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Call of Duty

Strike Force Mode, 1980-2025 Storyline, Alex/David Mason & Woods & MORE!

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DEVELOPING STORY…

From Kotaku.com:

Kotaku Article: “48 Things That You Should Know About Call of Duty: Black Ops II”

The Story
-The game’s story will jump between two timelines, with the primary one set in 2025. “Most” of the game will be set in 2025.
-It is a direct sequel to Black Ops.
-We will find out definitively what happened at the end of Black Ops—presumably, Mason didn’t actually kill JFK, given that he’s out in the field in Black Ops II. But who knows?
-The second timeline will be set in the late 80’s near the end of the Cold War.
-The story will be narrated by Black Ops character Frank Woods, now an old man. Apparently he didn’t die at the end of Black Ops after all.
-In the 80’s timeline, players will take on the role of Black Ops protagonist Alex Mason.
-In 2025, players will take on the role of David Mason, who is the son of Alex Mason. The father/son relationship will play a part in the story. Hello daddening of video games!
-In the game’s fiction, there is a second Cold War happening between China and the US due to the scarcity of Rare Earth Elements used to make tech devices and military weapons.
-The story is based on a real-world possibility, as China (according to the folks at Treyarch) currently controls 95% of the rare earth elements in the world. Topical!
-Many of the real-world hooks are inspired by P.W. Singer’s Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.
-A good deal of the 1980’s action will take place during proxy wars in Central America. Tropical!
-Game Director Dave Anthony hinted that we may find out more about “imaginary” Viktor Reznov. “He was essentially a figment of the player’s imagination,” Anthony said.
“Or was he?” Studio Director Mark Lamia chimed in, playfully. “Will we find out more about that?” asked Anthony with a smirk.
-David Mason (the son)’s callsign is “Section.” Which is kind of a cool callsign.
-The villain will be a man named Raul Menendez, who in 2025 is pitting the Chinese and US governments against each other by hacking into their drones and other robotic weapons.
-The 1980’s missions will chronicle what started Martinez on setting his current-day plans in motion.
-The story is was written from the ground up by Dark Knight and Batman Begins co-writer David Goyer. Goyer joined the first Black Ops part of the way through. He wanted to “create a memorable villain” with Menendez.
-Menendez has hacked into the US’s unmanned drones and unleashed an attack on Los Angeles. In the mission we saw, a fleet of drones were destroying buildings in downtown LA.
-There will be at least one female character in the game, a pilot named Anderson. She laid quite a bit of waste during the entire LA mission.
-The president in 2025 is also a woman, and appeared in the “Attack on LA” mission.
-David Mason’s sidekick is a soldier named Nelson who appears to be played by Michael Rooker of Mallrats and The Walking Dead fame.
-The game will be using full-body performance capture to place its actors in the game; the tech demo I saw demonstrated both male and female actors captured with the sort of clarity we’ve come to expect from games using full-performance capture. James Woods will reprise his role as Frank Woods, of course.

The Gameplay
-From what I saw in several demo sections set in a burning, futuristic LA, drones are controllable in combat and will play a large part in the game. Players have a drone-controller on their wrist in the game, and can use it to assign targets and waypoints.
-There will be horses, and horseback-riding, during at least one sequence in the 1980’s. They even went so far as to bring a horse into the motion capture studio.
-At one point in the demo, the player jumped into a futuristic anti-aircraft gun and shot down enemy drones.
-Vehicle segments will be back, including one piloting a futuristic VTOL airship. Part of the VTOL mission was mostly on-rails, but the second part involved free-flying and dogfighting with drones.
-The Black Ops II story will be branching—it will feature choices and variable outcomes. Wait, what? Yep.
-At one point, players had an option to either grab a sniper rifle and cover their squad, or rappel down to join up with them. Presumably that choice leads to a slightly different gameplay experience—this looks like one of the smaller of the choices offered in the game.
-A large part of the branching will be due to Strike Force, which is a brand-new game mode featuring tactical, open-ended gameplay in sandbox-style levels.

