Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Reveal; Impressions
Tonight was the official unveiling of the Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer mode and we’re ready to bring you the story. Along with it, we have our own thoughts on the announcements that were made. So just what were those announcements?
We’ll start by telling any of you who don’t know – Call of Duty: Black Ops is currently being developed by Treyarch Studios and published by Activision. Its expected release date is November 9, 2010. As of thus far, there have been no official announcements about a beta or a demo before release.
Since that business is out of the way, let’s dive straight in to what was shown.
Combat Training Mode and AI Bots
Combat training mode is being built for those who would prefer a more casual game than the competitive on-line offers, or for those who do not have an internet connection. It’s you and your buddies (or just you) against AI opponents with no human opposition of any kind. It’s unknown at this time how many bots or players this mode will allow but we do know that it has its own ranking system that’s separate from the matchmaking experience.
Custom Icons, Guns and Appearance
It looks like Black Ops is bringing back the small tags that we all loved so much from the previous Call of Duty title, but this time you’ll be able to make your own icons. You can change the picture, color and even add multiple layers.
You’ll be able to change the appearance of your guns as well. The color, camo and sight can all be adjusted to your liking. For instance, your red dot sight doesn’t have to be red… or a dot.
Also mentioned was the ability to change the look of your character. In fact, there’s an entire tier of perks dedicated to it. We’re unsure of just how deep this goes but we think it’s safe to assume that they mean your uniform, your uniform’s color and its camouflage pattern are all customizable.
New XP and Challenge System
Based on the videos that we’ve seen, it looks like you’ll still be earning your standard experience points as you rank up, but new to the game is a monetary system. They’re called CP or Call of Duty Points, and they’ll be used in place of challenges to unlock additional items, such as gun sights and perks. The challenges are still there but they’re now called ‘contracts’ and they award you with CP instead of unlocks. These contracts will be objective based and we got the feeling that some of them may even be time sensitive.
We soon came to find out that purchasing accessories isn’t the only way to use your precious CP’s. You’ll also be able to use them in a free for all play list where you wager your CP’s against those of other players. There are four different games listed under this playlist and the top three players at the end of each game receive a payout, while those who finish lower than third receive nothing. Listed below are the four game types.
- Sticks and Stones is a game mode that arms players with only an explosive cross-bow, a ballistic knife and a hatchet-looking weapon called the tomahawk. Just like all the game types, you want to score as many points as you can but there’s a catch… if someone kills you with a tomahawk, you’re immediately bankrupted and sent to the bottom of the scoreboard. Sitting comfortably in first place? Not in this mode you’re not, because the person in first place is highlighted on the map by a gold dot for all other players to see. It sounds like you can quickly go from first to last with one successfully throw by an enemy.
- One in the Chamber loads every person in to the game with a pistol and only one bullet. If you manage to kill someone with that one bullet, you get another bullet. If not, you’re forced to break your knife and try to oust them the hard way. You are allowed to have more than one bullet but only if you knife someone instead of shooting them. Another unique feature of this game is the inclusion of only three lives per player.
- Sharpshooter is a game mode that plays out just like any other, but in this game everyone is carrying the same weapon… and it cycles every 45 seconds to another random weapon. You could be fighting with nothing but knives at first and then suddenly find that the entire room is filled with rocket launchers.
- The last mode – and perhaps the most intriguing – is called Gun Game. In Gun Game, you have a check list of 20 different weapons, and the objective is to get a kill with each of them. You start with the least powerful weapons such as pistols and move on through the shotguns, assault rifles, etc. before ending with the ballistic knife. You’re not knocked back to the beginning or the previous tier when you die a normal death, but if you manage to stab someone with your standard knife, you’ll knock them back one tier in the process.
Killstreaks and Equipment
Aside from all the info listed above we also heard about a number about of the killstreaks and equipment that will be included. The killstreaks we know of are called Napalm Strike, Gunship, Mortar Team, the Radio Controller Car we already knew about, and a SAM Turret. The SAM turret will supposedly take down an enemy chopper assuming there’s one in the air.
The equipment that was revealed is: Camera Spikes, C4, Tactical Insertion, Motion Sensors and Claymore Mines.
Other Miscellaneous Stuff
We heard of two new weapons called the Grim Reaper grenade launcher, and the Death Machine mini-gun.
We also learned a bit more about the theatre mode. You’ll be able to change the perspective from first-person to third-person, or you can move the camera around the map freely. When inside the theatre you’ll be able to tag, edit and search for individual videos.
We’re happy that Treyarch seems to be trying hard to change things up over the standard formula, but at the same time without altering the winning gameplay that they already had to work with. We didn’t get hands on time with the game but already we’re excited about a lot of the things that have been shown.
A couple of our particular interests are the CP system and the wager mode. Using a system similar to the one MAG uses, you’ll have the ability to unlock whatever you want. No more going through all the gun challenges just to get a suppressor. If that’s the first thing you want, then all you have to do is save up the money and unlock it.
The wager system intrigues us simply because it’s different than anything we’ve ever seen in a Call of Duty game. Knowing that you’ve got more than just your scoreboard placement on the line should make for some very intense matches. So intense that we’re predicting our office ‘cussing jar’ should fill up at about five times its normal rate.
Overall, we’re as ecstatic as ever for Call of Duty: Black Ops. When Activision announced that they were hosting an entire event just for this, we figured we might get something a little bigger than just game details – we were hoping for that illusive beta that has been long talked about. Although we didn’t get anything like that, we’re still extremely pleased what they offered.
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