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Black Ops II impressions on Zombies, new campaign level, and more!

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On this post from VG247, Dave Cook examines the new zombies mode, new campaign level, and more.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 zombies is so big, it’s like a separate game.
— VG247

Dave Cook describes the game as being "three games in one", emphasising the fact that now the Zombies mode is more than just a "side-expansion", it is a full, open-world campaign.

Below is a compiled, shortened version of what is said in the full article.


The core campaign mode of the game is TranZit, and the plot kicks off right after the events of Rezurrection. As opposed to being set in the 2025 era that the main campaign of the game is set in, it appears to be set in the current era and appears to take place in the American South-West, "with burned out diners, boarded up theatres and rusted car shells lining the dilapidated streets."

With the zombie invasion back, the only way for the player to escape is to traverse the region either by foot or on bus, and during the players travels they will come across several key locales - these are selectable to play on in Survival mode for a mode reminiscent of past incarnations of Zombie mode. There seems to be a new crafting mechanic too, as a player was seen crafting a spiked shield out of a car door and some shrapnel, which can be used as a weapon.

On top of the two aforementioned game modes, there is a new mode named Grief, which pits two teams of four players against each other.

The length of the actual zombie campaign could make or break Black Ops 2 for fans of the undead, but if it’s huge, it could earn the franchise many new players.
— Dave Cook

New campaign mission - Celerium

Caution: Spoilers.

It underlines the game’s enhanced engine, gadgets, gameplay and aesthetic prowess wonderfully. If anything, the studio should have shown this mission at E3 instead of the Los Angeles one.
— Dave Cook

Celerium is the second level of the game, and follows Mason and Harper attempting an undercover attack on a drone facility run by Raul Mendez. The mission is set in Cuba which draws a nice parallel to the first level of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The duo have to navigate a cliff, using "nano-gloves", to climb down the wall looking like "gruff Spider-Men". This differs from the mundane rappel sections of past games since the player can now choose their own way down the cliff to find the best path possible.

The visuals are truly superb as a storm rolls in, genuinely hampering your vision.
— Dave Cook

Dave Cook compliments Trent Reznor's score, commenting that fans of his music for The Social Network "will enjoy what he’s done in Black Ops 2". After Mason and Harper reach the foot of the cliff, they team up with some more friendlies. Since the objective is far away, they dive off another cliff and use winged jumpsuits to soar through the air to reach the objective. None of the flying sequence is scripted and once again it is up to the player to find the best path to take while avoiding all obstacles.

After the player lands in a thick jungle, Harper spots cloaked enemy snipers. The player can then make the choice whether or not to take the enemies down silently and steal their cloaking suits for a tactical advantage, or go loud.

Already the freedom to approach objectives as you see fit makes the corridor sections of previous Call of Duty titles a fading memory.
— Dave Cook

The player then comes to an area populated by enemies which are guarding the objective. Here, it is obvious the only way forward is to attack, however alternate tactics exist, as were demoed by Treyarch as the player snuck around to the back and hacked into a turret to turn it against the enemy. As the attack commences, the storm rolls in further, disrupting visibility notably and throwing debris all over the place. At this point the MMR Scope comes in handy, using sonar to provide highlights of enemies through the storm at timed intervals. More evidence of unscripted, free gameplay are shown as the player knocks down some stone pillars, killing soldiers underneath.

After this, the player enters the underground drone facility, finding it to be very high tech, moreso than expected. Before the demo abruptly cuts, the team is assaulted by CLAW Mechs.


Black Ops II Multiplayer screenshot VG247

Yeah we know, they say that each new Call of Duty multiplayer is the biggest ever, but this time they are under-selling it.
— Dave Cook

Dave Cook provides a recap of important albeit already known info, including the prestige system, unlock tokens as a prestige award, and the fact that there are more unlocks than there are levels.

Game modes include the classics, including Search & Destroy, Team Deathmatch and Domination. Alongside, there are some new modes, such as Hardpoint, a new king-of-the-hill style mode where players fight for control of random points on the map.

There is a new Party playlist, containing modes like Gun Game and One in the Chamber, however these are not wager matches and instead simply award XP. Combat Training is expanded, featuring 3 modes, Bootcamp from level 1 to 10, pitting 1 team of 3 humans and 1 team of 3 bots against each other, Objective, which covers all objective modes at level 10+, and Bot Stomp pitting 6 players against 6 bots.

There are also over 1000 new challenges that unlock cosmetic items like callsign customisations, and decals for the emblem editor, which now supports 32 layers.

The new multiplayer map Express was shown, which has a high-speed train making laps around the map, killing anything that steps in its path.

"Is it awesome?"

Dave Cook finishes off the post with the following in response to "Is it awesome?"

Yeah, it really is, even if you aren’t a fan of what Call of Duty has offered before. Zombies is its own game now, so you needn’t even touch the rest of the package if you don’t want to. But if you do decide to enter the competitive arena, the Combat Training mode has been tailored to give CoD virgins a leg-up.

Also, multiplayer keeps on getting bigger to the point of intimidation. When the hell are we going to find time to play all of it? No matter, we’re suitably impressed with everything Treyarch as shown so far.

As the November 13th release date inches closer, we’re not far from seeing how well the game scores at review. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds.
— Dave Cook

This was a long post, so there's a lot to talk about (hopefully). Does this make you more excited for Black Ops? What do you think about these developments? Tell us in the comments below!

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