Black Ops II is set in 2025, as opposed to the Cold War setting of Black Ops. In this new setting, China and the United States are locked in a cold war after China bans the export of rare earth elements following a cyberattack that cripples the Chinese Stock Exchange. War is now defined by robotics, cyberwarfare, unmanned vehicles, mechs and other modern technology. The game’s story deals with the speculation that this unmanned technology could just as well be used against those it was meant to protect. Check the new trailer after the break.
Although the game is set in 2025, it will start in the 1980s Cold War era in order to focus on the origin story of the primary antagonist of Black Ops II: Raul Menendez, who, in 2025, is provoking a war between China and the USA. In the 1980s section of the game, the player protagonist will be Alex Mason, protagonist of Black Ops. Much of the action in this section will take place in the proxy wars of Central America. Another character from Black Ops, Frank Woods will be returning in Black Ops II and will narrate the story into 2025. In the 2025 section, the player protagonist will be David Mason, son of Alex Mason.
It has been hinted at that the side-plot of Viktor Reznov and his relationship with Alex Mason, which began in World at War and was advanced by Black Ops, will be continued in Black Ops II.
Black Ops II will be the first Call of Duty video game to feature branching storylines, in which the player’s choice affects both the current mission and in turn, the the overall course of the story. The game will feature special ‘Strike Force’ missions that are offered as a choice to the player during the campaign. Choosing one of the missions locks out the others unless the player begins a fresh campaign.
Strike Force missions allow the player to control a number of different war assets, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, jet fighters and mechs. If the player dies in a Strike Force mission, the campaign continues recording that loss, as opposed to letting the player load a previously saved checkpoint. The player’s progress in the Strike Force missions may go on to change even the plans of the story’s antagonist, Raul Menendes.