Black Ops 2 – The Best FPS of the Future?

Call of Duty is hands down the most popular gaming franchise in the known to man, but good luck finding anyone who would claim to actually like Call of Duty. Everyone complains about it: whether it’s the game play, or the fact that Activison feels like a money hungry company successfully packaging the same crap with a different image and title, then selling it back to our asses for $60 a pop… once a year, just before the Christmas Holiday. It’s evil sounding and it sums up everything currently wrong with our society.

Going around the internet to various Call of Duty forums and you find that they only exist to point out the games flaws and b!tch about Activision and how their glory days are long gone and what we have left is a few boated follow-ups that all have the makings of a fallen rock-star. If we are lucky, we will find COD dead in a hotel room.

But there maybe something to savor here with Black Ops II. There is something almost attractive about this new evil. Although it’s would be a tough fit for us here at the Allied Airborne Army with our clean and pristine beauty not to mention it takes place in the wrong era, but it’s hard not to pay attention since Call of Duty and Call of Duty United Offensive were games that helped boost the Allied Airborne Army into a great community. Watching the trailer of COD: Blops II is like staring at an ex-lover that ran off and had a rough 10 years only to show up a bit dirty, different – but still attractive.

First, Black Ops II is set in the Future. Having blown-up most of the twentieth century, it’s now time to for future doom and gloom with a 2025 setting. Let’s face it, Call of Duty was fun but it was always a MOD and half away from anything that resembled “military realism”. Swapping that for a sleek futuristic fantasy definitely is a huge step out COD’s comfort zone – but it’s ballzy, and that is one thing that COD has missed. It’s finally changing it’s formula.

No more military advisors, real-world locations and spot-on ballistics that have tried to defined Call of Duty for the past decade. Black Ops II does away with all that, and the results is attractive: robots, flying turrets, and mech battle suits give you more toys to play with. The endless shoot-reload-repeat of past CODs was really getting to everyone. With Blops II, you can zap enemies with laser guns or sneak up on them with unmanned drones, bazookas that can launch twenty missiles at once, sniper rifles that can be charged up to shoot through brick walls and armoured vehicles. By the time Black Ops II lands in November, it’ll probably include a gun that fires ninja leprechauns or something.

David S. Goyer, the guy that co-wrote the Dark Knight Series is on board for Black Ops II. Expect big action, sharp dialogue and gravelly voices. He’s the perfect guy to relaunch Call of Duty as a fresh, futuristic first-person shooter. With a soundtrack by trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, the grung of the game keeps piling up in a dirty but again, attractive way.

Black Ops II’s Strike Force missions mean that at last, players have a say on the action. Taking place between the main missions, Strike Force puts you in charge of your squad via an RTS style interface, as you guide them from objective to objective. Screw things up and there’s no going back: characters that die on Strike Force missions stay dead, and any big decisions you make impact on the narrative of the game.

With different ways to play and multiple endings, Treyarch is looking to inject their campaign mode with the same replayabilty that keeps the online servers filled. The ever popular zombies mini-game that kicked off in World at War is finally getting its own feature-length story mode. Details are sketchy, but the few pictures that have sprung up on Treyarch’s website suggest a Left 4 Dead style co-op mode. Future zombies?

Weapon attachments and killstreak perks are being rebuilt and rebalanced from the ground up, so whatever gadgets your opponent is using you’ll always have some way of fighting back. Theatre Mode is coming back, too, so if you’re having trouble with a certain map you can just head online and catch a how-to video of the best vantage points. Add that to the revamped Nuketown map, and the new game modes that Treyarch are promising, and Black Ops II’s multiplayer is shaping up to be the best CoD experience ever.

By dragging Call of Duty into the future, Treyarch is doing away with realism and letting loose. It’s complete fantasy, Black Ops II’s future is the perfect place for CoD to stop feeding off the same apple of Battlefield and Medal of Honor. It’s all in the name of fun now and it will be interesting to see what November 13th will bring us. Not sure how it will apply to the Allied Airborne Army, but it will be interesting to see.

Published on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM