It is still quite some time away from the holiday shopping season. That is when the highly anticipated gaming event of the year happens-the annual iteration of Call of Duty is released. For this year, we are being treated to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, a sequel to the highly popular and commercially successful Black Ops. The installment is also developed by the same team that developed the first Black Ops, Treyarch Studios. So far, we know that what will make this installment different is that the setting of the game will be completely futuristic. This means futuristic war weapons and a very technological bents. Previous installments of the COD series were set in previous wars and decades. While those games made for great “blast from the past” type experiences, the new COD installment comes to fore in light of many shooter games that are set in either the present or in the future. Consider Black Ops 2 as “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Another point of differentiation for this title is that the storyline for the game will be entirely dictated by the player’s choice. This is in keeping with the story tree trend that has gained lots of traction in many video games after its heavy use by Bioware. While the two features above are exciting, we also know one detail that might have a sad ending. At least it is a sad ending for COD fans who like the annual release schedule. Apparently, the contracts of the developers of much of the series will be wrapping up within the next two years. We might see the end of the COD series in two years or at least the series might change to a form we are not familiar with.
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In terms of story, the first Black Ops was set in the first Cold War. This Black Ops is set in a future Cold War between new superpower China and the USA. This game is a direct sequel to the first Black Ops and is set in the year 2025. Players take the role of the lead protagonist David Mason, the son of the first Black Ops’ protagonist, Alex Mason. Frank Woods is still alive and is now an old timer bringing us to speed with the previous storyline. The game’s big conflict will about Rare Earth for electronic items not the old Cold War’s focus on oil. China controls more than 90 percent of the rare earth elements and wants to get full control over this previous commodity. There is also a lot of sophisticated hacking in the future.
While the single player story line is engaging, it is the multiplayer that brings a lot of people to this game. The Strike Force mode is supposed to bring multiplayer to a higher level than before. It is supposed to be quite responsive to player decisions. We shall soon see as more details of this game roll out.