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Call of Duty: Black Ops First Look Preview

Last week, at a pre-E3 event, Activision showed members of the pres

Last week, at a pre-E3 event, Activision showed members of the press portions of two missions from Treyarch's upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops. The game, set during the Cold War era, looks to follow in the footsteps of Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2. This isn't a bad thing.

I was shown portions of two levels, each different in intensity and objective. The first, began at a US Air Force base with the player and a co-pilot hopping into an experimental plane and taking off to provide surveillance to special ops soldiers on the ground at a Russian weapons facility.

The player controls the camera and directs the soldiers via a mini-RTS interface, having the men take up positions and hide from Russian patrols. When the danger has passed, the game shifts to the perspective of one of the foot soldiers on the fly.

The mission continues in classic Call of Duty fashion--up in the snowy mountains and very reminiscent of Modern Warfare 2. What begins as a stealth infiltration quickly turns into a frantic firefight leading to a quick escape from Russian reinforcements. The set pieces are great and the environments look fantastic, if not better than what you've seen in MW2. Treyarch has really stepped up its game.

The second mission was set during the height of the Vietnam War as American forces, attempting to stop a brutal massacre, are caught in the thick of it as the player's helicopter is shot down. The player and his ally make their way through buildings making use of a semi-automatic shotgun with incendiary rounds. Ammo and gun modifications will be at the forefront of Black Ops' offering.

Eventually reaching the street, the player is given the ability to call in for helicopter support to level buildings full of enemies and destroy tanks. The mayhem is bloody and impressive. What we were shown is definitely looking good, especially given that Treyarch has more development time left to polish and fine tune.

Multiplayer was not discussed or shown, but I would assume ammo modifications and weapon attachments will play a big role, possibly mirroring MW2's unlock system.

We'll find out more at E3 2010, which kicks off on June 15th.

Helmed by Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty: World at War developer Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops hits PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii on November 9, 2010.

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