As I have mentioned on this site a few times before, I’m not the world’s greatest Call Of Duty fan. I played through the first three titles on PC and XBOX 360 before jumping on board with Modern Warfare on the PS3. I enjoyed every single player campaign but felt that as they went on they became less imaginative and shorter in duration. I flirted a bit with the multiplayer of Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 without getting particularly involved in either, and I decided to forgo Modern Warfare 3 last year completely. I didn’t feel that I had missed out on anything particularly.
You may want to crucify me at this point, and demand to know why I spent nearly two hours on a baking hot Gamescom day queuing to play the latest Call of Duty game, Black Ops II. Well, truthfully I did it for you guys, because I know how passionate a lot of you feel about the series. I have to say though that I did enjoy the 15 minutes or so I eventually got to experience of the game, to the extent that I am seriously thinking about jumping back onto the Call of Duty bandwagon this holiday.
The Activision stand at Gamescom was actually separated into two identical monoliths housing machines playing Black Ops II. I never got to find out whether one enclosure was for single player and one for multiplayer, mainly because I don’t speak German, and secondly because I couldn’t stomach another 90 minute wait to find out! Suffice to say that my queue got to test out the multiplayer aspect of the game.
You will have to forgive the lack of direct photos accompanying this article, as Activision was very strict about cameras being used within the enclosure. Essentially after snaking around the corner of the building and past a drone on a moving wire we were led into darkened corridors, and eventually to the enclosure itself, where we were able to watch other players competing before the time came eventually to take our seats.
Prior to this though, we experienced a briefing in a darkened room wearing some nifty headsets. We were told that we would be testing out two brand new multiplayer modes; Multi-Team Deathmatch and Stronghold. The first of these was the most fun in my opinion – and is an idea I cant believe Infinity Ward or any of the other developers of the series hadn’t already come up with. Rather than just two teams facing each other, we were separated into 4 separate teams of four players and had to choose to either work together or all against each other. The small number of players in each team made for a much more cohesive team, whilst still allowing a large number of players on the map as a whole. The winning team got a special edition t-shirt, suffice to say that wasn’t my team. I did come in at the top in my own group of four though, which was at least some comfort!
Stronghold I found a little confusing at first, as essentially your task is to attack and protect moving areas. I tend to prefer the more run and gun styles of play so I didn’t have as much fun when playing Stronghold. What was impressive though was the new ‘create a class’ system which lets you tinker with your load-out to a very detailed level and chose your weapon enhancements and other customizations whilst not being tied to a certain class.
Another change is that killstreaks have been removed, to be replaced by scorestreaks, which allow you to build up points by doing anything in the game that may be beneficial to your team, rather than just out and out kills, which was another nice move I felt. The streaks themselves were a nice mixture of old and new; with dog attacks, care packages and tactical nuclear strikes all options.
Aside from all of these changes however the game still played and felt like Call Of Duty. The levels themselves were a familiar mixture of military buildings, crashed planes and dusty roads offering little cover and skills perfected in previous games will still serve you well. Bottom line, if you liked Call Of Duty before you will love this, if you hated it then nothing here will change your mind.
What about me though? As I said I certainly enjoyed my time with the multiplayer build, and the single player mode seems interesting enough to get me interested with a mixture of futuristic fighting and cold war flashbacks. Don’t be surprised to see me online come December 26th checking it out – but go easy on me! Oh, and if you guys have any questions about the Gamescom demo, feel free to ask me below. And tomorrow or today depending on when my Editor publishes this? Resident Evil 6!