E3 2012: The problem with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

e3 2012 the problem with call of duty black ops 2

Spinal Tap’s amplifiers are awesome because you can turn them up to 11. That’s a bigger number than every other number on the dial. Thing is, 11 doesn’t mean much without the ten digits preceding it. You need to know that you can turn the volume down to a diminutive 3 for 11 to mean anything. Loudness is ultimately relative, as is action. This is the fundamental problem with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and its less than thrilling single player debut at E3 2012.

Activision’s first-person shooter is an icon now. The last three entries in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3 as well as the original Black Ops, have all sold in excess of 20 million copies. That popularity has led Treyarch and Infinity Ward, the series’ stewards, to constantly try and best their set pieces.

The sample stage of Black Ops 2 demoed at E3 2012, showing a massive military drone attack on the city of Los Angeles, is supposed to be thrilling. Skyscrapers collapse, helicopters explode, and semis ram into Hummer convoys trying to protect world leaders. It never stops rattling off gun fire, explosions, and raised voices. It is, in other words, always turned up to 11.

That’s the state of Call of Duty though. Critics and fans stuck their noses up at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 because it too piled on the spectacle like a greedy fat kid at the make your own Sunday bar. The series began life as a cinematic but staid series of games based on World War II. It was a brazen imitation of Steven Spielberg productions like Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan, but a quality, respectful imitation. It has since transformed into a game every bit as loud and unrelenting as a WWE wrestler’s intro before a match.

With only five months until release, Treyarch doesn’t have time to transform Black Ops 2 into a different game. Going forward though, the developer needs to remember that explosions don’t mean a thing if the entire world is always exploding.

Gaming

Call of Duty’s ‘Blackout’ is exactly what battle royale needed

Call of Duty's battle royale mode, 'Blackout,' will arrive with just one map, and with its wide variety of terrain and tons of clever easter eggs, it offers the perfect ground for the some of the most intense tactical battles the genre's…
Gaming

Best family-friendly games both parents and kids love

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30 games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.
Gaming

Everything you need to know about 'Black Ops 4' and its new mode Blackout

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.
Gaming

'NBA 2K19' and more join our lineup for this month’s best Xbox One games

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Computing

No games will support ray tracing when Nvidia RTX graphics cards launch

Nvidia's new RTX graphics cards won't have much use for those RT cores on launch day, as no games will support ray tracing for at least a month after they officially start shipping out to consumers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Find all Fortnite's puzzle pieces in our week 10 challenge guide

The Fortnite 'search for jigsaw puzzle pieces in basements' is one of the hardest challenges in the week 10 challenges this week. We go over how and where to find these puzzle pieces, and how to get all seven of them in total.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Product Review

Oculus Touch buoys the Rift, but there's still work to be done

Oculus inspired the new generation of virtual reality headsets with its incredibly successful Kickstarter. Is the original the standard, or have its imitators surpassed it? Let's take a look at how the Rift stacks up.
Gaming

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’: Everything you need to know

Ubisoft will release Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October for consoles and PC. Here is everything you need to know about the next chapter of Assassin's Creed, including the story and setting.
Computing

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Gaming

You're not a true Nintendo fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

‘Pokémon Go’ could be a game for everyone — but it isn’t there yet

Recent content and feature updates for Pokémon Go have brought it closer to being a game for everyone, but will Niantic be able to tackle the game's most glaring issues before the launch of Pokémon: Let's Go?