Call of Duty: Black Ops II Multiplayer will Change Call of Duty for the Better
Think about Call of Duty Multiplayer: Fast-paced, camping, noob haven, killstreak fest that’s as unforgiving as it is repetitive? Regardless of what you think now, let me tell you why the next installment will fix that and add more than ever to the series’ famed Multiplayer.
Why should you care? Treyarch, the devs behind Black Ops II, have taken fan feedback into account whole-sale when it comes to Multiplayer this go-around. If you watched the Multiplayer reveal trailer without knowing you were watching the Black Ops II Multiplayer trailer, it’s not easily noticeable as a Call of Duty game until you see the branding at the end. It looks different from what we’re used to (especially the HUD, thank god it looks different) so what exactly is there?
The future setting will set Black Ops II apart from past games at first glance, but there are a ton of teases in that trailer alone to speculate about. Only now, thanks to Gamescom, we’re getting all sorts of new tidbits of information including weapons, perks, score streaks, live streaming, and more.
We’ll start with the weapons. New weapons may just be new skins for those that don’t play CoD much, but for those that do, there is a distinct difference between each one. I know that I don’t go from gun to gun all the time because I find one that works well for me and very rarely change. The differences in weapons are more apparent in the latest Call of Duty title but with weapons like the AN-94 in Black Ops II ( fires two shots fast and then the fire rate changes) could make for some interesting firefights.
Here’s a list of the weapons known so far:
Light Machine Guns
Skorpion EVO 3
Coming off of that, Attachments will carry more weight this time around thanks to additions like scanners and new enhanced sights. Take the new Millimeter Scanner attachment for example, in the trailer, you saw a PDW with one of those attached and enemies we’re being outlined while looking down the sights. That attachment acts as an anti-camper tool of sorts to highlight enemies through smoke or behind walls. While it can highlight enemies through smoke, you can use a smoke grenade to storm an objective and defend with ease.
There’s also a Select Fire attachment which will let you choose between semi-auto or auto in a match to better suit certain situations. A Target Finder attachment is also available which looks similar to a holographic sight with a better zoom and the ability to highlight targets from afar.
Attachments affect your gun in more ways now than ever before so you might spend some more time creating a class that best suits your play style.
On that same note, a Grenade Scanner is also there, presumably to keep you from stepping on hot grenades. Outside of that, your run-of-the-mill attachments will be returning with futuristic-y modifications; including a laser sight you can use that’ll increase accuracy slightly like the Steady Aim Perk did, but those the big additions are as mentioned above.
So what about Perks? A staple of the franchise which has seen revisions ever since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare hit the market. The leap-frogging developers hurt the series consistency in that area the most, while essesentially not evolving much at all over five games. Treyarch always had it’s own versions of CoD4‘s Perks with additions and Infinity Ward, the developers of said game, went back and forth, sideways and upside down with their Perks.
Playing Call of Duty ever since the first game, I play a certain way and I have to say that I really like the Perk set-up in Modern Warfare 3 the most since the invention of the modifiers. I feel like there’s a counter to pretty much everything and it’s easy to find a set-up you like, especially with the Specialist Strike Package that let’s you earn 3 more Perks. Even with that particular feature, I’ve found myself using the same Perk set-up regardless of what Strike Package I have because I’m too reliant on that set-up alone.
So what can you do to make people like me choose different perks? Splitting the existing Perks up is a good start and we’ll see that in Black Ops II . Another great change is that no Perk will modify your gun, that’s what attachments are for. Take a look at the Perk list put together so far and see what I mean:
- Flak Jacket — Take less explosive damage.
- Ghost — Cannot be detected by enemy UAVs while moving.
- Blind Eye — Unaffected by AI-controlled perks.
- Hardline — Receive bonus score points.
- Lightweight — Move faster, take no damage from falling.
- Hard-wired — Immune to counter-UAV and enemy EMPs.
- Scavenger — Replenish ammo and grenades from fallen enemies.
- Cold-blooded — Resistance to targeting systems including Dual Band, Target Finder, Sensor Grenades and player-controlled aircraft.
- Toughness — Flinch less when shot.
- Fast Hands — Swap grenades faster, use grenades and equipment faster, and safely throw back frag grenades.
- Engineer — Show enemy equipment in the world, delay explosives and re-roll and booby trap care packages.
- Dead Silence — Move silently.
- Extreme Conditioning — Sprint for a longer duration.
- Tactical Mask — Reduce the effect of flash, concussion and shock charges.
- Awareness — Enemy movements are easier to hear.
- Dexterity — Climb ladders and mantle over objects faster, recover from melee faster and aim faster after sprinting.
One of the best changes in Modern Warfare 3 was the splitting of certain perks, like Blind Eye, Assassin, Dead Silence for example, and then countering them with perks like Recon, Marksman, and even the Recon Drone point streak.
Same thing happens here but with another split to incorporate Black Ops II‘s “Pick Ten” feature. This feature will allow you to pick ten of whatever, be it weapons, perks, equipment, and wildcards (we’ll go into that later).
Take the Ghost and Blind Eye Perks above: Ghost protects you from UAV’s while moving (another anti-camper tool, players of Black Ops know how cheap Ghost was) and Blind Eye will keep you undetected from enemy AI controlled air support.
