Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Review by MrBombasticaI
"Black Ops 2: A decent game."
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 was meant to be the best Call of Duty game to date, according to it's developers, Treyarch. However, this has not always been the case here. The whole point of the game was to bring a futuristic take on a classic series. The campaign was set in the year 2025, with flashbacks to the 1980s. The flashbacks took the player back to Alex Mason and Frank Woods' adventures leading up to the villain, Raul Menendez's evil plans. The story was well put together and nicely done. The multiplayer is set in the same future year, 2025. It features heavily advanced technology and some older stuff, like the campaign. It is set up to be great, with a few flaws, I will discuss later. The Zombies portion of the game is a disappointment too. The developers have strayed away from what made Zombies so great, and alienated many traditional fans.
Generally, the game does most things well, and others terribly. The game is not bad, but is worse than other great Call of Duty games.
The overall gameplay of Black Ops 2 is pretty good. It has a brand new class system, designed around freedom of choice in terms of playstyles and also features a new kill streak system. In campaign, the new class system sticks, with the player being able to choose 2 guns, with 3 attachments on the first gun, and 2 on the second. You may also choose a Lethal equipment, non lethal equipment and up to 3 "perks", such as an Access kit, which allows otherwise inaccessible areas of the campaign to be used. The campaign's gameplay is very solid, giving hitmarkers on enemies for the first time, as well as lots of freedom to choose what happens in the story. The multiplayer's playstyle is much the same of other Call of Dutys, with a fun, close quarters action we all love. There are some huge lag issues, especially for any players outside of USA or Europe, and the search options don't change much. Much like the original Black Ops, it runs on an outdated IW 3.0 engine, the same one used in World at War. This brings some issues. The game does not feel as smooth as previous games in the series, and does not feature some of Modern Warfare 3's inclusions, like the Specialist Killstreaks, and the lighting improvements. Challenges are not the greatest either, with some requiring 5 killstreaks with guns that aren't the greatest to begin with. Aside from these flaws, the game is pretty good. The zombies mode is generic as well, you cannot really do much in it. With only one major easter egg, it does not deliver like the previous games. Maybe with some Downloadable content, it will redeem itself.
Continuing on from Black Op's storyline, the BO2 campaign sees you take on the character of David Mason, Alex Mason's son. You are in "The Vault", the place where a retired Frank Woods now lives. Here, you learn about some of the exciting adventures Woods and Alex Mason took on in the 1980s, including a desert defense in Afghanistan, to a Vietman prison mission. Woods is the narrator for the entire 1980s segment of the game, encompassing around 1/3rd of the game. Meanwhile, tensions between China and USA rise as Raul Menedez tries to start a war, turning the futuristic tech against their owners. This boils into one nice story. The campaign, unlike other Call of Dutys, is not linear, there are many endings. Certain character's deaths can lead to a much different outcome at the end. The campaign also features Strike Force, the game's take on a Real Time Strategy. It is essentially a series of 5 missions which can change the story too. The story is very nice, but leaves some plot holes. For example, in Black Ops, the intel you gather shows Mason is under attack by US agents, who deemed him burnt. The game does not address this, and the player is left wondering. Even one character's story is left in the dark in one ending, where the character's absence is unexplained. Overall, the story is pretty good, but not great. Zombies also brings it's own story. With the world killed, and lava flowing from random cracks, you must survive, while building your way to survival.
The graphics of Black Ops 2 are fairly good, like all Call of Duty games. Not much has changed here, with a few minor differences. The sound is largely unchanged, with the exception of player footsteps. In the new game, the footsteps are almost silent. This leads to a game where players are free to sprint around with no fear of being heard. There is a perk to allow others to hear these steps a little better, but it remains largely unused. The game still uses the classic 60 frames per second rate that is synonymous with Call of Duty. This leads to a much smoother game than most. It is played in 720p HD, with scaling up to 1080p available by altering some settings in the menus. The graphics and sound are pretty good overall.
You can just keep on playing this game forever. Treyarch has delivered a multitude of challenges to unlock before you get bored of doing nothing. There are hundreds of unique challenges to do, and over 30 guns to level up and get Gold. You can even put Gold camo on your knife! The game does not stop at the end of Prestige 10, you simply unlock everything and continue to play. The campaign is able to be played multiple times through, with it's own challenge system. The zombies mode is also very fun to play over and over, but gets tedious after a while. Overall, you could keep playing forever.
Final Recommendation 7/10: Do Buy
I think that Black Ops 2 is a fun game, great for playing with friends. Playing solo is not the most fun experience, but still does the job. I would recommend the game to all of my friends and family. If you are on the fence about it, do get it. If you do not like it, sell it. Do not complain, just don't play it. It is still a fun time for me, as I rush toward Diamond!
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/13
Game Release: Call of Duty: Black Ops II (AU, 11/13/12)
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