Microsoft opened up its 2010 E3 press conference with a bang; multiple explosions, in fact, thanks to a look at a demo of Treyarch's upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops. The two-part demo gave us a taste of the dramatic swings in mood and action for Black Ops, which puts the action on so-called military "deniable ops."
The demo level took place in what looked to be a South Asian jungle, and the opening portion featured some tunnel action--with the player crawling through a series of claustrophobia-inducing tunnels and encountering a series of close-quarters encounters along the way. Eventually, the soldiers made their way out of the tunnels and encountered an open encampment, full of enemy soldiers and heavy equipment like tanks and, most importantly, a Hind helicopter.
After popping a few grenades to create some destruction (and distraction), the player ran down into the clearing, dealt with the remaining enemies, and headed off to commandeer the Hind. You and your copilot take off and are greeted by the gorgeous jungle environments. Unfortunately, you've got no time to enjoy the scenery because you'll be beset by enemy fire as you wind your way around a river bed. The Hind is armed with missiles and a wicked machine gun cannon on its nose, and you'll put both to good use in your escape, taking out bridges, antiaircraft positions, enemy helicopters, and, finally, what looks to be an oil pipeline.
To say the least, the resulting explosions from all this rampant destruction were visually impressive, as were some of the close calls the helicopter managed during enemy missile strikes. The mix of gritty in-your-face combat on the ground and exciting action sequences in the air also made an impression, and we can't wait to get our hands on Black Ops later this week to see how Treyarch's latest game is coming along.