Black Ops II Interview With John Rafacz

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Black Ops II Interview With John Rafacz

Post by [PDE]PaulKersey on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:54 am

In gameplay terms, what are the core Call of Duty tenets that you're looking to build upon and evolve for Black Ops II?

When you talk about core tenets, it's really broken down by mode. There's a certain look and feel to any Call of Duty experience that remains true across all the modes, but for single-player it's a range of things. It's a new setting, an ambitious storyline and it's a variety of gameplay. Now that takes place on two different levels. Just looking at the Los Angeles mission, you're doing everything from sniping to commandeering a SAM turret, using your quad-rotor drones and flying an FA38 strike fighter. There's a lot of stuff to play with, and when you look at that variety, that's really borne out in our Strike Force levels, which are non-linear experiences that take place parallel to the single-player storyline.

When you play these levels, you can take control of anything, you can play as a soldier for traditional Call of Duty-style boots-on-the-ground gameplay, take control of one of the robots, the QR drones and you can go into overwatch mode and do whatever you need to do to advance the action and succeed. And ultimately that factors into the political wrapper that concludes single-player. That's just single-player! Then you've got Zombies, which is back, bigger than ever and is being built using the multiplayer engine, which means that the dev team is able to open up the gameplay in ways that maybe we hadn't been able to previously with things like 4v4 and some new modes.

Then there's multiplayer, where especially if you're talking core tenets, it's that smooth 60-frames per second experience that is something we don't compromise on. That's core to Call of Duty. Now there are things around that core that we could perhaps experiment with a little bit. We've got three distinct modes that cater to a variety of expectations to the Call of Duty experience.

Do you think that experimenting with or playing with the core Call of Duty multiplayer experience is something of a risk given how established it is, carrying certain expectations?

Well, let's be careful how we use the phrase “playing” with it. When we talk about challenging assumptions [of multiplayer] at no point has anyone ever expressed any interest in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But at the same time, as we listen to the community and make our level best effort to speak to the variety of expectations that 30-40 million fans have, we've evolved a few things and added our own spin on certain aspects. But to those that hold multiplayer sacred: we're not “playing” with it.

Does having certain expectations and preconceived notions of what Call of Duty multiplayer should be make what you can do with it somewhat restrictive then?

I'm not even sure it has as much to do with multiplayer as much as it does with listening to what people are really asking for. Whether it's from a random tweet or a forum thread comment, there's hopefully the thing that someone loves, but if it's something that someone hates and they're complaining about, what is it that they're really going after? It's the art of being able to scoop those comments up, listen to them and really dissect the true intention of what the community is asking for. It's really more about getting that right and then everything else follows.

To read the full interview, go HERE.


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