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The Interrogation Room: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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The Interrogation Room: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:11 pm

Ryan Scott, Executive Editor: Oh man,
another Call of Duty! Sweet Jesus, the only way these games could be
more EPIC is if they hired Michael Bay to direct them. So tell me, how
many approximate ways are people going to get excited about what
effectively comprises the sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,
which magically beat out Batman: Arkham Asylum for GameSpy's 2009 Game
of the Year?

Will Tuttle, Editor in Chief: Well, I wouldn't call it a sequel
to Modern Warfare 2, as Call
of Duty: Black Ops doesn't appear to share any direct story
crossover with the events in MW2. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised in
the least if we see a few cameos by some familiar faces. At this point,
I'd be more surprised if Captain Price didn't make an appearance
in one (or more?) of the flashback sequences. That's fine by me, as I've
always been a fan of the salty ol' Brit. Also, here's a little known
fact: Assassin's Creed II was last year's Game of the Year.


Ryan Scott: You're as insane as the rest of them. In all
seriousness, how does Black Ops look, overall? MW2 obviously met a lot
of critical praise, and I suspect Black Ops developer Treyarch
is going to get scrutinized pretty heavily here, what with the recent
corporate fallout and legal troubles at CoD founding developer Infinity
Ward. Treyarch's always been looked at as "that other CoD developer" --
do you think, based on what you've seen, that Black Ops will do anything
to shatter that perception?

Will Tuttle: No matter how anyone tries to spin it, this is
"just another Call of Duty game," but that's akin to saying that the
911 is just another Porsche or beluga is just another type of caviar.
We're still talking about one of the best and biggest franchises of all
time -- one that's won dozens of awards over the last decade. People
seem to think Treyarch has been making stinkers, while Infinity Ward has
been carrying the franchise... but that's far from the case. Treyarch's
Call of Duty: World at War was a great game (at least in this editor's
opinion), so I have no reason to think Black Ops won't be good. My
biggest hope is that it'll have an engaging story to support all of the
inevitable Hollywood blockbuster-style action we've come to expect from
the franchise.

Ryan Scott: Well, spill some details then, true believer --
what's the gist of this game? What kind of setting are we talking?

Will Tuttle: Treyarch hasn't revealed much about the game's
actual storyline, but it appears to be (mainly) comprised of flashbacks
showing the various ways an elite squad has altered world history
without the public even realizing it. Think of it as Rogue Warrior but,
you know, good. Black Ops presents a different perspective on the events
that shaped the Cold War, so I wouldn't be surprised to see locales as
varied as Vietnam, Cuba, and of course, the USSR. In one of the missions
I saw, a team had to stealthily infiltrate a Siberian missile silo
during the dead of winter (by the way, screw silenced weapons when you
can just use a crossbow), while another focused on an intense firefight
during the Vietnam War. One thing, though: Would it be too much to ask
for the writers to go for the gusto and really throw some bones to all
of the hardcore conspiracy nuts out there? A friend asked if the game
would task you with offing President Kennedy. While I'd normally scoff
at that idea, after the "No Russian" level in MW2, I'd say all bets are
off.


Ryan Scott: Did you get a sense of how the gameplay's evolved? I
mean, to be completely reductive, first-person shooters have all been
EXACTLY the same ever since Wolfenstein 3D -- I know, because I don't
play FPS games. So what kinds of advancements should we hope for here?

Will Tuttle: For one, I'm guessing we'll see a lava level and an
ice level, like every other FPS. I kid, of course. Seriously though, I'm
really not expecting much in the way of innovation... but I'm of the
mind that the FPS genre really hasn't changed that much (at least
mechanically) because it's already really, really good. How many
times have you (well, not YOU, but a normal gamer) played a
first-person shooter with some crazy new gameplay mechanic that just
isn't very good? I know I can think of plenty. People want to shoot,
they want to aim, they want to reload, they want to crouch, and that's
about it. Now, that's not to say that it won't have some cool levels
that offer some sort of other experience, a la the "Death From
Above" level from the first Modern Warfare.

Ryan Scott: Did you learn anything about Black Ops' online play?
That's where these games really have long legs, after all.

Will Tuttle: Sadly, we learned nothing about the multiplayer
action... but hopefully, the folks at Treyarch know better than to
tinker with CoD's proven formula too much. I'm all for new modes
and maps and weapons and all of that, but I hope it's a lot like the
multiplayer in MW2... though I think I can do without the rampant
cheating!

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Yaznee! L4DS
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