The New Game Mode: “Strike Force”
-Strike Force missions will be woven into the core single-player campaign, and will present themselves as various black ops missions available around the globe.
-Players won’t be able to play all of the strike force missions in a single playthrough.
-Strike Force is currently only included in the campaign and isn’t a separate mode. It won’t allow for multiplayer but, at some point down the road, could be fleshed out. “Things like Zombies originally -started as unlocks,” said an Activision representative after we followed up to make sure. “We’re not taking the option off the table.”
-Depending on the outcome of a given strike force mission, the story will change. “You’re going to choose a mission,” said Lamia, “and that’s a branch for the story. Say there’s three missions out there—you’re not going to go back and play all of them; the story goes on. If you die on a strike force mission, you die in the story.”
-Going on that, it would seem that the playable characters don’t feature in the Strike Force missions.
-Strike Force allows players to control squads of troops, giving follow/hold commands with the shoulder buttons.
-Strike Force also allows a zoomed-out command view via an unmanned aerial drone that lets you to set waypoints for your units to achieve shifting goals.
-Strike Force will allow you to control (at the very least) armed aerial drones, armed land-drones, and unarmed aerial drones in addition to being able to hop to the viewpoint of any of the soldiers in your squad.
-The strike force missions will unfold organically but will be written into the story—in that way, they’ll function somewhat like a single-player version of the multiplayer in Mass Effect 3.
-I think I heard Keifer Sutherland voicing one of the squad members in Strike Force, but I’m not sure. Consider this a Keifer! Rumor!

Multiplayer
-Multiplayer director David Vonderhart relayed that the new approach they are taking is “One size does not fit all.” That means, he said, that there is no one way to play a Call of Duty game. So, they’re pulling back features like create-a-class, killstreaks, and other features and reexamining them, challenging their assumptions of “what cows are sacred.”
-Multiplayer will take place entirely in the year 2025—there will be no multiplayer missions set in the 80’s.
-They are taking the E-sports community very seriously. In part, that means that they’re focusing on making the game more fun to watch as a spectator. Hopefully that means super cute, colorful uniforms!

Zombies
-Zombies will definitely be back in Black Ops II, and will feature all new modes that are more fleshed-out than ever.
-“There will be more zombies and more modes; just more.”
-The zombies are “In the multiplayer engine.” “If you think about all of the things we can do with our multiplayer engine,” Lamia said, “You can start to think about how we might be looking at this.” Okay then!
-Zombies are the only confirmed co-op aspect of Black Ops II. The campaign and strike-force modes do not appear to feature co-op.

READ MORE: Kotaku Article: “Black Ops II’s ‘Strike Force’ Mode Adds a Branching Narrative With a Tactical Twist”

Every past Call of Duty game has featured a rigidly linear single-player campaign. They’ve gotten shorter and shorter as the years have gone by, too—the last few games have featured campaigns that have lasted merely 4-6 hours.

Treyarch is aiming to change that with Black Ops II with the inclusion of “Strike Force,” a new, open-ended game-mode that’s folded into the single-player campaign.

In the game’s story, it’s 2025. There is a cold war going on between China and the United States. In addition to the timeline-hopping story of Alex and David Mason and Frank Woods, Black Ops II’s story will feature several points during which the player is given a number of different operations to undertake.

“You’ll get to these points in the campaign,” said Treyarch head Mark Lamia. “There’ll be these hotspots around the world, as you’d expect in a cold war. And you’ll get your intel drop on them and JSOC will come to you and say ‘Here’s what’s going on. We need to drop a black ops team in. Which mission are you gonna assign your team to.”

“You’ll choose a mission, and that is actually a branch for the story, and the structure of the campaign.” According to Lamia, if you die, that won’t end the game but rather will be included as a part of the story—your characters are disposable, though the high-level narrative will (allegedly) play out differently depending on how you do in the missions. It’s not clear whether the effects will be story-only or whether they’ll actually have an affect on the gameplay or settings of missions in the rest of the game.

(I got the impression that the actual missions will still feel fairly separate from the Strike Force missions, and that the non-game parts of the story will be the only parts that are affected. But that’s just the sense I got.)

Rather than taking on the role of any of the main characters in Strike Force, you’ll more or less assume the role of the entire squad, much like in one of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games—specifically Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

The missions play out over large, sandbox-y levels, which will call on players to use tactical thinking and creative problem solving to an extent we’ve certainly never seen in the corridor-happy Cal of Duty franchise before. It may not hit the heights of a true Tom Clancy game (particularly not a GRAW game), but it’s still a big shift.

