How do you teach an old dog new tricks? That’s the question Activision is going to answer with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which was officially announced last night even though everyone’s known about it for what feels like seven hundred years. So, instead of looking at the past or the present (which are both filled with Call of Duty games) the gargantuan publisher is looking to the future (where Call of Duty games haven’t been made yet), possibly turning that boring old dog into an exciting robot dog with guns for paws. Ba-boom!
Let’s have a look at what their futuristic crystal ball has unearthed:
It’s 2025! That’s like, thirteen years into the future. Let’s hope the number thirteen isn’t unlucky for Activision this year. And look! It’s Sgt. Frank Woods from the original Black Ops! He’s hooked up to an oxygen tank and is really, really, really old. I read a Wikipedia article that said Woods was born in 1930, so that makes him 95 years old.
In this shot he also looks just a little bit like he’s a zombie, and he’s being kept in “The Vault” which certainly sounds enigmatic and spooky.
Oh, yeah, and he got totally exploded at the end of the first Black Ops. He’s not dead.
Here’s a shot of the Treyarch logo, so everybody knows Treyarch is developing it. I quite like Treyarch because I have a sneaking suspicion they’re all a bit mental, which is great. It’s also riddled with numbers because Black Ops is all about numbers tell us what the numbers mean the numbers THE NUMBERS.
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The numbers look like dates – not the dried fruit, though Woods certainly looks a bit like a prune. Here’s some of the dates I made out: 06/12/25, 07/25/25. I also saw the number 48000000, which is probably the amount of copies Black Ops 2 will sell in its first twenty minutes.
WAR! We’re at WAR! There’s a communist red star on this missile, because Black Ops 2 is about the Second Cold War. Presumably the Second Cold War will be quite different from the first, and instead of no missiles being fired you will end up with a handgun that shoots nuclear missiles, and in another sequence you’ll strap two of those little drone things to your shoes before flying into the air and defusing a hydrogen bomb on a spaceship or something.
“We built computers, robots, whole unmanned armies – and no-one ever asked what happens when someone steals the keys,” says Woods. I don’t think they’re actually operated by keys, Woods. I mean, just think about it: you’d need a pretty massive fob to hold an entire army’s worth of keys.
This is a first-person view from inside one of those fancy-schmancy quadrotors, and you can see that the machine wants to SECURE and PROTECT things. That’s the kind of thing Robocop liked doing, too, so these quadrotors are a-ok in my books.
Presumably this is a shot of the game’s new Strike Force missions, which gives you a top-down strategic view of the battlefield and let you zip in and out of various characters or vehicles. Strike Force also promises to affect the overall storyline with branching paths. It sounds mental but quite exciting.
This quadrotor is clearly called Charlene. If I had a quadrotor I’d probably call her Betty. And while it’s clear war has clearly changed, it’s comforting to know that dubsteppy trailers are still all the rage in 2025.
On an unrelated note, Ubisoft must be absolutely devastated today. I imagine Activision has just killed Ghost Recon: Future Soldier before it even had a chance to live.
Is that a gun in your pocket? Look at this futuristic screening technology! Airports will never be the same again, though I imagine in the Call of Duty universe there are no airports any more because they’ve all been utterly annihilated in various attacks and explosions.
This is still very much a Call of Duty game, though, as evidenced by this shot of a soldier holding his hand to his face while something explodes. That’s even more Call of Duty than a really big explosion, or a helicopter falling out of the sky.
And here’s a shot of a helicopter falling out of the sky. That’s classic Call of Duty, right there. This is a sequence set in Los Angeles, the first level of the game. Now that the series has thoroughly ravaged New York and Los Angeles, I imagine San Francisco is currently dreading what’s going to happen in next year’s Call of Duty.
Here’s something new: the dog-like CLAW tank. CLAW stands for, well, I imagine the W stands for warfare.
Our new hero, David Mason. He’s the son of Alex “THE NUMBERS” Mason. He looks a lot like Alex, doesn’t he? I’m willing to get 50p, right now, that he’s a clone. Clones are so futuristic.
Here’s some horses fighting a helicopter. This is set in the 1980s, and here you’ll be playing as Alex Mason. The story will all revolve around the evil machinations of new arch-nemesis Raul Menendez, who is evil.
A tease of the mandatory AC-130 level, but this is probably a futuristic AC-130 that can actually shoot explosions.
Here’s David again holding a gun and probably thinking about some numbers. “They’ll always need men like us, those who are willing to do what others cannot” adds Woods. At 95 years old, I doubt Woods is really that able to do what others cannot.
That’s Black Ops 2, then – it’s set in the future, and the new Strike Ops mode sounds intriguing. I’m quite excited, though I certainly didn’t explode in a furious ball of hype like I did when Modern Warfare 3’s trailer hit last year. Still, I’ll definitely play it in November. How about you?