Originally published on GameInformer.com May 03, 2010, at 10:49 AM.
Selected for Blog Herding: Editor and Reader Picks 5/06/10.
8,859 views as of June 4, 2018.
I don't know about you, but Treyarch's collage (http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/05/01/debut-trailer-for-call-of-duty-black-ops.aspx) had my head spinning. So here's a blow by blow perspective of the developer's upcoming entry into the Call of Duty franchise. (Note that I didn't include every single frame as some were repetitious; either repeat showings of the lab or longer clips of the same scene.) Your analysis is welcome.
UPDATE: There are so many images packed into this less than one minute video that repeat playthroughs reveal new insights. Some images appear to only overlap others or appear so quickly that they create that illusion. In any event, I added several new ones or ones that help flesh out certain sequences I already mentioned. Enjoy!
UPDATE 2: I've edited the content to reflect feedback from esteemed colleagues (that means you!). Thanks to everyone who's contributed thus far, including xXxSKOLxXx, who revealed a recent USA Today preview detailing a level that resembles teaser trailer sequences (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/05/first-impressions-call-of-duty-black-ops/1?csp=obnetwork).
(00:16) The infamous lab/operating room. Note the numbers on the left, which appear to be the date 3-2-2010, belying the suggestion that the game only takes place in the Vietnam War era.
(00:17) This is either an explosion or launch. Given the one single, large ejection and its trajectory straight up, I assume the latter. Obviously it's a large device, especially given the blast, and possibly a missle given the soldier's presence suggesting a warzone. Possibly an ICBM?
(00:17) A lab explosion, in possibly the same facility as our character found themselves (some frames show blood stains on the lens, suggesting our character's presence). Note the sign's letters appear Cyrillic, suggesting a Russian setting (credit: Andrew). One source confirms infiltration of a Russian facility in '68.
(00:17) Note to self: Don't stand nearby a leaking tanker truck. One source suggests explosive tip arrows might have caused the explosion. Nice! The terrain and garments worn by the soldiers indicate a more inclement environment.
(00:18) This shot reinforces that some of the game likely takes place in high altitudes or perhaps in the winter. (A source places part of the game in Russia's Ural Mountains.) Likewise, these soldiers seem like irregulars or special forces rather than standard army issue. (Could be wrong, though.)
(00:18) This sequence suggests more a high altitude given the cliffside, especially as there appears to be a railing that the victim is tossed over. Also, the victim's garb bears some resemblance to the previously seen figures, suggesting they might be the enemy as opposed to comrades in arms. Though cinematic, hopefully it hints at some melee opportunities.
(00:18) This appears to be a makeshift mountain or hillside encampment. The soldier's garments suggest winter camouflage so perhaps another scene from the same general area. Though he probably wishes he'd changed to a more appropriate camo.
(00:19) Hopefully we get to pilot a gunship. This appears to be the cockpit of an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter (credit: Elliot Johnson), common during the Vietnam War era. In any event, I think this qualifies as a sh*tstorm.
(00:19) There appears to be a UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) helicopter in this frame, reinforcing a Vietnam War era setting. This might be a first person perspective as suggested by a possible gun sight in the lower right. So this is perhaps a playable segment, not that anyone would want to be in the middle of that.
(00:19-00:20) The view appears to be from the edge of a helicopter as a comrade is descending onto a rooftop prior to your descent. The perspective might be more cinematic, but hopefully it's woven into the gameplay well. There appears to be a rocket trail suggesting they're under fire.
(00:22) Another sequence inside the lab/operating room. While it's possible all such sequences, and there are several throughout the video, are part of a single sequence, the numbers on the left remain the same regardless of the time lapsed, reinforcing for me that this is a date, placing at least part of the game in our times.
(00:23) This unusual image suggests an underwater perspective (note the wavy lines and possible bubbles) either of a submerged Huey or one skimming the surface. It's possibly just cinematic though might hint at underwater gameplay.
(00:23) This image is mostly self-explanatory, in so far as the jungle environment and combat gear suggests a war in Southeast Asia.
(00:23) Another sequence with a Huey. It is one of several, though later ones especially have a more pronounced historical context.
(00:23) This sequence of a soldier descending from what appears to be a helicopter is more reminiscent of Vietnam, given his attire, the ubiquitous palm trees below and the Huey in the background with U.S. Army emblem.
(00:24) This nighttime sequence shows a soldier pulling either a fallen comrade behind cover or a victim into the shadows. I could be wrong, but the crouching soldier's headgear suggests nightvision goggles. In any event, this appears more conventionally black ops than other sequences so far.
(00:24) I'm reminded of the Ride of the Valkyries from Apocalypse Now when viewing this sequence of Hueys in formation over a jungle landscape, of course suggesting the Vietnam War era.
(00:24) The Huey in this frame, with its apparently hand-drawn U.S. Army emblem and backdrop of a tropical village or city in flames, likewise is reminiscent of the Vietnam War.
(00:24) I can't place the gunship in this frame (it doesn't appear to be a Huey); in any event, this sequence suggests more urban warfare, perhaps like Hue in Full Metal Jacket. Note the apparent statue in the background and its commanding pose suggestive of Communist authoritarian figures.
