Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Review by Ikasnu
"The fine line between "Bad" and "Good" gives you Black Ops 2"
Hype. Hype is when you are really excited for something and believe it will be an absolute perfect experience. After Modern Warfare 3's downfall and Infinity Ward's decline into the abyss, Treyarch was the last hope for the once superb series. I was excited for Black Ops 2, and in the beginning was blinded by it. I thought this game was the best Treyarch delivered, and I said that I supported Treyarch. Now that the hype is gone, and I've been able to analyze it and give an opinion. At most, this game is playable, but that dies quick.
Call of Duty has always been the same when it comes to multiplayer with the exception of CoD3 which was very basic. The formula for CoD has always revolved around perks, killstreaks, and P2P servers and when mixed together they make a ridiculous combination. Like I stated in my MW3 review, Activision is a poor company when it comes to their objectives. All they see with each game is money, not opportunity or growth with their customers. We receive the same thing each year, with the same poor execution and quality as seen through Activision and their lack of dedicated servers on top of their lust for money.
I've decided that I will not be purchasing any more Call of Duty games and this isn't Treyarch's fault. It's Activisions.
Too long we have supported Activisions idea's and marketing strategy by getting excited for these lackluster games that are barely worthy of a mediocre score which coincidentally get's "good" reviews from all the high-end reviewers who I suspect most are paid off or fear retaliation of their fanbases for giving a game a low score (like the messages I got for rating MW3 a 2/10, some people are THAT ridiculous), though this is my opinion. Activision could of easily afforded dedicated servers for MW2 and every other future CoD game. Hell DICE/EA is capable of running huge maps, with good graphics and up to 24 players on one of these single maps while they make less income from their games (DICE) when compared to Activision, Treyarch, and Infinity Ward.
So why have none of these CoD games improved? We are playing on Peer to Peer servers (P2P). Ever since CoD4, it's a steady decline. MW2 was great, Black Ops was okay, MW3 was terrible, and this game is slightly above that, so we at least increased the rating at the end, though not by much due to the dead horse that's still being beaten by Activision.
Black Ops 2 is... Okay when it comes to this. We are re-living the "excessively quick deaths" again, dealing with lag which shouldn't exist, and deal with all of these CQC (Close Quarters Combat) maps that require you to be on your heels at ALL times, which isn't fun. I don't want to feel like I'm going to die as soon as I kill an enemy, yet always do. Spawns have never been perfect, and that's okay, but when your maps are so small that I spawn right where the enemy who killed me dies... There is an issue, especially when after spawning, I walk 10 feet and I already see my screen turning red.
However, Treyarch did, at last remove the most annoying aspect of CoD which is the knife. Finally I can play the game without worrying about being knifed around every corner and still keep the ability to knife! No more commando lunge, instant kill O button. I'm not sure what they did, but I suspect they removed aim-assist for the knife.
Now, Treyarch tried a lot with Black Ops 2, and introduced some innovation. The Create-A-Class 2.0 is great, and so is the future aspect this game is delivered in. They also are the first to introduce camouflage for your knife, and EVERY weapon you can use, which is really neat! So these are a few positive aspects they added into the game along with adding to the custom emblem option which enables you to twist and turn, shrink and expand your emblems creating a lot of possibilities and with 32 slots to place them in. Unfortunately, they don't give you much to work with, or all the shapes Black Ops had.
A lot of people argue about balance in this game and I think it's... Decent. Scorestreaks are perfect the way they are and are perfectly balanced with Engineer being the only perk that has, in my opinion, too many abilities. With weapons, I'm not sure how I feel about them. The guns are too inconsistent to tell.
Soundtrack? Yeah, that's what I would call it because there is no music. None. This dubstep techno crap they have in the game is absolute garbage, and is the reason I play without any music what so ever. I wish I could avoid hearing that stupid "I'm a try it out" on one of the maps. Seriously, I know it's supposed to be futuristic, but dubstep is not futuristic, nor is it music.
It's also infuriating to hear you characters loud scream everytime he dies. I can't stand listening to it, it's just so irritating and makes me want to grab the nearest baby and chuck it out the window... On the good side, guns sound like guns. About all I can say when it comes to sound.
Mute all function is the best thing this game offers when it comes to sound as you can mute everyone in the lobby who isn't in your party!
What can I say? It's... Meh. They're just... Meh. In fact, I would have to say that they remind me of a mix between Black Ops and MW2. So we take two dated (now) graphics and pin them to this game. However, at least Black Ops 2 improved over Black Ops by adding that element. Since we've progressed two years in technology, I would think that they would be able to do more with the visuals, but these visuals aren't good, but nor are they bad.
The Remainder 10/10
The other modes this game has to offer are great. The campaign is a lot of fun and actually interesting with it's new representation of how the story unfolds depending on your actions. I don't want to say much about the campaign because I base it on how fun it is to play, and it is indeed fun to play and you should give it a shot. With CoD I typically don't enjoy the campaign and lose interest in it, but this one... It's worth experiencing. Go, now, go play it.
And now everyones favorite. Zombies. A lot of people including myself enjoy the direction they took this mode into. You now travel between a few locations all with different weapons, perks, and strategies required to do well on them, including pieces that make it even harder to do well. Things like the Electric Zombie and the pools of lava that harm you when you touch it. They certainly added a lot to it including buildable equipment such as electric traps, turbines, and a zombie shield.
- Horrible *cough* "music"
- Create-a-Class 2.0
- Emblem Creator 2.0
- Zombies and Campaign
Gameplay and visuals don't really fall into either category, they're neither pro's nor cons. Think of them as being the "grey" area where there is nothing remarkable about it, but nothing to really hinder it to the point it's worth mentioning. I think of Black Ops 2 as being the game you can play once or twice a week for a few hours before the enjoyment goes away.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/20/12
Game Release: Call of Duty: Black Ops II (US, 11/13/12)
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