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Treyarch

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You know, Arnold and Danny Glover's Predator
The new trailer for Call of Duty Ghost's second DLC pack, Devastation, is pretty standard stuff for the first few minutes. You know -- the typical overview of maps, lots of gunfire, and an Eminem track laid over it. Then you...

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Sledgehammer leading development of next Call of Duty


Call of Duty series going into three-year development cycle now
Feb 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Activision has just reported on their financials for the last quarter, and among the news they've announced that Sledgehammer Games will be leading the development of the next Call of Duty coming out this year. In the past, C...

Opinion: Stop annualizing Call of Duty

Nov 06 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty 4 set the world on fire at release. It not only redefined what a console shooter could do with a campaign, but it also popularized the "perks" system -- a mechanic now prevalent in pretty much every shooter in the modern era. It certainly wasn't the first game to use this system, but it was the first to make it standard issue; and since so many games followed suit in such a massive way, it's safe to call Call of Duty 4 a trend-setter in its own right. Contrary to popular belief, Call of Duty was not always stale. In fact, the original working title for the first game was "The Medal of Honor Killer" -- a moniker predicated on rising above the competition, and in this case, EA. Said game was made by Infinity Ward -- the flagship developer for the franchise that was founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of Activision. But in 2005, along came a modest developer named Treyarch, who handled the console version of Call of Duty 2. This development crew had been around the block, creating smaller games and ports as far back as 1996, until it was acquired by Activision in 2001. It was Treyarch, not Infinity Ward, that would continue to innovate the franchise. Just as Call of Duty was getting stale, they introduced a "Zombies" mode in World at War, which lit the gaming world on fire once again. The first Black Ops even had a top-down shooter (that could have easily been sold piecemeal for $10 as a downloadable), and real life cheat codes that you (gasp) didn't have to pay for. Their most recent contribution to the series, Black Ops II, innovated in new ways, with a "choose your own adventure" style campaign that felt distinctly different from the pack. It was still very much a Call of Duty joint for sure, and more of it wouldn't change any staunch hater's mind -- but for fans, it was an improvement. So what went wrong with Ghosts? Complacency. The campaign is, in every sense of the word, predictable. Not only is the "American Invasion" tale rehashed, but the characters feel generic and forgettable, especially compared to Treyarch's particularly over-the-top style. Hell, there's even accusations of Infinity Ward copying their own ending. Multiplayer is still fun at times, but it's literally nothing new, instead opting to hold the "Squads" gametype on a pedestal -- when it's actually just a pared down version of the same thing we've played many times over. Infinity Ward even blew it with Extinction, a mode that attempted to ape Treyarch's masterful Zombie mode. To put things into perspective, there's a huge community strictly centered around Zombies, and some fans even buy Treyarch's games just to play it. There's an entire story behind the mode, filled to the brim with easter eggs and goofy weapons like toy monkey grenades. But the Alien injected Extinction in Ghosts by proxy feels like a soulless rendition of Treyarch's work -- almost like it was a check box to say "we can do it too." The crux of the problem is Infinity Ward's lack of innovation, among other issues. If the Call of Duty franchise weren't annual and were fine tuned every other year, it would not only have a better reputation, but a longer overall life span. Despite what executives may think, grinding blood out of a stone for a few years is not effective. With lower pre-orders for Ghosts (partially due to generational fragmentation) and lower review scores, is Call of Duty down for the count? Well, it's far too early to tell. I think this is a great opportunity for Activision to sit down with both of their studios, and remember what made the series so successful in the first place. Do what should have been done long ago: give Treyarch the reigns, encourage growth and innovation, and stop making it an annual series with a $50 Season Pass. Or, keep milking it until the well runs dry. Your move, Activision.
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It's time to mix things up, consolidate, and stop annual releases
There is room for Call of Duty in the gaming world -- I assure you. I don't know about milking it every damn year, but there is plenty of room for those of us who enjoy mindless first-person fun with our friends, oc...

