Call of Duty: Black Ops has seemingly become Treyarch's chance to finally prove themselves to the game's industry, as the last two Call of Duty games they've produced have greatly lived in the shadow of those developed by Infinity Ward. With Infinity Ward quite possibly in shambles, at Microsoft's pre-E3 conference Activision took the chance to debut the first game of the conference, surprise, Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Kicking right into a trailer many of us have already seen before the conference was even properly introduced, Treyarch took the stage to demo the game for the first time. The demo wasn't overly long, starting with the player making their way into a tunnel in the jungles of Vietnam. Incase you forgot, or maybe didn't know, Call of Duty: Black Ops starts off in the 1970's war in Vietnam, and as such the tunnel packed a few surprises with North Vietnamese forces jumping out and stabbing American soldiers before the player could pick the assailants off.
Gameplay looked quite Call-of-Duty-standard as the player made it into an underground bunker through the tunnel network, leading to a rapid fire fight. However, in the interest of time, Treyarch skipped ahead, to where the player emerged from presumably the same tunnel, just farther ahead in the level, to what looked like an impromptu enemy camp, complete with a helicopter. The execution of in-game story, a la your story-controlled team mates barking out orders, is also consistent with the approach in more recent Call of Duty games, unfortunately nothing ground breaking yet.
After sweeping the camp, as all watching expected, the player jumped into the helicopter's rear seat, to take off and rain fire from above. Gameplay in the helicopter looks fun, however flight of the helicopter looks to be AI controlled, while the player aims and fires machine guns and missiles. The experience looks very similar to using the AC130 helicopter in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, where players fired machine guns and missiles via white and grey heat vision, except in broad day light.
In terms of single player, it looks like more of the Call of Duty gameplay many of us have come to know very, very well, again for another year. This year's exception for single player is starting off during the Vietnam War, however, much more is undoubtedly to come from Black Ops, hopefully exciting developments in multiplayer, and more from the later stages of single player. If anything can be concluded from what's been shown so far though, its that we're likely not to see anything ground breaking this year, as they would most definitely have shown that first.