Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the newest entry in the CoD franchise, made by Treyarch and developed by Activision. It delivers everything from a twists and turns single player campaign, to some all new zombie content, and of course, the well-known multiplayer. Now the big question; is it worth the sixty dollars? Read on to discover the answer!
Let’s kick off the review by answering some overall questions, before we break it down. Does the game feel like a CoD game? Yes. It has that general feel of every other Call of Duty game, runs at 60 frames per seconds, and retains the Black Ops feel. Does it handle like one? Yes, handles exactly like the rest do. Does it look like one? Most definitely. The graphics look outdated and old, and while the game looks like every other newer CoD game, it for sure looks like a Black Ops title, with a nice variety of bright and dark colors throughout. Now we’ll break up the three modes, rate them all, then regroup for a final score at the end.
Since Modern Warfare 1, the story modes of Call of Duty titles haven’t been all that. Most of them suck. In my opinion, the first Black Ops revived the story, and brought a fresh start to the table, and Black Ops 2 is a worthy predecessor in terms of the campaign.
You play the majority of the story as the son of Alex Mason (protagonist of Black Ops 1), David Mason. There are returning characters like Frank Woods, and then several new ones, like Mike Harper. Throughout the game, you have flash-backs, narrated by an elderly Frank Woods, in which you play as Alex, and Woods, as you discover the rise of the villain; Raul Menendez, and the fall of Alex Mason. There are also parts where you are put into the shoes of the crafty antagonist.
Your overall goal is to stop Raul Menendez, who plans to take down the American government to avenge his sister, who meant the world to him. But it’s not as simple as that. Raul has a secret organization called Cordis Die, which he plans to unleash on the world. He also has many ways to get inside your head, he is overall a great villain, one of the best in the CoD franchise.
There are many new features to the campaign, such as the custom load-out system, which works much like the create-a-class in multiplayer. You choose your weapons and equipment, and jump into the mission. Another new addition is the choice system. At least that’s what I call it. Basically what this means, is that in certain parts of the story, you are forced to make touch choices. When I was presented with these decisions, I always tried to put myself in the shoes of the character I was controlling. “What would he do?” I asked myself. This gave me much satisfaction with the outcome. There are three possible endings to the story, which proved very neat.
There is in fact another new part of the storyline, which are the strike force missions. These missions are basically sand-box missions, where you have one objective to complete, and you command a group of soldiers (and machines) to complete it. These missions also have a deciding factor in the outcome of the game, which is cool, but on the downside, they aren’t very fun. As I said, you are put in control of a unit of soldiers, and controlling them is very clunky. You are put in a bird’s eye view of the map, and you have to command your unit, to attack and move. You can also control any soldier or drone in the unit. This system would work well if it wasn’t so clunky, and just, well, boring feeling. Many times I found myself rushing through to finish them, or just skipping them altogether.
Overall the campaign and storyline are VERY cool, and I urge you to not skip it if you pick this up.
+ Cool Characters
+ Great Story
+ Load-out System
- Strike Force
- Short Campaign
Single Player: 9.1/10
Let’s start this off by saying, if this mode wasn’t included, you would be writhing in regret for shelling out $60 for it, but luckily it does include this mode, and the re-invented zombie mode delivers.
What is more fun than getting chased by blue-eyed zombies with a group of friends? Oh I know! Getting chased by zombies through the all new TranZit mode, which is the best mode in all of Zombies. What you do in Tranzit is start on one of the 3 Black Ops 2 zombie maps (Bus Station, Town, and Farm) then you kill some zombies, craft some tools, and discover some items to enhance your playing (and killing) abilities. Now that is fun and all, but what is more cool is after you find all the stuff in one area, there is a bus waiting for you. Hop on, and it takes off. You have to watch the boarded up windows for any zombies that want to come on and eat your brains. After the bus stops, you will be in the next map, and then the last one. After that you are dropped off again at the first one, to rack up points, buy some perks you missed, and so on. This keeps going till you die, and must restart.
Once you get bored of TranZit, you can check out the next new mode included, Grief. This was earlier referred to as the 4z4 mode, and it pits a team of 4 humans versus another team of 4 humans. Oh and they also throw zombies in. You are not allowed to kill other humans, but you can shoot and knife them, which makes them slow down a bit. Basically you and your team (and the other team) fight off the zombie horde, and which-ever team survives the longest wins. You play this mode on one of the three new and cool maps.
