Call of Duty: Black Ops II Review
COD Black Ops II is the latest in a LONG line of COD games. It’s also he sequel to Black Ops, which is my favorite game in the series. The developers decided to take Black Ops II to the next level by taking the game into the future and the past with many narrative and gameplay chances. For the most part, they succeeded.
Let me start by saying that the first Black Ops campaign was my favorite in the series. It was well written, well paced, and kept you invested until the end. Black Ops II’s campaign does a great job, but not quite as good as its predecessor. The story is great and contains a great villain named Raul Menendez. Raul is a very messed up person. He suffered unbearable losses and decides to punish the world for it. He truly wants to see the world burn, and has a very specific grudge against the characters from the original game, Woods and Alex Mason. Throughout the campaign, you will play a mix of cold war missions and missions that take place in the year 2025 as David Mason. The cold war missions depict Raul’s rise to power and the future missions are focused on stopping Raul’s catastrophic plan. The story is absolutely excellent! It takes narrative chances especially with the addition of in game decisions. These decisions impact the rest of the game and truly make you think twice before acting. My only negative about the story is that the pacing feels off at times especially in the beginning. The future missions also took chances with new gameplay features including new weapons and technology, and a new Strike Force mission. Overall the gameplay is fantastic! Unfortunately, the Strike Force missions are not as good as they could have been. The AI are practically useless, so you’re pretty much doing all the work while also needing to strategically coordinate your units. In the end, the campaign was great!
If you’ve played COD multiplayer before, will you’re in for a minor surprise. While the basic mechanics remain the same, the addition of new modes, league play, score strikes, and the new load out system bring a freshness to the multiplayer. The new load out system is the highlight which provides far more variety. How will you play? Will you carry two primary weapons with buffed attachments? Or will you wield only a knife infused with every perk? The choice is yours. The multiplayer is not flawless, but overall it’s fantastic!
I invested over 100 hours into the first Black Ops zombies. The environments were varied and looked great. It was addicting! The new zombies environments aren’t varied and look horrible. But somehow it is still addicting! Let start with the bad. First, the graphics are terrible (just in zombies though)! Second, the maps are much smaller (except for transit). Third, there is fire everywhere; it’s very annoying and in some cases it kills you. And fourth, transit is really confusing. For transit, the only way to actually get good is to spend dozens of hours trying to figure it out, or by watching Youtube videos. Neither are fun. Once you know what your doing, it’s a great new edition, but the hours you need to spend to figure it out is very annoying. Now for the good. First, Transit is novel idea that has great potential. Second, the map “Town” is very fun. Third, Grief is a great concept even if it could use some refining. For those who don’t know, Grief is a team of four vs a team of four. The goal is to survive longer than the other team. You do this by surviving and trying to sabotage the other team. This gives you more motivation to survive and there are so many more zombies to make it super intense! But this gets tiring after awhile especially after round 15. The rounds las forever and by the time one team dies, both of them die. So the round restarts, and we all die again, and again. It feels like it never ends! I hope they make some changes for the next game, assuming there is one. Ultimately, zombies is great but not nearly as good as its predecessor.
Black Ops II is a breathe of fresh air for the series. It takes narrative and gameplay chances in the campaign, offers more variety in multiplayer, and takes many risks in zombies. While to me it’s not quite as great as the first Black Ops, it’s a great game that deserves a fair chance. Don’t judge it because it’s Call of Duty. Try it for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised.