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We cover a bit of ground in this installment of Video Games Plus, but in many ways this week is all about "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2," which was revealed in a two-minute clip on TV and YouTube. Naturally, we hyper-analyzed the footage until our bleary eyes began to see through time. (Or was it in the game?) We've also got some news on new downloadable content for EA's "SSX" reboot, and a review of the absurdly fun "Prototype 2." Read on...
"Black Ops 2" Revealed
Horses and drones and flashbacks, oh my!
Activision dropped the first-look trailer of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” Tuesday night during the NBA Playoffs on TNT and later on YouTube, where it's racking up views by the millions.
Judging by the clip, the sequel abandons the 1960s era setting of the first “Black Ops” for a fictional second Cold War scenario set in 2025. The United States military is mostly dependent on unmanned drones, tanks and robots. An insurgent force hacks into U.S. military computers and – one guess – turns the technology against us.
The clip also reveals gameplay set in a war-torn Los Angeles, urban combat through deadly city streets with giant mech-like vehicles, and horseback chases through the desert. What’s more, “Black Ops 2” developers say the game will feature flashbacks to Alex Mason, the main character from the original “Black Ops,” in the 1980s. (Mason’s grandson David Mason stars in the campaign set in the future.)
Honestly, the storyline seems a little schizophrenic, but David Goyer is writing the screenplay, and judging by his fantastic work on “The Dark Knight,” we have high hopes that he can pull it all together.
No multiplayer details were revealed, but Zombie mode, from previous “Call of Duty” games, is returning to the joy of undead fans everywhere.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" will be released November 13 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
SSX DLC Kicks It Old School
Ready to grab some big air? A couple months after the release of the “SSX” reboot, EA is kicking it old school with a new DLC pack that brings back some of the look and feel of classic “SSX” games.
The result is Mt. Eddie – an “SSX Tricky” inspired mountain, complete with billboards and fireworks and more. It’s a one of the biggest courses in the game and offers nine different drops.
To add to the nostalgia, seven “retro” versions of seven characters will be available: Elise, Eddie, Kaori, Mac, Moby, Psymon and Zoe -- each with their own unique snowboard. To complete the trifecta, EA is also bringing back some of the music tracks from previous SSX games, including classics such as “Top Bomb,” “Gin and Sin” and "Darkpath."
EA is offering the Mt. Eddie and classic characters pack for $5.99 each or $7.99 as a bundle.
Review: Prototype 2
James Heller, the protagonist of “Prototype 2” (for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), is capable of leaping from building to building, flinging tanks like childrens’ toys and taking down a small army with deadly mutant viral powers. It all makes for exhilarating gameplay. The storyline? Perhaps a little less so.
Heller -- a new character in the saga -- is a man on the warpath after his family was killed during a Blacklight virus epidemic in New York City. Heller’s target is Alex Mercer, the protagonist of the first Prototype, but Heller quickly realizes there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the virus, and he becomes an unwilling ally of Mercer.
Really, the story of “Prototype 2” isn’t terrible, but the game is still best enjoyed by ignoring the conspiracy theories and embracing the pure, unadulterated bliss of inflicting superpower destruction and mayhem with zero consequences.
And oh, what fun it is. Combat has evolved so that you have two powers available on separate buttons, meaning you can unleash a Whipfist attack that can cut enemies in half, or opt for a Hammerfist power that pounds the ground to knock an entire squad off their feet. You can also slice up baddies with long Wolverine-like claws or use a black-hole attack that shoots out a bunch of tentacles and pulls in nearby debris.
Think of Heller as an even-tougher version of the Spider-Man villain Venom. If you’ve ever wanted to play as a badass superhero with symbiotic powers – and let’s face it, haven’t we all? – then “Prototype 2” is your game.