Let’s give the makers of the Call of Duty franchise some credit here. Activision has essentially colonized the month of November in the last few years, making ever-more-ludicrous sums of beluga-cash off of every new game. Of course, the actual Call of Duty formula hasn’t changed very much: Take a mediocre campaign with big-name Hollywood talent, mix in a raft of new multiplayer features, maybe throw in a zombie mini-game, and boom, money in the bank. This November’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 looks quite different. In fact, it looks bananas. The new trailer kicks off with Mass Effect music and presents a future world dominated by robo-tanks and x-ray sniper rifles and men on horseback shooting at flying machines. Is Call of Duty just becoming Halo? Is this Terminator: Salvation the game? Does this mean the franchise is overdelivering just for the hell of it, or is it messing with the winning formula? Watch the video and ponder.

The Washington Post has a deep-dive into the new game which, if nothing else, confirms that the changes are more than just cosmetic. There will be open-world missions where you control multiple soldiers and robots and something called a “mobile rocket launcher,” and apparently your decisions will actually affect the outcome of the game. Admittedly, none of these changes seem to have anything to do with the bread-and-butter multiplayer — Treyarch confirms that there will be a new zombie mode. Still, you gotta admit: This doesn’t look dull.

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