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Arguably the most anticipated game of the year, the Activision’s ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ launches today, November 13, 2012 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC (Microsoft Windows) platforms, while the Wii U version is to be released later in the month – on November 18 in North America, November 30 in Europe and December 20 in Japan.

The related game ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified’ is being released simultaneously on the PlayStation Vita.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Poster

Reception

Amazon confirmed yesterday that ‘Black Ops II’ is the most preordered game in the online retailer’s history, leaving far behind the tremendously successful ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’ released 12 months ago, but the critical reception also supports the incredible hype – according to the first reviews from all over the world, Black Ops II is lauded as a genuine masterpiece and sets a good example of how to keep an ongoing franchise fresh and original.

Introduction

Black Ops II is the ninth installment in the Call of Duty franchise of video games and a direct sequel to the 2010 game ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’. It is the first game in the franchise to feature the futuristic warfare technology and the 3D display option, and it is also the first Call of Duty title to present branching storylines driven by player choice.

Characters and settings

The game can perhaps be best described as a first-person shooter in the futuristic setting of the ‘Cold War of the 21st Century’ following several storylines, from the 1970s to the 2020s.

The primary playable character in the Cold War section is once again Agent Alex Mason (USMC Capt), who first appeared in the previous ‘Black Ops’, serving the United States in numerous Cold War-era proxy wars in South America, Afghanistan and Angola. The bad guy of the game, the opportunistic narco boss from Nicaragua, Raul Menendez also appears in this section of the game, as well as Mason’s friend and ally Frank Woods.

The futuristic 2025 section features Alex’s son David Mason fighting Raul Menendez in what appears to be the Cold War of the 21st century, this time between China and the United States. This section of the game features robots, unmanned vehicles and aircrafts and other futuristic warfare technology.

Call of Duty – Black Ops II Screenshot

Branching storylines

The 2025 section of Black Ops II also features the branching storylines, for the very first time in a Call of Duty franchise. These storylines are called ‘Strike Force missions’ and feature all kinds of futuristic weaponry, but permanent death of the protagonist, too.

Zombies

The Zombies mode will be available for the third time in the franchise (the previous being ‘Call of Duty: World at War’ and ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’), but this is the first time the Zombies will have their own campaign with the implemented multiplayer engine.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Developer: Treyarch

Publisher: Activision, Square Enix (Japan)

Writer: David S. Goyer

Composers: Jack Wall, Trent Reznor

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii U

Genre: First-person shooter

Mode: Single-player, multiplayer, Co-op

 


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