The follow-up to the original Call of Duty Black Ops released in 2010, Black Ops II takes the game’s action from the 1960’s into the near future of 2025.
Black Ops II’s single player storyline is still a very closely-guarded secret by the game’s developer Treyarch and publisher Activision.
But what was revealed was the fact the game will be flashing back to the 1980s for about a quarter of the game from 2025.
The main character of Black Ops II will be David Mason, son of Alex Mason who was the central character in the original game.
To understand the popularity of the Call of Duty franchise it should be noted that the last three COD games – Modern Warfare 2 (2009), Black Ops (2010) and Modern Warfare 3 (2011) – all went on to become the most successful entertainment release of all time surpassing even Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar and The Dark Knight.
Understandably there are lots of players counting down the days until Call of Duty Black Ops II is released but Tech Guide got a hands-on look at the multiplayer mode which has been arguably the most popular aspect of the franchise.
And while the essence of the first person shooter is the same with Black Ops II, there have been some interesting enhancements.
CREATE A CLASS
Creating a class has been changed completely.
Rather than unlock weapons and perks as your rank increases, as has been the case with earlier versions of Call of Duty, Black Ops II has adopted a Pick 10 system.
This way players have 10 points to spend on their combinations of weapons and perks which makes it easier for players to customise their classes to suit their playing style.
Kill streaks – rewards for scoring a number of kills in a row without dying – have been replaced by score streaks which encourage players to help their team win the game rather than just going for individual records.
WEAPONS AND ATTACHMENTS
Being set in the near future means the game’s developers can offer some enhanced weaponry, attachments and equipment.
These include an Assault Shield to create portable cover, Millimetre Wave Scanner to allow players to see through walls and other objects at close range, Shock Charge to electrocute or stun enemies that come near it and a Laser Sight to assist with aiming.
Game modes will still include Team Deathmatch, Domination and Kill Confirmed with the addition of Hardpoint – a king-of-the-hill style mode which has teams battling to control certain map points.
Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed and Hardpoint can also be played in multi-team mode with up to six teams in the game.
Of the many multiplayer maps which will be available, we got to play four of them in our hands on session.
Aftermath – set in a devastated downtown Los Angeles after a drone attack.
Cargo – in the docks of Singapore with containers constantly being moved and changing the shape of the map
Turbine – a large open map in wind farm with an abandoned turbine dominating the centre of desert map
Yemen – an urban street setting with tight streets, tunnels and vantage points for sniper and surprise attacks.
Other maps which will be included in the gameplay rotations will include:
Overflow – a challenging map set on the flood littered streets of Peshawar in Pakistan.
Express – a Los Angeles bullet train station is the setting for this match with the opportunity to engage the enemy up and down the tracks.
Hijacked – a tight map ideal for close quarters engagement aboard a luxurious super yacht.
The badge of honour for all Call of Duty players is Prestige. Prestige is achieved when a player rises through all 55 rank levels and chooses to start all over again.
There are 10 levels of Prestige but Black Ops II will allow players to keep their weapons XP (experience points), earned attachments which, on earlier versions, would normally be reset.
Achieving Prestige also allows players to create an extra Create A Class slot (up to five) and also get a refund on all the items they’ve unlocked if they choose to unlock a different set of items.
One thing players love to do with Call of Duty is share their online exploits in the game’s theatre.
Black Ops II now has a function to create a highlight reel of your best games.
There’s even a Live Streaming option from inside the game for other to watch your latest matches. Players need a copy of the game and an internet connection with a required minimum amount of upstream bandwidth capability.
It wouldn’t be a Black Ops game without Zombies and the new game now offers three ways to battle the undead.
Tranzit – One to four players play in co-op mode in a large open with a bus to move from location to location.
Survival – this recreates the classic mode where players have to hold off wave after wave of Zombies for one to four players.
Grief – this is a multi-team set-up for two to eight players where the object of the game is to be the last humans standing. Players can set the Zombies to attack the other humans in the game to enhance their chances of survival.
Call of Duty Black Ops II will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC and Nintendo Wii U on November 13.