When Black Ops II was first announced, much was made of the upcoming Call of Duty title’s Strike Force missions, which offer sandbox battlefields with side objectives and multiple possible conclusions. The implication seemed to be that how one completed these missions, if they were successfully completed at all (as well as which missions one chose), would have an impact on how the game’s campaign played out.
Treyarch has now come forward to say, well, yes and no. Director of communications John Rafacz has more or less confirmed that the ending is a fairly static beast, with the decisions one makes and the performance one puts forth only affecting the story leading up to that ending. “It shapes the fiction around the ending,” he says.
This sounds eerily similar to what caused massive fan outcry when Mass Effect 3 launched, with endings that were the same regardless of the path one’s Shepard had taken, often over three games, to arrive at them. The distinction there was that Mass Effect was a series that asked you to invest in a single character over dozens of hours with your choices. Black Ops II is the latest in a series with a notably linear nature. I don’t predict a tremendous outcry, but I am personally disappointed.
By Shelby Reiches