The map I saw seemed quite a bit larger than an average multiplayer map, though nowhere near as sprawling as a large Battlefield map. As you play, a series of varied, narrative-driven objectives will roll over the map.

Players will have the option of hopping between the flying Quad drone, the CLAW tank, another armored mechanized tank, and any of the members of their squad. It wasn’t confirmed whether there will be more units available than that in the finished game.

Lamia referred to the view from on high as “overwatch mode,” which you can use to set up any sort of tactic you’d like to assign your team from a mobile camera looking over the battlefield. Lamia said that the objectives in a given Strike Force mission will always be the same, but “how you take on that objective, that’s up to you.”

The Strike Force mission I watched took place in Singapore—the goal was to hack into three electron lasers that need to be taken out in order to clear the way for a gunship. Despite that samey-feeling setup—how many times in these games have we fought our way to a control point?—watching Strike Force play out really didn’t feel much like watching a Call of Duty single-player level. The player kept switching control between his drones and his squad, and it felt and looked much more like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter than Modern Warfare II.

The amount of replayability and choice that Lamia described appears to be about on par with any other tactical shooter—if you want, you can try some different tactics in a scenario and see how it plays out. It remains to be seen how well Call of Duty’s AI will hold up when given a much bigger scenario to handle. Good artificial intelligence will go a long way towards making the Strike Force missions truly feel worth playing more than once.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the main reason this is a big deal is that… well, Call of Duty is a big deal. On its face, Strike Force doesn’t offer anything dramatically different than a years-old Tom Clancy game. It just happens to be included in a COD game. In fact, I didn’t see any sort of stealth options, or very reactive AI—they just came in waves and opened fire.

With that said, it’s nice to see Treyarch taking steps to shake up the Call of Duty formula somewhat. It certainly could do with some shaking! And as Activision’s spokesperson took great pains to point out, the zombies mode also started as a limited, unlockable feature, and it’s now got its own entire section of the game.

The action-movie blast-blast-blast-and-done formula of the past few Call of Duty single-player campaigns, while still financially marketable, has started to feel a bit stale. More than that, it’s started to feel like a missed opportunity to really cater to players who want a great single-player experience and don’t care about multiplayer.

Strike Force’s tactical gameplay will require a lot more thinking than your average Call of Duty mission, and a little bit of brains could well go a long way.

SOURCE: Kotaku

Call of Duty

CoD devs reportedly working on “open world RPG” with Infinity Ward job listing

A job listing from Infinity Ward Poland hints at the Call of Duty developers working on a new open-world RPG.

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Warzone operator free falling

A new job listing from the Call of Duty developers suggests that Infinity Ward’s Poland office is working on a brand-new open-world role-playing game (RPG).

Open-world video games are extremely popular because of the opportunities they provide to players for exploration of large and detailed maps, with titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 being extremely successful.

Now, a new job listing from Infinity Ward Poland appeared for a short while, suggesting that the Call of Duty developers are currently developing a brand-new role-playing game (RPG) with an open-world structure.

warzone players fighting in season 3 gulag

In a now-deleted job listing on the Infinity Ward careers page, Activision were looking for someone with experience making “non-linear narratives in open-world games” to work on a “narrative and cinematic experience in an open-world RPG.”

While the developers didn’t reveal what his project is about, the Narrative Director position in the post placed an emphasis on “story, characters, lore, and world-building” for the game that’s in development.

At the time of writing, it’s unconfirmed what exactly this “unannounced AAA project” is called, and one possibility is that it might be a new Call of Duty title as Infinity Ward have never released a game outside of that series.

It’s also possible that this open-world RPG might be an entirely new IP that has no connection to the Call of Duty franchise. We will probably learn more details as the game’s development progresses.

As exciting as this sounds, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is all just speculation based on the now-deleted job listing, and we’ll need to manage our expectations until Infinity Ward officially announce the game.


For more on Call of Duty, check out everything we know about Warzone Pacific Season 4 as well as our hub on Warzone 2.

Image credits: Activision

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Call of Duty

Biggest AAA video games coming in 2022: PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, Stadia & Steam

2022 is a huge year for video games and here’s all the biggest titles coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and more – with release dates.