(00:25) More images of urban warfare involving the U.S. Army. The portions of what appears to be corrugated tin, common as roofing in the Third World (especially tropical climes), and the likely tail of a Huey, again suggest Vietnam. (Though maybe I'm reading to much into this one, LOL.)
(00:25-00:26) This sequence is an interior firefight. Note the wall clocks, documents and tables, indicative of a work environment, whether an office or factory.
(00:29) This sequence appears to take place in a more current setting to judge by the garments and weapon. (The possible Steyr AUG rifle, per park9868, was introduced three years after the Vietnam War's end in '75.) Repelling through the window in an apparent breach scenario suggests Rainbow Six style gameplay.
(00:29) I've only been able to see one frame of this sequence, which appears to show a Huey depositing troops on a possible village rooftop.
(00:30) These gunmen are dressed similar to those shown earlier, wearing garments more suited to cold weather and clearly armed to the teeth.
(00:30) The vehicles in this sequence appear to be Vietnam era issue though the perspective and building (on stilts) suggests an enemy base.
(00:31) This frame is another gunship similar to the one appearing previously. The body is similar to a Huey, though I don't recall them having what appears to be a gun turret mounted to the nose (especially to judge by the earlier image, which suggests a gun barrel protruding from it).
(00:31) This compelling frame, the only one I've seen with the image other than the Huey, shows what appears to be a doctor in the lab/operating room. Unfortunately it's difficult to tell what exactly he's doing. Why did Treyarch include it?
(00:31) When I watched this sequence, it appeared to show a possible South Vietnamese soldier helping an American comrade escape an explosion. (At least in the context of what we know and some other sequences.) Looks like shotties are standard. ; )
(00:32) This sequence suggests there are some high altitude drops. Whether they're voluntary or not is debatable. Either way, hopefully they're playable.
(00:38) The animation in this sequence suggests the character is sliding down a rope, though the perspective appears to be from a higher altitude than would be practical. Regardless, this is one of several sequences suggesting insertions from the air.
(00:38) His gear is reminiscent again of the Vietnam War era. In fact I believe he's the one descending from a helicopter in an earlier sequence whose setting reinforces that timeline. He appears to drawing a line across his throat; perhaps it's a stealth operation? Or he really doesn't like you.
(00:38-00:39) This sequence appears to show the crash of a Huey (note the tail through the window in the first frame) outside the building where your character has sought cover. The palm trees outside and the helicopter place this in the same area and era as some other sequences.
(00:39) This image follows the previous sequence but may or may not be from the same scenario. The explosion ends up knocking down the soldier on the left.
(00:39-00:40) Either he left the gas on, or was delivered a package COD. The setting in this sequence mirrors those in others.
(00:40) This image shows someone who resembles the character seen in earlier sequences, either entering or exiting a Cobra helicopter at a possible encampment. Note that earlier and later images appear to show him in the front seat, wearing an aviation headset, during attacks.
(00:40) Call of Duty: World at War? This image reminds me of that title's cover art. In any event, the gear and weapons (AK-47s) suggest North Vietnamese troops, at least in the context of other images and rumor.
(00:40) This gunship perspective is similar from one shown earlier and again suggests a Cobra attack helicopter, which is reinforced by the jungle terrain and pedestrian wood bridge that are indicative of Vietnam or some other Southeast Asia locale.
(00:41) Did I say there was a bridge? Silly me. At least the gunship has nice armaments.
(00:41) This sequence is pretty impressive and unusual. The suit appears to be for high-altitude use, though it looks like he's on an aircraft carrier.
(00:41) The right stuff.
(00:42) This tantalizing frame is likely one of only two that shows the image other than the pilot. It could be an office though reminded me of a medical facility. There clearly has been a fight to judge by the weapons and bodies on the floor, and the individual standing appears to be a civilian, patient or prisoner? He may or may not be holding a weapon to judge by his stance.
(00:42) This appears to be a SR-71 Blackbird spy plane (confirmed by at least one source), which I assume would be consistent with the high-altitude gear the pilot wore. It was in service from 1964-1998, so the sequence could be the Vietnam War era, or perhaps later.
(00:42) Again we see, only briefly, an image related to the one that overlaps the frame with the pilot. This time it is a closeup of the bodies and weapons that litter the floor of the possible medical facility. Treyarch went to the trouble to show it twice, and literally in split second increments. Why?
(00:42) This sequence, which zooms toward the man's head, is the final one in the video. Clearly he's someone of importance, though his face remains obscured.
(00:47) This title sequence appears to show a soldier sitting almost cross-legged, possibly holding a handgun in his right hand. It's unclear who it is, though presumably it's the main character, though it could be a generic soldier. The tile design at points resembles dog tags, a compelling design choice.
This artwork appears to be the basis for the title sequence image above. While the shirt is different, the headband is consistent with the one worn by the character that appears periodically throughout the trailer, suggesting he is the story's focus.
So that's it. It's a pretty packed trailer once you break it down. Possibly it's similar to Battlefield: Bad Company 2's campaign, in so far as it might begin with a past conflict and move to the present day, or even jump back and forth. Whatever the timeline, the presentation looks good and hopefully the gameplay is as solid as ever.
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