When Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 lands later this year, fan and critical focus won’t only be on the solo campaign, as Treyarch look to atone for the sins of the last Modern Warfare game, as a good deal of Black Ops 2′s marketability relies on the online multi-player market who extend the game’s longevity well beyond most game’s shelf-lives.
All Call of Duty games these days require the same sort of focus on that side of the game experience, with as much innovation necessary in the multi-player modes as is implemented in the campaign. Black Ops fans will plainly not accept anything that feels like a port of the last game’s multiplayer into new maps with new weapons – the changes have to run deeper than that, and it seems thankfully that Treyarch are fully aware of the fact.
The innovation jump between World at War and the original Black Ops was massive, and with accusations levelled at Modern Warfare that the same sort of originality was largely ignored in favour of releasing a very similar game, made more accessible to casual gamers at the expense of those who have stuck with the franchise from the early days, it is hoped (and indeed suggested) that Treyarch have gone for innovation again.
That goes for the multi-player doubly: the development team have been very vocal that their objective from day one was aimed at innovation and not just evolution. Treyarch have said that from the start they wanted to challenge all of the fundamental assumptions about all of our core gameplay systems with the end-game being putting power back in the hands of the player to customise how they play the multiplayer portions of the game.
As confirmed on the Black Ops 2 blog, during the development process Treyarch looked at the gameplay and systems and began to rethink the whole set-up:
‘Why are we doing things this way – is it because it’s how we’ve always done it? Is there a different path we could take? What were the sacred cows?’ And from there, really began a very engaging process of challenging assumptions and stripping systems down to their absolute core.
The question is whether Treyarch have achieved what must go down as objective number one for the multi-player portion of Black Ops 2 – to outdo the multi-player modes of past Call of Duty games. Click within to reveal why we think they might just have managed it…