The debate of whether to stay off someone’s mini-map or be unaffected from AI air support will no doubt play out in your mind when you first load up Black Ops II Multiplayer.
Something that will change things up is Treyarch’s “Pick 10″ system. It’s the answer to the class set-up we know, which works, but is getting a little tiring and sees little to no improvement in each game. We are given 3 Perks, a Primary, Secondary, Equipment, and Attachments to choose from. Now we have the ability to throw one of those out the window if we want and stack up on another area like Perks or Attachments.
In the reveal Multiplayer, we saw loadouts pop up on screen when players were swapped. At first we saw someone running a typical Call of Duty class set-up. Then we switch to other set-ups including one guy that doesn’t even have a Primary equipped but has 6 perks. You might say “Hey, that’s way overpowered, it’s MW2 all over again” but I don’t think Treyarch, giving their passion on this game in particular, would input a system that one player more powerful than another. The perfect balance may be an imbalance.
The change welcomes diversity so that we don’t see the same load outs all the time. 5 million combinations of Weapons, Perks, Attachments, Equipment, and Wild Cards should make for some interesting experiments.
Wildcards are another new addition that will be part of your class, similar to Perks but attached to the class rather than the player’s performance on the battlefield. They’re cards you can pick that will allow you to do things such as equip two of the same color Perk or an extra attachment. These fall into your “Pick 10″, so you’ll have to choose carefully but the option is there for you if you’re so inclined.
E-Sports is coming to Call of Duty like never before. You’ll be able to use a brand new theater mode that’s reminiscent of high-end recording tech that you see on TV. On top of that, you can live stream your saved games in the Theater as well as shout cast them, or save the films and do it later and upload it online. Shout casting will allow you to commentate your games or others just like the MLG guys do it.
To help shout casters in particular, Treyarch has put in many additions to replays in Theater mode including a picture in picture mode to navigate in between players, listen in on teams, and look at an overhead view of the map. It’s a valuable asset for shout casters all over, ones that do it professionally or just for fun.
David Vohnderhaar, lead MP guru at Treyarch, is very passionate about this portion of the Multiplayer and seeing it in action at Gamescom just shows how much that passion has paid off. Giving everyone the ability to be a shout caster, learn the tools, and eventually become a pro at it is enticing enough to devote some time to it.
The addition of Strike Packages in Modern Warfare 3 helped differentiate team players from the lone wolves. The only problem with that feature that I saw was that you’d constantly have to be changing your Strike package depending on certain games or who you were playing with. Otherwise, you’d just be stuck with the package and the streaks it offered regardless of how well you would use it i.e. you could use the Support package but if someone else had it, it’d be hard to make that package better than say the Assault.
In Black Ops II, instead of picking a Strike Package, you’ll be able to earn streak bonuses just by playing and earning points. Score Streaks will be universal and encompass a set of streaks both lethal and supportive. While your score will determine your streaks, which makes sense, your streaks will also affect your score. UAV’s will net you assist points for kills scored by other teammates as well kills from said streaks, it all feeds back into your score streak. Here is a list of the Score Streaks known so far:
- RCC — 325 points — A remote-controlled car packed with explosives.
- UAV — 375 points — Shows enemies on the mini-map.
- Hunter Killer — 400 points — Airborne drone that seeks out and destroys a nearby target.
- Care Package — 450 points — Air drop a random Scorestreak.
- Counter-UAV — 475 points — Temporarily disables enemy radar.
- Guardian — 500 points — Projects microwave field which stuns and impairs enemies.
- Hellstorm Missile — 525 points — An air-to-surface missile which can be scattered into a cluster bomb while falling.
- Lightning Strike — 550 points — Launch a coordinated lightning strike on three locations.
- Death Machine — 600 points — Your own personal handheld mini-gun.
- Sentry Gun — 650 points — An automatic sentry gun which can be remote-controlled.
- War Machine — 700 points — Grenade launcher with rapid, semi-automatic firing.
- Dragonfire — 725 points — Remote-controlled quad-rotor with lightweight machine gun.
- AGR — 800 points — Air drop an autonomous ground robot that searches for and destroys enemies and can be remote controlled.
- Stealth Chopper — 850 points — Call in a stealth helicopter which does not appear on the enemy’s mini-map.
- Orbital VSAT — 900 points — Shows both enemy position and direction on the mini-map, cannot be shot down.
- Escort Drone — 1000 points — Get personal air support from an escort drone.
- Warthog — 1025 points — Jet aircraft that provides close air support with several strafe runs.
- EMP Systems — 1050 points — Temporarily disables enemy electronics.
- Lodestar — 1150 points — Lase missile targets remotely from the Lodestar.
- VTOL Warship — 1200 points — Be the gunner of a powerful VTOL Warship.
- Canine Unit — 1275 points — Attack dogs that hunt down the enemy.
- Swarm — 1400 points — Call in a swarm of lethal Hunter Killer drones that search and destroy enemies.
So that’s my big 5, the things that I think will make the most difference in Call of Duty: Black Ops II Multiplayer. While there is a lot more to cover, that means that this editorial would only be longer, but you can be sure that I’ll write anything and everything I can about all the new stuff coming. Let me know in the comments below with your thoughts of the sequel, the Multiplayer, or just rant about Call of Duty in general if you’d like.
Source: The Verge