Premiering last night (May 1st) on the internet, the largest gaming franchise in modern history, Call of Duty, released a trailer for its newest title Black Ops 2. Having released a game every year since 2005 (an impressive record), Black Ops 2 will without a doubt, smash the sales record of its predecessors. Promising better visuals, improved gameplay and new modes, Black Ops 2 may be a change from the usual format of previous titles, but based on the trailer, it won’t be a game changer.
Firstly, some positive points that the trailer reveals. There seems to be a greater diversity of vehicles that the central player will be able to control, including jets and futuristic-looking flying machine things (no other way to describe them). Much of the criticism for previous games in the series has been its lack of diversity in this area (which the Battlefield franchise has nailed) so it is good to see them taking this on board. Also, the visuals look stunning. The budget has obviously been increased with the monumental success of the first Black Ops title and more recently Modern Warfare 3. There is a greater attention to detail, better quality graphics and richness in colour that will undoubtedly be an immersive warfare experience. Lastly, I’m sure the multiplayer (which most fans of the genre prefer for its replay value) will be as slick as ever. If Call of Duty has anything over Battlefield in this reviewer’s opinion, it is the multiplayer mode; exciting, explosive and hours of fun.
However, there are some issues that look worrying for the franchise. The choice to move the narrative firmly into a futuristic setting will irk some players, with the modern setting having become synonymous with the brand since Modern Warfare in 2007. There seems to be a lot of different styles and genres competing here and it looks a little messy. If you compare it to the trailer from this time last year for Modern Warfare 3, it lacks the cohesion and excitement that made the latter a success. Although allegedly the title is meant to follow on from the narrative of 2010’s Black Ops (which personally I found a nightmare to understand), this doesn’t come across in the trailer. Treyarch, the production company behind the first Black Ops title, did such a good job with the first game that had atmosphere and tension, seems to have lost their way with the next instalment, and no amount of zombie action (which has been confirmed) will make up for a shoddy single player.
Also, what’s with the horses? Didn’t realise we were playing Red Dead Redemption here. Next they’ll be hog-tying terrorists and instead of fire fights in the streets of Moscow we’ll be having shootouts outside a saloon.
Could this be the final title in the series? Probably not. At 9 games and going strong, it will be a while before Call of Duty packs away the M14 for good. However, the fire in the dragon’s belly may finally be beginning to cool…
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be released globally on November 13th, 2012.
Leave your comments below to discuss what you think of the trailer.