Although it may not be as hotly anticipated as "Modern Warfare 2," the next "Call of Duty" game, "Call of Duty: Black Ops," is a title that should be watched very carefully. It is, after all, the title that is attempting to make people forget that Infinity Ward is in shambles. Recently Activision released a promising, if scattered, trailer for the game, and now USA Today has gotten a first look at one of the game's missions.
Titled "WMD," the mission takes place during 1968, in one of the chilliest parts of the Cold War, the Ural Mountains. Initially you'll be controlling a spotter in a sub-orbital SR71 Blackbird , directing a squad to take out Russian soldiers in a military base. After a few minutes of spotting, though, the game shifts to on-the-ground action. This follows the "Call of Duty" trend of having multiple playable characters throughout the campaign.
Since people wanted the Cold War to remain cold, stealth is key in this mission. One of your helpful tools is a scoped crossbow, which is able to take out enemies silently. But, when things get a bit hairier, players can change out their standard crossbow bolts for ones with explosive tips, providing a larger (if louder) area of effect. Alternate ammo is apparently an important element in "Call of Duty: Black Ops," and players will be able to change between different ammo types throughout the mission.
Like Treyarch's last title, "Call of Duty: World at War," "Black Ops" will feature co-op for up to four players. There's some question as to whether the co-op takes place in a separate mode (as in Spec-Ops mode of "Modern Warfare 2") or whether you can just play through the campaign with three other buddies. Hopefully E3 will shed some light on these questions.
Another question is whether Treyarch will return to what was arguably the most popular mode in "World at War." Zombie mode was a brilliant take on co-op which combined resource gathering with shooting the undead in the face. While Nazis are less of a concern in 1968, it seems like the Communist aggressors could make for equally entertaining fodder. Zommies, perhaps?
Currently that's about all we have to go on regarding new "Black Ops" info, but you can be sure that the coming weeks and months will shed plenty of additional light on the next "Call of Duty" game. Stay tuned.