E3 Preview: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Preview

By Karl Koebke, June 20, 2010
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After all of the craziness going on at Activision over a certain Call of Duty studio it seems like people have forgotten that Infinity Ward isn’t the only development studio behind that franchise.  Treyarch put Brian and me in a room to watch a trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops and show everyone why fans should have no worries about the future of the series.

The level we were shown was called WMD and it began with the player behind the eyes of a reconnaissance jet pilot about to take off.  Once in the air the player took control of the ship’s night scanner/scope in order to guide troops on the ground.  It was unclear whether this was just a way to watch what was happening or if you could change what happened on the ground with your actions.  Allies on the ground hid from the enemy forces and then your perspective shifted to one of these soldiers. 

He snuck around from place to place while his squad helped to silently take out some guards.  After a while they came upon a cliff face that they repelled down and then smashed through a window to take over a communications facility.  The game slowed down like after you breach a door in Modern Warfare 2 and the squad quickly took out everyone in the room. 

Once the team had fought their way through that building they came upon a patrol outside.  The developer took out a crossbow and began killing some of the guards silently before switching to exploding crossbow bolts and starting up a real firefight.  After killing the patrol and making it a ways further an avalanche was started by an explosion and the team had to run for their lives.  They ran to a cliff face and quickly jumped off (hopefully they had parachutes) before the demo went white. 

Next we were shown a level that wasn’t as stealth minded called Payback.  You play as a team of soldiers who just escaped enemy capture and are on a personal mission of vengeance seeking to destroy everything possible.  They came upon an enemy camp and made short work of it in order to get to their prize: a helicopter.  Once in the helicopter they flew down a river and decimated everything in site with machine gun and missile fire.  It’s important to note that this section was not on rails and the developer was controlling the helicopter’s motion entirely even if his path was limited.

The enemy wasn’t going to take this lying down though and enemy helicopters started shooting missiles that the player barely dodged.  He took out the enemy helicopters and shortly after the screen went black and the demo was done.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is looking to be a worthy successor to the series even though I’m not totally sold on the visuals just yet.  Black Ops will release for PS3, 360, Wii and PC on November 9th 2010. 

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