(scroll down to see video) - Arguably one of the most popular First Person Shooter series of all time, Treyarch are set to launch the newest instalment of Call of Duty, Black Ops, on November 9th. Black Ops predecessor, Modern Warfare 2 (which sold a total of 20+ million copies), smashed records across the globe, earning $310 million in its first day of launch in North America. Modern Warfare 2 also destroyed previous records in England, becoming the biggest media launch of all time. To give you some idea of what a huge accomplishment this was, The Dark Knight movie earned $155 million on its opening weekend, half of that of Modern Warfare 2.
Pre-Orders Soar as PC Fans Roar
There has been a lot of doubt surrounding the release of Call of Duty Black Ops, mainly from the PC community. A large number of players attempted to form a boycott group threatening not to buy the game because of the large amount of problems with Modern Warfare 2. Matchmaking problems, lack of dedicated servers, hackers unchallenged and numerous other problems meant Modern Warfare 2 received heavy criticism from players because of the lack of multiplayer support and organization from IWNet. None of the issues really got any attention, and it was for this reason that Activision decided to avoid using IWNet’s services again, although a lawsuit and a bunch of other red tape was involved.
GameStop recently announced that Call of Duty Black Ops pre-order reservations smashed that of its predecessor and predicted it to be the biggest selling game of 2010, if not all time. Other game retailers such as Game (UK) have also announced record breaking pre-order numbers; it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Call of Duty Black Ops boycott group failed in their mission.
With much of the negativity of Modern Warfare 2 being left behind, players have started to focus on what Call of Duty Black Ops can offer them and why it will be different from Modern Warfare 2. The game currently has a closed beta allowing players to test the game for bugs and exploits before release, a large number of the which have published content about the game and given away a lot of previously unreleased information. The game takes all of the much loved features of previous titles in the franchise and raises the bar on practically every level. Sit and think about what really annoyed you about Modern Warfare 2, if this next list doesn’t send your doubts packing, nothing will.
New Killstreak Rewards
- RC-XD (remote control car rigged with explosives)
- SAM Site (Drops a place-able anti aircraft SAM Turret)
- Napalm Strike (Engulfs entire areas in flames)
- Mortar Team (Select 3 locations on the map to get bombarded with mortar shells)
- Valkyrie Rocket (First person controlled rocket launcher)
- Chopper Gunner (You actually sit in the chopper controlling the gun)
- Gunship (Fully controllable helicopter with a minigun and rockets)
- And more...
If these Killstreak Rewards don’t get your inner Rambo excited, you’re lost to gaming. Having seen a large number of these in action myself, they create a great atmosphere in the game as there is always some huge explosion or cascade of bullets waiting around every corner which really induces a sense of immersion and excitement. And that’s just talking about the Killstreaks. They’ve added a total of 15 perks, some old Perks return with an overhaul and some totally new ones appear with additional effects. One of the most interesting is the Hacker Perk, this Perk allows you to booby trap an enemy care package and also turn enemy Killstreaks into allied weaponry, a very interesting concept. Just protected your awesome Gunship packed from an enemy assault? Don’t be so sure you’ll survive opening that box.
More Than Just Sweet, Sweet Killing
Along with the new Perks, Killstreaks and Weaponry, Call of Duty Black Ops comes with a whole new currency and unlocking system. Each game you play earns CoD points which in turn can be used to purchase new Perks, Killstreaks and Weapons. Unlike Modern Warfare 2, once you reach a certain level you will unlock everything in that particular area, and once you hit level 10 you gain access to every Killstreak reward in the game but you still have to earn the CoD points to purchase it. This allows for much more customization when creating your perfect build which in turn adds more variety to the multiplayer aspect of the game.
With big developers allowing players to directly affect future titles with feedback and criticism, the future of gaming is looking good. With the next generation of consoles already on peoples mind, what could they hold in store for a popular franchise like Call of Duty? Can we expect warfare on a much larger scale featuring hundreds of players per map? We may even finally see real destructible environments that fall apart and explode in totally unique ways every time. What do you think about the next generation of First Person Shooter games? Stop by our PS4 forums; let us know what you think.
Update -- December 24th, 2012
Everybody knows about the Call of Duty series, made famous by developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Its popular first-person shooter formula has quickly become iconic among the PlayStation community, and Treyarch in particular came out of its shell with the release of the outstanding Black Ops iteration. Following this, Treyarch made another return to the Call of Duty series in the form of Black Ops 2.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 brought several new mechanics to the series, with the introduction of nonlinear gameplay perhaps being the most significant, along with it being the first game in the series to have full future technology available. The changes all resonated well with fans of the series as well as it smashed Modern Warfare 3's launch record, selling $500 million worth in sales in the first 24 hours and becoming the biggest entertainment launch ever. It also continued to gross the highest in the entire month of November, so it's safe to say that Black Ops 2 only brought good things to the series.
Along with nonlinear gameplay came the ability to make decisions that impacted the way the single player story moved along, which also allowed multiple endings for the first time in the series. The choices weren't merely an illusion either; death is permanent in the game, and the game's antagonist could even change as a result of the player's decisions. At the end of the campaign, Black Ops 2 shows the player what happened as a result of his choices and how it could have gone differently.
Considering how much Treyarch has pioneered the new direction of Call of Duty, it's an exciting endeavor to wonder what the developer could bring for its next game on the Sony PlayStation 4. With better, more powerful hardware, the most obvious change would be even more realistic graphics. With more realistic graphics, the gritty atmosphere becomes much more immersive and envelopes the player in the dark world that the Call of Duty universe presents.
More powerful hardware also presents the opportunity to create an even more open world story. While it might be too much of a stretch to turn any Call of Duty game into a sandbox game in the same vein as Grand Theft Auto, it is easy to consider how many more storylines the next Call of Duty game could branch out into. In fact, more powerful hardware could even eventually create a Call of Duty game that is like more than one game on a single disc, allowing players to choose the protagonist they want to play as and receiving a different story depending on who they picked.
The multiplayer can also see some additions for the next Call of Duty game on the PlayStation 4. With better hardware and perhaps a better, more stable PlayStation Network, gamers will be able to create large scale multiplayer games on the level of MAG or even better, exceeding 256 player games for a true sense of war.
As it made a presence in every Treyarch game since World at War, it's also safe to assume that a Call of Duty game will feature a robust zombie experience on the PlayStation 4 as well.
Just like Black Ops 2 outdid the sales for Black Ops, the next Black Ops for PlayStation 4 could break even those records if Treyarch continues the pattern of innovation set forth with Black Ops 2. It would be easy to see a potential Black Ops 3 going on to be a PS4 system seller, especially if Sony could get the rights to exclusive DLC similar to what Microsoft has done on past Call of Duty releases.
No matter what direction the Call of Duty series goes, in it's safe to say that it will definitely take advantage of the new hardware that the Sony PlayStation 4 will bring to the community, allowing it to continue to be a major success while still bringing refreshing new changes to keep it from becoming stale.
Update - March 10th, 2013 -- Modern Warfare 4 Not Hitting The PS4
It looks like it will be awhile before we see a new Call of Duty on the PlayStation 4. Even though the system has been officially announced by Sony, leaked images of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 place the game on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with the release date of 11-11-13.
It makes sense for Activision to target the current systems one last time, as likely the install base for the PS4 won't be big enough for Activision so close to the console's release. By targeting the Xbox 360 and PS3, the company can rake in the millions of dollars the series is known to produce while giving themselves another year to work on the PS4 iteration.
Chances are good that 11-11-14, or close to it, will bring us our first Call of Duty for the PlayStation 4.