Harper is one of the new characters in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2'. Photo: AFP
It's a bleak future for Los Angeles in 2025, subject to all manner of bombardment from hostile forces, unmanned aeroplanes, and even walking tanks in the first trailer for November's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
In fact, it's all gone a bit Terminator 2 as the USA's army of computer-controlled war machines has been given a new set of orders.
"No-one ever asked 'What happens when the enemy steals the keys?'" explains the trailer's elderly Sergeant Frank Woods, who was one of Black Ops' main characters. "The things they built to keep us safe were turned against us."
Familiar series hallmarks return -- explosive cut-scenes, battlegrounds both urban and exotic, and airborne sections are all present, this time joined by tanks on legs, swarms of aerial drones, and horse chases through a rocky and dangerous desert.
While Activision has staked out November 13 as the launch date for this year's annual Call of Duty expedition, Ubisoft finds itself in the fortunate position of being able to leverage Black Ops 2's near-future backdrop as its own Ghost Recon: Future Soldier due from May 22.