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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – First Trailer Analysis

Note (May 1st): All I can say is…What. The.  F*ck?

I’ve never done a complete 180 like this before, harping on something for having the potential to be disappointing before eating my words with my mouth gaping open like a fish’s all within a 24 hour period.  To specify, I am referring to the premiere trailer for Black Ops 2, broadcast at 9:00 P.M. EST on TNT.  It…it truly caught me off guard, and I’m still not sure how to fully respond to it, especially considering it defied my carefully crafted expectations that appeared in my previous article.

However, since visual evidence is the most convincing form of proof to verify one’s claims, here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure.  Please note that I have include a breakdown of key tidbits from the trailer below:

0:05 – Early on, key information can be gleaned from the trailer.  First, the game is set in 2025, 8 years after the events of Modern Warfare 3 (if they exist in the same universe).  Second, James Woods, a supporting character in Black Ops, is apparently still alive (having apparently escaped death-by-explosion and alleged imprisonment in a POW camp in Hanoi) and in retirement, located/living in a location known only as “The Vault”.

0:13 – Side view of Woods; USMC tattoo on his arm can be partially seen.

0:24 to 0:28 – Glimpse of an advanced landing platform on an unknown body of water.  An aircraft can be seen landing, equipped with ducted fans.  The inside of the cockpit can be glimpsed, showing a high-tech console system.

0:37 – First glimpse of gameplay; seems to be from the perspective of an armed mech (check at 0:30 for proof of mechs).  Player character appears to be flying.  HUD (Heads-Up Display) appears minimalist, with unknown symbols in the bottom portion of the screen and what appears to be a target indicator in the center of the screen.

0:39 to 0:42 – Two new pieces of technology: touch-screen wrist devices that appear to have mapping functions, and holographic technology that can apparently scan hostiles and help to identify targets.

0:45 – What appears to be an in-game set-piece involving the devastation of a building by a large aircraft.

0:50 – Glimpse of tiny armed mechs, similar in size as the Explosive RCs from Black Ops.

0:59 – Image of L.A under siege by enemy aircraft, identified by a sign in the bottom right, “Los Angeles Evac Routes”.

1:01 – Image of a suited man entering a chamber filled with armed guards.  The architecture implies an Eastern setting, but nothing clear can be determined.  Next frame (1:02) shows mass rioting in what appears to be a Middle Eastern locale, which may connect to this.

1:04 – Another glimpse of gameplay, this time in the seat of a jet fighter over what is likely Los Angeles.

1:12 – First glimpse of a new character, a male soldier.  The man carries an unknown rifle, and appears to have a tattoo on his neck.

1:14 – Glimpses of soldiers wearing gas masks.

1:26 – Another apparent glimpse of gameplay, here from the perspective of a gunship.  At the top of the screen, text can be seen stating the caliber of the rounds being used (50 MM).

1:29 to 1:31 – Another set-piece, involving an airplane crashing and skidding past the player as a jet descends near them.

1:34 to 1:35 – Another glimpse of gameplay OR a set-piece, involving the player on horseback in combat against a helicopter.  Location appears to match the earlier Middle Eastern setting.

1:45 to 1:46 – Another glimpse of gameplay, reminiscent of both “Crew Expendable” (masked soldiers being taken to a location by helicopter) and “Death from Above” (controlling an AC-130/similar aircraft to support assault teams).

1:48 – Another glimpse of the male soldier.  He is now wielding a different firearm, possibly a shotgun, and a nametag is visible on his chest.

Clearly, there was quite a bit to discern from the trailer, but I pulled what was most intriguing and what was easiest to interpret, for myself at least.  This trailer is clear proof that Activision has been listening to our complaints and is attempting to do the one thing we thought was impossible: they’re  trying to making this franchise innovative once again.

I’m still cautious, as I always am with games I lack information on, but I’m more optimistic now than I was before.  It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it does seem to be doing some interesting things and it has some of the features that I was hoping would be expanded on or added for the sequel, so we should definitely keep an eye on this one as it approaches its November 13th release.  Be warned, though: I will be approaching Activision for more info, so don’t call this case closed just yet.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the trailer.  Please feel free to comment below, and keep reading, gamers.

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