The Latest Call Of Duty Explores The Bloody Birth Of Special Forces

The Latest Call Of Duty Explores The Bloody Birth Of Special Forces

It starts with two men in space helmets.

They walk across an airfield and climb into a Lockheed SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, also know as the Blackbird. The year is 1968. The mission is “This is WMD”. The game: Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Up on stage members of developer Treyarch are playing through a chunk of the upcoming shooter for us. The guy with the controller in his hand is in control of one of the men in the plane, using the aircraft’s tech to watch over a team of men lying on the ground far, far below the high-altitude plane. He’s using the right stick to command the squad.

The view suddenly switches. Now we’re watching gameplay on the ground, a team of men hiding in the snow of the Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union. It’s once more the traditional first-person view. The team are hiding from a patrol. When they’re spotted the player hops up and takes down one of the enemy using a high-powered crossbow equipped with a scope.

The men make their way to a mountain ridge, rappelling down to stop just above the window of a sub-station of some sort. The team jump off and rappel in unison through the window. Everything goes slow-motion as they clear the room.

The player switches the bolts on his crossbow, loading one equipped with an explosive tip. He shoots it into a tanker outside of the substation. The world explodes, alarms go off, men scramble out into the snow. The team takes the men down, moving to another relay station.

They break into the room by shooting off the hinges of the door, clear the room, take out the station and move on. Outside a missile strike sets off an avalanche, pinning the men on a cliff.

“I’m jumping, see you at the bottom,” one of the soldiers shout.

The player runs and jumps. On stage the developer controls his freefall as the screen goes black.

“The era and our focusing on Black Ops gave us a lot of freedom to create what we wanted to,” says Mark Lamia, studio head of Treyarch.

The screen lights up again. It is Feb. 2, 1968. Hue City, Vietnam. The US military headquarters has fallen, the entire city is being overrun.

In this mission, titled Slaughterhouse, the player has to get to the CIA offices in the overrun headquarters.

The team rides into the burning city at night in helicopters. As it nears the roof of a building a rocket sends it into a spin. The player, clipped into the copter, goes flying out the side door and smashes through a window of the building.

As he lays on the ground of the burning office floor, an enemy comes in and points his rifle at him. A teammate walks up behind the enemy and snaps his neck, using the dead man’s rifle, still clutched in his loose fingers, to kill two more enemies before dropping the man’s body on the ground.

The developer’s character equips a SPAS-12 shotgun loaded with an ammo called Dragon Breath. Each shot sets a man on fire.

He works his way through the room, fighting from destroyed office to destroyed office. Papers float in the air, over the player’s radio a breaking voice cuts through the static saying that the North Vietnamese are rounding up civilians to execute them.

Walking by a window you can see unarmed civilians being pushed into a courtyard. Enemies, perhaps North Vietnamese, open fire, killing all of them; men, women and children.

The developer and his team work their way to a safe room, the plated door is blow away from the wall. Inside they find more enemies to kill. They get what they came for and work their way outside and through the city to a landing zone.

Outside in the chaos of a burning city, scrambling from wreckage to pire, a heavily accented voice blasts from unseen speakers telling US soldiers to give up, that this isn’t their war.

“We intend to deliver an intense single player experience,” Lamia says. “We will also deliver cooperative and multiplayer.”

The cooperative play, he says, will support up to four players, two on a single television.

“Treyarch” Lamia says, “is committed to creating the very best game would can with Black Ops.”


  • I think that the Call of Duty series has become less of a series that shares the same type of gameplay and ideals, but more of a series that shares elements between the different games, the most important element being the engine, and multiplayer elements such as perks etc. Even if this game doesn’t share the same mythos (WW2 or MW), it will fit the Call of Duty name pretty well because of it’s pedigree.

  • It’s the mp that’s important. MP is what determines longevity of a game. And if it’s anything like MW2 I’m not buying.

    There was poor independent reportage on MW2, lets hope reviewers play it straight.

    So at this point the gam elooks interesting. I hope Treyarch aren’t the poor cousins this time. We all hope the multiplayer has far less perks and allows ability to rule.

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