The call sheet for Call of Duty: Black Ops II features plenty of big names, many that will instantly resonate with fans of 2010’s Black Ops – Frank Woods, Alex Mason, Jason Hudson – but the team Activision/Treyarch has assembled to create the game is equally esteemed.
Contemplating the cultural emergence of video games in the mainstream and their growing ability to lure talent from a wide range of industries, the latest trailer for Black Ops II takes us behind the scenes to interview two of its prominent additions: Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and The Dark Knight Rises co-writer David S. Goyer. For the uninterested, a healthy dose of new action-packed footage has been implemented as well.
Reznor and Goyer’s involvement with the game was announced last week, coinciding with the trailer reveal of Black Ops II’s main villain, Raul Menendez. Reznor will be developing the theme song for Black Ops II (Mass Effect 1 and 2 composer Jack Wall has been hired for the complete soundtrack) while Goyer serves as the game’s lead writer.
Though widely acclaimed for their work in the music and film industries – Reznor won an Oscar for scoring The Social Network and his Nine Inch Nails has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, while Goyer’s writing oeuvre includes the Nolan Batman trilogy and the Blade films – neither is a neophyte to video games.
Trent Reznor worked with id Software on the score for Quake and Doom, and collaborated with the developer as a sound engineer for Doom 3. He’s adamant in the trailer about his view of gaming as a “viable” art form, on par with film or music, and Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia says that Reznor’s score will “automatically immerse you” into Call of Duty‘s world.
For David Goyer, meanwhile, the lines are still fresh from his work as the lead writer of Black Ops, a narrative that – for a franchise accused by its fervent critics of constraining originality and innovation – was defined by its abstract and esoteric nature. Goyer compares the storytelling approach of Black Ops II to that of a “big-event movie,” and indeed, we alluded last week to a few of the ways the game shades of his other current project, The Dark Knight Rises.
As mentioned, with Black Ops II tying up the Cold War segment of the narrative for a segue to 2025, players will once again will become acquainted with Alex Mason and CIA magnate Jason Hudson. The last 30 seconds of the trailer includes some all-new footage of a mission that appears to take place in an arid African wilderness. No doubt a depiction of one of the Cold War proxy wars that, for reasons not yet revealed, establish the pathway for Menendez, the drone-hacking villain, to arise as 2025’s most dangerous man.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II releases on November 13, 2012 for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.
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