Call of Duty  photo
Call of Duty

Bro! It's Megan Fox sniping in a Call of Duty video


What gets blown up in Vegas...
Nov 02
// Wesley Ruscher
Activision's Call of Duty: Ghosts hits this Tuesday, and I can't think of a better way to get hype than with a video that shows absolutely no gameplay. Joking aside, while the live-action trailer "Epic Night Out" is nothing ...

Review: Call of Duty Black Ops II: Apocalypse

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Apocalypse DLC (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Treyarch StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: August 27, 2013 (Xbox 360) / TBA (PC, PlayStation 3)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) First things first, Pod is a post-apocalyptic style map modeled after a failed utopian style community. Quite literally, there are "pod" housing units scattered about the map, and there are a good amount of structures dotting the landscape (with lots of browns and greens for good measure) to mix things up. It's a decent map overall, but it pulls no punches, and feels very traditional, like it was designed by Infinity Ward as filler. In short, it's very safe, and ultimately feels like wasted potential -- like they gave up halfway through designing it. There's not a whole lot to say about it beyond that. Here we are again with another snow themed map! Frost is very similar to Berlin, but not quite as memorable, or good. Lovely cheese and candy shops litter the town, as do bars, and multiple indoor areas -- so if your strategy hinges mostly on aerial support, you're going to be stopped cold in Frost. But while indoor combat helps mix things up overall, the outdoor areas are extremely dull -- capped off by just one major sniping corridor, and a pretty lifeless bridge area. Camping is an incredibly viable strategy here, as there are tons of corners jutting out next to wide open doorways. Frost does nothing to add to the map pack's value, but it's a decent one to have in the rotation. Takeoff is actually a take on the original Black Ops' Stadium, comprising one of the two remakes in the pack. You wouldn't know it at first, as it took me around 30 seconds to realize it, but it's almost a shot-for-shot remake. The remodel into a giant tanker rather than a sports stadium is a neat gimmick as it looks superior to the original, but any Black Ops fan has played this map as recently as a year or two ago, and it's simply not that remarkable of a map to charge for in the last bit of Black Ops II DLC. The space shuttle that takes off looks cool, but it's off the map in the background and you can't actually interact with it. It's quite possible that Treyarch didn't want to mess too much with Stadium's layout, but as a result it feels like a straight-up copy and paste. Yet another remake is in Apocalypse, as Dig is another take on World at War's Courtyard. Now, I was a huge fan of World at War in general, and most of the bigger maps were some of my favorites in the entire franchise. But Courtyard wasn't one of them, and the same goes for Dig. If there was ever a poster-child for "brown, boring maps," in Call of Duty, Dig would be it. It's a simple square layout with a circular bowl in the middle, and can barely accommodate even the smallest of game sizes. The areas around the square make for some interesting firefights, but other than that, you've seen it all before, and then some. In fact, the only reason I subjected myself to Dig is for the purposes of this review, and if I had the choice I would not choose to ever play it again. Origins is the bright spot of the Apocalypse pack, and is most notable for not only reuniting the iconic four zombie hunters from World at War, but also delivering a notable amount of lore into the zombie meta itself. For those who aren't aware, the zombie series has a long running story that's mostly cryptic, but actually connects together with all three of the latest Treyarch Call of Duty titles. One of the coolest additions to Origins is the debut of the power generators, which require you to power up each room by manually charging them. As you're flipping on the power, special zombies will come out of the woodwork to make your job a bit harder, which helps keep things frantic and fun. The environment contains a ton of variety, including laboratories, bunkers, a church, trenches, and an outdoor area that actually looks and feels like a battlefield. It's a bit dark at times, but the harrowing site of zombies on pikes and the numerous dead bodies scattered across the trenches add to the theme. Audio logs help augment the experience, offering up more background info on the game's world and the map itself. Oh, I should also mention that you can dig up piles of junk on the ground to find new weapons, shoot planes out of the sky, build elemental staffs, ride a tank, fight armored zombies (Panzer Soldats), and fight giant robots who periodically attempt to squish you beneath their feet. There's a lot of variety here, and I really enjoy the new school sensibilities mixed with the old school feel of the original game's protagonists. If you're a dedicated zombies fan, it's almost worth picking up Apocalypse for Origins alone, given how much it adds to the overall lore that's still alive and well after World at War's 2008 release. Treyarch really wanted to mix things up beyond smaller gimmicks here with the power generators and the magic chests, and you'll have to truly re-adapt your playstyle for the first time since Black Ops II's initial TranZit campaign. Taking into account that this is the final map pack before Activision moves full-swing into Call of Duty: Ghosts, it's fairly underwhelming outside of Origins. Unlike most of the map packs so far, I had no desire to really play through them multiple times, and at this point, I'm content replaying the prior three packs as I wait for Ghosts. Sadly, two remakes practically no one asked for, and two maps that do nothing to transcend the typical formula aren't enough to justify the price unless you're a hardcore zombies fanatic.
Call of Duty Black Ops II photo
You're better off waiting for Ghosts
We've already had three quarters of the Season Pass on offer so far in Black Ops II's lifespan, and we're finally on the last bit of DLC. Apocalypse is a curious prospect, with two remakes, two brand new maps, and a zombies m...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Humans have spent 2.85 million years playing Call of Duty


