E3 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops PreviewBy Patrick Klepek - Posted Jun 17, 2010
What We've Already Seen
Activision has been pushing Call of Duty: Black Ops hard. With Infinity Ward undergoing a reinvention of sorts after losing its leadership, leading the brand forward falls to Treyarch, the other primary Call of Duty. The popular concensus has been that Call of Duty: Black Ops represents Treyarch's best effort yet, after a surprising effort with Call of Duty: World at War. Andrew Pfister got our first look at Call of Duty: Black Ops a few weeks back, watching the Treyarch team seamlessly move from overhead flight to a ground-based squad in snowy terrain, something we haven't seen from the Call of Duty franchise before.
What We're Seeing Today
Treyarch showed the same impressive winter environment that we'd already seen before transitioning to another run through of the Hind capture shown at the Microsoft press conference earlier in the week and later live on the G4 stage. Sadly, Treyarch wouldn't hand the controller over so I could actually pilot the Hind myself, but watching the mayhem play out on a massive screen just a few feet away from my face wasn't half bad.
My demo wasn't much different than what you've already seen and because I wasn't able to control the Hind there's not much new to say, but my takeaway from seeing two wildly different stages from Call of Duty: Black Ops suggests something interesting about Treyarch's approach to design. Critics and supporters have labeled Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as the Michael Bay of war shooters, but if Infinity War's design is Michael Bay, Treyarch's is Michael Bay stacked on top of Michael Bay, like a terrifying combination of two Michael Bays working together to produce an even higher level of virtual warfare insanity. To describe Call of Duty: Black Ops as simply "over the top" would be a disservice to what Treyarch is trying to achieve this time out. Call of Duty: Black Ops looks huge, insane, overblown, exaggerated -- and fun.