Call of Duty is one of the most popular video game franchises ever, and as a result it is rather repetitious in many ways. People flock to COD because they know what to expect, and Treyarch and Infinity Ward don’t let them down. Not a bad thing necessarily, except that some people have come to think that COD is getting a bit stale as a result. Black Ops 2 is going to bring a lot of changes to COD, however, both in terms of single-player and multiplayer campaign modes. How will Black Ops 2 revolutionize the franchise and revitalize an old formula?
In the past, COD games have relied upon real life to provide the basis for their scripts. Whether this meant referencing historical information on World War II or consulting with modern soldiers for insight into their missions, it always meant turning to real-life events to provide a basis. Black Ops 2 is still relying on real-life inspiration in the form of weapons prototypes and consultations with real black ops people (like Oliver North), but the storyline itself is scripted from scratch. Since Treyarch performs at its best when given full creative license, this can only be a good thing.
The fresh setting (the year 2025) should also help to revitalize the series by introducing all sorts of exciting new vehicles, weapons, and other elements. We’ve been shown turrets, weapons which can fire through cement, jets, attack drones, walkers and more. These technological opponents and tools will contribute to an entirely unique experience which still retains a core of intense gun to gun combat.
Non-linear storytelling should do a lot to get people interested in the single-player campaign mode. When Modern Warfare 3 came out, a lot of gamers were frustrated by how quickly they were able to finish the single-player game. Once you’d played it through to the end, it was done, leaving only multiplayer mode. While multiplayer mode has become the biggest part of COD, that doesn’t mean we don’t all enjoy single-player gaming.
Through Strike Force missions, players will be able to explore branching storylines. It’s possible to succeed or fail at a Strike Force mission, impacting the entire storyline which proceeds from that point onward. This means that after playing the game through to one conclusion, you could start over and enjoy a completely different outcome the next time. This should extend the time which gamers spend on the single-player campaign and maintain interest.
Strike Force also provides a unique opportunity to play from an omniscient point of view which is limited to one particular perspective at a time. What this means is that you get to select any soldier or vehicle and play from that point of view until you switch to another in order to accomplish a single tactical objective.
Finally, Black Ops 2 is bringing back the zombies! It’s not like we haven’t seen them before, but when they first appeared, they did revitalize COD a bit. Now we’re going to have a full game mode dedicated to them, and we’re going to finally have eight player support for teams in zombie co-op mode. Lately the rumors have been flying that we may finally get to find out where the zombies came from and how they integrate into the COD universe as well.
Those are just the innovations we already know about. Knowing Treyarch, there’s still much to be revealed, so stay tuned for more updates on Black Ops 2, and don’t forget that you can pre-order the game now and receive it on November 13th