Stars in Their Iron Sights
The Call of Duty: Black Ops series boasts some high-caliber star power, and we've got the scoop on who voices your favorite characters. Which Academy Award-nominated actor played a major role in Black Ops? Which star suddenly replaced him in the sequel? Which of your favorite war criminals made cameo appearances in Black Ops 2?
Read on for our shocking expos, and for candid comparison photos that the celebs DON'T want you to see, probably.
Mason: Sam Worthington
Players control CIA operative Alex Mason for the majority of the original Black Ops and in a few segments throughout Black Ops 2. A victim of Soviet brainwashing, Mason's motives are not always clear, and actor Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation), voices the troubled character throughout the series ... with varying degrees of Australian accent slipping through.
Bowman: Ice Cube
Joseph Bowman serves alongside Mason in the original Black Ops, backing him up in Cuba, Baikonur, and Vietnam. Bowman is voiced by rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube, formerly of the seminal gangsta rap group N.W.A and star of films like Boyz n the Hood and XXX: State of the Union.
Hudson: Ed Harris
Jason Hudson joins up with Mason's squad in Vietnam, and later interrogates his former ally following Mason's apparent sabotage. Ed Harris, an Academy Award-nominated actor known for films like Apollo 13, The Rock, and Enemy at the Gates, voices Hudson in the original Black Ops, but does not reprise his role for the sequel.
Reznov: Gary Oldman
Returning from Call of Duty: World at War, Viktor Reznov becomes friends with Alex Mason during his time at the Vorkuta labor camp, but he has ulterior motives for their alliance. The enigmatic Reznov is played by veteran actor Gary Oldman, who previously featured in films like JFK, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Fifth Element, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
The Call of the Dead Crew
Danny Trejo (Machete), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) star in Call of Duty: Black Ops' Zombies mode map "Call of the Dead" as ... themselves. The quartet voice their own characters and provide motion capture for their in-game counterparts, making Black Ops arguably the best Danny Trejo simulator on the market.
And Romero Too
Night of the Living Dead director George Romero also makes an appearance as Call of the Dead's undead antagonist, because of course he does.
Hudson Mk. 2: Michael Keaton
Jason Hudson returns in Black Ops 2 with a new mission for Mason and a new voice actor: Michael Keaton, who played The Dark Knight in the Tim Burton Batman films. He also starred in Multiplicity, but we'll forgive him.
Oliver North: Himself
Black Ops 2 features real-world political figures throughout its narrative, including former Panamaian dictator Manuel Noriega, who joins up with Mason's squad during a mission in Nicaragua. Another mission has a brief cameo from former United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and Iran-Contra affair participant Oliver North, who voices himself in Black Ops 2.
Uh ... Jimmy Kimmel?
On the other end of the political spectrum from Oliver North, Black Ops 2 also features Jimmy Kimmel, who pops up during the game's epilogue. Kimmel gets away with some great self-promotion here - not only is he voicing himself, but he's hosting a fictional episode of his own late-night television series.
A Zombies mode you can't refuse
Black Ops 2 assembles another all-star cast for its Zombies mode map "Mob of the Dead," including Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), Chazz Palminteri (The Usual Suspects), and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, and the voice of Tommy Vercetti in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City). We're impressed, actually.
In one of the Call of Duty series' most surreal moments, heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold performs their song "Carry On" during an odd post-credits sequence in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. "We had two full days of motion capture, so the band went in there, put on silly outfits and we danced around and pretended like we were playing in front of an audience," singer M. Shadows recalled afterward in an interview with The Pulse Of Radio.
In the game's final moments, Black Ops 2 adversaries Frank Woods and Raul Menendez put aside their differences for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jam with the band on stage.
The dead rise once again, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3's "Shadows of Evil" map could be the most over-the-top Zombies experience yet featured in a Call of Duty game. Set in the 1940s, this co-op vignette pits players against enraged armies of mobster zombies, and gumball power-ups give the starring cast superhuman abilities straight out of BioShock.
Featured voice talent includes Heather Graham (Austin Powers), Neal McDonough (Band of Brothers), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), and Jeff freakin' Goldblum (Jurassic freakin' Park). It's gonna be ridiculous, and honestly, we'd expect nothing less at this point.