Certainly one of the most anticipated titles of the year, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is the bold new sequel in the series hitting retail this holiday season.
Looking to take the series in an all-new direction, Black Ops 2 is making the jump to the near future. Coupling futuristic warfare and the all-new feature of branching story lines, developers are making a strong push to take the series into territory it hasn’t traversed before.
With the recent release of an all-new trailer, we get an exclusive new look at the villain and the setup for the game’s story. Here’s what we think of the trailer, and of the game in general:
Let’s be honest with each other: Infinity Ward is not who they once were. As I’ve already shared. I felt that Black Ops was a better game than Modern Warfare 3 (though that was still a great game in its own right), and I’m saying right now, and you can quote me, that Black Ops 2 is going to be the best Call of Duty game ever. They have some high-quality talent on board (Trent Reznor!), and everything I’ve seen about this game just looks good. I’m disappointed by the lack of actual gameplay in the trailer, but if Black Ops 2 innovates like the original, I really feel like we could be in for a treat.
I want to start by saying that we finally have a villain in Call of Duty that is not from Russia or some part of Europe. The man is Nicaraguan, so I expect some Spanish phrases, please. Of note, though, is how Menendez is coined as the “Messiah of the 99%.” It’s interesting how Black Ops II is the first major triple-A game to address the whole 99% vs. 1% issue, and I have to give props to Treyarch for at least throwing that topic in. Still, I really hope it’s explored in-depth, and seeing how I thought the story for Black Ops was actually pretty interesting, I’m willing to bet Treyarch will have an awesome story in their hands.
Another worthy mention is around the 0:56 mark. Thanks to no small part by the music, you can tell this is a pretty emotional scene, so I’m also hoping to have a villain that has actual depth. So far, at least to me, all the villains in the Call of Duty franchise have been the equivalent of paper cut-outs, so that short scene has me hopeful that Menendez won’t be a two-dimensional character. Though this trailer might look like a mess for some people, I think it does a good job setting up Menendez as our villain. It shows the results of his evil ways, though it also shows that Menendez, as a character, is a lot more than you might expect him to be. Couple that with the whole 99%/1% who-haw, and Treyarch has the potential to outdo themselves, story-wise, with Black Ops II.
Finally, Call of Duty is giving me a reason to care about the story. Instead of giving me a run-of-the-mill terrorist that I’m conditioned to immediately hate, we instead get a character who might be interesting and has some modern day ties. Treyarch themselves have said that they plan to introduce a back story to Menendez that will allow players to feel a bit more of a connection to the enemy within the story line. It’s a well known fact that the secret to building a great villain is to give people a reason to see why he became what he is, and the driving forces behind that. With this trailer, I’m feeling somewhat encouraged to see that they’re finally adding a bit of depth to the story that Call of Duty has never attempted to do before. While some might claim that original Black Ops attempted to do this, and I will agree that it did go into more depth and have more personality than before, this is looking to be a strong deviation from the typical military shooter storyline. And as a story-driven game fan, I’m in love with this idea and can’t wait to see how this will all work together in the end. More please!