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biggest games in 2022

2022 continues to be a massive year for video games. Between franchises such as God of War, Pokemon, and Harry Potter, the PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, and Stadia have some mammoth titles to host. Here’s a look into the biggest games and potential release dates.

The start of 2022 signaled over a year since the PS5, and Xbox Series X took video games to the ninth generation of consoles. Developers have had plenty of time to chew the fat and harness the power of the consoles to create immense AAA experiences.

There’s also plenty of mileage left for the Nintendo Switch, and of course, PC, Stadia, and Steam are always pushing the envelope.

With 2022 already delivering Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Rainbow Six Extraction, and Gran Turismo 7, the remainder of the year is also looking to bring the heat. Here’s a look at the top AAA video games coming in 2022.

PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC, Steam & Stadia video games in 2022

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 release date: October 28

ghost in call of duty modern warfare 2

For the first in almost 20 years, the Call of Duty franchise will be breaking its annual release schedule in 2023. This means that players will be stuck with CoD’s 2022 title, Modern Warfare 2 for two years.

The 2022 iteration of the iconic franchise is set to be a direct sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare. The game will be built on a brand-new engine, and the development of the game is being led by Infinity Ward. The Call of Duty team announced that Modern Warfare 2 will be released on October 28, 2022.

Gotham Knights release date: October 25, 2022

main characters walking in gotham knights

A Gotham City without the caped crusader is a strange thought, but that’s the threat that faces it as Bruce Wayne is dead. In Batman’s place, his former proteges need to step up and protect Gotham, batting away any threats of crime perpetrated by some of its most evil supervillains.

Featuring co-operative mode, players can take control of these plucky heroes and hopefully do Batman proud when the game releases on October 25, 2022.

Hogwarts Legacy release date: Holiday 2022

a young wizard using a wand in harry potter hogwarts legacy

There have been many Harry Potter movie tie-in games, but there still hasn’t been an authentic RPG experience that lets you become your own wizard – until now.

Hogwarts Legacy will let fans worldwide finally live out their dream of attending Hogwarts, and the game allows players to select their House, the classes they do, and customize their character, all the while fighting monsters and completing quests.

God of War: Ragnarok release date: 2022

kratos and tyr staring at each other in god of war ragnarok

Players got a juicy look at the next epic adventure in Santa Monica’s God of War franchise during the 2021 PlayStation Experience. Kratos and Atreus are set to battle with Freya, possibly Thor, and their own demons.

God of War Ragnarok looks like it’s expanded upon the reboot to incorporate more NPCs, more spectacular gameplay, and a gripping narrative that will test the bond between father and son.

Final Fantasy XVI release date: late 2022

Final Fantasy XVI protagonist

The hype surrounding Final Fantasy XVI is beginning to mount as we get deeper into 2022. It’s the collaboration between Square Enix and the combat designer of Devil May Cry 5, Ryota Suzuki that has fans of the franchise excited.

The developers have confirmed that they would release additional information about the sixteenth game in the mainline Final Fantasy franchise around Summer 2022. Hopefully, this will include a release date giving RPG fanatics something to look forward to.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet release date: November 18

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter town

2022 is a great year to be a Pokemon fan. Shortly after the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Nintendo wasted no time announcing their newest mainline titles. Pokemon Violet and Pokemon Scarlet will introduce players to the ninth generation of Pokemon games.

Nintendo has already shared details about the game including the implementation of open-world areas as well as the three starter Pokémon: Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. On June 1, a trailer confirmed November 18 as the official release date for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release date: delayed to 2023

link running in breath of the wild 2

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 could easily be one of the most anticipated games of all time.

Breath of the Wild took the world by storm in 2017 with its rich, expressive world that deviated from the conventions of traditional Zelda games. Many millions of copies sold later, and fans everywhere are desperate for the next chapter for Link in this gorgeous, sprawling version of Hyrule.

Unfortunately on March 29, 2022, Nintendo announced that Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 would be pushed back to a 2023 release date.


That completes our guide to the biggest and most anticipated video games that are due to arrive in 2022. For all the latest news and guides on these games and more, stay tuned to Charlie INTEL!