And even more, if you count the pre-Modern Warfare titles
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of tomorrow's big multiplayer event for Call of Duty: Ghosts -- there's going to be a livestream and everything -- Activision has put out an infographic summing up some of the series' most staggering statistics. And by ...
Black Ops Apocalypse photo
Black Ops Apocalypse

Get a closer look at the Black Ops II Apocalypse DLC


An in-depth look at the new maps
Aug 09
// Chris Carter
The very last piece of the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass is on the way, in the form of the map pack Apocalypse. The pack will feature four maps, two of them being remakes, and a new zombies mode that looks particula...
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Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Black Ops II's final DLC is 'Apocalypse'


The new Zombies map sounds pretty good
Aug 08
// Jordan Devore
It's been a decent run for Call of Duty: Black Ops II's DLC, but all things must come to and end and the end is nigh. It's only fitting that Treyarch's fourth and final pack for the game is called Apocalypse. Releasing first ...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Black Ops II 'Origins' trailer shows off giant robot


Sure, why not?
Aug 07
// Jordan Devore
We know this trailer is for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but that's about it. Featuring the phrase "Every story has a beginning...and an end," the video seems to hint at a new Zombies map with a giant killer robot for reasons...
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Call of Duty

Treyarch is porting Call of Duty: Ghosts to Wii U


For real this time
Jul 25
// Jordan Devore
One of the silliest stories of late comes to a satisfying conclusion today. After Call of Duty: Ghosts was confirmed for Wii U (though the details were "mysterious"), the game's producer said that, actually, he couldn't be ce...
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Vengeance comes to Black Ops II on PS3 and PC next month


Four multiplayer maps plus another zombies level
Jul 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Call of Duty: Black Ops II owners on the Xbox 360 have had access to the Vengeance expansion for a couple of weeks now. So what about PlayStation 3 and PC players? Your vengeance will be had starting on August 1. The expansio...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Vengeance

