This is what the end looks like. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's final DLC, Apocalypse, comes to PC September 26, marking the final batch of new content for developer Treyarch's latest entry in the venerable shooter series, according to a press release. The DLC includes four multiplayer maps and a new zombie level full of enemies that mix the robotic with the supernatural.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
It's become a tradition now for Call of Duty DLC to offer re-skinned, re-worked versions of classic levels and the final Black Ops 2 map pack is no exception. And in another nod to a deeply-held pastime, the new DLC—Apocalypse—releases August 27 first for Xbox Live customers, "with other platforms to follow," according to a press release.
Treyarch design director David Vonderhaar has received death threats and threats of violence on Twitter, after patch notes for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 revealed that three of the game's guns were to be rebalanced slightly. Yes, that is a thing that has actually happened. The guns in question are the AN-94, which now does a bit less damage, and the DSR 50 and the Ballista, which have both had their rate of fire reduced a bit. If this news makes you want to hurl abuse at someone, I suggest you seek professional help.
Not to be outdone by GlobOff's free trial, BlOps 2 is starting a double weapon XP weekend to run alongside the launch of the Uprising map pack. During the event, your weapons will rank up at twice the speed, and... I'll be honest, I was about to mock the idea of weapons gaining XP. But thinking about it, this is almost definitely the sort of thing the military will be looking into.
Clearly Activision have been made aware of a small pocket of the population that are yet to have a Strong Opinion on their unstoppable FPS franchise. In which case, there's only one thing for it: deploy a free Steam weekend in the hope of tempting the last remaining vestiges of Call of Duty innocents to invite Black Ops 2 through their bandwidth.
It's good news for veterans, too: this influx of new recruits handily coincides with a Double XP weekend, which will be running from now until Monday.
Maybe I'm too much of a pacifist to understand but, even in the most urgent combat situation, I think I'd abandon my post pretty quickly if a goddamn volcano erupted in the combat zone. It's fortunate for fans of fast-paced FPS multiplayer that the soldiers of Blops 2 are calm professionals/committed psychopaths, because that's exactly the situation you'll face in the Magma map of the upcoming Uprising DLC pack, now dated for a May 16th release on PC.
...Call of Duty: Ghosts. That's according to a mistakenly published (and now removed) listing posted by megaconglomoshop Tesco. The posting, showing the PS3 version of the game, stated a December release, and lists Infinity Ward as the developer. That's as expected, given the annual franchise swapsies between them and Treyarch.
If you've ever dreamed of playing a zombie survival shooter set on Alcatraz (and who hasn't!) then this Black Ops 2 DLC is probably going to appeal to you. 'Mob of the Dead' - which comes bundled with the forthcoming 'Uprising' DLC pack - places you in the shoes of one of four mobsters imprisoned on Alcatraz, and as you'll have guessed, you'll be shooting lots of zombies. Hordes of them.
Call of Duty - what a monster. With clockwork precision a new edition pops up every year and sells millions without fail. It's doing perfectly well, but in spite of an audacious shift to a far future setting in Black Ops 2, it's becoming increasingly repetitive. It's become a slapstick dose of noisy annual nonsense with an arcade multiplayer mode attached. It's a game about gun-lovin' superheroes who are 90% bicep and 10% stubble shooting hundreds of enemies, shouting and occasionally getting into knife fights.
Activision have found a golden formula for mainstream success that has changed the genre. Call of Duty perfected iron sights aiming and ushered action movie set pieces into shooter environments, but those set pieces have gradually subsumed the challenge and tension of the series' rolling street battles. The series' ballooning love for noise and bombast masks a dearth of substance, and its ability to deliver those famed set-pieces is increasingly hindered by an engine that's starting to fall behind the pack.
Activision and their army of CoD developers are surely plotting a next-gen leap right now, so let's pip them to the post with a few ideas. Changing CoD is a monolithic endeavour, influential as it is, so perhaps it's better to think of this as a wish list for war games. What do we like? What do we hate? What would we love to see from gaming's glorious future?
Maybe you'd like to play some games this weekend? Maybe you'd like them to be completely free? Maybe you'd also like them to be games you don't own; games that will stop letting you play them on Sunday unless you pay a reduced price to secure their continued use? That's a bizarre set of conditions, but whatever, Steam's got you covered. Both Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Gratuitous Space Battles are holding Free Weekend trials, giving you unpaid access to two completely different ends of the gaming spectrum.
Activision's efforts to forcibly insert Call of Duty releases into the yearly rhythm planet Earth continue today. There's some pretty dry biz news floating around this morning so let's enshrine key details in haiku form to keep things lively.
More CoD is mentioned,
In ActiBlizz earnings call,
Bear shits in the woods.
What to do when your making a trailer for a DLC collection of maps (and a gun)? Well, the obvious thing would be to tour the new maps, giving players a chance to preview the various chokepoints and hidey-holes. The makers of this Black Ops 2: Revolution trailer decided not to do that. Instead they got Prison Break's Peter Stormare to do, well, this.
If you splashed out on a Black Ops 2 season pass you'll get access to the zombified Nuketown map this Thursday. Zombie Nuketown has been knocking around Xbox 360 playlists for a short while, and serves as a taster for this year's season of Black Ops 2 DLC packs (which will kick off with the recently spilled Revolution pack.)
Zombie Nuketown is a haunted, skeletal doppelganger of one of Black Ops' most popular maps. It used to be a bright, breezy place where military sorts ran round shooting each other in the back for sport. Now it's grim, apocalyptic and full of crazed flesh-eaters and charcoal coloured mushroom clouds. Take a tour in the trailer below.
As previously detailed, Call of Duty: BlOps 2's first DLC pack somewhat stretches the definition of "Revolution," to mean "a few maps and a gun." It's almost as if they picked a word with vaguely military connotations and thought "yup, that'll do." Still, thanks to a now pulled Amazon listing, spotted by OXM, we have some idea of what those maps will contain.
Some scant early details of the first Black Ops 2 DLC have been divulged in the form of a retail display poster. Spotted by Reddit, the poster rounds up the contents for the as yet undated "Revolution" content pack. So, will it be the standard collection of maps, or will it do what the title suggests and add something more unexpected? Place your bets now...
It might be a good idea to check that you're running the latest batch of Nvidia drivers. The full version of the GeForce 310.70 WHQL set are available now, and it sounds like they'll add a fair few extra frames per second to some of this year's biggest games. Nvidia say they'll boost Far Cry 3 by 37%, Black Ops 2 by 26% at max settings, add an extra 17% to Assassin's Creed 3 performance (compared to a pre-release version, mind) and deliver smaller increases to Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.
In the wake of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week, it's understandable that people would look to place blame. Many in the media have been quick to suggest a link between shooter Adam Lanza's interest in videogames and the violence he perpetrated. Does the evidence support their claims? My research suggests not.
I've taken a look at the reports videogame-detractors have referenced, and talked to the author of an oft-cited study about the conclusions being drawn from his work. If video games do cause increased aggression, then it's not supported by the data available, and to suggest otherwise is to misrepresent the prevailing scientific opinion.
As far as I can tell, the job of financial analyst is half seaside fortune teller, and half looking at the Financial Times and doing the teeth-sucking noise that mechanics make when they realise their clients don't know enough about cars not to be persuaded to buy an unnecessary replacement. I'm not saying they don't provide a valuable and accurate service, just that this service is so far outside my realm of experience as to be utterly bizarre and incomprehensible. Take the following as a perfect example.
According to Arvind Bhatia, a financial analyst with Sterne Agee, sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are on a trend to be 15% down on Modern Warfare 3's, which itself was down 5% from the first BlOps.