The first details on Call of Duty: Black Ops are in, via new issues of Official Xbox Magazine and PC Zone.
As reported, Black Ops is a Cold War-era deniable-ops shooter that tackles Vietnam, the frosty Russian Mountains, the Loation undergrounds and everything in between. Developer Treyarch hopes the locations will inject some much needed variety into the CoD series.
OXM describes Black Ops as "unbelievably gorgeous", with snazzier smoke and fire effects, better draw distance, more convincing character animation and "incredible" lighting in some scenes.
You play as a member of the Studies and Operations Group (SOG), a pocket of CIA-sanctioned forces whose methods are unconventional and actions deniable.
SOG missions the mags saw include rappelling out of a helicopter into Hue City to verify that the Russians are setting up shady backroom deals, and a stealthy operation in the Ural Mountains called 'WMD' which has you repelling down the side of a ridge, Modern Warfare style.
Another level, which kicks off with a helicopter crash into the Huong River, has you swimming and diving through the murky waters - with only your knife for company.
New weapons include the Crossbow, which can be used for both stealthy kills and an explosive tip secondary fire shot, the M202 rocket launcher and an incendiary shotgun.
Of course as you'd have seen in the debut trailer Black Ops also features pilotable vehicles, including the SR-71 Blackbird (which has you guiding troops on the ground past guard patrols - a bit like Modern Warfare's own air missions) and the helicopter, which OXM stresses is fully controllable - you even have helicopter-on-helicopter gun fights.
As far as multiplayer goes Treyarch is staying quiet, though vehicles will return (but "not the way you remember them"), some kind of co-op mode will feature and increased character customisation is promised.
For many, many more details - and the world's first screenshots - pick up issue 60 of Official Xbox Magazine and issue 221 of PC Zone magazine, on sale from today. Why not buy them online and have them delivered to your door? Eh?