Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Review – Xbox 360, PS3
It’s mid November, which means a new Call of Duty. Following in the footsteps of the wildly popular Black Ops, Treyarch has upped the ante this year with Black Ops 2. Set in the near future, Black Ops 2 takes place in 2025 and features some awesome new elements that really make this title shine. If you haven’t already picked up this title, and are debating on whether or not to hop in this year, do yourself a favor and get it right away.
The setting and time period for Black Ops 2 offers some unique opportunities for Treyarch, and they’ve really taken advantage of it. From the assortment of new and high-powered scorestreaks, to some amazing weapons and equipment, the change in weapons and scenery is much appreciated. While the original Black Ops was definitely a great game, the dated weaponry and streaks might have been a turn off, especially for fans of the Modern Warfare series. With Black Ops 2, however, the gameplay benefits from these future technologies. There are familiar streaks like the Sentry Gun and UAV, but also some lethal new streaks. The mid-to-upper level streaks Dragonfire and AGR streaks showcase some of these future technologies, while the Swarm scorestreak, which unleashes a barrage of Hunter Drones, is absolutely devastating.
The point system in Black Ops 2 continues on with the system established in Modern Warfare 3, but takes it one step forward. Scorestreaks are awarded by accruing points, whether it be through kills, assists, captures, confirms / denies, and other objectives. This concept is particularly rewarding for “team,” players who focus on the objective and should thus be rewarded for their bravery and selflessness. To be sure, it’s difficult to gain the more advanced streaks, but this new system is definitely an improvement over years past. The multiplayer in Black Ops 2 is as much about gun battles as it is earning streaks. Fans have described this years multiplayer as more “gun to gun,” which highlights both the balance and fast pace that characterizes this game.
Multiplayer isn’t the only attraction of this show. Black Ops 2 features an exceptional campaign mode (as is typically the case for a COD game) that is both entertaining and a nice way to learn some of the new weapons and streaks. Fans who want a challenge can bump the difficulty up, but there are also an appropriate level of difficulty for individuals new to the series. The campaign also features a new for the series, that being divergent story lines. For the first time, players have greater freedom to shape the outcome of the campaign, and proves Treyarch is truly an innovator for the series.
Last but certainly not least is the zombies game modes that have become immensely popular since Call of Duty: World at War. In Black Ops 2, the scope of the zombies mode has never been greater. Whereas the previous games had a single game mode, survival, Black Ops 2 allows players to partake in 3 different modes, the story-based Tranzit mode, the traditional survival mode, and a 4 vs 4 mode called Grief. In tranzit, players travel across a world map of sorts in hopes of unraveling the zombies mystery. The difficulty can be adjusted, which is also a new feature. Throughout the maps, there are workbenches that can be used to create unique objects. For instance, one item that can be created uses a piece from a telephone, a mannequin, and a fan. The created object attracts zombies and creates a localized power source that can open doors, even if the main power switch hasn’t been turned on.
Grief pits 4 human players vs 4 human players in a survival mode to see who can last the longest. While players cannot kill each other, they can employ different tactics to make the zombie horde go after the other team. All in all, these new aspects to the zombies mode help take that portion of the series to the next step.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is arguably the best game in the history of COD. It’s improved graphics, sound effects, and addictive gameplay are among the best the series has ever offered. Couple this fact with the most amount of zombies content the series has seen, and you have the makings of one of 2012 best games.
REVIEW – 9.5 / 10 – AMAZING
Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at Flydrs.com.