Call of Duty: Black Ops might push a few people’s buttons, says Treyarch, but only to make the story better.
Modern Warfare 2’s “No Russian” level, which asked players to gun down scores of unarmed civilians, earned the game a certain degree of notoriety. But when asked if Black Ops would have a similar section, Treyarch’s Josh Olin said that it was immersion, rather than controversy, that the studio was aiming for.
He said that Black Ops was a mature game intended for adults, and it wasn’t going to shy away from the realities of war, but that nothing that Treyarch did with the game would be gratuitous. He said that the game would get under people’s skin and make them feel “angry or righteous or sad,” but that it would always be in service of the story, and to make the experience more compelling for the player.
Adding a little grittiness to the storytelling could make Black Ops really shine. While “No Russian” was about as gratuitous as it gets, the first Modern Warfare had some of the most memorable moments in gaming in recent years, because the Infinity Ward wasn’t afraid to play rough with its characters. If Treyarch is willing to do the same, especially when it comes to subjects like the Vietnam War where at least part of Black Ops is set, we could be in for a very memorable game.