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September 5 2012
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - PS3 Preview
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Call of Duty: Black Ops II is out November.
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Action is frantic in Black Ops II.

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Characters and locations are battle-scarred.
So this is the first game in the franchise to be moved to a futuristic setting, and the gameplay will be quite altered as a result with more high-tech gadgetry on offer. While the era may have moved, the storyline in this game has it's roots in the earlier titles and has been written by none other then David S. Goyer (Blade trilogy and The Dark Knight trilogy of films). So what's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 about? Well...

This game actually has two connected storylines - the first is set in the 1970's and 1980's while the second is set in the future, in 2025. Alex Mason returns in the earlier portion of the game which sees the rise of Raul Menendez, a Nicaraguan terrorist. Moving to 2025 the game focuses on Alex's son David and sees Menendez attempting to bring China and the USA to a full-blown war situation.

Despite our love for this franchise one criticism that we have always had is the short length of the single player campaign and while the game may not have a longer runtime the developers are mixing it up with Strike Force missions which will appear at various points in the campaign and give you an option of missions, and a possibility to fail them with no chance to restore to a previous save point. Your success, or failure, will ultimately steer the games storyline.

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Action while surround by containers at a dock.
Multiplayer, as well as Create-a-Class, has always been a major part of the Call of Duty franchise, certainly more important then the campaign mode, and Black Ops 2 will be fully supported as expected. One of the new options is a Multi-Team mode where rather then two teams facing off up to 6 teams, and 18 players in total will battle for victory. New to this latest game is the "Score Streak" which accumulates according to actions in the game - kills, captures or plants, but will reset if you get killed during the match.

Another new feature is being dubbed "CODCasting" where gamers can add commentary over either live or pre-recorded gameplay which will be a part of the new eSports the developers are working on including League Rankings and Divisions according to your skills.

One final bonus is that Black Ops 2 will see the return of the Zombie mode and it will be expanded with it's own campaign and, most impressively, an increase from 4-player to 8-player co-op.

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Battling across a narrow bridge.
It's amazing to think that ever since COD: Modern Warfare this franchise has been near the top of the audio visual pile and it's testamount to the Infinity Ward Engine (which Treyarch are now calling the Black Ops II engine) that the game, albeit with refinements including improved texture blending and lighting for this release, has always impressed - despite a lower resolution and lack of subtle effects. Much of this positive response comes from the near rock-solid 60fps frame rate which makes the game feel very responseive. Yet again Black Ops 2 looks fantastic, will run at 60fps, and promises plenty of jaw-dropping moments.

Sound too is also likely to impress with Trent Reznor (from Nine Inch Nails, composer The Social Network) providing the theme song, and frequent video game composer Jack Wall (Mass Effect 1/2) composing the majority of the music in-game. Of course you can expect the game to fill the room with explosions and gunfire from all surround sound channels.

There's no denying the impact that Activision have had on the industry with their Call of Duty franchise - massive sales, mass media coverage and pushing DLC and premium packages to the masses. Black Ops 2 is the "off" year for the franchise - but don't mention that to Treyarch as their previous game, COD: Black Ops has the highest sales for the franchsie of all games to date. This latest title, due in November, is one to keep an eye on.

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Black Ops II is visually impressive.
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Character models in the game impress.

Below you will find the official Call of Duty: Black Ops II Reveal trailer. Enjoy...