Update: Edited post to consolidate and separate Dak’s impressions from my own (GT).
Dak: If you guys were worried about this thing going the route of Halo, your fears have been extinguished. Looks like a lot of the same stuff that we already love about Call of Duty multiplayer is here, with some new elements, of course. Don’t go all it’s the same game on me. Being the number one selling game for the last couple of years, tells me that’s what we all really want anyway, right? Back to the trailer, the trailers kicks big ass. I am talking Precious big ass. That’s big ass!! Borrowing shields from Gears of War is an awesome touch! Did anyone else think the “one more thing” portion of the trailer was kinda odd. Please tell me that there will be a play by play announcer!! Also, please tell me that if my previous statement is true, I will be able to turn the announcer off after I am tired of him. Either way, have fun with this chunk of awesomeness!!
GT: First impressions? Well, it looks like Call of Duty! Despite the futuristic setting and creative innovations being implemented in the campaign portion of Black Ops 2, the multiplayer looks like business as usual, with some minor tweaks to ensure you it’s not a pre-existing game. I don’t mean this in a bad way, as I play COD for a reason and if you change it too much, then it will defeat the purpose.
You’ll notice the loadout holograms on the side of the screen in most of the clips, and it’s undetermined if that’s just a trick they threw in for the sake of the trailer or if your loadouts literally appear as images on your environment, but either way it’s a neat effect at best and an easily ignored, irrelevant feature at worst.
The new ten point “build your own” loadout system is highlighted, as you can see some players choosing to stock up on perks instead of equipping an actual gun; doing so restricts you to a combat knife until you get a kill and then you gain the ability to acquire other weapons or just pick up what’s on the battlefield. Of course, not all players will go this route, hence the power of choice! There are plenty of clips of the player(s) going the standard COD route, with 3 perks, a simple gun, and some tactical/lethal secondary toys.
They don’t seem that offensively different. There are tomahawks compared to throwing knifes, which is how it was in the first Black Ops anyway, and in a cool twist you can somehow have an electric effect to certain grenades or projectiles, but it’s not clear if they’re built that way by design or if those are effects being mixed and matched by the player. See the grenade type thing the guy throws in the beginning that causes an EMP effect? What am I even saying? MW3 has actual EMP grenades so it could just be more of the same.
The drones that fly around are referred to as “Dragonfires,” but aside from being a robot instead of a chopper or plane, I fail to see how that is anything crazily different. Also, they can be conveniently shot down just the same. There’ s a whole bunch of stuff in here that looks similar to things we’ve come to be familiar with, like the aforementioned flying drones (also in MW3), tank like mobile assault vehicles earned by a killstreak (also in MW3), and a cool stationary turret emplacement that causes an EMP/concussion type of effect when enemies enter its radius (a combination of things, again, from MW3).
It’s funny, because all of the map footage in here reminds me of a combination of maps from MW3, specifically Downturn (broken down, bombed out urban American city), Piazza (coastal seaside environment), and Favela/Afghan (those are from MW2, with the rooftops of a market district where it derives its name, and the rocky, sandy hills of the Middle East, respectively). This may actually be footage of the Grand Canyon, due to the setting of the game and how one could mistakenly see chunks of either the Grand Canyon or mountains in the Middle East that, to an untrained eye, could appear similar. Regardless, I see more of what I’ve come to see over the years as opposed to anything shockingly different. The guns are mostly new, with some cool scopes that change shape from what we’ve seen prior (like a gun with a rectangular scope that reminds me of Borderlands), or an RPG that looks very close to MW3′s Stinger, only with a digital blue overlay. It still animated, fired, and behaved the same otherwise, so I’m dubbing it the Blue Stinger. The Stinger, but blue.
The most interesting part is the end of the clip, where they are teasing what I have interpreted as MLG/competitive eSport support for consoles. With games like Starcraft and League of Legends having huge competitive events as of late, not to mention the huge competitive fighting game scene, this seems like a natural evolution. The biggest thing, however, is support on consoles for this, with full spectator options and color commentary. This type of thing does not exist in any form on consoles until now, but it appears to be a thing that’s coming. I would be willing to put down money that the options for this, whether you spectate or compete yourself, will get tied in with Elite. Actually, nevermind. There’s no need to bet; this WILL be exactly what I said.
I can’t say too much else, because I know I will be buying this anyway. I’m also glad it doesn’t look too over the top, because like I said, I wouldn’t want to play a different game if the money I’m spending is tied to my expectations of the name on the box. The only thing worth stating, from my personal opinion, is whether or not I still stick with this, since it doesn’t look that different and using that same old archaic engine. I’m the guy that has trumpeted from day one that COD should innovate in subtle ways that don’t drastically “change” the game, but even I’m shocked how samey this looks. After what I’ve seen from Halo 4′s multiplayer so far, I may go back to my UNSC/Covenant roots. We’ll find out in November!
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 will be on shelves November 13th, for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.