- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Reviewed by:
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- GraphicsEditor: 100%
- GameplayEditor: 90%
- ControlsEditor: 100%
- MultiplayerEditor: 90%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 100%
The much anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has officially been released.
The Call of Duty series franchise is one of the most successful video game franchises ever developed. Their massive popularity really took off with the release of their fourth game in the series entitled Call of Duty: 4 Modern Warfare back in 2007. Each and every November for the last 5 years there has been a new addition to the franchise that is patiently awaited by millions and millions of fans all over the world. The latest installment in the series, Black Ops 2 is the sequel to the previous Black Ops game released back in 2010.
Black Ops 2 is set in the year 2025 and features futuristic warfare instead of the modern warfare we have been used to in the past games. The weapons are futuristic, but not in a ridiculous Halo like fashion. The single player campaign is fantastic and it's story line plays off the previous plot with many familiar faces from previous Call of Duty campaigns. On top of the usual run and gun routine, there is some really cool aspects of the campaign as you continue through it. Examples of this include having the chance to glide down a mountain in wing suit, ride on horseback, or control a chopper gunner to take out enemy tanks.
The graphics are stellar and a noticeable upgrade in comparison to the previous games. The maps are very detailed down to the last object and this makes the gameplay seem very realistic. The character models are as real as they could possibly look. We were slightly disappointed there wasn't the huge variety of character models depending on the map like there was in the original Black Ops. There also is no ghillie suits in this game, which used to be the fan favorite of character models from the previous games. Though the ghillie suits have been removed, there still is a noticeable distinction between the the sniper character model and a regular infantry character model.
Gameplay & Controls
Since this is a further installment into the famous Call of Duty series the controls are the same as the previous games making it an easy transition. We did notice however a change in the numbering system that directs the joystick sensitivity so you'll likely have to readjust your settings to what suits you best. We are also happy to announced that you once again have the option to run and dive like you could in the original Black Ops.
When it comes to a multiplayer, this game really harnesses the potential to shine, but there are a few kinks that need to be worked out. One thing we noticed is that the gameplay is significantly faster than its previous counterparts. This likely has to do for a few reasons. Firstly, the maps are majorly focused on more of a close quarters battle type scenario. Many of the larger maps have few angles for sniping and lots of corners for people to hide as you run by. For some people this is a positive aspect, but for those of us who like to snipe can be very frustrating.
A major complaint that happens often with new Call of Duty releases is the extensive degree of spawn killing & spawn camping that is being carried out. This is often due to not enough beta testing of the multiplayer maps and not an intentional move by the developer. Most of the maps almost promote this nuisance since each spawn has multiple entry points allowing the opponent team to lock down the exits or sneak behind you waiting until you spawn. The way the spawnpoints are currently set up it is not uncommon to spawn right near an opponent or to have an opponent spawn behind you regardless of which side of the map is designated as “your teams”. We are sure this will be patched shortly, but in the meantime it is a real pain in the butt to deal with.
Another issue that will need to be patched is the fact that the submachine guns are noticeably overpowered in comparison to the rest of the weapons. They all seem to shoot fast, accurate, and do significant damage at long ranges. We highly suggest and expect Treyarch to weaken these to an extent in an future update. Besides this factor, the rest of the guns are fairly balanced and have realistic characteristics to them.
The multiplayer modes are all carried over the original versions with the addition of a new gametype called “HardPoint” that is similar to the king of the hill mode found in the Halo series. They have changed the overall structure of the multiplayer gameplay meaning you now receive “scorestreaks” instead of “killstreaks”. This allows you to benefit from completing objectives such as planting a bomb, killing a flag carrier in capture the flag, or taking control of a capture point in domination. This promotes the players to focus on winning the games rather than just raking up an insane amount of kills. These scorestreaks are a mix of new and old “killstreaks” from the previous games. The gameplay does not revolve around scorestreaks and it is not the case where whoever gets a chopper gunner first will be easily to win the game like it has been in some of the other games.
Previous killstreaks that were brought back as scorestreaks include:
- Counter UAV
- Sentry gun
- Death machine
- Attack dogs
- Care package
- Advanced UAV (now called Orbital VSAT)
- A-6 Overwatch (now called Escort Drone)
- Attack helicopter (now called Stealth Chopper)
- Mortar team (now called lightning strike)
- Reaper (now called Lodestar)
- Chopper gunner (now called VTOL Warship)
The new “scorestreaks” include:
- War machine – a grenade launcher type weapon that carries 12 rounds. The ability to use this scorestreak stays with you until you fire all the rounds thus remaining in your arsenal if you were to die before doing so (the same is true with the death machine).
- Hunter killer drone – flying drone that automatically locks on to nearest enemy player or vehicle.
- Guardian – dish like turret that deploys a stunning heatwave that slows down enemies as well as damaging them.
