Why Black Ops 2 Matters
Despite the fact that the world seems to be sliding into chaos, there are some things you can bank on every year: Christmas is one. Your birthday’s another. As are Call of Duty reveal campaigns.
Yup, it’s around this time of year when Activision start cranking up the old hype-o-tron: magazine covers, teaser sites, TV-spot reveals during vitally important basketball games: the usual.
The question is, like Christmas and your birthday, when is the excitement going to bleed out of the series, and the run up to them? When is it going to stop being something to look forward to and become something to endure? Will Black Ops 3 not actually contain any game, instead just a box with a pair of socks in?
For some, the end of the tether has been reached: burnout has already happened, it’s the same every year etc etc. On the other hand a vast swathe of PS3 players could happily go another three or four iterations before approaching boredom.
Despite these apparent differences, the series is still important for both sets of players listed above, and everybody in between. Because COD still matters. Maybe not to you, but its influence is inescapable.
High-profile franchises scrabble to escape its vacuum around release – Resident Evil 6 didn’t just jump forward a month because the devs felt like it. Black Ops 2 could be a massive turd and it would make more money than all of your favourite games ever combined. It drives attitudes and approaches to design, for good or ill.
Because it’s not a game, it’s an institution.
There seems to be a misconception about how Call of Duty is a shooting game. It’s not, not really. It’s a sports game, and this is one of the reasons why it’s so popular, why Black Ops 2 will matter.
It’s FIFA or Madden with guns, and also a great social space for friends who can’t get away from their kids/partners/lives long enough to warrant a night out.
Oh, and it’s still a good game, fundamentally. That’s important too.