Jul 03 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Vengeance DLC (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Treyarch StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: July 2, 2013 (Xbox 360) / TBA (PC, PlayStation 3)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) As the most prominent of the four multiplayer offerings, Cove is a deceptive map. At first, it looks like a sprawling, snaking area with plenty of indoor portions, but in reality, it's a circular island. Initially, I recalled memories from the beach area in the Black Ops' Crisis, but the similarities end there. It's quite small, but it's well themed, aesthetically pleasing, and the layout is very well done. There's lots of open areas, as well as plenty of cover, chokepoints, and ambush spots, and despite the fact that it's entirely outdoors, it does a great job of accommodating all sorts of playstyles. Honestly, this ended up being my favorite map in Vengeance as I found myself voting for it consistently. Cove is perfect for objective matches, especially Domination, and is the clear-cut best piece of the pack. Treyarch loves occasionally goofy maps, and Rush is no exception. It takes place at a paintball joint, complete with an indoor and outdoor arena, as well as a small shop with various paintball gear littered about. But while it's interesting in theory, the studio really could have gone a lot further with it, because once you get past the aesthetic gimmick there's not much substance to it. Rush simply exists, and won't really wow anyone out there. The indoor arena had the potential to be extremely cool, if for example Treyarch added in castles, or forts to take in various gametypes. Instead, they played it too safe, and the barricades look very poorly designed and comes off as thrown together. While there are no inherent problems with Rush, it just feels like wasted potential at every turn. Detour takes place in a giant suspension bridge, with room to navigate both above and below. In addition to having to keep tabs on multiple levels, there's also a few ledges with snaking pipes on outside, which always keep you guessing. In an interesting change of pace, it'll probably take you a while to learn the layout, which is a great thing for a Call of Duty game. It feels somewhat like one of my favorite maps from World at War -- Battery -- but it's a lot less interesting. At this point, Treyarch would do well to remember World at War in general, as I thought it was some of their best work from a design standpoint. Like Rush, Detour simply would have been better as a bigger map with more nuances and alleyways. In a move that will no doubt polarize much of the Call of Duty fanbase, Treyarch has opted to rehash (or remake, depending on how you feel about it) an old map with Uplink -- the fourth map in the Vengeance pack. Specifically, the source is Summit, a classic snow-themed arena in the original Black Ops. Uplink is basically the same as you remember it, with a perfect mix of outdoor and indoor combat as well as a setting that feels remote, and unique. It's no secret that one of my favorite maps in the entire Call of Duty series is Kowloon (mostly due to the low visibility and rain effects), so the new rain helps add character to the map -- albeit not enough to really break free from Summit. A remake isn't exactly a new thing for Black Ops II, as the Uprising pack also tackled the concept with Studio, but that was done so well that it felt like an entirely new experience. Here, you're basically getting Summit with rain and slightly improved visuals. Summit is a great classic map for sure, but it could have used more sprucing up if you're going to include it in a $15 map pack. Buried helps pick up the slack from a few of the missed opportunities in the core maps, as it offers a solid old-school zombie experience that feels closer to World at War and the original Black Ops. After an enthralling romp through Alcatraz with Hollywood actors, it's back to basics with another map that continues the story of the new survivors. Buried has a western theme to it, and embraces it fully. To put it plainly, there's enough mineshafts throughout Buried to make Gus Chiggins green with envy. The map is huge, and you pretty much get access to the central hub right away, which is a nice change of pace from the typically segmented first few rounds. There's a candy store, saloon, a bank, a jail, and pretty much everything you'd expect out of an old west town, so it embraces the theme quite well. From a design standpoint it mixes things up with vertical access to the mineshaft system, which helps add a new dimension to the already sprawling town. While there isn't anything nearly as interesting as the "ghost" mechanic from Mob of the Dead, Buried does have a few tricks up its sleeve, in addition to a classic Easter Egg quest. There's a few new weapons and items like the Ray Gun Mark II (which is now basically a laser beam, and retroactively applies to all zombie maps), as well as its major gimmick -- a giant friendly NPC named Leroy. Similar to the meandering Romero from the original Black Ops map Call of the Dead, once you free Leroy from jail, he'll wander around with you, allowing you to feed him candy to fight zombies, or alcohol to bust up barricades to enter new areas. You can also pick up "chalk" to place weapon spawns at various points of the map as well as use the cross-map fridges and deposit boxes which is neat. I'm not in love with Buried, but it's a very solid zombie map, and core fans won't be disappointed in the slightest. In terms of the whole zombie experience, I really just wish Treyarch would dump this new Black Ops II cast, as they aren't nearly as enjoyable as the World at War/Black Ops crew. Hopefully, whatever game Treyarch works on next brings back the original cast or goes back to the drawing board, since I'm not feeling it. In light of the announcement for Call of Duty: Ghosts' dynamic maps, Vengeance really doesn't feel like enough to justify a purchase on its own, even if core fans will find themselves satisfied, and it's not a bad way to supplement the Season Pass. There's only one pack left, and after its release, I'll be able to decided whether or not to recommend picking up the rather expensive Season Pass. But for now, it's probably best to hold off or just buy the Uprising pack, because Treyarch really isn't making them like they used to.
Black Ops II: Vengeance photo
More like lukewarm revenge
If you're keeping score, Call of Duty: Black Ops II has offered up one so-so and one stellar map pack so far -- and now, we're on part three of the four-piece Season Pass, Vengeance. In typical Treyarch fashion, four maps are...

