Trent Reznor’s music will automatically immerse you in Treyarch’s world, says Mark Lamia, who looks extremely serious about videogames in this Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 behind-the-scenes video. In fact, everybody looks really serious about videogames in this video, and they all say “immersion” frequently enough to make us shrink and feel embarrassed. Treyarch are on a mission to be better than films, employing the talents of Trent ‘The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and, oh yes, Nine Inch Nails’ Reznor alongside David ‘The Dark Night, erm, Jumper and, oh god, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ Goyer. But are games films? Are films games? Are games games?
I don’t think games are films. I think the talents of Goyer and Reznor can certainly transfer to games in many respects. Their talents will massively benefit Black Ops 2, but I honestly don’t think their practised brand of inflated movie rhetoric flies in this industry. Truthfully, I disagree when David Goyer says that it’s a good thing that blockbuster movies and games like Call of Duty are being drawn closer together. That’s a step away from what makes games awesome. Goyer guy loves bustin’ blocks, but look: in this very same video the game’s director Dave Anthony highlights precisely the classic advantage games have over films, saying: “you can’t watch a movie at the movie theatre and change the fate of the main character, but you can do that in a videogame”. Did these two men ever meet?
Dave Anthony’s comments suggest, perhaps, that we have a critical degree of control over Black Ops 2’s outcome, which is exciting. He does, at the very least, suggest that amidst the impressive injection of Hollywood movie talent there’s an element of game design intelligence still steering the Black Ops ship. The video above is equal parts dizzying talent and fascinating baloney, an edifice of triple-ay eff-pee-ess dazzlement. Enjoy.