Black Ops 2: 5 Reasons It Will Be the Best Call of Duty Ever

Black Ops II has all the makings of the best Call of Duty game since 2007.

Despite being the most popular gaming franchise in the known universe, I€™ve not met anybody who claims to actually like Call of Duty. Everyone complains about it: whether they€™re whinging about the linearity and shortness of the campaign or getting uppity because the online mode is €œbroken€ it seems that Call of Duty has no fans at all. It€™s like Michael McIntyre, or fish pie €“ phenomenally successful, despite the fact that it makes everybody who goes near it throw up. After a few years of super-stardom back in the Infinity Ward days, the series quickly lost direction and a lot of its fanbase. These days, CoD forums exist only to highlight gameplay flaws and bitch about Activision; with its glory days long gone, and only a few bloated follow-ups since, Call of Duty is the gaming industry€™s fallen rock-star. One of these days we€™re going to find Call of Duty dead in a hotel room, overdosed on weapon perks and lying in a pool of its own revenue. At least, that€™s what I thought until I saw the Black Ops II trailers. Undoubtedly my pick of E3, CoDBLOPS II has all the makings of the best Call of Duty game since 2007. Big, bold and boisterous, Treyarch€™s future-shooter looks exactly like the gun-shot to the arm that Call of Duty needs. Here€™s why:

5. It€™s Set In The Future

It was only a matter of time before Call of Duty hit 88mph. Having blown-up most of the twentieth century and the noughties, Treyarch are quantum-leaping into 2025 for Black Ops II. It€™s a bold move - swapping the trademark military realism for sleek futuristic fantasy marks a huge step out of CoD€™s comfort zone - but it shows balls, and that€™s what the series has been missing. Ever since Modern Warfare went twenty-six times platinum, Activision has been naturally reluctant to change the formula. Military advisors, real-world locations and spot-on ballistics have defined Call of Duty for the past five years. But Black Ops II does away with all that, and the results look fantastic: robots, flying turrets, and Aliens-style mech battle suits give you more toys to play with than ever. Where the endless shoot-reload-repeat of Modern Warfare was starting to give everybody a thousand-yard stare, now you can zap enemies with laser guns or sneak up on them with unmanned drones. There are bazookas that can launch twenty missiles at once, or sniper rifles that can be charged up to shoot through brick walls and armoured vehicles. And that€™s all we€™ve seen so far: by the time Black Ops II lands in November, it€™ll probably include a gun that fires helicopters, or something.

Manual laborer and games journalist who writes for The Escapist, Gamasutra and others. Lives in London. Last seen stumbling around Twitter muttering to himself @mostsincerelyed