With Black Ops 2, Treyarch plans to bring some big changes to the Call of Duty franchise. We’ve already seen the game’s new near-future setting, but the studio is also making a few technical enhancements — specifically in the audio department.
Speaking on an episode of Elite TV Roll Call, Treyarch’s Mark Lamia stated that the team is testing Black Ops 2 against different headset and home theater configurations. Careful work is being done to improve the audio all together, with weapons taking on different sounds depending on the environment.
Many of these changes have been incorporated to appease competitive Call of Duty players. A common tactic among gamers is to listen for minute audio cues while playing, such as the sound of footsteps or a bomb being planted. By increasing focus on these details, Treyarch hopes to improve the competitive aspect of the game — though we’re sure dedicated servers will also help.
“We know it’s important, not only for people at home, but for people who compete. We’re seeing this phenomena with Esports out in the world. We’re paying attention to that phenomena and we think Call of Duty has a very important part in that world, not only from the technology that we’re creating, but our level design and how we’re setting up our games so that those people who like to compete are going to have a great competitive experience.”
Audio isn’t the only facet of the game Treyarch plans to improve, as Black Ops 2 is designed to support more flexible play styles. A common flaw in Modern Warfare 3 was that the maps were too small, giving the advantage to close range weapons. Players like myself, who prefer to fight from a distance, were at a disadvantage — though the Elite content drops would later remedy that problem.
“We know there’s a lot of you guys out there – everyone from the casual and beginner player to the most advanced. Respecting each of your play styles, we are giving a hardcore look at all of our core systems in the game and we are making sure that no matter what kind of play style you have, you’re going to be able to play that inside Call of Duty: Black Ops 2″
Black Ops 2 might not be a graphical juggernaut, but for a franchise that’s routinely criticized for its “lack of innovation,” there are some big changes coming. It will be interesting to see how the game is received when it launches later this year — will it earn praise offering something new, or will it be brushed off as “just another Call of Duty game”?
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 releases November 13th, 2012, for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyMole.