The latest in the notorious Call of Duty: Black Ops series of first-person shooters is due to be released this Friday, and with it comes the release of a new live-action trailer. The video is as high-octane and action-driven as we have come to expect from anything Call of Duty, and of course it is backed by the game’s signature tune: The Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black. Perhaps a slightly clichéd choice of backing track (Paint it BLACK, for BLACK Ops, geddit?), but it perfectly fits the high-energy tone of the trailer and indeed the entire franchise.
The trailer shows the every-man “Kevin” shooting his way through a whole host of baddies and annihilating the competition, all while being distinctly – how can I put this nicely – “average” in physique. He also seems like a jolly sort of guy who you could have a nice chat with down at the local pub and who’d share his packet of pork scratchings with you; he doesn’t really seem like a fierce fighting machine. The message is clear: buy Black Ops III and you can escape to the life of a ruthless mercenary, no matter how bland and inoffensive your day job is.
Our Kevin effortlessly dispatches his foes while a running commentary is provided by Michael B. Jordan, bigging up Kevin’s feats of strength and agility. Further star power is offered by a quick snippet of Cara Delevingne (model and actress, who recently started as Margo in Paper Towns) sending Kevin hurtling off-screen, briefly taking centre-stage as resident gun-toter. Again, the implication is that anyone, regardless of gender, background or experience, can pick up Black Ops III and drift away to a slice of bloody zombie-slaying action for a little while. Also, the cynic in me says that attractive women in battle outfits sell games; look no further than the Metroid series to see what I mean.
Treyarch’s Call of Duty series, and the Black Ops story arch, have garnered much attention in the past, including praise for the ability to evolve from iteration to iteration. It appears to be no different with this game, as the futuristic backdrop for the storyline allows heavy use of robotics mechanics. Furthermore, beyond the exciting cameos in the trailer, the game itself features star voice actors, such as Jeff Goldblum, Heather Graham and Ron Perlman (Hellboy himself!).
All in all, it looks like Treyarch has brought something really exciting to the table with its first Call of Duty game for current-generation consoles. If you can get past hearing Paint it Black over and over again from the relentless advertising campaign, there is a lot to suggest that the game is worth a try, even for those who are new to the franchise. Whether the game is up to scratch on release, and whether the promised DLC maps/scenarios are pure filler or transform the game, remains to be seen. However, the new trailer gives all FPS fans out there reason to look forward to Friday.