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Gamescom: Stealth, Savagery in Call of Duty: Black Ops

Fast and brutal action in Treyarch's latest.

2010-08-20
On the Huong River, Vietnam, there's a splash whose echoes reverberate as your blurry vision clears to show a flickering light and helicopter cockpit rapidly filling with water. The pilot's dead and there are enemies shooting through the windshield as the chopper sinks down into the murky river. "We're going under!" shouts a squadmate just before all sound is engulfed by the rising water.

But that isn't the end. No, you hit a button to rip open the doors and swim out as bullets bubble across your field of vision from foes standing atop boats. You climb up to a boat and surprise an enemy still peering into the water, holding him hostage to stop bullets as you fire with his rifle. As you do so the camera shifts to a bullet's perspective in slow motion, letting us watch the tip violently piercing the forehead of the last standing enemy in the area. You dispose of the body serving as your shield and plunge back underwater to move to safety.

Moments later it's pouring and you're sneaking into an enemy facility with AI teammates that move silently onto a platform and knife guards from behind. You're looking for a general, and your squad whispers hoarsely and hand out semtex as a plan of action is hatched. You follow one squadmate and dive underwater into brown water and plant C4 near a dock. Then it's back to the surface to slink along the side of a building while enemies whisper inside, unaware of your presence. You pop through a window and past a sleeping enemy in a hammock. Not one to take changes, you plunge a knife through the sleeping guard's neck as a squadmate does the same to another. The man in the next room over is killed as he sits as you sneak up behind and surprise him with a knife to his chest.

Further into the jungle there's music in the distance. It's coming from a town just below a row of trees and as you approach your squadmates reappear through the foliage. To initiate the attack a charge is detonated in one of the village's buildings, and shortly thereafter the scene is thick with bullets amidst the chaos of gunshots and falling bodies. Enemies stream from doorways and launch rockets at your position as grenade shrapnel rips from explosions and smoke clouds the air. Moving out to a clearing you spot a dock in the distance, a heavily fortified area protecting an anti-air gun. There's a four barreled rocket launcher on the ground and you snatch it up and launch explosive, crippling the gun and collapsing the hut nearby as foes at the target area go flying in all directions, helpless against the blast.

With the skies safe a group of helicopters soar in and drop off reinforcements as the assault on the town continues. You fire through more houses and blast apart machine guns nests on your way to a trap door in the ground. A grenade is dropped to clear the way before you head down, and in the darkness you click on a flashlight and align your pistol with the beam of illumination. Enemies are crawling through the claustrophobic warrens here, and stab a squadmate right before your eyes. Another friendly soldier is alongside and kills another in a fistfight in knee deep puddle before turning around to you with a tired look and requesting you go on ahead to face whatever dangers may come next.

From what's been shown off of this year's Call of Duty, it seems like a pretty wild ride.

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