COD: Black Ops news

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COD: Black Ops news

Post by S7 mrmiller on Tue May 11, 2010 9:58 am

From USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2010-05-10-callofduty11_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-LifeTopStories+%28Life+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo


First look: 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' swoops into action

Stealth war: Deep inside the Soviet Union.

By Mike Snider, USA TODAY

The Cold War generates heat anew in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops, the latest title in a multibillion-dollar video game franchise.
Players spy on suspicious activity while piloting a Lockheed SR-71 recon aircraft over the Ural Mountains; on the ground, they tackle a radar station lodged in the lofty terrain, flurries whipping in the wind. You hear the click-click-click as your character adjusts the sights of his modified military crossbow to take out the enemies. A firefight ensues, then a dizzying rappelling scene and guns blazing a feet-first, window-shattering breach of a control room.

In an exclusive preview of one level, game developer Treyarch wanted to demonstrate "the game is epic in scope," says studio head Mark Lamia. In Black Ops, due Nov. 9 for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PC (not yet rated), "our writers are focused on (a) story that has meaning and character and will be multi-threaded."

Treyarch's mission is to match the firepower of megahits Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, the first games in the series to move beyond WWII. Activision publishes the series, which has totaled nearly $4 billion since 2003; Modern Warfare 2 has sold more than $1 billion since November 2009, and set a opening-day record for any entertainment launch with $400 million in sales.

Black Ops will be closely watched: It's the first Call of Duty since Activision fired the co-founders of the original developer, Infinity Ward in March Vince Zampella and Jason West have since sued Activision for royalties and rights to Modern Warfare, and Activision has countersued.

"We don't spend a lot of time thinking about what is going on outside of what we are doing in the studio," Lamia says. "The team is working extraordinarily hard to, after many Call of Dutys, really upping our game and making it the best we possibly can."

Treyarch uses motion-capture technology employed by James Cameron in Avatar. "Instead of individual motion-capture, voice-overs and then facial animations, we actually capture the performances of the actors," including more realistic facial muscle movement, Lamia says.

Moving the action to the Cold War "offered us diverse locations and conflicts," Lamia says. "We will stay true to the Call of Duty ethos of taking (characters) around the world and dropping them into hot spots."




First impressions: 'Call of Duty: Black Ops'

Call of Duty has always been about the soldiers in the trenches, so it's interesting that the level of Call of Duty: Black Ops showcased by Activision and studio Treyarch kicks off with an operative leading colleagues from up above.

Hovering above from inside an SR-71 Blackbird, players will send orders guiding a group of four soldiers past a convoy of Russians in the Ural Mountains. They simply point to areas on the screen and hit a button to lead the squad, so don't expect the complexity of, say, a Ghost Recon. But, similar to the view above an AC-130 gunship in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the SR-71 scenario offered a fascinating perspective of the battlefield.

Of course, this is still a Call of Duty title, and once that brief command-based sequence concluded, the story shifts back to the soldier on the ground, as he and his three colleagues attempt to infiltrate a Russian facility.

The name of the level, "WMD," is set in 1968, during the height of the Cold War. The players' character is part of a larger endeavor to stop the spread of Communism. As the foursome moves through the facility, they come to a relay station they must take out. One by one, players will pick off unsuspecting foes with a scoped crossbow. Similar to previous Call of Duty titles, players will click to hold their breath and fire away.

This is when we check out one of the franchise's new features: alternate ammo that can be changed on the fly. As the group gets closer, they find an area with at least a dozen enemy soldiers, two of which sit by a truck. The lead character switches from a standard arrow tip on his crossbow to an explosive tip. Once fired, a beacon flashes for a couple seconds and boom goes the enemy. The lead character would eventually switch to an AUG assault rifle that could house attachments, although none were available during this level.

The firefight that ensues is textbook Call of Duty. Chaos dominates as players must navigate streams of bullets to reach their destination. Black Ops seems to follow the footsteps of the Modern Warfare franchise in attempting to deliver a more cinematic presentation, with the team ending the "WMD" level diving off a large cliff.

Overall, the level seemed to deliver the intensity and explosiveness of previous Call of Duty titles, and the SR-71 section left me wondering what other surprises Treyarch might have in store for Black Ops.

By Brett Molina

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/05/first-impressions-call-of-duty-black-ops/1?loc=interstitialskip

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Re: COD: Black Ops news

Post by S7 mrmiller on Tue May 11, 2010 10:06 am


More on 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' with Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia

By moving into the U.S.- Soviet era of mutually assured destruction, Call of Duty: Black Ops will be the first Call of Duty game developed by Treyarch to go beyond World War II.

