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Black Ops 2 brings the Call of Duty franchise crashing into the future

Black Ops 2, set for launch this fall, will take place partially in 2025, in an America overrun by deadly drones. Can Black Ops 2 continue Call of Duty's record-breaking streak? 

By Matthew Shaer / May 2, 2012

Meet David Mason, the hero of Black Ops 2, the latest game in the Call of Duty franchise.

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Black Ops 2 – the latest in the breathtakingly-successful Call of Duty video game franchise – is scheduled to hit shelves on Nov. 13, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Today, to help gin up a little excitement in advance of the fall launch, publisher Activision published a short trailer (video below). Unsurprisingly, the latest CoD will apparently be filled with explosions, gunfire, and grizzled, grim-voiced veterans speaking directly into the camera. 

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But unlike the Vietnam-era Black Ops, Black Ops 2 will be set in 2025, in the midst of a war that has embroiled several major American cities, including Los Angeles, Washington, and New York. "No one is going to be able to call this Black Ops 1.5," Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg told USA Today this week. "There's a lot of new stuff in this game. There's a lot of new ideas. We are going for it. We are taking some risks."

The bad guy in Black Ops 2? A gent named Raul Menendez, who has control of a fleet of attack drones.

Hirshberg of Activision said that the action will flash back and forth between the present, where David Mason must protect the president, and the Cold War, where Menendez first got his dastardly start. Black Ops fans will remember Alex Mason as the protagonist from the first Black Ops. David Mason is his son. 

For this blogger, who has played through every CoD game released for the Xbox 360, what makes Black Ops 2 so interesting is the way it overlaps – content-wise – with other titles in the series. The first Black Ops was strictly a Cold War only affair. Modern warfare is traditionally the purview of, well, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the three-game blockbuster that wrapped up, in dramatic fashion, last year. 

Won't Black Ops 2 steal a little of that thunder? Will there be continuity between the storylines?

On a side note, there appear to be horses in Black Ops 2. Ridable horses. Don't believe us? Click on the video. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

[Editor's note: The original version of this article misstated the release date of Black Ops 2. The game will go on sale November 13.]

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