WeView: Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Black Ops II proved that Treyarch are brilliant at making a fun, enjoyable and over-the-top Call of Duty title. Stepping away from the all out war shown in Modern Warfare 3, BlOps II spanned two generations – the brilliant conspiracy-laden near future and an elongated flashback into the past.

It was these two intertwined campaigns that made Black Ops II’s singleplayer so good. It’s not quite BioShock or Uncharted in terms of narrative but it was certainly very strong, with choices playing a big role and action sequences that surpassed anything else the series had done.

We didn’t review the game but I did write an article discussing the campaign shortly after release and why you shouldn’t write it off as just another generic shooter. It also currently sits with a Metacritic rating of 83.

In my look at the campaign I called it “a much more unified story” in comparison to previous games, with some “nice tricks up [its] sleeve”. I rounded things out by saying:

To put it simply, it might just be the best Call of Duty campaign yet – the multiplayer is still good fun and Zombies can be a blast, but Treyarch have really delivered with the exposition in this game, showing that the Call of Duty franchise can be something much more than just another shooter.

There was still a big problem with the way the campaign worked however, lying with the difficulty level of the additional RTS missions, which you needed to complete in order to get the best possible ending. The game’s difficulty spikes meant that you had to skip them altogether or switch the entire campaign to a lower difficulty, missing out on some trophies/achievements and the sense of pride that comes with completing a game on a high difficulty.

I’d go as far to put it on par with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a game which had a similarly enjoyable action-packed campaign. Though we have to remember Call of Duty isn’t all about the single-player campaign, in fact some would say that it’s much more multiplayer focused.

It’s good, then, that the multiplayer offered the best parts of Call of Duty in one nice package; the reinvigorated class system bought new life to a tired series, adding more variety than ever before. Add this to the most memorable maps since Call of Duty 4 and Black Ops II’s multiplayer is one of the most enjoyable online experiences you can find.

We even had a multiplayer league run by DeathinFlamez and Adam, which I participated in myself. This offered some brilliant online fun, showing just how good the game could be when played together. Unfortunately, the team I was on didn’t win but we did bring it back in the last two games to end up nicely in the middle of the leaderboard.

So, are you as enthusiastic towards Black Ops II as I am? Are you still playing it online or did you give up after the first weekend? We’d like to hear your thoughts. Simply drop a comment below with a review of the game and, if you get it in by Sunday, you’ll have a chance of being included in next week’s round-up article. Remember to add a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating onto the end so we can gauge just how positive the responses are!

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17 Comments

  1. Buy It

    If only for the multiplayer and Zombies. Are some things still unbalanced? Yes. Are there still campers? Yes. But it hasn’t taken anything away from the game for me. The game runs smoothly, is fast paced and is just a blast to play. The new zombies maps have been met with a mixed response but they are pretty good IMO, especially the 2 new ones Die Rise and Mob of the Dead.

    The single player campaign is ok but it’s not really why you are buying this game. However, I do like the story line and that it can branch off with different outcomes based on your decisions.

  2. It’s hard not to play “back in black” when I pick up a guitar.

  3. Really wish i was a part of the tournament. Any chance we can set up another?

  4. Every time a new COD comes out I get on my soap box and shout ‘it’s the same damn game AGAIN’ and refuse to buy it on principle. I think I’m over this now, after picking up blops 2 a month ago I feel like I’ve missed out on months of gameplay and should have got it on release.

    I’ve only had an hour or so on Campaign and Zombies, both look great, but Multiplayer is the place to be of course. Great maps, Great class system, less issues with lag (but still issues) and that mad as a box of frogs twitchy frustrating but ultimiately amazing gameplay is in.

    The Gun Game weapons selection is crap, but otherwise everything is improved from where I stand. BUY IT

  5. Campaign was okay for me. Even though it offered decisions, branches and different endings, I felt it wasn’t as fluid and as good as COD4’s story (the pinnacle of the COD campaigns for me, and a great campaign in general). I guess that’s why sometimes a linear narrative can be good. The villain was great, and I like the use of the whole social media/anonymous act, as that is something that would be more believable in todays world (and the near future of course). Overall, a decent campaign, but still not as good as some of the others.

    The zombies mode is brilliant. I didn’t like Tranzit, personally, but I really enjoy survival on Town and Farm. The DLC maps are great too, Die Rise is one of the best zombie maps they’ve ever done in my opinion, and Mob Of The Dead is fantastic – with a staggering amount of depth for a zombies map (a lot of easter eggs, hidden weapons etc). So in my opinion, if you’re a huge fan of zombies, it would be best to get the DLC, as they completely outshine the original Black Ops II zombie maps in my opinion (plus there is more DLC to come, which can only get better if their previous track record is to be taken in to account).

