In an interview following our first-look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Treyarch Director David Anthony told me everything I needed to hear to put money down on the next installment in the massive franchise.
Black Ops 2 will feature branching storylines based on the choices you make throughout the campaign:
Choices in the campaign will also determine whether certain characters live or die. Some of these branches paths will also be determined by your skill in the game.
What's more, Anthony pointed out that, yes, the Strikeforce missions (previewed here) will play a role in these branching pathways, but not to the extent that hard choices within the campaign will affect the story.
Anthony set it up this way: At one point, you'll be given the choice to directly escort a character through a dangerous section of the campaign. Say you choose to instead provide overwatch with a sniper rifle (as detailed in our preview). If you don't provide sufficient cover from that sniper's position, the character you chose not to directly escort may die.
For a series that has quickly found that constant one-upsmanship will get you no where, this may be the single-player revelation Call of Duty needs to stay relevant.