- Hellstorm missile – similar to a predator it lets you control one missile that can be deployed into a cluster bomb along its descent.
- Dragonfire – a remote controlled flying drone that is equipped with a machine gun. It is weak, but very versatile to move throughout each map.
- AGR – stands for Autonomous Ground Robot. It is air-dropped and is equipped with both a machine gun and a rocket launcher. If will attack enemies automatically on its own, but you also have the option to control the robot manually, which is what we prefer since it is strong and racks up a large amount of kills.
- Warthod – A-10 thunderbolt air support through several strafe runs across the map.
- Swarm – calls in a swarm of Hunter Killer drones .
For more detailed information on the scorestreaks included in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: click here.
Equipping your custom classes has also changed to a new structure. You are now able to choose 10 item slots to have on a single class at any given time. You are free to choose what you fill these slots with by a wide range options. It is set up in a way that you can now remove unnecessary items from your classes to make room for more beneficial items. For example, on our shotgun class we have removed all tactical grenades as well as our secondary weapon. In place of this we are utilizing a “Wildcard” slot that allows us to use two different perk 2 options simultaneously.
The perks are much more toned down in this game and frankly there are only a couple that are actually worth using in most cases. There are also not “pro perks” like there was in previous games. By also utilizing another “Wildcard” slot you also have the ability to use 3 attachments on your primary weapon at the same time. By keeping each class locked at 10 item slots there are hundred of combinations. Surprisingly by keeping each class restricted to an item limit it is well balanced. This is because in order to take two perks from the same category, 3 attachments, or two lethal grenades you must sacrifice something else such as a secondary weapon, a different perk, or 1 or more attachments.
The multiplayer ranking system caps at 55 levels and can be restarted 10 times resulting in 10 different prestige levels. Along with regular prestige you now can prestige your weapons once you have reached the max weapon level. Each weapon including secondaries can be prestiged a total of 2 times. By choosing to prestige your weapon you agree to lose all unlocked attachments and start from scratch. On the bright side you are able to keep all your camos once you have unlocked them.
There is also two skill ranked leagues that are separate from the traditional multiplayer matchmaking. There is a 4v4 and a 6v6 league. You must play 5 placement matches before being placed into a league. In this mode you don't gain XP, there are no care packages, and no split screen play is allowed. Another difference is since this is a skill based league the classes you create are different from normal matchmaking and all guns, attachments, and perks are available regardless if you have not unlocked them in the traditional matchmaking.
The popular zombie mode is back and better than ever. They have incorporated the traditional game type now called “Tranzit” into a large map based on riding a bus along 4 different sections. These include the bus station (where you start), the town, the farm, and the CDC (where the power is turned on). We found it very enjoying to play, but definitely a step up in difficulty from past maps which is not always a bad thing. Another cool feature is the existence of workbenches with blueprints on them at each stop along the map. By scavenging for parts throughout each section you are able to create items that will help you survive. Our favorite is at the farm where you are able to create a machine gun turret that is great for mowing down hordes of zombies. When you turn the power on you create a super electrical zombie who will show up at later rounds and is very difficult to damage. Be aware and try to keep your distance!
Besides the Tranzit gametype, there is survival which focuses on 4 player coop in one of the subsections of the Tranzit map. Without a great deal of weapons or perks on each section it can be frustrating to survive very long in this gametype so it wasn't our favorite zombie mode. Lastly, there is grief which is a brand new and innovative gametype for zombies. This mode allows up to 8 players on one subsection of the Tranzit map at one time. You spawn right along each other and are separated into two teams the FBI (dressed in black and white suits) and the CDC (dressed in white chemical suits). You cannot kill one another nor can you heal members of the opposite team. The goal of the gametype? Simple, be the last team left standing after the hordes of zombies are thrown at you. This game is plenty of fun and a refreshingly new look on the zombie game modes.
Ending Thoughts & Conclusion
We have all been waiting for a long time for the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and the result does not disappoint. It features a captivating single player campaign, refreshingly original zombie game modes, and an excellent multiplayer system (once the kinks are worked out). We have thoroughly enjoyed the testing of this game and can say it was one of our favorite Call of Duty games so far. A worry about taking the franchise into futuristic warfare was definitely a thought in our head prior to the game's arrival, thankfully Treyarch nailed it on the head with Black Ops 2. If you are looking for a new first person shooter game and have enjoyed the past Call of Duty games then this is a must buy. Face it all your friends will be playing this game for the next couple of months, so why not join them?
Black Ops 2 Videos (Provided by Youtube)
What Are Others Saying About Black Ops 2?
“…this is not just a fantastic Call of Duty game, but one of the best shooters of the last decade.”
By reaching forward while remaining rooted in the things it does so well, Black Ops II offers a great shooter experience.
This is still Call of Duty, with all that entails, and anyone who has resisted the series so far likely won't be won over this time either.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.