Yesterday, the first Zombies Mode trailer was revealed for Black Ops II. It looked quite awesome, but we were still in the dark about a lot of features Treyarch have packed into this year’s entry. That has all changed today, however, as a ton of details have came out on multiplayer in general, and what players can expect to see within Call of Duty’s most played mode – as well as the entire disc as a hole.
The first big upgrade is the all new Create A Class, which will feature the “pick-10” allocation system, allowing an unprecedented number of combinations of create-a-class content. You see, every piece of content is worth one point, and you can spend your 10 points in any way you like, encouraging a greater level of customization for individual play styles. Adding to this, the Wildcard feature allows players to “extend the system” and configure classes in more unique ways – players can take multiple perks from one category, equip their primary with three attachments, carry two lethals, and more.
Kill Streaks have also gotten a revamp, along with perks of course, and the deets on the bonuses are pretty savory, to say the least:
- Guardian – A high-powered microwave turret used for crowd control that emits an intense directed energy wave, used to block navigation routes.
- Swarm – Kamikaze Hunter Killer drones attack enemies and enemy equipment in a morale destroying swarm.
- Interactivity: Commandeer a Hellstorm Missile and guide it to its path, or disperse a cluster of bombs and try to take out multiple enemies – the ultimate risk/reward scenario. Also, take control of a VTOL Warship and rain steel from above.
- Player or AI-Controlled: Take control or let it do the work for you – engage the AGR (Autonomous Ground Robot), a sentry drone which will fight autonomously on the player’s behalf, or can be user-controlled. Sentry Guns work the same way.
- Player-Controlled: Harness the power of the MQ-27 Dragonfire, a remote-controlled quad rotor with a light machine gun that can surgically eliminate targets on the ground. Use the Lodestar to find, hunt and kill anything on the map.
- AI-Controlled: A range of weapons at your disposal here: call in a strafing run using the A10F Warthog and listen as the AI pilot maintains constant radio contact, informing you of its progress; the Lightning Strike allows players to pinpoint three target areas and launch an aerial assault.
- Uber-weapons: Once you’ve held the War Machine, you’ll never want to hold another grenade launcher again. The Death Machine makes its updated return in 2025, giving players their own, hand-held Gatling Gun that can shred anything in sight.
While you’re at it, chew on this news for all of the confirmed upgrades, and bonus features such as Live Streaming and League Play, which should of course further CoD’s dominance in the competitive gaming scene.
UPGRADED WEAPONS, ATTACHMENTS AND EQUIPMENT: Near-future warfare means upgrades in technology that soldiers will use in the field. Additionally, weapon perks are now built into the attachments:
- Assault Shield – Create and move portable cover
- Target Finder – Easy identification of friend or foe
- Millimeter Wave Scanner – New optic that shows stationary (non-moving) targets at close range and through surfaces
- Dual Band Scope – Shows any object that generates heat, allowing for more precision in long-range shooting
- Shock Charge – Non-lethal thrown device that electrocutes and stuns enemies that come near it
- Laser Sight – Both visualized on the gun and seen by the weapon’s owner and other players – you immediately understand the capabilities of this perk and the player that’s got it.
eSPORTS – A huge inspiration for the team and a core pillar to the multiplayer agenda, Call of Duty: Black Ops II introduces Live Streaming and Shoutcasting, taking the competitive spirit of Call of Duty and elevating it to a spectator sport, while providing the tools to beam compelling gameplay to the world.
CODCASTING –The caster is a specialized spectator who takes on the role of color commentator for any recorded game video, providing play-by-play coverage of the action. There are a variety of shoutcaster-specific features built into the game:
- Picture-in-Picture – This view shows a list of everyone in the game, their current score streak, and their status.
- Map View – This view shows both sides of the battle from a top-down perspective in an easy-to-read 2d graphic.
- Score Panel – Similar to what currently exists in professional sports, this view shows the big picture of overall team scores and objective information.
- Name Plate – Similar to the name on a player’s jersey, easily identify the player being spotlighted.
- Listen In– Drop in/out of player conversations and listen to the action as it happens.
LIVESTREAMING – To make competitive gaming not only fun to play but also fun to watch, Treyarch has made it possible to live stream from inside thegame. Players only need an internet connection with the required minimum amount of upstream bandwidth and a copy of the game.
LEAGUE PLAY – Competition is fun at any level, which is why Treyarch has introduced Leagues, offering skill-based matchmaking and seasonal ladders. Play a small number of matches to get your skill rating, and from there, you’ll be placed into a division with players of similar skill. Keep winning and you’ll move up in rank – steady progress will move you up the ladder and into upper divisions. Skill-based matchmaking ensures that you are challenged but not out-gunned.
Game modes in general have seen a lot of attention this year, with the biggest change being that objective-based romps now being round based.) Call of Duty: Black Ops II enables three game modes to play in Multiteam mode: Team Death Match, Hardpoint and Kill Confirmed. Hardpoint is a new game mode inspired by those traditional King of the Hill style modes, where teams are battling for map control. More modes that can played are detailed in full below:
Custom Games – Play with up to six teams and 18 players. All game modes, and all variants of game modes, including Hardcore, Multiteam, and Party games are available for players to be able to customize. While League Play fulfills the promise of making gameplay fun at any level, custom games ensure that it’s fun in a different way – because you get to define the parameters. Players can:
- Change the default classes available in their Custom classes.
- Decide if they want players to be able to use their Custom Classes, or just the defaults they designed.
- Add bots to almost all game modes.
- Restrict the content that is available. For example, you can banish certain attachments or Perks from being available.
- Re-design the Pick 10 as a pick 3 up to pick 17.
