Short Script: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II is now out in the open. That’s as good a time as any for Joannes Truyens to put on his snark hat and revisit its predecessor. Be sure to tune in next week to see how the sequel fares when subjected to the Short Script treatment!
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM – 1968
ALEX MASON is strapped to a CHAIR and is being INTERROGATED by UNSEEN PEOPLE. A bunch of MONITORS keep flashing a series of NUMBERS.
Tell us about Red Faction, Mason! Oh wait, wrong file.
The numbers, Mason! What do they mean?
I don’t know, I never watched Lost! Wait, did I just hear my own voice? And I can see myself on those monitors. Am I Sam Worthington?
Yeah, it was a package deal. The developers could only get the motion capture and facial animation technology from Avatar if they signed him on as well.
The first Call Of Duty protagonist with an actual face and personality. It’s only fitting that I’m an arrogant dickwad. Kiss my ass, unseen people!
We need to know what the numbers mean and where they’re being broadcast from! Prepare to be tortured by seizure-inducing mission briefings that’ll leave you unsure whether the game is having framerate issues or not.
Oh God no.
And we’ll keep coming back to this interrogation scene, because it’s also a framing device so the developers can not only string the incredibly divergent missions together, but also cover for the parts they didn’t bother to write. Let’s start with Cuba.
INT. CUBAN CAFE – 1961 WHOA
MASON is waiting in a CAFE with FRANK WOODS.
Our mission is to assassinate Fidel Castro. Since he’s still alive today, you can safely assume it’ll all go spectacularly wrong.
SOLDIERS walk in and ask everyone for IDENTIFICATION, which is ALL THEY EVER DO IN MOVIES. MASON and WOODS kill them and get into a CAR.
Shit, there’s roadblocks everywhere! We’ll never make it!
Try briefly flashing forward to when you’re being interrogated! Then we can use that to awkwardly skip ahead to our infiltration of Castro’s compound.
INT. CASTRO’S COMPOUND – 1961
MASON and WOODS fight their way into CASTRO’S COMPOUND.
Castro’s behind this door. Pull out the pistol you dropped seven rooms back and shoot him!
MASON kicks in the DOOR and SHOOTS CASTRO.
Eat that, you godless commie! Now let’s escape.
During the ESCAPE, MASON is CAPTURED and brought to the REAL FIDEL CASTRO.
No, I killed you! The camera went to bullet time to explicitly show the impact! There was even a goddamn orchestral choir singing along to it!
Was the guy you shot perpetually chewing on a cigar in a very stereotypical fashion like I am doing?
No, he was using a woman as a human shield.
Ah, you shot Esteban, my double. He did like his human shields. Now I’m going to hand you over to scumbag asshole Nikita Dragovich, with whom I’ve forged an alliance.
Wait a second. The Cuban government is shitting blood over this fictional assassination attempt while a crapload of actual ones have been documented, but you working together with a Russian war criminal is alright?
That is indeed odd, especially given how over-the-top evil I am. Seriously, I’m even going to stretch out my lines and glare at you menacingly.
DRAGOVICH imprisons MASON in VORKUTA, a RUSSIAN GULAG.
INT. VORKUTA – 1963, I THINK
After a YEAR of IMPRISONMENT, MASON has befriended VIKTOR REZNOV.
I want to apologise in advance for my voice work. It’s Gary Oldman, and he’s apparently stuck on Air Force One.
ONWARDS, MY BROTHERS! TO FREEDOM!
They start a PRISON BREAK.
NEVER FALTER! WE SHALL ESCAPE! OR DIE TRYING!
Oh God, I’m so fucking sorry.
How are we going to get out of here?
I just watched The Last Castle and Terminator 2, so if we do everything from those two movies, we should be fine!
Once OUTSIDE, MASON jumps aboard the FREEDOM TRAIN.
Come on, Reznov!
No, my friend! I must remain behind! Our camaraderie is undermining the very essence of the Cold War!
INT. PENTAGON – YES, 1963
MASON is assigned to CIA AGENT JASON HUDSON, who takes him to the PENTAGON, which looks like the set of MAD MEN.
Were those actual cutscenes leading us into the Pentagon? And now I’m seeing split screens. Is all this even allowed in a Call Of Duty game?
At least such explicit movie techniques don’t fool you into thinking there’s any kind of interactivity to this game, as opposed to all those “Press Use To Whatever” prompts. Anyways, meet the President.
(Mayor Quimby impersonation)
Nice to meet you, Mr. Mason.
Holy fuck, the actual President! Why are they putting an obviously unstable guy like me in the same room with you? I’m hallucinating putting a gun to your head right now.
Don’t worry about it. This scene is already in such poor taste because of flashing images of Lee Harvey Oswald on the monitors behind me.
Never mind the fact that receiving my orders directly from the President completely defeats the purpose of black operations.
Please, I’m pretty sure most black operations don’t involve massive shootouts in public. So, your mission is to kill Dragovich. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shoot some zombies so that I may become an even bigger parody of myself.