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CoD: Black Ops. It's Looking Good...

Neil Davey
Activision, Black Ops, Call Of Duty, CoD, E3, FPS

CoD: Black Ops. It's Looking Good...

With huge international game show E3 drawing closer, we’re hoping for more info on 2010’s big titles, so watch this space.

Happily, the lovely Activision had a pre-E3 event recently and, over the next week or two, as the embargos lift, I’ll try and tell you what they told me about the likes of the new Spider-Man, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, True Crime and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. Undoubtedly there will be more info post-E3 – hey, you’ve got to keep some juicy stuff for the folk travelling to Vegas, right? – but the highlight of the day was, inevitably, the preview of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

All those theories about when it will be set? We’re probably all right. While all we currently know for sure is that it’s about Black Ops (and, admittedly, you might have guessed that bit), the game appears to follow the classic CoD approach of jumping between eras and campaigns.

The title appears to follow several different covert operations, in particular the CIA’s anti-Communist activities in places such as Vietnam (hurrah!), Cuba and Eastern Europe. Developers Treyarch are keeping the specifics, and the timeline, under their hats at the moment but did show the gathered journalistic throng two levels, both set in 1968.

CoD: Black Ops. It's Looking Good...

Up first was WMD – ooh, how topical – which expanded on the bit from the recent trailer featuring the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. From this atmospherically high vantage point, you see the Black Ops team approach a secret, mountainous Russian military base... and then you’re in the thick of the action, as one of the attacking soldiers, rappelling into the base and getting down the mountain to take out a satellite station.

The best bit? The sniper crossbow. While admittedly we didn’t get our hands on the controller, Treyarch’s demonstrator was clearly having fun picking off enemies from distance and in silence. The detail looks good too: it’s possible to just injure someone with a bolt and finish them off later.

CoD: Black Ops. It's Looking Good...

The scene finishes with the destruction of the satellite station and proves that explosion plus snow-bound mountain equals avalanche. The action switches to another standard CoD level: run like hell.
So far, so good. But it gets better with the preview of a level called – fanfare please – Slaughterhouse. The setting? Vietnam. As you abseil from a US chopper, it’s hit by enemy fire and goes into a spin, throwing you into an office block.

Your mission? Get out. Fortunately, you’re armed with a shotgun and some shells called “Dragon’s Breath”. As the name suggests, they’re somewhat incendiary. Cue much grisly flaming VietCong action, as you get out of the building. Somewhat inevitably, it’s a CoD “out of the frying pan” moment, as you’re then pitched into street fights with groups of enemy soldiers, finishing by fleeing the city with an armoured car escort. It's exhausting (and eyepopping) to watch.

CoD: Black Ops. It's Looking Good...

And that’s all we’re shown. Still, it appears to be quality business as usual, with the promise of “an epic story” and hints of multiple eras, the usual twists and turns and, possibly, a storyline that changes depending on decisions you make. Multiplayer is clearly uppermost in Treyarch’s thoughts – see? they do listen – with at least four player co-op, and an announcement to follow at E3 (told you). More on those as we find out.

On this brief evidence though? CoD: Black Ops is a barrage of bullets and mayhem and slick FPS action. Bring it on.

CoD: Black Ops. It's Looking Good...

Add a comment6 comments
ODB  Jun. 4, 2010 at 11:10

I told you how long ago....

this game is going to seriously rock

Jeffrey Archer  Jun. 4, 2010 at 11:49

It's made by treyarch. The only thing thats going to rock is the stones they're going to have thrown at them for f**king up another COD title.

ODB  Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:06

WaW wasnt that bad...a damn site more fun than MW2...at least they gave more than old maps with the Nazi Zombies levels.

They messed up COD3...the rest werent that bad, IW's MW2 is nowhere near as good as MW1 and as they have now fallen apart Treyarch will want to be the big boys. They took the idea's from MW1 and used them for WaW and made some good improvements...its just the setting etc that was rubbish. If they do the same this time then they'll nail it. Screenshots already look great whereas WaW never looked great

Jonathan Lester  Jun. 4, 2010 at 13:13

WAW was fun on a bun. I've played better shooters- but lord knows I've played a lot worse. Like Treyarch's Quantum of Solace, for example...

From the screens and trailers, treyarch seems to be nailing the "cinematic shooter" vibe that CoD has been aspiring to in recent years. Black Ops will doubtlessly be a jawdropping spectacle/playable action blockbuster- and from the tasty info that Neil's brought us, the core gameplay is shaping up nicely too.

Felix Kemp  Jun. 4, 2010 at 13:49

I think personally Infinity Ward lost the plot with MW2. The original MW is a far superior single player and multiplayer game. MW2 is akin to hiring Jerry Bruckheimer to reboot your series.

WaW was OK, nothing special in my opinion. But I look forward to Black Ops. CoD's always been best when focusing on special-forces.

Matt Gardner  Jun. 4, 2010 at 15:27

Quantum of Solace was pretty unassuming and irritatingly short, but it did have an excellent R6Vegas-style cover system and some nice moments. I got the feeling it was a rush job, gonna be interesting to see what Treyarch can do now they're numero uno.


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