The video game market is tough, and the first person shooter (FPS) genre is a fiercely competitive one. It’s an impressive feat, therefore, that the Call of Duty franchise continues to smash sales records and have thousands of gamers attending midnight launches for every new sequel. The most recent instalment, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, is the latest title to dominate the shooter genre.
The storyline of the Black Ops games are a departure from other instalments in the Call of Duty series. The series typically features soldiers fighting in fictional conflicts in modern day or real-life historical war zones, but Black Ops instead follows covert soldiers on shadowy missions. Black Ops 2 is a first for the series, as half of the game takes place in the year 2025. It is the first Call of Duty game to take place in the future, and it has allowed developers Treyarch to make some exciting changes.
New Gameplay Features
For the first time in the series, player’s actions affect the events of the story. The campaign modes of previous series have always been linear, with little replay appeal. However, in Black Ops 2 players can enjoy a different game (and a different ending) each time they complete the single player campaign. Of course, Call of Duty has always been about the weapons, and gamers have a brand new arsenal at their disposal in Black Ops 2. As well as the typical arrangement of assault rifles, pistols and grenades, Black Ops 2 has unmanned drones, controllable ground robots and all new aerial death machines. Some of the new weapons and kill streaks completely change the pace and tactics of the all new multiplayer.
The Call of Duty series laid the groundwork for modern FPS multiplayer, and each sequel has made improvements to its already winning formula. Players are now incentivised to complete multiplayer objectives, like capturing territories or collecting enemy dog tags, as these actions now contribute toward kill streaks (now renamed score streaks). This helps make multiplayer matches more accessible to new players, who may feel overwhelmed if they have never played a Call of Duty game before. Zombie mode also makes a welcome return, and it has been significantly expanded with its own campaign, story and several new game modes.
The Sales Rush
Before it was even released, Black Ops 2 incited a sales war between game shops and supermarkets. Offering competitive prices and exclusive downloadable content, many gamers chose to buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 only at Tesco because it offered the game at a cheap £25 when bought with an Xbox Live membership or Xbox Live points card. Months after release, gamers are still rushing out to buy the title and join its massive online fan base.
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