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Black Ops 2 multiplayer: eight most important changes

Dumping killstreaks, changing loadouts and going nuts for gadgets

Thanks to Mike's heavy-hitting coverage, you should know everything there is to know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's single player. You should know about the game's multiple endings, real-time strategy inflected Strikeforce missions, Information Era conspiracy theories and fancy-dan near-future weapons. But until now, all has been confusion and darkness as regards the multiplayer component.

OK, so there was that trailer last week, and the rumours have been many and plausible. But the official stuff trounces these frail whisperings. Trounces them, I say! Here's Matt with more, reporting live from the scintillating cesspit that is Gamescom.

1. Pick and mix and GO WILD
After years of tweaking with the Call of Duty load-out system, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 ditches most of what you know in favour of the rumoured points-based system. Each loadout has a total of 10 points to spend, but what you choose to invest in is mostly up to you. Whether it's a piece of equipment, a perk, or a weapon - each item you choose uses up a single slot.

There are still only a certain number of slots that you can devote to each category, though - which is where the Wildcards come into play. These special choices cost one slot to use, but allow you to break the system in interesting ways. If you want an extra weapon attachment or extra perks, Wildcards are the way to go. If none of the perks in a set take your fancy, feel free to ditch it for a second flashbang instead.

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2. You can run and you can hide
Some of the classic Call of Duty perks have been tweaked to fit Black Ops 2 better, and one of the franchise's staple features is no more. There are no Pro perks in Black Ops 2, which should hopefully lead to a more level playing field months after release. Perks which render you invisible to electronic devices like the UAV aren't quite as handy as they were last time either, with the Ghost perk only keeping you invisible as long as you're dashing about like a March hare. Snipers who like to stay put will have to find new tricks to keep themselves off-radar.

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