Call of Duty: Black Ops Preview
We’ve known about if for long enough. We’ve heard about all sorts of cool additions and Hollywood-type enhancements. So we really shouldn’t wait any longer; here’s an in-depth look at Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, complete with all the footage and media available at this time. The screenshots are certainly tasty and the interview vids are pretty informative, but beyond all that is the gameplay info that ought to turn a few heads. Perhaps the eras on display in this hotly anticipated shooter adventure will prove to be most intriguing: Treyarch won’t divulge exact details on this subject, but it appears as if many of the battles will revolve around the Vietnam and Cold War conflicts. Obviously, this may require something in the way of time travel (which would be admittedly bizarre) but either way, we really like the idea of a continually changing environment. This adds great diversity and variety to the atmosphere, and also means we’ll get to experiment with different weapons and gadgets.
Now, you may have noticed the inclusion of a flying vehicle in that eventful debut trailer; that’s the SR-71 Blackbird and if you’re wondering, yes, you will gain full control of it. Furthermore, you’ll actually have to take off from an aircraft carrier and successfully navigate a flight mission. This sounds more flight-sim-like than it actually is, though, as we’ve learned from IGN's eyes-on session that launching the SR-71 will only require a few simple button presses, and we’re not expecting anything too complex when winging about the sky. The especially appealing aspect of this whole flight aspect is that you’re not up there to roast targets on the ground (at least, that’s not your only objective); you’re also supposed to perform some recon through thermal imaging and control allied troops on the ground. This involves strategically positioning your own forces while being able to view enemy positions; it won’t be as complex as an RTS, of course, but it’s a potentially nice addition.
The majority of the gameplay will certainly focus on the standard first-person shooting aspect the fans know and love. It’s the available weaponry that gets our attention, and that includes the footage we’ve seen of some bad-ass dude with a crossbow as his primary assault tool. It operates exactly as you might think and on top of which, you can even attach explosives to the tip of your arrows; this includes everything from incendiary explosives to mines. Then you’ve got the aforementioned crowd-pleasing elements, which should feature slow-mo insanity that could put the immersion through the roof. There are repelling elements to the gameplay, for instance, and we’ve already highlighted a bit of extra strategy, so the single-player campaign should be a continuous roller-coaster of enthralling Black Ops questing. Toss in the varied confrontations across multiple wars, and you have the potential for a main adventure that boasts solid character development, a surprisingly effective storyline, new mechanics, and nary a boring moment in sight.
And for all you history buffs, you should know that the developers are taking a liberal approach to history; with this new CoD, they want to tell everyone that “everything you know is wrong.” This makes us think we might actually use time travel to change history as it exists…but again, it’d be decidedly strange. Once you take a step back and look at the entire package, from top to bottom, it seems clear that Treyarch is going for one thing: ceaseless fun. Oddly enough, they’re not all that forthcoming with the multiplayer details; we only know the game will feature four-player co-op in a special mode where “unique gameplay” is the focal point. Beyond that, we really don’t know much, but we assume you can expect some of the best multiplayer entertainment around. It’s sort of what this series does. That being said, the single-player campaign could be everything even the most demanding FPS follower desires…
6/8/2010 Ben Dutka