If broshooters are your thing, you can’t really get much more bang for you buck than Call of Duty. Even with a new title releasing every year, there’s enough ranking and unlocking packed into the games to keep you busy for a while.
While the Call of Duty series has been waning in the eyes of the gaming public for while (to those of us “in the know”, at any rate), I’ve always appreciated Treyarch’s willingness to stick their necks out and deviate from the formula set up by Infinity Ward. Things like zombies, crazy Cold War conspiracies and now trips to the future are all helping to keep the series somewhat fresh while Modern Warfare approaches stagnation. The new multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 shows you how you’ll be fighting in the future of 2025. If you thought that Call of Duty needed more ridiculous kill-streak rewards, then you’re in for a treat.
Walking tanks and helicopter drones and suicidal UAVs, oh my! The only thing missing from this trailer is the crazy customization that Treyarch packed into the original Black Ops, but I’m sure all of that will be revealed in another trailer closer to the release date.
So, what do you think? Does the multiplayer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 do it for you? Is it worth going black to the future?
The podcast is all grown’s up this week now that we’re on episode 18, so it’s legal. Jeff had to skip out on this podcast because he hates us, or was busy, I don’t really remember which. We recorded this last week, so our topics reflect that. We chat about broken systems, gaming innovation, Killzone 3 and more. Check out the list of topics below. Nick also brings us a game of fill in the blank, where I curb stomp the competition the way I always do in these affairs.
While Call of Duty: Black Ops may be Treyarch’s best contribution to the series to date, there are some out there who think that the game isn’t all that great. They’ll say that the story is confusing and poorly written and the multiplayer is full of broken spawns, latency, and on the PS3, dirty hackers. They might also say that the game is basically the same it’s been for the last eight years.
As the underdog studio just released the First Strike Map Pack (available exclusively on Xbox LIVE, kids), Treyarch community manager Josh Olin gave a little interview with NowGamer about how patches are important to the online experience and what Treyarch are doing to keep Blops going strong. At the end of the interview, however, the writer asks Mr. Olin what he thinks the biggest problem with the game industry is:
Call of Duty is something of a phenomenon, a strange black hole that gamers throw their money into year after year. No matter how tired we get of the previous entry, there’s something that keeps us coming back to the franchise even when we swear that we’re done. It used to be the tight, focused single player mode, but that’s given way to the addictive multiplayer component. Now that Modern Warfare 2 has bruised our fragile psyche in that respect, it’s fallen to the underdog, Treyarch Studios, to breath life back into the franchise.
Even though Treyarch is pegged as the B-team for Call of Duty, churning out sequels in the off years, they’ve never really had a chance to strike out on their own. Seemingly forced to make games based on World War 2 after their audience had moved on, every Call of Duty that didn’t have the Modern Warfare moniker was almost destined to fail. Something different happened this time, though, and this new Call of Duty is set on the sidelines, focusing on the deadly Black Ops special forces soldiers who went behind enemy lines and did the dirty deeds no one would know about. With a new era and a new focus, does Call of Duty: Black Ops deliver the goods?
If you weren’t watching ESPN tonight for whatever reason, then you may have missed the full length trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops. The teaser went up a few days ago, but good things come to those who wait, right? Because you’ve been patient, we have the trailer embeded right below for you. Go ahead and get a quick look at the single player campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops:
Say what you will about Treyarch and their previous efforts, I kind of like the behind-the-scenes, cloak-and-dagger setting that the game is building, which is different from what Call of Duty usually gives us. While I’m sure the game will involve all the bombastic action that we’re used to, having an opportunity to fight through the Cold War is a new one for us gamers. Now that we’ve seen a bit more on the single player for Black Ops, any thoughts? Do you have doubts after Modern Warfare 2, or do you think Treyarch will succeed in single player?
If you’re into online First Person Shooters, you’ve probably come to accept that all of them incorporate some sort of XP progression/unlock system at this point. This fad started gaining steam with Call of Duty 4, and it has been carried over to almost every other shooter since then. Fittingly, Black Ops takes this into the ridiculous territory with the customizations that will be allowed in game. Call of Duty usually avoided having the player customize their in-game avatar, but Black Ops will allow you to give your persona everything from face paint to armor and customized sights for your guns. Seriously, this video borders on ludicrous once the developers start detailing the different kinds of emblems you can emblazon your firearm with. Take a look:
While this is really cool, I think they lost me around the custom red-dot sight part. At some point you’re just adding too much to the investment system, and constantly dangling carrots in front of people gets annoying more often than not. As much as I love Halo: Reach, the poor design of the rank/armor system has really been rankling me (it takes forever to make it past Warrant Officer). Hopefully Black Ops will not suffer the same fate by making more options available faster. So, see anything that catches your fancy? Are you getting sick of shooter with a huge focus on ranks and unlocks?
