E3: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Preview

Five minutes after the doors open at the Los Angeles Convention Center, there’s already a huge line of people eager to try out Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Everyone at E3 seems to want to check it out, so we were lucky to have an appointment and sail past the impatient crowds!

There’s a new Call of Duty every year, and while Modern Warfare 3 was impressive, it was clear the franchise was getting stale. Can developer Treyarch freshen up the series with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2?

Read on to find out how this is the most innovative Call of Duty game for years!

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is set in 2025, and the military relies heavily on computer-controlled drones to do its dirty work. This reliance proves fatal when America’s enemies manage to take control of this high tech drone army, and turn it on US cities.

The first mission we were shown throws you right into the midst of this chaos, as you try to protect the president in Los Angeles during an attack. It’s typical Call of Duty – big, bold action, with no let-up to let you catch your breath as you wield machine guns, sniper rifles, anti-aircraft weapons. It’s dramatic, and impressive.

Graphically it’s not as realistic as Battlefield 3, but the more arcade look to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 gets the tone just right, making it really atmospheric. The game opens with a bang, and this mission is gloriously varied and over the top, ending with you in a fighter jet, dog fighting above the city. Watch it in this video from E3.

So far, so Call of Duty, I hear you think, and you’d be right. The opening mission is impressive, but isn’t really anything new. The second mission we were shown, set in Singapore, was much more innovative.

As well as the first person action, this mission puts you in the role of a general, with an Overwatch Mode, that gives you an aerial view of the battlefield. You have various objectives, and have to guide your troops to victory.

You can jump into the action with any soldier on the field, and also control the various drones at your disposal. There’s a lot of freedom in these kinds of missions, and they are totally different to what we’ve seen before in CoD. Controlling the drones looks really cool too – especially the quad copters which allow you to zip around above soldiers heads armed with rapid fire machine guns!

These are ‘sandbox missions‘ – you can complete them any way you like, and in a totally fresh turn, you are free to lose the battles too.

What we saw of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was really impressive. If the rest of the game is this good, mixing new styles of gameplay with the exciting and polished FPS missions we have come to expect, Black Ops 2 could be the best Call of Duty since Modern Warfare. If the drone control is brought into the multiplayer game too, I’d be very happy.

We have to wait until November to find out, when the game is released on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox.

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