Another November, another Call of Duty. ‘Tis a season of single player campaigns that aren’t worth completing, excessive amounts of explosions around every corner, and multiplayer formulas that have seen few alterations in years. However, Black Ops 2 plans on changing this.

This year the think-tank over at Treyarch has proved that it has come up with some radical new ideas for the franchise. For the first time in a long time (or possibly ever) the campaign won’t be purely linear. The monotony of the over-the-top, hollywood style missions will be broken up by strike force missions. These missions will allow gamers to play as soldiers on the ground, man a drone in the skies, or take up a strategic position from above, playing the mission like an RTS.

These strike force missions bring another unique aspect to the Black Ops 2 campaign. When these missions come up, players are presenting with choosing which missions they want to do, meaning there will always be missions gone unplayed in a single playthrough of the campaign. The outcomes of these missions will also alter the main story of the game. So, if gamers find the campaign entertaining enough, there will actually be replayability there for them.

Zombies are also making a comeback to CoD, now more than every. The classic zombie mode that players have come to know and love will, of course, remain, but there are also two brand new zombie modes as well. Zombies is actually getting its own dedicated story campaign that will expand upon the world’s fiction with fresh new characters. There is also going to be a new eight-player mode, with a twist. There will be two teams of four competing against each other. Gamers will have to do their best to survive a zombie onslaught while trying to screw over the other team by sending zombie attention their way and holding key points of the map. The team with the last surviving player wins.

Most players that pickup a copy of Black Ops 2 will be devoting much of their time to multiplayer. This is also where the most significant change to the franchise has been made. The pick 10 system has overhauled the way create-a-class functions. Players will have 10 slots to do pretty much whatever they want to do. No longer do you have to have one primary weapon, one secondary, equipment, grenades, etc. If you don’t used your secondary, then you can replace it with an additional grenade or another perk. Up for a challenge and you can head into multiplayer with no guns at all, relying on melee and the weapons that you pickup from others to survive.

It sounds like a simple setup, but it should provide players with a ton of depth. There will also be something called “wildcards.” These wildcards take up one of your 10 allotted slots, but allow to do things with your character that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. The Secondary Gunfire wildcard allows you to add a second attachment to your secondary. Using the Tactician card means you get to have two different types of equipment at the expense of your lethal weapon. In total there are over eight different wildcards.

Like Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2 has done away with kill streaks. MW3 had point streaks and Black Ops 2 has score streaks. They function similarly in that players get points for assists, kills, defending a capture point, returning a flag, and just about everything else. In MW3, players could choose from three different ways of using their streaks and that has been done away with. Another change is that players can now choose three different streaks that unlock at the same point total. In the past if two different streaks needed four kills, you were only allowed to select one of them.

I am not sure that all of these changes will prove to be successful. I am, however, simply elated that Treyarch has changed as much as they have, for better or worse. Happily, many of their decisions seemed to have been based off of player choice and that is much appreciated. The pick 10 system also appears to be a great way of implementing more RPG elements into a genre that needs them. My optimism has convinced me to preorder a CoD game for the first time in three years. Hopefully, Treyarch won’t let me down.

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GuestPost represents the work of past New Gamer Nation writers. Though they may not be with us anymore physically, we know they are with us in spirit.