    The multiplayer is a fine package too. I’m a huge fan of Battlefield and its full on war like atmosphere, with destruction, a mass of soldiers, great weighty weapons all combined into realistic maps. Plus, BF is heavily based on teamwork, and you don’t actually even have to be good at getting kills to amass a huge amount of points. Going back to Black Ops II, the multiplayer here is a huge contrast to games such as BF. Black Ops II sticks with the traditional, fast paced twitchy gameplay of past COD games, and whilst they have made it so that you can get more points for doing numerous different tasks, it still can be dominated by having one good player on your team (usually me :D). It’s best to play with people you know though, as playing with random people normally results in them not going for objectives and quitting when it looks like your team may lose. Whilst this isn’t the games fault, it’s more the people that play it, it still should be taken into account that this pretty much regularly happens. I love the fact that you can now get scorestreaks by doing objectives and getting assists etc too. This gives extra incentive to go for the objective – even though some people still don’t do so – and it gives the players who maybe don’t get as many kills as others the ability to still get scorestreaks. I am pleased with the scorestreak system. The new class system is brilliant as well, and it allows you to play how you truly want to play, without having to follow a set template. The majority of the vanilla maps are great, but in my opinion the DLC maps completely outdo them.

    The multiplayer isn’t without its negatives though. Shotguns – especially with the long barrel attachment, which increases the range of the gun – are immensely overpowered, and some of the weapon sights just seem to be disgustingly cheap as well (I’m thinking of target finder and MMS here). Quickscoping is still in, which is beyond me, as it’s a glitch that people have taken to exploiting but because there is such a following for it they won’t dare patch it out. The hit detection in the game is awful most of the time too, with players absorbing a ridiculous amount of bullets, and shots in the head just being ignored like you are shooting out paper bullets. How a game that rakes in SO MUCH money doesn’t have better hit detection is staggering. Other FPS games such as Resistance 3 (which make nowhere near as much money as COD) have near perfect hit detection, so why COD doesn’t have is truly, truly baffling. Despite this, it’s still not too much of a problem to the overall multiplayer, just be aware of the fact that you have to sometimes put a hell of a lot of bullets into somebody to kill them.

    Overall, I’d say this is the second best COD game – behind COD4 – as it did try a lot of new things, some of which didn’t click with me, but you have to give them credit for trying to mix things up to keep it from stagnating, whereas they could have just not done any big changes and it would have still sold bucketloads.

    Final verdict – Buy it!

    Oh and if anyone fancies some multiplayer or zombies (particularly Mob Of The Dead) hit me up on PSN – yiddo93.

    • Shit, I didn’t think I’d wrote this much.

      • 800 words. More than I wrote in the actual article. This’ll be fun! :)

      • Crikey… That’s almost as long as a text message from a bird! :)

      • There’s a joke about tweets being limited to 140 characters there somewhere… ;)

      • This is what you have to brace yourself for when you do a WeView on a game I own. In depth analysis breh.

  6. Good god, the single player campaign is the most jumbled up, convoluted mess of a story you’ll ever play through. I still have no clue what actually happens it’s a total mes. said that it’s the usual enjoyable mix of fps and huge set pieces. The multi player is of course where the game is really at and you know what to expect, it doesn’t let you down. This time there are no particularly great maps though, they’re all kinda forgettable but the game play is just what you’d expect, addictive and easy to pick up and play when bored and can’t be arsed to concentrate on anything. Buy it.

  7. Single player is fun (multiple endings is a nice touch) but its the multiplayer that has kept me coming back (60hours so far). Whether its playing 4 player split screen with BOTS, or jumping online, BLOPS2 features a staggering list of modes and maps to keep you occupied for months. The “Pick 10” system, is also a great addition, allowing you to create a class to meet your exact tastes.
    Personally it’s my favourite shooter this gen and an essential purchase. BUY IT.

    • This gen? Better than COD4?

      Blasphemy.

  8. I love COD, but just didnt get on with Blops2.
    The story was so confusing, I didn’t bother finishing it. It started off well, but I eventually lost track of what was going on and gave up.
    The MP wasn’t much better either. I hated the futuristic setting. Guns that have scopes that outline enemies in red, even though walls? No thanks. It just promoted camping even more.
    The map design wasn’t as good either. Too much of it was centrally focused on choke-points, but then also poor design as it was easy to just stick to the perimeter and play defensively. I much prefered long maps where it was important to keep pushing forwards, rather than run around in a crazed fashion.
    The Pick 10 idea was good, but just didn’t get implemented properly I thought, they tried to do too much with it, adding Wildcards etc. The COD create a class system has been brilliant for years, I don’t get why Treyarch keep trying to change it, first with the money system in Blops 1, and now the weighting system in Blops2.
    The series needs innovation, but Treyarch don’t seem to get it right in comparison to IW, who nailed it with new features like customisable killstreaks in MW2 etc.
    Overall, if you’re a fan of the COD games and gameplay (fast paced action), I’d say it’s worth a rental/borrow from a friend, it’s definitely a marmite game, you either love it or hate it.
    Rent it.

    • “borrow from a friend”, i take it you wouldn’t advise that option to future Xbox One owners? lol

      • Definitely not!
        At least Acti don’t have online passes this gen, so better make the most of it!

  9. I skipped Blops 2 because of the mess that was Blops (running at 544p 40frames per second on my PS3, hit detection etc.).
    Sounds like I missed a good game. Might have to pick up a copy even if it’s just for Zombies

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