Given what we’ve seen this month, it’s fitting that the original Call of Duty: Black Ops was centered around mind control, manipulation and paranoia-inducing conspiracy theories. Speculation over the next Call of Duty game has been given a bit more evidence cementing Black Ops 2 as the culprit, as the franchise’s official site has been given a bit of a makeover. Aside from promising an official reveal on May 1, 2012 a handful of details have sneaked out that will surely send CoD-heads reeling until then.

Black Ops 2 isn’t just the expected release due to the traditional swap between Infinity Ward and Treyarch titles, although that alone is fairly convincing. Since the apparent logo appeared weeks ago promising some sort of announcement by the end of April, it seemed that Activision, once again, had their big announcement spoiled by internal leaks. Now the site has been given a brand new splash page filled with ‘Classified’ image boxes set to be revealed to the viewer at varying days this month. The content of the site itself bears more than a few bits of information, but what can be confirmed is a formal announcement of the game – Black Ops 2 or not – during the NBA Playoffs on TNT May 1, 2012.

It seems that a handful of images are set to be unveiled even before the date initially stated in the leaked logo, and just one day before the in-store displays are placed, but one cryptic photo has already been revealed to internet sleuths – somewhat. It is scrambled almost beyond recognition, but we’ll leave inspection to those who enjoy it the most. Have a look:

Black Ops 2 Site Teaser Image

[Update: The image has been revealed to depict the new killstreak monstrosity Quadrotor. Check out the machine in action now.]

The image isn’t the only hint provided. The 1960’s era filmstrip look of the ‘Classified’ images suggests a strong tie to the original Black Ops, as does the tagline instructing players to ‘Return for Debriefing.’

Luckily Activision isn’t too careful when it comes to HTML, since the source code of the website all but confirms that the game set to be announced is, in fact, a part of the series:

2012 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision and Call of Duty are registered trademarks and Black Ops is a trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

With the game all but confirmed to be the next Black Ops adventure, there are still questions to be asked. Will Alex Mason once again be the star of the game, examining his responsibility for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Or will Mason be the target, with Black Ops 2 exploring the mysterious ‘Operation Charybdis’ to eliminate he and his partners? And perhaps most importantly, where does the mysterious ‘Eclipse’ code name fit in?

Obviously only a few days remain before the first images are declassified, with an official announcement coming May 1. Stay tuned for our own theories along the way.

Black Ops 2 – as can be safely assumed at this point – is expected to release on November 13, 2012 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. As for a Vita release, we’ll have to wait and see.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: CallofDuty