The last mode for zombies is the classic fan favorite Survival mode. You fight off zombies on one map, rebuild the barriers they enter through, buy new areas to explore, and get new weapons off the walls, and use the mystery box till it disappears. While this mode is fun, it is not as good as before. Unfortunately these maps look like they were built for the TranZit mode, and two of the maps only have one door to go through, nowhere near the variety of past zombie maps. Luckily, shooting zombies is still fun, and even with not a lot of variety from the maps, killing zombies is still a blast.
Overall in the zombie mode, the fun factor out-weighs the lack of variety, and with added modes, this is the most fun I’ve had slaying the undead out of all the CoD titles.
+ New Modes (TranZit & Grief)
+ New Maps
+ Zombie Killing Fun
+ Zombie design
- Survival (not as good as before)
- Lack of Variety (Farm and Bus Stop)
Ah multiplayer, the key element in every CoD title since the first Modern Warfare. Love it or hate it, this is what justifies that sixty dollar price tag.
While the multiplayer on this game is fun, it feels like more of the same. Shoot, kill, level up, prestige, repeat. The futuristic weapons are nice and all, but nothing revolutionary. There are returning weapons from the first game, only “futurized”, which I found cool. They really did a good job making the FAL and crossbow look high tech.
Other than the weapons you unlock, you also unlock accessories for them, such as suppressors, longer barrels, scopes, sights, and under-action launchers. Some specific attachments I found cool were the target finder sight, which when aiming down the sights, enemies can be spotted easily with the red diamond that highlights them. The millimeter scanner is also neat, which basically acts as a built in wall hack for a short distance.
Instead of kill-streaks in this game, we have score-streaks. You have a bar in the bottom right corner of your screen, and you get points for basically everything you do, such as destroying shock charges, getting headshots, etc. These actions fill the bar, and once full, you unlock your first score-streak, and it resets so you can go for the next one. The score streaks in the game are very cool to say the least. There are returning actions, such as UAV support and care packages, but there are also new and cool ones, like controlling a flying drone, and setting up a micro-wave turret, which slows down enemy movement. While score streaks are nice, they don’t have all the excitement of getting that 9th kill for the Chopper Gunner.
Black Ops 2 seems to also re-invent the create-a-class, and introduces the new “Pick 10” system. Basically what you do is pick any 10 weapons (maximum of 2), attachments (maximum of 3 for primary, 2 for secondary), and perks. There are also wild cards, which also take up a slot, and they give you the power to carry 2 of one tier of perks, or take your primary as your secondary gun, and many other options. You can have up to three wild cards.
There are many modes in the multiplayer section, including fan favorites like TDM, Free for all, Kill Confirmed, Search and destroy, and Domination. Yes, it has all the same game modes as MW3, except one, Hardpoint mode. Now don’t get excited over this new mode, basically all it is would be the Headquarters, with a larger defense/attack area.
Onto the maps. There are a very wide variety of them, and let me say, these maps beat Black Ops 1 maps any day. Areas range from a cruise ship in the middle of the sea, to a drone factory deep in the jungle, to the war torn decks of an aircraft carrier and every-where in between. There are many maps, and I would say these are the best ones since the first Modern Warfare’s “Shipment”.
To sum it up, the multiplayer of the game added some new and cool features, however, it gets repetitive, and over all feels like all the other Call of Duty’s multiplayer mode.
+ Reinvented Weapons and Attachments
+ Pick 10
+ Map Variety
+ Cool New Score-Streaks
- Score-Streaks Instead of Kill-Streaks
- Gets Repetitive and Boring (feels like more of the same)
Well, I guess that is all the material they gave us to review, so I guess we shall conclude. Overall Black Ops 2 is a nice new title that offers a lot of content, and is a worthy addition to the CoD series. Overall I would say buy it, as it will keep you busy for a while, but I would say waiting for a price drop would also be very smart, especially if you are buying it for a specific mode. However, if you are going to be using all three modes like me, it is definitely worth the cash.
+ Great Single Player Campaign
+ New Zombie Modes
+ Fun Multiplayer Aspects
+ Awesome Setting
- Strike Force
- Multiplayer does get old