In addition to our First Look on the game in print and some impressions from Brett Molina here, we have additional comments from Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia. "The team is really excited about creating a game in this period," he said. "We really felt like it was fertile ground for us and we could provide something fresh for gamers."

Beyond the single-player story, the game will have a cooperative mode for two to four players and an online multiplayer mode. As for the story, players will see it story unfold from the point of view of at least two main characters in multiple covert international conflicts. "Our writers are focused on telling an epic story," Lamia says. "You will see the evolution of some of these characters through time and the conflict."

The preview level shown to Game Hunters (it actually takes place later in the game), "immediately puts you in the boots of these blacks ops soldiers and behind enemy lines," he says. "This setting, this period, was perfect for us because it allowed us this creativity. This period hasn't really been done in games and it spans a period of time. We are not getting into the exact period of time, because it is part of our story that we are going to reveal later, but it does cover a longer period during this era."

During the Cold War, Lamia says, "there were these black operaions, these deniable conflicts, there was unconventional warfare that occurred. Uunderneath the surface of this cold war, there was this hot war and it was taking place between the superpowers. This is not Russia of today, this is the Soviet Union of that period, whose leaders would say, we will bury you. But under the threat of mutually assured destruction, these conflicts never could go hot. So they put together these black operations to carry out conflicts.

Research for the game included consultations with Maj. John Plaster, a veteran of the Studies and Observations Group (SOG), a multi-force black operations unit led by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Vietnam War. (He also wrote the book SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam).

"(Plaster) was able to talk through what it was like being in the SOG and in particular his experiences during the Vietnam War era and the kind of, at the time, classified and sort of black operations that he was a part of," Lamia says. "He talked about everything from his training to missions to tactics. He reviewed our characters, our weaponry and, aside from the inspiration and drawing upon some of the history he was able to talk about, he was able to advise us on very practical matters. Like a SOG behind enemy lines would be wearing this, doing this and carrying this."

"Their stories in particular were not ones that were ever told and while we are not endeavoring to make a historical account, it's an entertainment product, he also feels that this could inspire people to want to learn about the history of what these soldiers experienced and went through," Lamia says..

Also adding intel was Sonny Puzikas, a former Soviet special forces operative. "He has come into studio as well, and offered his advice and expertise on how Soviet special forces trained, the weaponry they used and what it was like to be in that force. When you meet with these people you can't help but feel inspired about what they are telling you and it opens up new avenues of gameplay."

With their assistance, "we learned about how the SOG and these special forces went about their conflicts," Lamia says. "They got the superior intelligence and then they were able to outfit themselves as appropriate for the mission. They would literally go into armories and list out the weaponry they needed for the teams. As we learned about that, we would have alternate forms of ammo and modified forms of weaponry in the game."

Lamia continues: "We do our research, which are our inspirations, and we strive for authenticity. But we create our fictions from looking at all of this. It was exciting for the team to do something it had not done before with Call of Duty."

The modified military crossbow seen in the preview level, Lamia says, "is a great example of how elite black ops teams were permitted to equip themselves for whatever job they had at hand, which means that they could get a hold of anything and modify it any way they wanted to accomplish their missions objectives. The specific crossbow in the game is based off the design of a military grade crossbow. The use of the our crossbow was inspired by a story we heard about from Major Plaster about a member of SOG who would equip himself with a bow for some of his real-life missions, and our research, which showed its use by indigenous warriors in Vietnam that fought with special forces. In our case here, it served this mission as a dual-purpose weapon used for stealth, and one which when modified, could stealthily and precisely place a lethal explosive at range."

From the initial piloting of a reconnaissance aircraft to on the ground combat in the Soviet Union -- and several other examples of action in different settings -- Black Ops seeks to push Treyarch's Call of Duty missions to a new level. "Variety of gameplay. Variety of setting. There is a real focus and an attention to detail and pacing," Lamia says.

Readers, excited about Call of Duty: Black Ops?

By Mike Snider

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/05/more-on-call-of-duty-black-ops-with-treyarch-studio-head-mark-lamia/1

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Re: COD: Black Ops news

Post by S7 OC on Tue May 11, 2010 10:12 am

Sounds like some good stuff

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Re: COD: Black Ops news

Post by S7 Sticky on Tue May 11, 2010 12:45 pm

it should be fun

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Re: COD: Black Ops news

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