Today is a glorious day for CoD haters across the globe. The worldwide reveal trailer for the gaming industry's worst kept secret, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has hit the internet with guns blazing, explosions flying and an insightful look towards future warfare. Why is this a glorious day for a CoD hater such as myself?
The trailer was a little bit shit really.
As we sat here watching the trailer for the first time, Ben Salter made a rather obvious comment that I'm sure even the most die hard CoD fan could agree with - "is this an EA game?". The action-packed trailer was rather reminiscent of the explosive Battlefield 3 trailers we were subjected to last year, even employing a thrilling scene in the cockpit of a futuristic aircraft.
My major issue with the trailer was that Black Ops 2 seems to share no relevance with the CoD franchise as a whole, particularly as a sequel to 2010's Cold War shooter. We see lumbering attack units that look a lot like Mechwarriors meeting AT-ATs, futuristic weaponry that wouldn't look out of place in Syndicate or Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the only way Treycarch lock in the sequel factor is a small cameo appearance from Frank Woods in the trailer.
The reason that every man, woman, child and meerkat enjoys the fast paced nature of Call of Duty is because they can identify with it. Despite the Modern Warfare franchise being a few years into the future, all the locations and weaponry during the entire life of the franchise has been based on fact, not fiction, and thus gamers can relate to the areas around them. Over-the-top situations in realistic environments is what drives CoD for that "only CoD" demographic.
Yet now, Treycarch have to put that over-the-top gameplay into a world based on fiction. We already have a number of futuristic shooters out there, games like Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Syndicate, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, all of which do a remarkable job of creating their own views of where the world is heading. Can Treyarch pull that off? Judging from this trailer, not that well.
It seems they have borrowed most elements from other successful franchises, and will soldier on relying on high sales from the franchise name alone. Elements of Mechwarrior, Avatar, Metal Gear Solid and Battlefield are plainly on display, and I'm sure on subsequent viewings we could even find more. Sure, it will sell 4239584967548243874932 copies during the first week, but at what cost?
With expectations set so high, I feel the trailer was a huge let down that will have gamers torn across the globe. Will it see an end to the dominance of CoD in the FPS field? This could be the nail in the coffin that so many people were really hoping for.
There is just one question I want Treyarch to answer - what the hell is up with those horses?