With the inevitability often reserved for the changing of the tides, or taxes, another year means we will be getting yet another Call of Duty. Unsurprising I know, considering it’s only the best selling video game series ever. Contrary to what the internet says there’s clearly a demand for the product, and Activision are going to do their best to keep the financial killstreak going. That being said we’re all expecting the reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 tomorrow during the NBA Play-offs, and so we present to you here, a handy one stop place to pour over all of the tiny details and rumours that have been doing the rounds as of late.
Rumours started circulating that we’d be seeing a direct sequel to Black Ops back in February when game artist Hugo Beyer listed “Black Ops 2″ as a current project on his CV which appeared on his LinkedIn profile. Beyer, who did work on the original Black Ops quickly took down the posting, which is always a sure sign that something exists, especially in the game industry.
Then of course we got the leak on the official Black Ops forum that said in no uncertain terms that Black Ops 2 was coming,
“This year, Call of Duty will return with its ninth instalment with Black Ops 2. As expected it will be following Treyarch’s previous game Black Ops. Its release date is set for the 6th of November.”
This was quickly taken down by Activision. Note the release date was set for the 6th November. However now we’re looking at a 13th November release date. As you may have read only two days ago here an image of a Target pre-order card was sent in to IGN that shows when Black Ops 2 will be hitting store shelves. And there is some evidence to back this up.
Here’s where it got interesting. A member of FPS Russia was seen playing around with a military drone, with a t-shirt with the word “Tacitus” on it. Heading over to tacitus.com reveals a strange little site that features what could be the Treyarch logo rendered in 3D, and a blurb about discovery and technology. Black Ops 2 is rumoured to have a near future setting, so the idea of perhaps a private company toying with new technologies is not too far fetched. But wait! There’s more. Tacitus was the name of a Roman historian (one of the greatest Roman historians in fact) and has links with a solar eclipse. It just so happens there’ll be a solar eclipse on the 13th November.
Not surprising, the Tacitus logo appeared over at callofduty.com along with some videos of the quadrotor drone, which again hints to a near future setting. Oh and there was this screenshot here:
It again appeared on the official call of duty website, and doesn’t reaslly say much except that drones will feature in the game, and points towards a greater emphasis on espionage and intelligence rather than the all out warfare we saw in Modern Warfare 3. Perhaps we’ll be given a look at the seedy world of near future intelligence agencies. The idea of espionage playing a large role is cemented due to the fact that one of the key phrases to come out of the teasers has been,
“The enemy could be anywhere, and could be anyone.”
Speaking of anywhere, we may also have some idea’s on where the game will take place, or at least some of the locations the globe trotting campaign will take us. On the 26th and 27th two sets of numbers were released, which turned out to be coordinates. The first featured several sets blinking on and off which pointed to not only China being a possible location (Tibet and Shangai to be precise), but also Japan, Afghanistan and South Korea. Some more speculation also led others to point to America, Russia and somewhere in the Mediterranean.
The second set of numbers were based on L.A. They actually centre around the E3 convention centre and also the Staples centre, which just so happens to be where the NBA playoffs will take place.
Finally with regards to gameplay there hasn’t been too much said, which shouldn’t come as a shock to most. Thankfully though we have even more forum links for those details we so crave.
First up Drop Zone and Kill Confirm modes will be returning from Modern Warfare 3. Another aspect that will be reappearing is the pointstreak system, which places more of an emphasis on objectives rather than kills. What’s new however is the rumoured Escort mode. This will see one player being marked as a VIP and the team will need to work together to get him to one of three safe zones alive, while the other team is tasked with taking him out. Think of it as a more elaborate version of Killzones Assassination mode.
Point allocations to carrying out certain tasks were detailed. For example planting a bomb is worth two points while capturing an enemy flag is also worth two points, but taking a neutral one only grants one point.
Specialist classes will now receive a new perk every two kills and reinforcing the near future setting, there is a pointstreak reward that equips players with a scope that allows them to see through walls. And finally, the last shred of info we can give you is that players will be able to first prestige at level 50, but this cap increases each time, so by the time you hit the 15th and final prestige you’ll be looking at hitting level 90 before that happens.
No doubt we’ll be swamped with more info during the reveal tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to see how close to the mark we were with a lot of this information. Perhaps we’ll know what consoles it’ll be appearing on. My guess is every console under the sun.