Party Games – Formerly known as Wager Matches in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Sharpshooter, Gun Game, One in the Chamber and Sticks & Stones all make their return. These “just for fun” modes don’t use Create-a-Class or Scorestreak systems. However – unlike the previous title’s Wager Matches – players will earn XP and can even rank up the normal progression as you would with traditional game modes.
Combat Training – Evolved further, Combat Training is now integrated into the main game, offering three playlists for players:
- • Bootcamp: Players rank up from 1-10 and givefull XP for doing so. Bootcamp is Team Deathmatch only with a combination of 3 human players and3 bots on their team, versus another team of 3 humans and 3 bots. It’s an excellent way to try and get the hang of MP with a lot less pressure.
- • Objective: A combination of humans-and-bots versus another team of humans-and-bots, in a mix of objective-based modes where you can play beyond level 10 and earn ½ XP.
- Bot Stomp: Play in an effort to demolish the other AI-filled team to practice up or just have a good time. XP is not rewarded in this humans-versus-bots mode of play, but it is a great way to practice up, level up skills, learn maps and modes and still get the multiplayer game experience.
Challenges – Encourages and rewards players for branching out and experiencing game content, always providing a new goal around every turn, as well as bragging rights for those that achieve them. With thousands of Challenges to complete, it is the way for players to unlock cosmetic content and a way to define the player persona in the world of online play.
- Weapon Camos: Every weapon in the game (including launchers, knives and Assault Shields) can be camouflaged.
- Reticles: All of the major scopes in the game have their own set of Challenges. Completing those Challenges allow players to customize the reticle used on the attachment, showing people how far you’ve progressed and enhancing the player’s online persona.
- Playercard: It’s like your own Call of Duty: Black Ops II business card: it possesses your name and consists of an emblem (made by the player), background (unlockable), clan tag, matchmaking level of a player and current League Play rank.
Theater – Provides players with a set of features, serving as both a production tool, but also a research and training tool.
- Social: Utilizing a robust system of bookmarks and content tagged with meta-data (game mode, time/date stamps, score, captures and defends,) Theater makes finding content easier by providing visibility into the “Recently Shared” listing of films and screens from among the entire community, or the “Activity Feed” of just your friends. There is also an Up/Down voting system for films and screenshots that lets fan favorites rise to the top.
- Highlight Reel: Not everyone has hours to spend in the Theater to make movies, so it has been simplified to a one-touch button experience: at the press of a button, the game will do all the work, creating a highlight reel on the fly. Players can customize settings to expand/simplify the contents of a film. Once created, players can edit further, or simply save it and be done.
- CODcast: A special type of Theater mode, players can CODcast previously-recorded games providing the opportunity to practice casting games, or even create a video-on-demand series, or even a training tool to study up on strategies/tactics.
New Features Theater brings with it :
- Clip Count: Players can store up to 20 clips.
- “Merge Clips:” If players make a film with all 20 clips and then merge them together, it becomes one big clip
- “Attach to Object:”Players can attach the camera to objects in the world including many Scorestreaks like the Dragonfire or RCDX
Of course the most notable achievement for players is always their Prestige. Returning with 55 levels with 10 levels of Prestige, Call of Duty: Black Ops II does not “wipe the slate clean” and require players to start over at each Prestige – instead, it continues a player’s level progression. Weapon XP and/or earned attachments are not reset, nor are Challenges – anything earned stays unlocked for continued use.
- Prestige – Awards: Upon achieving Prestige status, players receive a “Prestige Token,” which is a special type of Unlock token allowing players to unlock whatever they want – forever. That includes things for which players haven’t reached the level requirement. Achieving Prestige brings a few rewards to use such as the ability to take an extra Create-a-Class slot (up to 5 total), the ability to reset stats entirely, or secure a “refund.” (A refund returns all of the unlock tokens spent so far and relocks the content.) Players can then choose to unlock a different set of items than the ones previously selected.
MULTIPLAYER MAPS: In the gameplay rotation:
- Aftermath: Ruins of downtown Los Angeles after a drone attack.
- Cargo: In the docks of Singapore, where cargo containers are constantly moving and changing the shape of cover in the map center.
- Turbine: Set in a wind farm in the desert plains of Yemen, Turbine is a large, open map, with the ability to climb on everything.
- Yemen: Urban street fight with tight alleyways and lots of changing elevation to the battle.
- Overflow: Great Urban engagements in the flood littered streets of Peshawar, Pakistan.
- Express:Los Angeles bullet train station with good long to medium engagements up and down the train tracks.
- Hijacked: Luxurious super yacht with frantic, yet controlled close quarters engagements.
1-4 player co-op in a large open world with a variety of locations. The new Buildables gameplay elements help players move through each area to find the key tidbits that reveal why they are there and what they must do to survive. All the while, public transportation is still operational, as a bus will regularly stop at each location. Zombies ride for free.
Recreating the classic mode of just purely surviving the shambling, incoming Zombie horde, Survival mode allows you to play 1-4 players co-op in specific locations from the much larger Tranzit area.
You and friends can take on up to 4 people in a team vs. Zombies vs. team scenario. 2-8 players are thrown into anarea to be the last humans standing.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II features new and extensive stat tracking as well as leaderboards for bragging rights. A new skill-based matchmaking system will allow players of the same ability to take on the horrors of the night in public game modes. For players that are looking for an extra challenge, Zombies features custom games: Headshots only, higher starting rounds, and a toggling of extra items are all available.
Massive enough of an update for you? Well, this is indeed looking like the broadest and most revamped Call of Duty to date, and Treyarch have ensured that all bases are covered when it comes to where it matters with the fans, which is a great thing to see. Call of Duty: Black Ops II hits shelves on November 18th for the PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U.