'Halo 4' and 'Black Ops 2' Releases: Gamers Have Guns Loaded, Pockets Unloaded

A GameStop in Orange, Conn. saw hundreds of gamers lined up to claim their copies of "Black Ops 2." Photographer declined credit, did not want to blow cover as he was calling in sick to work the next day.

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? and "Halo 4? have kicked off the holiday season for first-person shooter fanatics with two blockbuster game releases in one week. New games are a yearly event for the "Call of Duty" franchise while the "Halo" series tends to launch on an every-other-year schedule.

Last week's "Halo 4? release was a record breaker for the series, raking in more money than any of its predecessors with a $220 million one-day total. To put that into perspective, the current record holder for movie ticket sales is $80.5 million, for the opening of "The Avengers" this summer.

Xbox's flagship series had been dormant for a few years before the Nov. 6 launch and there was worry among fans that the quality of the Halo series would take a dip, as long-time developer Bungie was replaced by 343 Industries for the game's latest incarnation. "Halo 4? has seen generally favorable reviews from critics, holding strong at 84 on Metacritic.com.

According to Microsoft, the game is on its way to reach $300 million in global sales for its first week, making it "the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year." So far. At midnight last night, at video game outlets across the country, gamers waited for hours in long lines to pick up the 9th "Call of Duty" title, "Black Ops 2?, which is expected to rival "Halo 4? sales.

"Black Ops 2? will extend its potential sales by also being available at launch for Nintendo's WiiU, the first entry in the Call of Duty series to have an HD release on a Nintendo system. The game features a variety of war zone gameplay, both set in the 1980s and the year 2025, and features mountable horses as well as a popular zombie survival mode.

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