Call of Duty: Black Ops - Campaign story
Sunday, November 14 2010 @ 07:40 PM UTC
Note: Some characters from CoD: World at War are involved, but CoD: Black Ops does not continue the WaW story.
The game begins in an interrogation room, strapped to a chair and surrounded by televisions and other electronics. A voice (Disguised, but obviously a man's voice) starts talking, and begins the interrogation. Mason is asked several questions, then begins to recall one of his first missions. This mission consists of Mason, Frank Woods, and Joseph Bowman attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba as a part of Operation 40. Mason succeeds in the assassination, but their extraction goes awry, with Mason staying behind to protect the extraction plane. He is captured by the real Castro and the Cuban military. Having formed an alliance with the Soviet Union, Castro hands Mason over to General Nikita Dragovich as a gift of their alliance. Mason is then held captive at Vorkuta Gulag, a Russian labor camp, for two years.
During his imprisonment, Mason befriends Viktor Reznov (a returning character from Call of Duty: World at War), a former Red Army soldier. Reznov recounts Mason the identities of those involved in Mason’s torture: Dragovich, Lev Kravchenko, and an ex-Nazi scientist who defected to the Soviet Union, Friedrich Steiner. All three share a connection to Reznov: in October 1945, Reznov, Dragovich, Kravchenko, and Dimitri Petrenko (protagonist of World at War Russia campaign) were a part of a unit sent to locate Steiner. Once Steiner is found, he leads Dragovich to a shipwrecked SS frigate, containing a nerve agent known as "Project Nova". Steiner tells the effects of the gas to Dragovich, but he wants to see first-hand what the gas does. Petrenko and two other Russian soldiers are locked in a room, then gassed while Reznov watches from a window. Reznov is spared when British SAS commandos attack. During the confusion, he destroys Project Nova. It is salvaged by the Russians, becoming known as "Nova-6." Shortly afterward, Reznov is imprisoned in Vorkuta for killing Russian soldiers during the escape from the ship. At Vorkuta, Mason and Reznov spark a prisoner uprising to escape the gulag, but only Mason manages to escape.
One month later, Mason is taken to the Pentagon with his new handler, Hudson. Mason is taken to President John F. Kennedy, who authorizes the assassination of Dragovich. In November 1963, Mason, Woods and Bowman are dispatched to Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh SSR to disrupt the Soviet space program. Russian-born CIA agent Grigori Weaver is captured during the operation and Kravchenko slices his eye while torturing him (from here on Weaver wears a patch over his eye socket as his eye is lost). The team save Weaver and eliminate members of the Soviet Ascension program. Dragovich eludes assassination, prompting Mason to search for him over the next five years.
By 1968, the SOG is deployed in Vietnam to investigate the Soviets' presence. After defending Khe Sanh, the SOG is deployed to Hu? during the Tet Offensive to recover a dossier with information on Dragovich from a Russian defector. The team recovers the dossier, while Mason encounters Reznov, who is revealed to be the defector. The team later penetrates Laos to recover a Nova-6 shipment from a downed Soviet plane. The mission goes awry and the team is captured. They are taken to a POW camp, and forced to play Russian Roulette. Bowman is killed by a Spetsnaz operative while there. Mason and Woods escape, and regroup with their team. When Kravchenko is caught, he arms a grenade in order to kill the rest of the SOG team along with himself. However, Woods tackles him through a window, and only those two are killed. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Hudson and Weaver interrogate Clarke, an engineer who stabilized Nova-6 in Kowloon. Clarke identifies Steiner as part of the conspiracy, and reveals the location of a hidden facility in Mount Yamantau before being killed by Dragovich's men. Hudson and Weaver head to Mount Yamantau to destroy the facility and apprehend Steiner. During the mission, Hudson receives a transmission from Steiner requesting to meet him at Rebirth in the Aral Sea to learn how to halt a numbers broadcast with instructions to release Nova-6 gas in American cities. Meanwhile, Mason and Reznov head to Rebirth Island to assassinate Steiner. Mason believes he saw Reznov execute Steiner, but Hudson and Weaver witness Mason carrying out the deed. Hudson tackles him to the ground, and uses Mason's Makarov to pistol-whip him in the head, knocking him out cold. Although not seen, he is taken away to be interrogated, beginning the whole cycle of events from the start of the game.
At this point, Hudson and Weaver are revealed as Mason's interrogators. Hudson realizes that Dragovich brainwashed Mason to understand the numbers broadcasts, effectively becoming a Soviet sleeper agent. Out of options, Hudson deliberately sets Mason free in order to follow him. It is revealed that Reznov died during the Vorkuta break out, and Mason’s visions of Reznov are a result of a personality disorder, a byproduct of Reznov having sabotaged Mason’s brainwashing program. Mason was supposed to assassinate Kennedy, but Reznov reprogrammed him to track down and kill the three men responsible for Dimitri Petrenko's betrayal and death. Mason deciphers the numbers, revealing the location of the Russian cargo ship Rusalka off the coast of Cuba.
By dawn, the team launches an assault on the Rusalka, with Mason and Hudson infiltrating an underwater broadcast station protected by the ship, a Soviet submarine station intended to be used as a staging point for US invasion after the planned Nova-6 attack. Confirming that the Rusalka is the numbers station, Hudson calls in the US Navy to destroy the ship and its underwater base. Mason and Hudson finally kill Dragovich in the lower levels of the station, and swim for the surface during the destruction of the targets, while Reznov's disembodied voice congratulates Mason. Weaver declares victory, but Mason says it is only for now. The story then cuts to a numbers broadcast and then to archive footage of President Kennedy prior to his assassination, with the broadcaster narrating the number sequence and Mason narrating certain numbers and words. Mason's final sayings relate to the assassination of Kennedy, for example, he says "22" which was the day that Kennedy was killed, and "6.5", which was the caliber of the bullet used to kill Kennedy. After a second play-through of the archive footage, Mason’s final words, as well as his presence in the crowd greeting Kennedy's motorcade, suggest that he assassinated Kennedy or that he assisted Oswald in assassinating Kennedy. This theory is supported by Dragovich sarcastically asking "Tried?" before he is killed when Mason says he made him try to kill his President. Note that Kennedy's assassination happens before the events of S.O.G. and after Executive Order, when Mason spends 5 years hunting Dragovich.