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Black Ops II

Black Ops II kicks off another Double XP weekend


Treyarch is celebrating the impending release of the Vengeance DLC pack
Jun 26
// Chris Carter
For those of you who still play Call of Duty: Black Ops II, you'll want to boot up your system of choice this weekend for a Double XP event, starting Friday June 28th at 10AM Pacific, all the way through the morning of Monday...
Black Ops II DLC photo
Black Ops II DLC

Black Ops II nails down July release for Vengeance DLC


Third DLC pack out first on Xbox 360 next month
Jun 18
// Jordan Devore
Following Revolution and Uprising, Call of Duty: Black Ops II will get its third downloadable content pack starting July 2, 2013 on Xbox 360. Priced at $15 (1200 Microsoft Points) without a Season Pass, this add-on has anoth...
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Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2's Revolution DLC has a free trial weekend


Currently only confirmed for Xbox 360
May 23
// Keith Swiader
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's Revolution map pack will be free to play on Xbox 360 this weekend, Activision's Dan Amrich announced, who only confirmed the promotion for Microsoft's console. The promotion has the content playabl...
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Black Ops II's multiplayer is free on Steam this weekend


Plus double XP on all platforms
May 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There's a little special on Call of Duty: Black Ops II over on Steam where you can play the multiplayer component for free all weekend long. Yup, you have full access and not only that, the game is 33% off on Steam right now....
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Black Ops II

Black Ops II's Uprising DLC out May 16 on PS3, PC


Oh yeah those other platforms will get all the new stuff too
Apr 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
PlayStation 3 and PC owners of Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be getting the Uprising downloadable content starting on May 16. The DLC will run $14.99, includes four new maps, and the new Mob of the Dead addition to the zom...
Call of Duty Weapon XP photo
Call of Duty Weapon XP

Call of Duty to host a Double Weapon XP weekend


Not Double XP proper, which is confusing
Apr 19
// Chris Carter
Fresh off the Call of Duty: Uprising DLC release, Treyarch has announced a Double Weapon XP weekend for Black Ops II, which starts at 10AM PDT today (right around the time of this writing). Since we already had a real Double ...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Uprising

