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After suddenly pulling a popular pre-order multiplayer map from Black Ops II online play yesterday, Activision added it back to a new playlist called Chaos Moshpit. Game design director David Vonderhaar from dev studio Treyarch—who delivered the bad news—made it seem possible that the map could come back in a tweet late yesterday:
That was followed by a notice from Treyarch which indicates that all that fuming from the COD faithful didn't fall upon uncaring ears:
It's not the same as having Nuketown 2025 in a normal playlist, as many have asked for, but at least it's back.
Earlier this month, Activision announced that it would let people who pre-ordered the publisher's latest FPS mega-hit play on a re-imagined version of the popular Nuketown multiplayer map. That part of the promotion turned out to be true. But that access to the special battleground appears to have been suddenly revoked. The sudden bad news was confirmed via tweet from Treyarch game design director David Vonderhaar:
The expectation was that players would be able to play on Nuketown 2025 whenever they wanted. As you'd expect, fans are up in arms over the fact that the map has gone AWOL. Kotaku has reached out to Activision for comments and will update this post if they respond.
Treyarch has made cool-looking stuff in the Call of Duty video games, including the introduction of the series' fan-favorite Zombie modes. You wouldn't know it, though, for how boring their offices looked. But, thanks to art collective IAm8Bit, visitors can now tell that these folks really know the undead.
The video above gives a look at how one hallway in Treyarch's Santa Monica offices got turned into a zombie attack zone. The game developers funneled their ideas of what the finished space would look like and IAm8Bit provided the elbow grease—and fake blood—to make the transformation happen. All it needs now are guns.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will be out this November, Sony said today.
It will have four-on-four multiplayer, Team Deathmatch modes, and other Vita-exclusive content. Sony will also sell bundles that feature both the game and PlayStation Vita systems.
Here are more details from the PlayStation Blog:
Developed by the team at Nihilistic Software, Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is what Call of Duty fans have been waiting for: the game they know and love, authentically translated to handheld. "One of Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified's compelling features is the fact that you can take the established gameplay everyone knows and loves and bring it to the PS Vita," says the game's producer at Activision, Neven Dravinski. That means you can look forward to familiar elements like Create-a-Class, Perks, Prestige Levels, and of course, dual analog stick controls.
Black Ops Declassified's single-player campaign offers covert missions that help bridge the story gap between the original Call of Duty: Black Ops and the soon to be released Call of Duty: Black Ops II, while the multiplayer offers mayhem for up to eight players over Wi-Fi connections. "We'll have a variety of game modes and maps, including some that are custom made for PS Vita and others that leverage fan favorites from the Black Ops series, but tailor made for PS Vita," explains Dravinski. Multiplayer game modes include 4v4 Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, and Drop Zone, but Dravinski says there will be other modes as well.
The dev team is making sure that Declassified takes advantage of key PS Vita features, too. The game will use the touchscreen for melee attacks, and for chucking grenades at your foes, and will even let you share loadouts with your friends via Near technology.
Nihilistic are the developers of Resistance: Burning Skies, a Vita first-person shooter that, sadly, wasn't very good.
Earlier this year, a leaked promo for Black Ops Declassified revealed that it will be a new, Vita-exclusive story within the Call of Duty: Black Ops universe.
You already know that the antagonists in the next Call of Duty will be turning America's robot drone army against us. And Los Angeles gets blown the hell up. But who's got the cojones and brains to even to do such a thing? Watch the trailer and find out.
Who do you call when you want electro-tinged, industrial-inflected rock for a world gone wrong? Trent Reznor, of course. Along with groundbreaking work as a recording artist in the 1990s, Reznor's done film for both The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
And now, it's been reported in USA Today that the Oscar-winning composer and band frontman will be doing the theme music for Activision's next Call of Duty title:
"I have always looked to that franchise as the cutting edge of what seemingly unlimited budgets and full-on not cutting any corners can do in the current day and age."
The Black Ops II story envisions a new Cold War between the U.S. and China and an international villain plays them off each other. "There is a lot of reservation and angst and sense of loss and regret and anger bubbling under the surface," Reznor says. "So it didn't make sense to have a gung ho patriotic feeling kind of theme song. It has to feel weighty."
This isn't Reznor's first video game music work by a long shot. The singer also did music for Quake and was also working with Id Software on tracks and sound engineering for Doom 3 until he had to abandon the project.
Proving once again that it pays to wait when it comes to the hottest PlayStation 3 games, today Sony is launching Ultimate Editions, a selection of hit PS3 titles bundled with all of their downloadable content for one low price. How much would you pay for complete editions of Red Dead Redemption, BioShock 2, or L.A. Noire?
They're like Game of the Year editions, only downloadable. Today through June 4, PlayStation 3 owners can hop onto the PlayStation Network and purchase more-or-less complete editions of some of the hottest older games on the console for 30 percent off what all the bits would have cost individually. For a DLC-heavy game like Motorstorm Apocalypse, scoring the whole shebang for $50.49 isn't too shabby.
Of course it's even better when you're a PlayStation Plus member. Then the bundles are 50 percent off, dropping that Call of Duty: Black Ops Ultimate Edition from $66.46 to $46.54. Maybe it's finally time I look into hooking up a year of PlayStation Plus.
Here's the full list of Ultimate Editions going up today.
PSN Introduces Ultimate Editions [PlayStation Blog]
Activision puts out a new Call of Duty game every year. It's been that way for the last half-decade or so. Trouble is, this annualization give people a wide-open lane to complain about recycled engines and how the games all look the same.
Mark Lamia—head of Treyarch, the studio behind the Black Ops branch of COD—knows all of this and wants people to know that some the software powering the sequel won't be a complete overhaul of the tech used for 2010's Black Ops. In an interview with Activision blogger Dan Amrich, Lamia says:
Engines, each time they get touched, they change. The creators alter them; they don't modify what they don't need to, and then they alter what they need to. You can't make a competitive product if you're not upgrading that engine along the way.
So what specifically got touched? Graphics and lighting, it seems:
I think what people are asking for is for us to push. They want us to make a better-looking game; they want things. I don't think those are things people can't ask for. We asked ourselves that very same question - we wanted to advance the graphics. I think the questions are valid. The answer may not need to be an entirely new engine, but you might need to do an entire overhaul of your entire lighting system. The trick is, we're not willing to do that if we can't keep it running at 60 frames per second - but we did that this time. So this is the Black Ops II engine.
Mark Lamia discusses the Black Ops II engine
[One of Swords]
When we say "Dubstep" most people think of hard drops and grinding wubs. But there is a lot more to the genre than that.
When people think Call of Duty, they think of hard explosions and grinding machine guns. But… perhaps there's more to the genre than that?
YouTuber TomahawkTrix thinks so, anyway, with this surprisingly lovely dubstep remix of that first trailer for Black Ops II, featuring a tune from Blackmill Music.
Feels like all those other emotionally dissonant action-game trailers we've seen, only with kinda more interesting music.