As I write this article, the fourth bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao is on the horizon, which makes a lot of people excited but, at the same time, tentative. It is probably the biggest boxing match of the year after almost a decade and three previous inconclusive matches. While most boxing analysts say that not much will change and the outcome will not be too different from the previous events, it will still definitely be hugely profitable and, just by mere size, raise the profile of boxing beyond the hardcore boxing fan base. Fans know what to expect and it might get predictable but, at the same time, knowledge of the familiar is always comforting.
Sequels in video game franchises are similar. Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 is the equivalent to the Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV match in magnitude in the video game world and is expected to break sales records worldwide. Critics are quick to point out the linear and restrictive campaign formula of the Call of Duty series but Treyarch has promised improvements to both the single player storyline campaign as well as the replayability aspects of the gameplay.
Black Ops 2 is the latest chapter in the 1st person shooter spin-off from the Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is a continuation of the shadowy cold-war storyline introduced two years ago. Set in 2025 with narrative flashbacks to the early 80s that flesh out the character origins, Black Ops 2 expands upon the Call of Duty formula by introducing new nonlinear gameplay elements and alternate outcomes based on player choice. Also new is the use of DirectX 11 API to the Call of Duty game engine, bringing improved lighting, shadows, ambient occlusion, depth of field enhancements as well as a more GPU optimal performance, unlike the first Black Ops title, which ran on DirectX 9. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is also compatible with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision stereoscopic 3D gameplay and carries a performance rating of “Good” for the campaign mode, while the zombie and multiplayer modes are rated "Excellent" with the latest GeForce 310.70 drivers.
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