Apr 17 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Uprising DLC (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Treyarch StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: April 16, 2013 (Xbox 360) / TBA, 2013 (PC, PlayStation 3)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) The most prominent map in the pack is probably Studio, which is basically a shot-for-shot remake of Firing Range -- a fan-favorite from the original Black Ops. The "remake" part is important though, because while the layout is technically the same, the actual design is vastly different. Now, instead of generic structures and props, you're on an actual movie set, complete with animatronic T-Rexes, pirate skeletons, killer UFOs, and more. It just feels...fun. Roaming around, I was excited to find random references, like a tiny city that was set up for Godzilla to trample, or a giant robot spider shooting faux lasers. Tiny details like the names of the actual films on the sets helped add to the allure, and the most important thing: the actual map itself has a strong foundation, working off of Firing Range. I wish every map had as much heart as this, and Infinity Ward was able to take itself less seriously with its Modern Warfare series. This map basically embodies Treyarch's style of design, and is part of the reason why I still enjoy the Call of Duty games. Magma partially reminds me of Black Op's Stadium -- a map with a heavy emphasis on mid-level buildings and open areas. The "magma" itself isn't all that impressive due in part to Call of Duty's aging graphics engine and the fact that it doesn't actually spread, but even still, the map itself is one of the strongest yet on offer with any map pack to date. At first, I was a bit underwhelmed. But, after a few rounds of play, I started to open up to Magma and really looked forward to playing it during every match-up. You'll start to notice some of the more well-designed interior areas, as well as objective placements, and some of the funny Japan-centric Easter Eggs; before you know it, it'll grow on you. With James Stewart nowhere to be found, Vertigo is, as you can imagine, a map with an emphasis on vertical structures and height-based advantages. It has plenty of hallways as well, offering up a decent change of pace for those of you who like maps that accommodate a larger player base (myself included). Aesthetically, the Mumbai skyscraper setting reminds me of the helicopter scene in Spec Ops: The Line (you know which one), and it's probably the least wacky of the bunch in Uprising -- but that doesn't mean it isn't a ton of fun to play. Featuring a number of well-thought-out open areas and a few hidden jumps, Vertigo is one of my favorite arenas in Black Ops II mostly due in part to the diversity of the layout. One minute, it's completely open; the next, it's vertical, and full of corridors and knee-high walls to hide behind. It accommodates a number of different styles and gametypes, and for that, it should be commended. Encore is set during a London musical festival. It's a circular map that features a giant open middle, with some tunnel-based combat to boot. Outside of the strong center area that makes objective-based games extremely entertaining, there isn't really a whole lot to get excited for over this map. Pretty much what you see is what you get. Fundamentally it feels very similar to Grind, but with a bit more invisible walls and less accessible areas. It's not a bad map by any stretch of the imagination though, as I never once sighed or was disappointed when it came up in matchmaking. It just simply exists and is partially billed into your $15 purchase. Mob of the Dead is where this package really shines. Set in Alcatraz, you'll fight off hordes of the undead as criminals modeled after actors Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Madsen, and Ray Liotta. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on how much you enjoy mobster films or the personalities on offer. Personally, as a gangster film enthusiast, I had fun during my sessions, and the campy, angry performances fit a bit more than the Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, and Michael Rooker fueled Call of the Dead map in the original Black Ops. But it wasn't just the thematic elements that I enjoyed -- mechanically, a few major additions made this the most accessible, and fun zombies map yet. For starters, death is handled in an entirely different manner here. Instead of dying outright or resorting to Quick Revive power-ups to continue on in solo games, you'll trigger an "afterlife" mechanic upon death. Essentially, you'll become a glowing spirit, capable of viewing the world in an entirely new way, with the ability to power-up certain generators and kill zombies with your shock pulse. [embed]250789:48185:0[/embed] [embed]250789:48186:0[/embed] What's the catch? Well, you have a certain amount of time to re-posses your body (essentially, revive yourself) or it's game over. Plus, any zombies you kill while you're a ghost won't earn you money. Certain items and areas must be found or unlocked through the afterlife, and there are electric sockets to shock yourself in to initiate the transformation should there be no zombies on-hand. After every round, you'll earn an extra "life" so to speak to utilize spirit mode again. It sounds gimmicky, but it just works. Not only does it make multiplayer more engaging -- you're not just sitting there bored after death -- but it also adds a new way to solve puzzles, making solo play that much more fun. To add to the fun factor, quests and objectives are easily identifiable, with a full RPG-style "equipment" screen that's visible when hitting the back/select button. Like any Treyarch zombie map, there's a "main quest" to be had, and it's a little more overt this time around, with a clear "final" objective. Buyable traps make a return, as do new Wonder Weapons like the Blundergat (a shotgun gatling weapon), and a new boss zombie that occasionally shows up in random waves. As I've touched on a bit, this is easily the most fun solo zombies map in existence. In fact, it's actually built in part for solo play, as the afterlife, an easy mode, and the ability to carry every quest item by yourself make for a much more streamlined experience that shouldn't alienate players like the mode may have in the past. Having played zombies since the original World at War, I dare say this is the best zombies yet. One arena withstanding, Treyarch had a lot of fun with this map pack, and it really shows. From the joke-ridden Studio and Magma, to the surprisingly refreshing Mob of the Dead, there's a lot of solid content on offer here in Uprising. In terms of raw layouts, pretty much every map on offer here delivers solid FPS action, and there wasn't one arena in particular that I outright disliked. I feel like at this point in Call of Duty's history, the design needs to be a little bit more out there to really sway new users, but for fans and enthusiasts alike, you really can't go wrong with these maps.
Black Ops II DLC photo
Monsters, magma, and mobsters, oh my!
So far in Call of Duty: Black Ops II's lifecycle, we've had one map pack, which wasn't quite the revolution that was promised to augment that expensive $50 Season Pass. But of course, in true Activision fashion, we have three...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Black Ops II's 'Mob of the Dead' looks suitably silly


