E3 2012 Impressions: Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Microsoft Xbox 360/Sony PlayStation 3/PC)

While I didn’t get any hands on time with the game (sadly), the developers of Call of Duty: Black Ops II did give me a glimpse of what could be expected in the single-player campaign. Unfortunately, nothing was shown in regards to the multiplayer, so I can’t comment on any new features that may or not be present in that particular mode. I suspect more will be revealed in the weeks to come.

The demonstration opened with the scene that was shown in part during the Microsoft press briefing. You’re apart of a convoy moving towards a partially demolished Los Angeles. The trucks ahead of you are taken out by rocket fire, followed shortly by the one you’re in. As you escape the wreckage, you are tasked with taking out the assailants by any means necessary, including a rocket turret from one of the trucks still intact as well as a conveniently placed sniper rifle.

After laying waste to the opposition using rockets, the player then picks up the sniper rifle to take out ground troops and protect your comrades on the ground. During the demo, it is shown that your sniper rifle can not only see through pillars and other debris, but can also shoot right through it in order to hit your target. You then rappel down the bridge and continue from there.

The Activision reps doing the demonstration revealed that your enemy has seized local technology and turned it against you, leaving you to clash forces with mini-walking tanks and other mechanical menaces. After gaining ground on some of the enemy forces, both human and non, you have the opportunity to fly a jet and protect your ground forces from air. It’s hard to tell the ease of use in regards to the jet since the demonstration wasn’t hands on, though I’m hoping it isn’t the chore that it is to fly the jets in Battlefield 3. At any rate, it looked like an entertaining segment.

Also shown was a type of mission in the single-player called Strike Force. In this mode, you basically have full control over all of the units on the map and must guide them accordingly. All of the units are divided into squads and are dispatched to various places on the map according to where you want them to be. It operates almost like a real-time strategy game, except you are able to take control of one of your soldiers on the ground at any time and execute maneuvers personally. It’s a unique spin on first-person gameplay and I’m interested in how well it plays out in the final version.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be released November 13 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

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