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!