'They used to call it ... Evil Island'
Apr 11
// Jordan Devore
Arriving later next week, Call of Duty: Black Ops II's Uprising add-on pack comes with Mob of the Dead, a zombie mode set on Alcatraz that, well, you'll see in this latest video. As a follow-up to the recent behind...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Behind the scenes with Black Ops II's 'Mob of the Dead'


Treyarch gives us a look at how they gave Alcatraz a makeover
Apr 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The new Uprising downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops II is out next week and it's going to include a new zombie mode called "Mob of the Dead." The team at Treyarch went to Alcatraz to capture the feel of the pri...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Team Fariko wins the first Call of Duty Championship


Fariko Impact wins $400,000 for playing games good
Apr 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Team Fariko Impact won big after three days of intense Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer action in the first ever Call of Duty Championship. 32 teams from around the world came together to battle it out, with the ultimat...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Million dollar Call of Duty tournament begins today


Watch a bunch of dudes win money by playing a freaking game
Apr 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Call of Duty Championship kicks off today and sees teams from all around the world competing for up to $1 million dollars in prizes. The tournament begins with a ceremony starting at 12PM Pacific, and then the 32 teams go...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Black Ops II new 'Uprising' DLC maps arrive April 16


Four new maps, plus a zombie setting featuring Hollywood actors
Apr 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Following the Revolution DLC comes the next set of downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, arriving April 16 on the Xbox 360 first. Uprising, as it's called, will include four new multiplayer maps, plus a new zo...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Bling out your guns with the Black Ops II Personal Pack


Optional microtransactions invade Call of Duty
Apr 03
// Chris Carter
A new absurd trailer is out for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and it showcases some of the crazier microtransaction based content, like graffiti riot shields, bacon guns, and benjamin bling pistols. It's set to hit the PS3 and...

Did Call of Duty ruin a generation of gamers?

