Ex-CIA chief Petraeus gets new role in COD

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iol scitech nov 14 David Petraeus Reuters David Petraeus. File picture: Kevin Lamarque

San Francisco - The sex scandal that forced the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus has not stopped him from achieving greatness in the make-believe world of action videogames.

An animated version of the fallen US spymaster has a part in what is expected to be the top selling videogame of the year - freshly-launched military espionage action title Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Petraeus is promoted to US Secretary of Defence in the game, set in a fictional near-future, serving under a woman president who resembles Hillary Clinton.

The game, and the role of Petraeus, was created well before the sex scandal erupted last week around the former four-star US general who headed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The real-world Petraeus resigned last week when it became clear that his affair with married 40-year-old military reservist Paula Broadwell, a military academic who wrote a fawning biography of the general, would become public.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 - the sequel to an earlier Cold War-set episode in the record-selling franchise - whisks players to a fictional 2025 in which a Nicaraguan militant is plotting to undermine US security.

Players following the game's main storyline will come upon Petraeus taking custody of a terrorist prisoner on a virtual aircraft carrier called the USS Barack Obama, according to videogame news website Kotaku.com.

“Petraeus doesn't do much in the game, and there's no sign of Paula Broadwell,” Kotaku said.

An actor provided the voice for the in-game Petraeus.

“The move to the near future provided us with the opportunity to tell a time and generation-spanning narrative, as well as access an entirely new world of technology, weapons,” Mark Lamia, head of the Treyarch studios that developed the game for Activision, told AFP.

The game features another scandal-tarnished US military hero, former Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North who was at the heart of the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s. North was an advisor on the videogame and spoke his character's lines.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 hit stores worldwide on Tuesday, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. A version developed for Nintendo's new Wii U will be released at the same time as the console, on November 18 in the United States and November 30 in Europe.

Treyarch spent two years developing the title, working with arms experts to imagine the weaponry of the near future, from warrior robots to ultra-sophisticated drones.

“Our fictional world of 2025 is the result of news headlines you see today,” Lamia said of the game.

Total sales for the Call Of Duty franchise, launched in 2003, exceed worldwide box office receipts for Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings, according to Activision.

The last published Call Of Duty game, Modern Warfare 3, hit a billion dollars in revenue 16 days after its launch last year - a day less than it took the James Cameron movie Avatar to reach the same milestone. - Sapa-AFP

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