"Ask most Call of Duty fans who won the Advanced Warfare Championship and they'd have to sit down and think about it," says Shane "ShAnE" McKerral, a veteran of the professional Call of Duty scene. "But if you ask them who won the Black Ops 2 Championship, which was two years before, they will say Impact in a heartbeat."
For as long as most folk remember, games have launched on Fridays in the UK and on Tuesday in the US. That's the way of things. Sometimes they converge for a glitzy worldwide launch but mostly they don't - they stick to the norm, and Europeans wait.
I'd finished my interview with Tom Cassell, and it had gone fairly well. Although, something did feel like it was missing. "Would you mind if I walked with you for a bit?" I asked. "So I can see it happen?" Tom was enthusiastic - he is about most things. So we took to the floor of the Eurogamer Expo.
Another year, another Call of Duty - and, from a technological perspective, Black Ops 2 could prove to be the most ambitious yet. Treyarch's latest continues the company's tradition of expanding and improving upon the core Infinity Ward engine, with a host of new engine advancements revealed in the footage seen to date. The question is, at a time where many developers seem to be approaching the limits of current-gen consoles, can this ever-evolving codebase sustain the 60 frames per second update that the series has always aspired to?
It may be a sad indication of how the proverbial blockbuster has evolved over the years, but recently I've started to judge popcorn movies and triple-A shooters based on how entertainingly they destroy cities. Over the last half decade I've seen so many famous cities wiped off the map for my amusement, I now expect games developers and film directors to exhibit both originality and creativity in how they orchestrate violent urban renewal.
Whether you're a fan of their work or not, one can't deny that Infinity Ward is a past master when it comes to this sort of thing. It's also to the developer's credit that reducing urban conurbations to piles of rubble isn't entirely about upping the shock and awe ante; there's something genuinely disturbing on an emotional level about seeing landmarks such as the New York Stock Exchange, the London Underground and the Washington Memorial with chunks blown out of them.
If all of that sounds disturbing, then consider this: it also constitutes part of what gamers expect from the 'authentic Call Of Duty experience', which Treyarch's Community Manager John Rafazz says lies at the heart of what the Santa Monica developer is trying to deliver with the single-player campaign for Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2.