Call of Duty is always a source of gaming controversy; it’s not hard to see why, given its yearly release and cookie cutter format. Activision showed off the latest gameplay footage from Call of Duty: Black Ops II at E3, and while Treyarch have shown some new innovative features like non-linear missions, yet it’s still using the same old engine, 5 years on.
The campaign trailer doesn’t show us many new features beyond a new type of rifle, some vehicle combat, and the use of drones. It does have an intriguing storyline, bringing back characters from the first Black Ops game, but in the not too distant future. However, given Treyarch’s notoriety for sub-par storylines, I’m not too interested in this aspect. The weapons that have been shown are looking quite nice, and very futuristic. Some sources give a very under-whelming list of available guns, with many being the same as in previous games. Given the game is in the future, wouldn’t they want to showcase all the new and futuristic weapons that couldn’t have been put into previous titles?
A very interesting part of the game that they previewed was an RTS-style Strike Force level where the player directs units around from above, while being able to select a specific unit to use in first person. This is similar to what Treyarch did in one particular mission in the first Black Ops, which was poorly executed and limited. This however, gives you a lot more control and freedom, in a wider space with different objectives. We can only hope that it include some sort of multiplayer or co-op features.
Another aspect that immediately grabbed my attention was the expansion on the Zombies mode. So far, an actual zombies campaign has been confirmed, as well as 8 player co-op. Zombies has always been a strength for Treyarch, with some fans buying the game specifically for it. This is sure to improve on the shortcomings of the fun but rather limited game mode.
Activision have withheld almost all the multiplayer content from their E3 presentation, but they' most likely turn up within a few months of the games release, possibly at their next Call of Duty XP? Whether or not that is the case, Treyarch has promised the game to move back towards it’s Call of duty 4 roots, to much the delight of their fans.
So overall, while their E3 preview seems ultimately disappointing, I think Treyarch have a lot of heart, and I’ve enjoyed both of their games, not to mention they still have about 6 months until release. Whatever they've got planned, I’m looking forward to playing it.
Check out the official trailer below to witness the obligatory "hand shielding the face", and more...
I was actually pretty impressed by the presentation of the Strike Force level they showed us. I like the idea of adding some tactics gameplay to the standard FPS paradigm. Sending out your units and then being able to control them individually -- even unmanned aircraft -- seemed like a lot of fun. Well as fun as World War can really be, I suppose.
I'm just looking forward to more Zombies, both their campaign and co-op, as well the introduction of some new futuristic weapons.