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"We built computers, robots... whole unmanned armies and no one ever asked: What happens when the enemy steals the keys?"
Frank Woods

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012) is a direct sequel to the 2010 game, Call of Duty: Black Ops. Set in both the year 2025 and in the 1980s, the game entails a future Cold War between the US and China over Rare Earth Minerals, and flashbacks in the 1980s detailing the late Cold War.

The game departs from the traditional linear storyline of previous Call of Duty games, allowing branching storylines. If important characters die or objectives are failed, the game will adjust the plot to accommodate for that.

Along with Nazi Zombies returning, the game also features "Strike Mode," an RTS-like game where the player takes command of a small army, and can even jump in the fray in first-person combat.

Its sequel, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, was released in 2015.

Tropes used in Call of Duty: Black Ops II include:
  • AKA-47: Might well be the first Call of Duty game to use this on a large scale; various real-life firearms have been spotted in trailers and demo footage, but with changed or fictional names (the TDI Kard is the "KAP-40", the QCW-05 becomes the "Chicom QCB", etc...).
  • Attack Drone: Featured heavily, and when hacked into, attack the US and China.
  • Cold War: Two of them in fact. Both the historical one, and a fictional one between the US and China over Rare Earth Minerals.
  • China Takes Over the World: China is locked in a cold war with the US.
  • The Eighties: The first act of the game is set in this decade.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: What did you expect? This is a Call of Duty game, after all. During the missions set in the 1980s you play as Alex Mason, a member of a CIA Black Ops team. During the missions set in 2025 you play as a member of a strike team whose mission is to stop Menendez.
  • He Knows Too Much: The U.S. Government placed Frank Woods in the "Vault," an area completely isolated from society. Given all the sensitive information he knows, Woods very well can't be allowed into the public again.
  • Like Father, Like Son: David Mason, the son of Alex from the first game, is the player character in the future levels.
  • Multiple Endings: Presumably, with a branching storyline that changes due to player actions, it can be assumed that endings will change depending on who is alive or not or what was accomplished or failed.
    • Word of God has confirmed that the game will have multiple endings.
  • Not Quite Dead: Frank Woods. Even he seems to have trouble believing it himself.

"Aside from the fact that I'm still alive, none of this surprises me..."

  • Our Presidents Are Different: The President in 2025 is female.
  • Rare Guns: The XM8 will be making an appearance, as will the AN-94.
  • Retired Badass: Frank Woods is still alive in the year 2025, and although his fighting days are over (due to the fact that he's over 90 years old), he's more than happy to explain to the player that the world will always need men like him.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: According to an interview with Kotaku, it will play a role during the story.
  • Start of Darkness: The 1980s portions of the game will show why Menendez is attacking the US and China in the 2020s.
  • Twenty Minutes in The Future: Most of the game is set in 2025, although parts are set during proxy wars in the 1980s.
  • Walking Tank: Several are seen in the trailer.
  • Western Terrorists: The antagonist is, for once, not a Nazi, a Russian or an Osama Bin Laden expy, but instead a Latin American hacker (Raul Menendez) with a grudge.
  • Whole-Episode Flashback: According to an interview with Mark Lamia, the 1980s portion of the game will be flashbacks told by Frank Woods to David Mason as he searches for intel on Menendez.
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