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CoD Blops 2 Amazes E3 Audiences

Developer: Treyarch | Publisher: Activision
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: FPS

Release Date: 11/13/12

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 brings Developer Treyarch back to the helm of one of the most successful, if not the most, franchise of all time. The title was used as a showcase piece for Microsoft to end its 2012 E3 Press Briefing and is one of the standout titles of this years show. We sat down for a more in-depth demo session at the Activision booth. They treated us in style with really comfy leather chairs that made me feel like I was playing at home. 

Before the live demo began, we were reminded that Call of Duty Black Ops 2 will feature branching storylines and the gameplay will go between the 1980's and 2020's. The entire game will run at 60 FPS using an upgraded engine that really shows great graphical detail. This is easily the most beautiful COD title yet.

In the story, a madman, named Mendenez, who was was involved with our Madame President's Cabinet, has turned rogue. He has taken the greatest military strength of the US, our Drone Army, and is using it against us in the year 2025. Where we come in, the city of Los Angeles is under attack. On the very streets we walk down, and some of the same hotels and locations we visit today, are all under attack. Our goal is to get Madame President to a nearby hotel's basement in downtown LA in order to get her to safety.

As we get out of the vehicle with a plan in place, Los Angeles is a complete warzone with planes flying overhead and bullets going in all directions. Some type of evacuation has already been under way but civilians are still ding. Almost immediately, your character gets into some type of anti-aircraft gun and has to shoot down planes coming to the presidents area. While we have done stuff like this before, this just feels different--in a good way. Perhaps it is because the location hits so close to home?

As we are forced out of the Anti-Aircraft gun, bridges are collapsing and planes are being shot down with pieces raining down all around you. This is also tearing up pieces of street and rubble and vehicles litter the pavement. Though it is not a scene I care to ever view in real life, this game is just gorgeous. 

We need to help give the president and her squad sniper cover while they continue getting her to safety. You get to to pick up a really awesome futuristic Sniper Rifle. When looking through the electronic scope, you can see through walls, cars, and other type of cover. This weapon has some nice heat signatures to show the enemies appearing as white. This greatly assists in sniping.

Obviously if LA was under attack, there would be a lot of urgency. But this demo is intense and you feel a need to not fail Madame President.

As you continue on, the sky is darkened by gunfire and smoke. Drones are flying around, shooting freeways and overpasses to knock them in your path. During a driving scene, your vehicle gets hit from the side and you black out before the action continues. 

You end up in a hotel and gun shots are firing in front, behind, and beside you. The drones you have to kill are really tough. Aren't we starting drone programs now in our country? (This is starting to hit close to home. Perhaps Skynet WILL wipe us out?)

In the game, our hero can use a control pad, on your wrist, to direct mini drone units to fly and attack enemies around you.

As ruin and chaos surrounds you in front of the Staples Center, the screen blackouts again. It is not clear if they are doing this to hide story spoilers or if this is how the final product will be. As the screen comes back into view, the smoke and destruction around you is even worse than before. This looks like something out of the Terminator movies future.

A pilate friend has been injured and it is now up to you to hop into a F38 and provide air cover. When getting into the Fighter, you are asked have you ever flown before and you say no. But somehow you can hit buttons and fly off. In the future all vehicles use the same buttons to operate?

You have to escort two vehicles in a plane. It looks like you control only the shooting cursor and not the flight of the plane. Perhaps this is what they meant by he didn't know how to fly and the computer would do it all for you?

As you continue taking out enemies from the air, disaster strikes and your F38 is hit. You have to hit the eject button as you begin falling to what appears to be your death on the ground. Sounds like a good time to end the first part of the demo!

The second half of our demo begins with the Strikeforce Gampelay. The area we are at is on some type of dock with tons of cargo bays stacked up all around. Gameplay in Strikeforce modes allows you to zoom up, to an overhead view, and direct your troops in a RTS style. This gives you a nice view of where your units are and where the enemies are coming from. Once you have everything in place, you select the unit of your choice and begin to fight as them in the First Person perspective. 

When in the Overwatch mode, the AI controls all of the units for you until you pick one. Also, the Overwatch mode gives you a list of available unit types and a number associated with the number of units you have at the bottom. This can also include vehicle units like a tank.

Unlike other Call of Duty missions, where if you fail, you start over at a checkpoint, if you fail these missions, you do not start over. It will have story ramifications if you succeed or fail. This makes these missions important.

The FPS portion of the gameplay is identical to other COD. Eventually we finish the mission by launching a rocket, to blow up, and evacuate as we call in an air strike to destroy the docks and ships around the area. This concluded the end of our demo. 

Will Call of Duty Black Ops 2 be successful? Regardless of whether or not the end product is any good, the game is going to sell a bazillion copies in the first 24 hours. However, this seems like the best version of Call of Duty in a very long time and has the potential to be one of the best games released in 2012. We are excited to see and play more!

By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/09/12

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