Image Credit: Avalanche Software / WB Games Montreal / Nintendo / Game Freak / Square Enix / Santa Monica Studios / Ubisoft / Activision

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CoD Points price: How to buy, spend & do they carry over

CoD Points are the official currency of Call of Duty. Check out CoD Point prices, where to buy them, and whether they transfer between games.

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Activision’s in-game currency lets players purchase cosmetics for their characters, and we’ve got everything you need to know about CoD Points prices, how to buy them, and all the items you can spend them on.

Call of Duty offers a huge palette of extra goodies you can add to your game, requiring players to spend their own currency named CoD Points to acquire them.

CoD Points can be purchased using the menu systems in games like Vanguard or Warzone or through console marketplaces like the PS Store or Xbox Marketplace.

The gaming landscape has changed over the years with the incorporation of microtransactions and live-gaming services. Many games offer extra content – with cosmetics being a big proponent of this. With Vanguard and Warzone offering special Attack on Titan and Snoop Dogg skins as well as unique weapon Blueprints for popular weapons, it becomes easy to see why players would want to spend CoD Points.

CoD points stacked up

CoD Points prices

There are different amounts and bundles you can opt for when buying CoD Points that are tailored to different needs.

Some players just need to top up their account with a few hundred points to get the latest bundle. Whereas others need a big restock with the intention of spending many points. The more points you want, the bigger the discounts grow.

Here are the different prices for the various CoD Points bundles:

  • 200 CoD Points: $1.99 / £1.79
  • 500 CoD Points: $4.99 / £4.31
  • 1,000 (+100 Bonus) CoD Points: $9.99 / £8.49
  • 2,000 (+400 Bonus) CoD Points: $19.99 / £16.79
  • 4,000 (+1,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $39.99 / £34.99
  • 7,000 (+2,500 Bonus) CoD Points: $74.99 / £69.99
  • 10,000 (+3,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $99.99 / £84.99
  • 15,000 (+6,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $149.99 / £123.99
cod points coins

How to buy COD Points

You can be very flexible with how you buy COD Points as there are a few different ways to do so. To make sure you’re buying them for the right platform, just double-check with our guide on transferring COD Points across platforms.

There are four ways you can buy COD Points:

  • PC players can purchase CoD Points on the Battle.net website
  • PS4 & PS5 players can purchase CoD Points in the PS Store on their console, or on the PlayStation website
  • Xbox Series X, Series S, or One players can buy CoD Points on the Xbox Marketplace on their console, or the official Microsoft Store website
  • Select physical retailer’s stock vouchers and gift cards with a code that players can redeem for CoD Points.

Where to spend CoD Points

Spending your CoD Points is incredibly easy, with players able to purchase cosmetic bundles and Blueprints in the in-game store.

The stores are available in Vanguard, Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Modern Warfare, so you can kit out your Operator regardless of your preferred title.

Snoop Dogg bundle

Do CoD Points carry over across games?

The good news is that your CoD Points will transfer across your Call of Duty games, as they are linked to your Activision account.

Players who will still have CoD Points in their account from Vanguard don’t need to worry, as they will automatically be in your account when Modern Warfare 2 releases.

What can I buy with COD Points?

Call of Duty’s currency is used to primarily buy two things: the Battle Pass for the current season and Bundles containing a variety of items.

Battle Pass

Vanguard Season 1 Battle Pass

A Battle Pass is a paid Tier system that allows regular players to earn dozens of extra rewards and cosmetics for essentially playing the game.

Vanguard and Warzone Pacific are approaching Season 3 at the moment. Both titles are currently running in tandem with each other and share the same Battle Pass.

It features 100 Tiers for players to smash their way through the course of a season, and if players are committed enough, they can actually earn enough CoD Points, through leveling up the pass, to get the next one for free.

You’ll be able to buy the Vanguard & Warzone Season 3 Battle Pass via a couple of different methods on April 27, 2022:

Bundles

Attack on Titan bundle CoD

The other main content you can buy is a wide range of Bundles and Operator Bundles. These special bundles vary in price, and each comes with its own unique items.

The collectibles you can expect to find are Calling Cards, Emblems, Operator Skins, Weapon Blueprints, Weapon Charms, and more.


Also, check out how Vanguard is officially getting a round-based Zombies map after Season 3 or how Warzone players are begging for Godzilla & King Kong Operator skins.

Image credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games / Raven Software

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