Mar 14 // Jim Sterling
Tripwire's focus group disliked the acceleration required to sprint, as well as the relative weakness of weapons and the way they handled. Weirdly, people who were very used to playing little else but Call of Duty struggled to play a game that was different to Call of Duty. Who knew!? "Almost every element boiled down to 'it doesn't feel like Call of Duty.' And really, watching some of these guys play ... one of the things that Call of Duty does, and it’s smart business, to a degree, is they compress the skill gap. And the way you compress the skill gap as a designer is you add a whole bunch of randomness. A whole bunch of weaponry that doesn't require any skill to get kills. "Random spawns, massive cone fire on your weapons. Lots of devices that can get kills with zero skill at all, and you know, it’s kind of smart to compress your skill gap to a degree. You don’t want the elite players to destroy the new players so bad that new players can never get into the game and enjoy it." Gibson clearly isn't a fan of the way Call of Duty does things, and that's fine -- there are many FPS fans that dislike it, and prefer other games. But to blame Call of Duty for "ruining" gamers, as if it doesn't have a right to exist and be popular, strikes me as silly. Tripwire will likely earn a lot of fans for dissing what is, essentially, the Twilight Saga of videogames, but Gibson is basically wrong in several ways.  First of all, claiming CoD "ruined" anything implies its popularity scrambled our minds, rather than appealed to minds that already existed and finally found an FPS they could enjoy. The fact CoD appeals to more gamers than most other games would suggest it reached people who were not already playing a great deal of shooters. Now, if everybody who was playing Quake suddenly stopped playing Quake and started enjoying only Call of Duty, Gibson might have a point, but I don't think that happened. To argue Call of Duty ruined the minds of gamers strikes me as no different from suggesting violent games turn kids into mass shooters -- it's an assumption that a videogame has the power to alter our brains for the worst.  It also ignores the fact that distinctly non-CoD games are also quite popular. Halo may have brought a few new ideas to the market, but its multiplayer and weapon handling are rooted a lot more in the old than the new, and it's still a massively popular franchise. I dare say, if Tripwire had focused tested a group of hardcore Halo players and asked them what they wanted, they'd argue in favor a game that felt like Halo. It strikes me as incredibly silly to specifically ask CoD fans what they like, and express dissatisfaction that they answer with "CoD." Call of Duty may have become wildly popular, and it may have influenced a lot of other games this generation, but that's not really Call of Duty's fault. It's just a game, and its only crime in this instance is appealing to a lot of customers -- a "crime" it didn't commit by tricking anybody or changing anybody's mind. It didn't succeed by sneaking into the rooms of children and whispering forbidden secrets in their ears while they slept. It was marketed well, was designed to appeal to more than just older FPS players, and it resonated. That's all it really did.   Red Orchestra 2 also resonates with an audience. Not Call of Duty's audience, but an audience that looks for something else. And that's great. I'm glad both games exist. There's room for everything in this industry, and some things will be more popular than others. That's ... life.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and be mad at some dogs for always wanting to eat dog food designed for dogs to eat with their dog mouths. 
CoD ruined gamers? photo
Red Orchestra dev blames game series for daring to exist
Tripwire Interactive president John Gibson is disappointed in this generation of gamers, and the Red Orchestra developer lays the blame at the feet of Call of Duty. According to Gibson, who focus tested some hardcore CoD...

Microtransactions coming to Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Mar 12 // Jim Sterling
As our own Chris Carter pointed out, the extra loadout slots could have a minor effect on gameplay, since players would be able to tailor any number of characters for any given situation and switch them out on the fly, giving them a more nuanced advantage. A small point maybe, but one the hardest of the core may consider. On the whole, this isn't terribly bad, and I'll give Activision its props for being one of the few big publishers to remain evil in good old fashioned ways rather than bite fully into some of the newer, more insidious ideas of the past few years. Nevertheless, this is a glimpse of an upcoming generation filled with more online requirements and microtransaction leanings than ever before, and I can't say it fills me with glee.  The suspense is terrible ... I hope it'll last.
Microtransactions photo
Fee-to-pay extra coming tomorrow
If you were worried fee-to-pay microtransactions were going to become the norm ... prepare to be justified. Activision has announced it'll be jumping aboard the bandwagon tomorrow, introducing incremental buy-me-ups for Call ...

Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

This Black Ops II ad is a little too sexy to handle


Hubba hubba
Mar 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Yeah, girl! SHAKE IT! Here's our review for Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Revolution if you're curious.
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Black Ops II 'Revolution' DLC drops for PS3 and PC


Same fight, new locations
Mar 01
// Brett Makedonski
The first add-on for Black Ops II has finally made its way to PlayStation 3 and PC. The DLC, titled Revolution, was a timed-exclusive for Xbox 360 and released in January 2013. Available for $15, Revolution features...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

It's time for another Black Ops II Double XP weekend


Friday to Monday starting at 10AM PST
Feb 22
// Chris Carter
Treyarch recently let the world know that there will be another Call of Duty: Black Ops II Double XP weekend happening, starting today. The event is confirmed for all platforms, including the 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U. As usual...

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