The blockbuster video game franchise "Call of Duty" returns on Tuesday with a futuristic new instalment in which activists use social networks to threaten the United States.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is now available at retail locations across the globe. The sequel to the best-selling Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 console game in history has been called "the most ambitious Call of Duty ever," pushing the boundaries of the blockbuster franchise to new heights by propelling players into a world full of advanced weaponry, robotics and drone technology in the year 2025.
Activision kicked-off the celebration overnight as fans lined-up at midnight across retailers around the globe from Sydney to Dubai to Paris to Los Angeles to get their hands on Activision and their studio Treyarch's new release.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II features a heavyweight musical lineup with contributions from Academy Award winning composer Trent Reznor (theme), BAFTA nominee Jack Wall (score), and tracks from musical acts Avenged Sevenfold and an original collaboration by Skrillex and Alvin Risk.
The story picks up where Call of Duty: Black Ops' Cold War era tale left off, in its explosively cinematic single player campaign taking gamers to the year 2025. Armed with branching storylines and non-linear missions known as Strike Force levels, which provides players a sandbox style gameplay experience, Call of Duty: Black Ops II affords players the opportunity to actually affect the outcome of the game, and for the first time in series history deliver multiple endings to this epic saga.
The game's multiplayer mode includes the all-new "Pick-10" system that revolutionizes the traditional slot-driven system by allowing fans to gear up for battle by customizing a great number of combinations to best suit their play-style. Further leveling the playing field for more gamers, the new Score Streaks system rewards all-types of players for helping their team win from capturing flags, securing objectives, defending teammates and more.
Accessible to players of all skill levels, Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer introduces League Play, a skill-based matchmaking system that makes competition fun at any skill level. Multiplayer also now integrates a play-by-play "CODcasting" commentary system that allows fans to create their own eSports commentaries on games. And in a first for console gaming, Call of Duty: Black Ops II also features live streaming of League Play games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, without the need for any additional hardware. With the live streaming feature, players now have the ability to broadcast their Call of Duty: Black Ops II games to the masses in real-time on YouTube, so anyone in the world can enjoy watching the action. Call of Duty Elite takes the live streaming experience even further, enabling viewers to see the player card of the user that is streaming. Viewers can dig deeper on Call of Duty Elite to see class loadouts, recent match data, as well as career stats across supported Call of Duty games on the Call of Duty Elite service. Live streams of Call of Duty: Black Ops II are viewable via web browsers, mobile and tablets through Call of Duty Elite as well as individual YouTube user channels. A verified YouTube account is required to live stream. A valid Call of Duty Elite registration is necessary to view the streams and related information inside Call of Duty Elite.
The complete package also delivers the Zombies game created by Treyarch. The cooperative game mode pits players against an unrelenting horde of the undead. The Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies offering is the biggest to date, featuring three different modes to survive the zombie apocalypse. Unravel the mysteries of a dying Earth in Tranzit, fight endless waves of zombies in Survival mode, or compete in the new 4z4 last-human-standing mode Grief.
Activision also is making available pre-orders for the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass at select retail outlets. The Season Pass lets gamers access four epic Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs to be released in 2013 at a bundled discount (discount based on a suggested retail price of $49.99 and four DLC Map Packs at a suggested retail price of $15 each). The DLC Map Packs will be available on the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network first, and pricing and release dates may vary by platform. Additionally users who purchase the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass will not only receive an exclusive in-game calling card, but also access to the Nuketown Zombies bonus map. Nuketown Zombies will be offered to Season Pass holders in December, releasing first on Xbox 360 with other platforms to follow.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is available today worldwide on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC. The title is scheduled for release in North America on November 18, 2012, for the new Wii U game system from Nintendo.
Also releasing today for PlayStation Vita is Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, bringing classic Call of Duty-style gameplay to gamers-on-the-go.