Monday, November 12, 2012
Game Review (Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - 360)
Black Ops 2 has arrived. Just over two years since one of my favorite Call of Duty titles was released, Treyarch is back at it with the sequel. Rather than taking place in the 1960's though, this game hikes to 2025 and takes you on a ride. Here's my review. Not to worry, there won't be any spoilers... although there will be heavy emphasis on multiplayer.
I won't tell you about the story of Black Ops 2, but I will tell you how this Call of Duty is different from those previous. Rather than going from A to B to sometimes C, Treyarch makes this game less linear this time around. You have options of what you want to do/where you want to go, and they even affect the mission in minor ways. Your decisions won't completely change the story, but they're a wise addition that should have been added at least a couple years ago. This inclusion makes you feel like YOU'RE playing the game, rather than making you feel like the game is playing YOU. Without ruining the campaign for all of you, I can tell you that this is a game that's single player you will definitely want to go through ... especially if you played the original Black Ops.
Zombies. Well, I have to admit -- don't hurt me -- I wasn't a big fan of Zombies in Black Ops because I felt like the first handful of rounds was a complete waste of time and dragged on needlessly. This time around though, there's actually a STORY to Zombies ... imagine that. While I'm still not high on the game mode, I like it a heck of a lot more than I did in the last game, and I can guarantee that those that loved Zombies before will only enjoy it more. Don't think that's possible? Wait until you play the game. Also, for you stat addicts, Zombie stats will be tracked on Call of Duty ELiTE.
And the thing most people buy Call of Duty for ... the multiplayer. There are countless things to say about this. You'll have anti-CoD people tell you that this is the same game as last year. And the year before. And the year before that. Well, that's frankly not true. Black Ops 2 innovates almost as much as Call of Duty 4 originally did. Like the first Modern Warfare, Black Ops 2 may change the series forever. The whole Pick Ten system in this game is an ingenious idea that will seriously make you think when making classes if you want to compete. If you find that you don't ever use your secondary, add a fourth perk. If you don't throw grenades, add another attachment to your gun. The ability to customize your experience in this way will make you hungry for more unlocks and experimentation. As for the actual game play itself, the game just feels good. The main issue I have with this game is the same problem I had with MW3 -- lag compensation. Modern Warfare 3's was worse, but Black Ops 2 definitely has it, and it will make you have some really hot and cold matches.
Treyarch doesn't stop there, though. Black Ops 2 has now introduced a brand new thing called League Play. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newbie to the series, you'll be able to form a clan and face other clans with a similar skill level, thanks to Treyarch's skill-based matchmaking. If competing in heated clan wars isn't your thing, you can of course still hop into a random public match.
Also added to Black Ops 2 is what many people are calling "CoD Casting" mode. With this, you can view live streams (or previously recorded versions) of matches. This is going to be a useful feature to many ... especially those that are looking to learn techniques that the more seasoned Call of Duty players use.
Treyarch has done with Black Ops 2 what many people have long begged them to do: Change the series up. A lot of fans and critics felt that Call of Duty was releasing nothing but $60 map packs every year... I have to say, Black Ops 2 ought to shut those people up. From the ability to make personal choices in campaign, to the better-than-ever Zombies mode, to the most balanced multiplayer experience Call of Duty has probably ever had (At least since CoD 2), there's something here for anybody to love. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is one of the best of the series.
+: "Personalized" campaign; Zombies; Pick 10 system in multiplayer; Awesome weapon/perk/grenade/equipment balance online.
-: This game is nearly flawless and has added a lot of innovation, but I'm beginning to feel some FPS burnout; Multiplayer maps don't feel as great as I thought the Black Ops 1 maps did; Lag compensation is very obvious at times online.