The first aspect of Black Ops 2 we found out about was the single-player campaign mode. While there was a lot of really cool news about this game mode, with all the news about multiplayer and zombies in recent months, the single-player mode has been kind of swept under the rug by fans and critics. In a couple of weeks though we’re going to have the chance to experience it first hand, so it seems well worth doing a quick review of what we can expect.
Composer Jack Wall, who did the music for the game, has explained the importance of the single-player game mode. “The story surrounding the single-player campaign was of paramount importance to the developers at Treyarch. I think fans will really appreciate how deep the story is in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”
The storyline for Black Ops 2 will have connections to the story for the first Black Ops game, including segments which take place in the 1970s and 1980s. The majority of the story will be set in the year 2025, making this the first Call of Duty game ever to take place in the future. The near future setting allowed Treyarch to introduce us to all kinds of cool new technology including quadrotor UAVs, weapons that can fire through concrete walls (and see through them too) and the defensive Guardian tower. Since the year 2025 isn’t that far away, the “modern warfare” aspect of Call of Duty still forms the framework for the game, and combat stays realistic and familiar with a “real world” edge.
Several months ago, we all assumed that the connection between the different eras in the single-player campaign mode was going to involve playable flashbacks, but judging from recent evidence, the transitions may actually involve time travel. Together with the zombies, this would be one of the major science fiction elements in the game.
Black Ops 2 is going to feature branching storylines. This above all is the development team’s answer to charges that the single-player campaign mode is outmoded and no longer applicable to their franchise. While the multiplayer part of the game is undeniably the most important component with the most value over the long term, Treyarch has definitely come up with a great way to enliven the single-player campaign and add replay value. If you vary your decisions throughout the game (tactical decisions and otherwise), you may find that events play out completely differently the second time around than they did the first time. So while it may only be a matter of hours before you finish the campaign the first time, you can then play it again and again before you’ve experienced all the material.
The other purpose for the branching storylines is to get players more emotionally invested in the storyline. Treyarch enlisted the talents of screenwriter David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) to bring his genius to play in Black Ops 2. Goyer helped to develop the game’s compelling villain, Raul Menendez, and the complex storyline which players can interact with during their FPS journey.
The multiplayer and zombies modes of Black Ops 2 are very exciting, but we haven’t forgotten about the single-player campaign mode—just one more aspect of Black Ops 2 that is going to make it one of the most outstanding games of the year, and probably the most compelling Call of Duty game to date. The game comes out on November 13th. That means that there’s still a little time left to pre-order, but that time is running out quickly!