game will feature weapons and technology that exist in the world today, as well as weapons that theoretically could exist in the near future as well. An example of this is a scope that lets the player see through walls to find enemies that may be hiding. We have this technology right now, however the machine that lets us do this is massive in scale, and the developers have imagined that over time we are able to squeeze the technology down into a scope.
Unmanned drones will play a big part in the gameplay in Black Ops II as well. As shown in the trailer, there will be several times where you fight and fight as the machine gun equipped quadricopter to change up the gameplay. The game will also be featuring an ambitious new take on single player: branching missions. Called Strike Force missions, these levels will not be able to all be played on a single play through. Depending on what level you choose, certain allies or enemies may die and the producers have said these are not just randomly placed levels, they are fully fleshed out ideas and they wanted to give choice to the player. One mission may have you fighting on the ground with a group of allies while another path might involve being a sniper covering said ground troops. This sounds fantastic, and I really hope they pull it off well since it would be a fantastic change to Call of Duty.
Multiplayer details were scarce as Activision will be unveiling more information later in the year, possibly around another Call of Duty XP event like we got last year. What we did get for details was that the multiplayer will only be fought in the 2025 time frame and not during the 1980s. We also know that Treyarch is looking heavily at making some significant changes to many core multiplayer features such as Create-a-Class, killstreaks and game modes to make sure they deliver something fresh and new. Treyarch also confirmed that the coveted zombie mode will be making a return in Black Ops II and that there will be much more features built around this mode.
Call of Duty Black Ops II will be released on November, 13th 2012, one week after Halo 4. Stay tuned for more details.