Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 release date, trailer & zombies news

COD: Black Ops 2 is official and heading for a November 13th release – all you need to know here

COD: Black Ops 2 release date, trailer, zombies, price, pre-orders & news all rolled into one - here's what you need to know about the upcoming shooter

Update:We've now got our hands on the Black Ops 2 gameplay trailer (above)

Following months of rumours, endless speculation and the odd leak, Activision and Treyarch have officially revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be the next addition to the COD gaming franchise.

Whilst developer Activision got a little trigger happy and accidentally set the official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 website live just hours ahead of the title's formal unveiling, the gaming giant has now fully revealed its plans for the 2012 addition to the iconic FPS series.

When is Black Ops 2 out?

Having been correctly leaked and predicted on a number of occasions prior to the final official confirmation, Activision has revealed that a Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 UK release date will be held in accordance with franchise tradition just weeks ahead of the festive period on November 13th.

Set to be made available across a number of countries and core markets simultaneously, the Black Ops 2 release will no doubt see a wide selection of global retailers hold midnight openings offering eager gamers the chance to be amongst the first to get their mitts on the release.

Launching for the standard collection of Sony PS3, Xbox 360 and PC formats, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 pre-orders have already opened with the official COD website taking advanced orders of the Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3 follow-on.

With a number of online retailers already jumping on the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 pre-order bandwagon and vying for consumer's cash the likes of GAME are offering added incentives for the snapping up the upcoming COD addition through its stores with all pre-orders securing users a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Prestige token to unlock either a choice of weapons, double XP or multiplayer features.

Following recent year, it is expected price wars will circulate the Activision published title in the weeks and months leading up to its release with Amazon jumping in early with a £42.90 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 price tag.

The plot thickens

As its name might suggest, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is a direct follow-on from the 2010 released record breaking Black Ops offering with the original title's protagonist, Frank Woods, making a return to guide gamers through his memories of recent conflicts.

Set largely in the future the second release in the Black Ops sub-franchise will see controller touting sofa jockeys transported between the mid 1980s and a mechanically enhanced war zone of 2025.

With a large portion of the game to be held in the year 2025, it appears the coming 13 years are to be tough ones in the real world with a plethora of futuristic weaponry and machines to see battles fought out with a selection of drones fitted with chainguns and rocket launchers, weaponised quadrocopters and a bevy of similarly scary foes.

What makes this selection of high-end, futuristic warfare powerhouses all the more daunting is the fact that the bad guys have got hold of the keys and are now using it against the western world in an almost ironic display of their abilities of destruction.

Despite offering an insight into upcoming technologies, the 2025 setting sees Treyarch run a fine line between realistic evolution and farcical sci-fi futurism, landing on the right side of the fence with not a single laser shooter, ray gun or teleportation device in sight.

A team full of character

Whilst Frank Woods makes the jump from the original Black Ops to offer some narration to the next-generation release, gamers will find themselves fighting though the eyes of the Mason family with different characters leading the way for the 1980s and 2025 based gameplay.

With Alex Mason resuming his role as the lead protagonist for the 80's based scuffles, jump forward a couple of decade and Mason's spawn, David Mason, is running the show and attempting to bring down the fleets of war machines heading into the likes of Los Angeles.

On the darker side of the moral spectrum Raul Menendez is introduced as the leading villain in what is sure to become a transitional moment for the Call of Duty franchise. Set to be transferred into gaming baddie folk law, Menedez brides the 40 year timeframe with an array of no good shenanigans set to go down in the middle.

What the history books say

The ninth title in the globally dominant gaming franchise, the Call of Duty brand was brought to life in back in 2003 with the original Call of Duty release.

Set during World War 2, the original COD title was a PC exclusive at launch before later being expanded to the core consoles of the day. Maintaining the European theme, Call of Duty 2 and 3 were also set on the continent during the war, and were seen from multiple perspectives including soldiers from the British, US and Red army, as well as French and Polish resistance fighters.

In 2007 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare brought the action up to the present day, featuring a fictional contemporary story and a number of real world weapons and vehicles. Activision returned to the World War 2 setting for the next instalment in 2008. Call of Duty: World at War was this time set in the Pacific and Eastern front theatres.

In 2009 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 continued the plot set up but the first title, picking up five years later with many of the same characters.

Call of Duty Black Ops in 2010 went back in time again to the Cold War and Vietnam War, and played with real life historical moments in a fictional setting – such as one mission in which the player makes an assassination attempt on Cuban Premier Fidel Castro.

2011's Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is the latest game in the franchise, and featured another contemporary fictional conflict on a global scale. By this stage the franchise was used to huge sales figures, but MW3 broke all entertainment sales records – with Activision claiming in the US and UK alone it sold over 6.5 million units within 24 hours of its launch, raising $400m (£246.7m) in sales revenues.

Black Ops 2 trailer

Offering the first insight into the futuristic first-person shooter, the official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 trailer has been made available on the Black Ops 2 website in coordination with the much anticipated title entering the realms of reality.

Showcasing a number of scenes of gameplay footage, the Black Ops 2 trailer shows much of the same in terms of graphical advancement based on recent COD offerings with the debut look at the title's characters, weapons, vehicles and settings teasing the upcoming offering.

Are there zombies in Black Ops 2?

Following unprecedented popularity in past releases, Black Ops 2 is set to see the return of the zombies with the living dead given free reign over a selection of multiplayer formats.

“The fan-favourite mode will make a return, only this time it's running in the multiplayer engine,” gaming specialists CVG reported. “That means there will be a big upsurge in numbers when it comes to Black Ops 2's undead sub-game: the multiplayer engine can throw around twice as many shambling corpses at once, and it can handle a co-op tally double that of Black Ops 1's.

“To maximise this increase Treyarch are promising new modes too. They're stopping short of specifics for now but say you can expect team games of some sort to feature in what's sure to be the most hectic take on the mode yet.”

Are you impressed by your first sight of the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 release or do you feel the COD franchise has lost its sparkle? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.