Call of Duty switches to 3-year development cycle, next game from Sledgehammer

Emanuel Maiberg at

Activision's quarterly earnings call was yesterday and—to no one's surprise—the company made a lot of money. $1.5 billion in net revenues to be exact. A lot of that money was made with the Call of Duty games, which, according the Activision's calculations and the NPD, was the number one franchise in retail in North America in 2013. As you may have noticed, there's a new Call of Duty game every year, which may be part of the reason why we've grown weary of it. Activision announced that while it will keep to that relentless schedule, it will give the games' developers three years to work on each title as opposed to two.

Call of Duty dog: the definitive PC Gamer hands-on review

Philippa Warr at

The most important thing about Call of Duty: Ghosts is the fact there is a dog. Therefore it is only logical to conclude that the most important thing about the Call of Duty: Ghosts launch party is the fact that there was a dog. A real dog, that it was possible to pet. As conscientious videogame journalists we thought it only right that we reviewed this crucial part of the game for you. We're selfless like that.

Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer prepares you for Extinction

Phil Savage at

From a game that contains ghosts, to a game that's called Ghosts... and contains aliens? As predicted yesterday, Call of Duty: Ghosts has now officially trailed Extinction, with a two minute video showing glimpses of the series' "all new" four-player co-op mode. As you can tell from the gratuitous "BWAAAAARM" noise, the tone here is steely determination, ruminations on the nature of change, and acid spitting monstrosities. Essentially, the military equivalent of a pub night with the PCG team.

Final Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 DLC, Apocalypse, drops September 26 for PC

Patrick Carlson at

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's Apocalypse trailer features dieselpunk zombies, shooty men

Phil Savage at

The Black Ops 2 development train is pulling into its final station. Soon it'll be replaced with Call of Duty: Ghosts, with its more advanced, mo-capped dog and intelligent fish. Before then, though, there's the small matter of the Apocalypse: the ultro-shooter's last DLC farewell. The "launch" trailer gives us a quick overview of the new maps, including zombie mode's Origins. Because even if it's the digital store of your publisher's greatest rival, developers can't stop using that name.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 final DLC releases August 27 for Xbox, PC "to follow"

Patrick Carlson at

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.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 developer receives death threats following gun tweaks

Tom Sykes at

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.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II map-pack Vengeance releases August 1st on PC

Phil Savage at

Will vengeance be yours? Really, that depends on whether your think Vengeance is a Black Ops 2 map pack, and not, say, some planned retribution on an international coffee chain for putting the wrong syrup in your morning drink. For the former, you'll now only have to wait until August 1st - the announced date for the PC version of the DLC. The latter? Oh they'll find out soon enough.

Black Ops 2's next DLC could be Vengeance, according to leaked poster

Phil Savage at

Is this a poster for the next Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 DLC? Maybe. That's certainly the impression it wants to give you, with its hexagonal map thumbnails and vaguely aggressive sounding name. If it's to be believed, the follow-on map-pack to Revolution and Uprising will be titled Vengeance, and will include four multiplayer maps, one zombie map, and a bonus Mark II Ray Gun.

Black Ops 2: Uprising released, double weapon XP weekend begins

Phil Savage at

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.

Black Ops 2 gets free Steam weekend, double XP throughout

Phil Savage at

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.

Black Ops 2: Uprising DLC erupts on PC next month

Phil Savage at

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.

Black Ops 2 'Mob of the Dead' trailer shows zombies in Alcatraz

Shaun Prescott at

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.

Black Ops 2 gets cosmetic microtransactions, free Nuketown 2025 on April 12

Phil Savage at

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's "Micro Items" - cosmetic item microtransactions - are due to be added into the game on April 12th, according to Activision blog One of Swords. The personalisation packs, already available for Xbox 360 players, let you apply a variety of gaudy skins to your weapons. Nine packs will be available, letting you slather your guns with everything from graffiti, to dollar bills and bacon. Bacon? Surely the grease is just going to clog up the firing mechanism.

Let's Reboot ... Call of Duty

Tom Senior at

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?

Call of Duty: Black Ops II's Revolution spreads to PC

Phil Savage at

It may not quite be the "Revolution" CoD's critics would like, but Blops 2's latest DLC pack seems to be at least a minor skirmish in the war for interesting additions to established games. Sure, it's just a few additional maps, but, er, one of them's in a skate park? And there's a gun, I guess.

Okay, so the Revolution DLC is pretty much business as usual. But it's a business that seems to work, and those interested can now find the latest map-pack on PC. A trailer runs through the various contents it brings, backed by AC/DC's Back In Black. No, I'm not sure why either.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 DLC trailer expects you'll be playing it a lot, suggests a way to help

Phil Savage at

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.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Zombie Nuketown map will claw its way onto PC on Thursday

Tom Senior at

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.

Black Ops 2 Revolution DLC details revealed, then pulled

Phil Savage at

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.

James Bond games quietly exit Steam, Activision's store

Omri Petitte at

The three Activision-published James Bond games available in Steam's storefront apparently made like their namesake yesterday and abruptly snuck out, users posting on the forums spotted (via NeoGamr). Luckily, the games didn't mimic Bond's other signature style of causing random explosions wherever he departs.