When the call came in to preview Call of Duty: Black Ops II, we couldn’t resist taking up the offer. And, as expected, the game did not disappoint. Set in 2025, robotics, drones and technologically dominated warfare rule the day as the Call of Duty franchise shifts to the future. Except, this is no corporate concocted fantasy that deviates from Call of Duty‘s typically era-specific weaponry. Instead, all the weaponry used in Black Ops II is real – either in prototype or currently used in 21st century warfare. So while the game did require a good deal of imagination, it’s grounded in a plausible futuristic reality.
Take, for example, the new and improved sniper rifle, which uses TSA body scanner millimeter wave technology. The folks at Call of Duty, with the help of military advisors, asked the simple question: “What if we put a gun on it?” And so they did, creating a sniper rifle that can see through cover. As they put it to me, “campers beware.”
Or take the new and improved bullet technology, which goes well beyond lead-through-skin capabilities. Some bullets are now electrically charged, with power that ranges from regular bullet damage to explosions blowing through concrete pillars. There are also improvements to the C.L.A.W. (Cognitive Land Assault Weapon) – and by improvements, we mean that the CoD folks once again asked, “What if we put a gun on it?” Previously used to carry gear through rough terrain, this walking monstrosity is now equipped with machine guns to wreak havoc. Drone technology is also at its finest through the interactive wristband control – instead of having to clear an area blind with a strike team, you can now send in flying drones to spray machine gun fire to assist your assault.
One of the biggest improvements to the CoD franchise stems from its improvement to story mode. Called “Strike Force” levels, gamers will now have the choice to follow multiple story paths. That is, sporadically throughout the game, you will have the option to choose between Strike Force missions, each with its own objectives to complete in different locations. Additionally, you can choose to play from multiple perspectives, interchanging between them throughout the mission. The classic boots on the ground solider, controlling drones up above or scanning thenentire area from 30,000 ft. through overwatch mode are all available options. Choose carefully, because success and failure in these Strike Force missions matters; it actually alters the storyline you’re following. So instead of every gamer ending story mode at one, uniform conclusion, there will be multiple paths and multiple game endings.
Although we only saw a brief glimpse of the game, with the city of Los Angeles an all out warzone and you, the soldier, tasked with protecting POTUS, the brief preview was enough to get us excited to buy the game when it comes out this fall.
What are you most excited about?
Follow Dylan on Twitter at @DylanTMurphy.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.