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[Kotaku] Black Ops II’s ‘Strike Force’ Mode Adds a Branching Narrative With a Tactical Twist

post #1 of 4
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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.)

http://kotaku.com/5906851/black-ops-iis-strike-force-mode-adds-a-branching-narrative-with-a-tactical-twist

Countdown to more of the same CoD complaints in 3... 2... 1...
post #2 of 4
That's a change for call of duty, but it's been done before. Not much new to the gaming world. Nothing is every worth $60 in a CoD game any more.
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post #3 of 4
This'll probably give the illusion of free choice. Like Half Life's ending.
Not much replay value I'm guessing.
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post #4 of 4
It seems like these are mere extra missions that have lip service effects to what happens in other missions. Bonus missions basically. Seems but not an actual branching mission line that varies it's ending as much as, say, The Witcher. It's more like bonus stages in a Donkey Kong game.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Video Game News › [Kotaku] Black Ops II’s ‘Strike Force’ Mode Adds a Branching Narrative With a Tactical Twist