Review by undertaker188

"One Step Forward, Two Steps Back"

The Call Of Duty series has molded over the past nine years in many different ways, and has taken on some forms that people have liked, and forms that people have hated. Black Ops II has many gracious and suave moments in the campaign, as well as some new features in the multi-player and zombie modes, but overall has fallen flat in many major categories than can make or break a game, and while the game has considerable value to it still, this may be the Call of Duty that will be forgotten the quickest. Let's break down some of the components of the game.

Campaign: 9/10
The campaign mode was a thorough enjoyment with this new title. There were many added features that made this old series feel revitalized and fresh. The campaign was lengthened by an hour or so, which allotted Treyarch to make a fuller and more pleasing story-line. There are definitely many twists and turns that happen in almost every mission that leaves the player jaw-dropped and fascinated. Before each mission, the player has an opportunity to customize their own personal weaponry that they would like to take on that mission. This was certainly a plus for the campaign, as it gave the player more overall freedom in how they wanted to play each mission. We see an improvement in the AI, both with enemies and teammates, they fight with more ferocity and spunk, making each battle more challenging than the last. Each mission builds off it's predecessor, giving players longer missions, and tougher battles as you go deeper into the story. Overall, the campaign gives the player a greater sense of freedom and allows them to make many more decisions that effect the finished outcome of the story.

Soundtrack: 8:10
There weren't many things special about the soundtrack with this game. To be honest, in my opinion the Call of Duty game with the greatest soundtrack was World at War. That isn't to say the music in this game isn't any good, but it seems to pass by without much of a notice. The music didn't play a major role in the overall effect of this game, it was good, but can easily be forgotten.

Controls: 9:10
The controls for Call Of Duty for the most part have stayed consistent with each new game. They offer different control schemes each player can use to his or her own personal advantage, and overall the controls are fluid and easy to remember. I say in every review I do that the controls can truly make or break a game, and the controls for COD seem to be just right for this title.

Multiplayer: 7/10
The "bread and butter" of the Call of Duty franchise. The multiplayer has taken some dramatic turns over the years. This installment of COD seems to revamp the idea of online gaming altogether. Treyarch brings back many old features but also throws in some new ones that didn't work too well. They brought back the create-a-class feature, but with their own flavor. Every weapon was allotted more options for customizing when it came to scopes and sights, as well as camouflages, BUT each class was only given 10 slots that the player could fill. This included weapons, perks, grenades, and any wild cards. After 10 slots were filled, no more could be filled unless the player removes another item. It was a tactic that didn't allow one player to get that "unstoppable class". Score-Streaks give new rewards to the players as they earn streaks in battle. The basics have stayed, like the UAV and care package, but there are certainly some newer devices that is at the disposal of the player, such as "The Guardian" and the "War Machine". There are also some new play types some may enjoy, and of course many of the old ones have returned, except for Sabotage, which has remained a very unused game type over the previous COD titles. Online battle gets tougher. Treyarch has made it so a player cannot just enter a room, close their eyes and spray for kills. You are forced to play tactfully and with strategy if you want to win a gunfight. This requires a near constant aiming down the sights, because there are only rare occasions when spraying may get you the kill out of pure luck. There are many features in the multiplayer that are a plus, and many that fell short of greatness. The maps overall, are poor. There are a few good ones that a player will feel comfortable on, but many of the larger scale maps such as "Turbine" or "Meltdown" are very poorly designed, giving players few opportunities to stay alive longer than a minute. Overall, this multiplayer gets a 7/10.

Zombies: 3/10
Zombies seem to be a crux with Treyarch's version of COD. I personally have never enjoyed the zombie mode in any Call Of Duty. I feel as though it is an unnecessary add-in that makes this great title seem like anything but a war game. There is no difference between zombie mode in Black Ops II when compared to Black Ops I or World at War. It is un-enjoyable and quite frankly unnecessary in a Call Of Duty title. There are of course new maps and new weapon options for players, but overall the zombie mode won't be touched by me much anymore.

Replay Value: 8/10
As far as replay value, this installation gives an extraordinary campaign that I could personally replay and deal with the frustration over and over again. As far as the multiplayer goes, I believe the majority of players who try the online mode of this game will come back to play more and more, but frustration could build up fast and lead to a few controllers thrown around the room. As far as zombies, they hold no replay value and no point in being played.

Overall: 7/10
Black Ops II offers new creative features that can leave a player satisfied and wanting more. The game does indeed hold a number of downsides as well, but overall it is a fun title, and can certainly hold it's own for another year, while Infinity Ward develops their comeback, and hopefully Modern Warfare 4.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/07/13

Game Release: Call of Duty: Black Ops II (US, 11/13/12)

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