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Activision has confirmed that the next installment in their mega-successful FPS Call of Duty series will be a sequel to Black Ops. Call of Duty: Black Ops II will arrive on store shelves this fall on November 13.
The developer for Black Ops II is Treyarch, the same studio that build the first Black Ops (and which sold a record 25 million copies worldwide, making it the bestselling video game ever in the United States and Europe.) However, this time the setting will be in the future, a first for the franchise.
Set in 2025, Black Ops II takes place when a second Cold War has manifested and plunged the world into another game of military brinksmanship. Next generation technology can be used, such as advanced drones, robots and weapons. Activision is also promising that Black Ops II is rethinking the game mechanics of their first-person shooter, coming up with a new angle on the intense action and fighting that's different from the previous 7 Call of Duty games.
"With Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the team is crafting an experience that Call of Duty fans have never seen before," said Mark Lamia, the studio head for Treyarch. "We are challenging assumptions on every front, with the single player campaign, Zombies and multiplayer. In the campaign, we are creating a thought-provoking story that introduces branching storylines and meaningful choices that impact the narrative. Running in the multiplayer engine for the first time, Zombies gives players a bigger and more diverse set of gameplay experiences, as well as entirely new ways to wage war with the undead. And in multiplayer, we're embracing all skill levels and play styles to give players more ways to engage. With Call of Duty: Black Ops II, we're all in and we won't rest until we've launched nothing less than the best Call of Duty we've ever made."
So now we know for certain that there will be a zombie component of the game (which shouldn't have come as much of a surprise.) The real question is whether Black Ops II will be markedly different from any other Call of Duty game. My gut tells me that Activision and Treyarch will implement some (read: a handful) changes, but essentially this will be just like the recent CoD games. Let's face the facts: Activision is making a billion dollars with each Call of Duty game, and they don't want to take too many chances by deviating from what's proven to be a highly successful formula.
Watch the launch trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops II below: