Black Ops 2 Gameplay Details Revealed: RTS Elements, Branching Story And More


Posted May 1, 2012 - By Stephen Johnson

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Details Revealed

Call of Duty 2: Black Ops is official. Publisher Activision confirmed the title and November 13 release date for the game hours ago, and even showed off some amazingly impressive Black Ops 2 gameplay video in the first official BLOPS 2 trailer. But now it's time to get a bit more in-depth and take a look at some of the details Activision has revealed.


  • Strike Force Mode: BlOPs 2 features non-linear sandbox gameplay that affects the branching storyline. These missions are integrated into the single-player campaign; think of them as hot-spots around the world, which you’ll be briefed on and assign a team to tackle. If there are three missions to choose from, choosing one will be a branch in the story.
  • Overwatch Mode: Strike Force missions allow players to "zoom out" on the battlefield and engage in RTS style play, directing troops and vehicles, and then hopping into them to engage in on-the-ground fighting.
  • Choice: Among the most interesting new innovations that will be featured in Black Ops 2 is the additions of a branching storyline in the single-player campaign. The game's story presents large and small choices at different times, and, according to Activision, the the plot will hinge on the choices you make and the outcome of battles you choose to fight. Major characters might live or die, and international relations might be affected by your actions.

For an in-depth look at Black Ops 2's gameplay, check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Gameplay Preview.

Black Ops 2


  • Time Frame: Most of Black Ops 2 takes place in 2025, a future in which the military uses a variety of realistic, but future-tech weapons. But 2025 isn't the only time-setting -- in keeping with the first Black Ops, the narrative flashes back to earlier historical periods. In this case, the Cold War during the 1980s figures into the story prominently. (Check out our guide to the Black Ops 2 trailer's hidden locations for some background on why we think the Soviet Union's ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan and the US government's support for local insurgents could play into the Black Ops 2 story as well as the CIA's involvement with Panamanian dictator/drug lord Manuel Noriega.)
  • Plot: Black Ops 2 is a direct sequel to the first Black Ops. In BlOPS 2's future, oil has been replaced as the most important natural resource in favor of rare earth elements, those hard-to-find minerals that we need for cell phones and wireless routers...oh, and military equipment, of course. China has emerged as a greater super-power, threatening the world's peace.
  • Heroes: Alex Mason from Call of Duty: Black Ops is back, but most of the action here will center on Mason's son David. Frank Woods, whom we last thought was dead at the hands of the Viet Cong, will be our bridge between the future and the past. Whether other characters from past CoD games will appear remains to be revealed
  • Villain: A hero is only as good as his villain, and in this case, a new bad guy is entering the scene. Raul Menendez is determined to pit nations against one another. He's taken control of some of the U.S.'s technology, and has pit a drone fleet against the U.S.

For an in-depth look at Black Ops 2's story and setting, check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Story Preview.


Black Ops 2

  • DronesBlack Ops 2 will feature a ton of near-future drone tech, including quadrocoptors, and the fearsome CLAW (Cognitive Land Assault Weapon), a four-legged armored mech with guns mounted upon it. See the screen shot above.
  • Optics: In the future, enhanced optics will allow us to target enemies behind wall as well as in cars.
  • Grenades: Grenades are now propelled by electronic charges, meaning you don't throw them as much as fire them.
  • VTOL Aircraft: Vertical take-off and landing aircraft (think Harrier jets) will appear in the game, and will allow hovering as well as jet-style flying.

For an in-depth look at Black Ops 2's gameplay, check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Gameplay Preview.


Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 Revealed With November 13 Release Date

  • Multiplayer changes: Developer Treyarch has promised to examine all aspects of the multiplayer experience and build a game that is balanced for a wide variety of players, but specific examples or features have yet to be announced.
  • eSports: Although no specifics have been discussed, Treyarch has promised that the game will be both competitive and fun to watch.
  • Social Media: Social media will be implemented in the game, although the details haven't been given yet.
  • Zombie Mode: Zombie mode will return, although in what form, we don't know yet. According to Treyarch, Zombies will be "Back in a big way."  Treyarch promised it will be "the most ambitious zombies offering we’ve done."

For an in-depth look at Black Ops 2 gameplay, check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Preview.

Tags: Videogames
Black Ops 2 Gameplay Details Revealed: RTS Elements, Branching Story And More


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