One of the surprise features in Treyarch’s 2008 Call of Duty entry World at War was the inclusion of the four-player co-op mode Nazi Zombies. Fans of CoD were originally dismissive of this offering, but those of us who played it quickly fell in love with the shambling hordes of Third Reich undead. Nazi Zombies featured a scaling difficulty that meant later rounds necessitated a good team working together, otherwise your soft flesh would quickly provide sustenance for the ravening swarm.
Nazi Zombies quickly gained in popularity throughout World at War’s life-span, with Treyarch adding new maps and even a mythology behind the game. Now that the Call of Duty off-team is up to bat again, they’re putting Nazi Zombies into Black Ops, but tuning it up for the upcoming release. Studio head Mark Lamia gave this little snippet in regards to the return of the walking dead:
“Zombies have been such a hit with our community that we were committed to bringing brand new zombie experiences to Call of Duty: Black Ops. We’ve taken extra special care to retain the essential ingredients of our Zombie game, and have also crafted a nice surprise for the fans.”
There’s nothing else beyond that, but one can only imagine what Nazi Zombies (or Communist Zombies?) is going to look like after two years in development. There have been a lot of changes to Call of Duty since then, so one can only suppose that the mode will change to compensate. I know that my purchase of Black Ops hinged on a Zombie mode, but what about you guys? Ready to kill some whiskey deltas? When more details unfold, we will be sure to include them. If you’re the kind of person who likes a good teasing, Call of Duty: Black Ops site GKNOVA6 has what you’re looking for.
Well, bad news for fans of Treyarch’s Spider-Man games, all four of you: the developer recently revealed in an interview with CVG that they are all about the Duty now. Call of Duty, that is.
That’s right, everyone’s favorite B-team in the CoD bullpen has forsaken all others to focus exclusively on Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. They claim this has been the case for sometime and is not a result of the hoopla involving Infinity Ward that you might have heard of. I can’t really blame Activision for such a decision, as despite my pre-release hating, World At War was actually really good. Treyarch even has a whole team dedicated to just multiplayer, which can’t be a bad thing. Right?
How do you guys feel about this sudden change in focus for Treyarch?
Well, that was fast. Only a few weeks after the teaser trailer, Activision and Treyarch have dropped another video for Black Ops on us, bestowing us with visions of the upcoming Vietnam-era (and beyond?) shooter. While the trailer is pretty light on story, it does show stoic men with firearms and plenty of explosions, and isn’t that what we want from Call of Duty? Take a look and tell us what you think:
Like many of the PC gaming faithful on this very website, I was a bit dissapointed in Infinity Ward’s decision to use a peer-to-peer matchmaking service for their multiplayer. While it was fun for a bit, the amount of glitchers and hackers I would run into during every single match became a bit much. I quit playing that game in January, and I haven’t looked back (mostly because of how awesome Bad Company 2 is).
With a new Call of Duty on the horizon, you would expect developer Treyarch to continue on with IW’s plan of no dedicated servers, right? Fortunetly, Treyarch is thinking for themselves this time around, and studio head Mark Lamia recently went on record with PC Zone (via CVG) saying that he thinks, quote:
…dedicated servers are excellent. I don’t see any reason not to see them unless… well, I just don’t see any reason not to.”
Honestly, I think this is good news for the Call of Duty franchise. When you take out dedicated servers, and with it the ability of admins to moderate the player base, what you get is an unholy mess, where only those with the latest aimbot hack comes out on top. I’m still not digging this new Call of Duty that much, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. What do you guys think? Good news? Enough to get you to purchase yet another CoD?
I try not to be too snarky and leave most of the editorial out of news posts on this site when I can, but sometimes the hype machine around videogames drives me to new lengths I never thought possible before.
Take this Call of Duty: Black Ops trailer, for instance, which has been hyped all week long and is currently taking over the front page of Gametrailers. It pretty much tells you nothing. While I’m generally not a fan of teaser trailers for video games (why do I care about a game trailer with no gameplay), this one is even worse than most. I get it. Fast cuts means excitement. But it’s nice to see what’s going on every now and then.
I dunno, am I being an old fart about this? Slow down your videos, you crazy kids!
Bee tee dub, this game is by Treyarch. I know that’s going to make people go loopy in the comments, so have fun.