We're talking to Jay Puryear, and Treyarch's development director isn't joking. "I haven't seen the light of day. I still don't know what's out there."
"Here" is Madrid, as the juggernaut that is Black Ops 2's latest press tour rumbles onward across Europe and beyond. And, you imagine, much like every other date on the tour, presentations have swallowed up Jay's time. He's readying for his presentation duties. The fourth time he'll have done so today.
Sightseeing will have to wait for another time though, because there's a lot to get through. The reason he's not had a chance to breath the outside Spanish air is due to the game's multiplayer, solo campaign and the first news on its zombie mode, all of which are covered in each session.
As a direct continuation of the events in Call of Duty: Black Ops, the sequel splits its solo story campaign across two time frames. A third of the game will take place in the 80s, while the remaining two snap forward to the near future of 2025.
Given the plot of the first was heavily praised by press and players, it's little surprise that this release is being given even more careful attention. Screenwriter David S. Goyer (Batman Begins) is focusing on the development of villain Raul Menendez, generating empathy with the character and discovering "how he became a monster."
But the "near" part of the near-future setting means the military technology must be as credible as the story. Treyarch insists they're seeking a "plausible reality", an issue that's gained the support of P.W Singer (author of Wired for War) in assistant technology.
The intention is to guess how far technology advances in the next thirteen years, what makes sense to draw upon for the design of weapons and devices. Some of which are seen, and tested in the multiplayer, but the presentation showcases new gadgets utilised on a new level of the campaign.
Also new to the campaign, reminds Puryear, are levels that are non-linear, and built-in is the possibility of failure that can influence future events in the game. There's also a new class system that's not limited to just multiplayer - letting you build your custom killing machine in the solo experience as well.
The level we see is called Celerium, which occurs in the 2025 era of the campaign.
In this war-torn future, a squad can approach an enemy's secret base in ways much more discreet and almost unthinkable than today's options. Special gloves allow them to climb cliff-faces, winged suits to leap from the cliff's top and soar silently under radar. You're in control of your descent into enemy territory, though the perfect 10 landing's pre-scripted.
On the ground and the new technology deployment continues. Camouflage systems remind heavily of Predator, hacking tools allow you to break into a combat helicopter sitting on a nearby helipad. Worth doing so as well, as it can clean the yard with a powerful machine gun with thermal sight engaged.
Another weapon, and one that'll sees triumph in multiplayer hands-on, spits a shower of adhesive mini-mines like a buckshot, perfect for setting up doors as traps. There's the usual smattering of traditional arsenal, all given a slight futuristic twist.