Black Ops 2, the first Call of Duty game to take place in the future, is coming out this November. The game will take the player to the year 2025 and the scene of a new war between world powers. It will also represent a more individualized COD game, one which really focuses on the gamer’s unique experience. There are a couple of different ways in which we’re seeing this unfold.
The first and most obvious way is with the non-linear format of the new game, which will include branching pathways based off of the gamer’s actions. When the player makes a specific choice during a Strike Force mission, that choice will have ramifications (not all of them obvious at first) which will echo throughout the rest of the broader campaign and have an impact on many different aspects of the game. This is one way in which the player is being brought into the game as a unique individual.
Another way in which the game is becoming more individualized is the very way in which Strike Force missions are played. One criticism that COD games have received in the past is that they often feel too confined—like the player is being brought along for the ride, and that everything is taking place along a pre-ordained track. Strike Force will use a “sand box” approach in which the gamer can jump inside the point of view of any unit to accomplish an objective.
A third way in which the game will become more individualized is that the villain, Raul Menendez, will have a more unique personality than previous villains in the series. According to Daniel Suarez, VP of Production at Treyarch, “We wanted to make a villain that connects with individuals … So you’ll see more of a human side to Menendez than I think we’ve seen with any other Call of Duty villain in the past. You’ll actually meet him in the 1980s, understand what’s created this monster, and see what’s brought him to power in 2025.”
We still have a long wait until November to see how all these changes play out and how gamers respond to them, but there seems to be a lot of promise in the way that Call of Duty is evolving. Black Ops 2 can be pre-ordered now; reserving your copy in advance is the best way to ensure you’ll be on the battlefield and not in line on November 13th