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Call of Duty: Black Ops II Review
A sinister villain, some tough choices, and a new kind of multiplayer arena invigorate the reliably intense action in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
When you first enter league play, you must play a few rounds so that Black Ops II can calculate your skill level. Then, you are placed in a division, and your subsequent league play games pit you against players who are roughly your skill level (your numbered rank is not displayed). You can rise and fall in the league standings, and at certain intervals, leagues will be recalculated to allow players to move up to the bigs or get busted down to the minors. Whether you relish running with the wolves or are tired of getting trampled, the quality of play increases when players are better matched.
League play also represents a significant change in competitive play because everything is unlocked from the start. This kind of freedom was previously relegated to the small ponds of custom games, but now there's an ocean of players who have all chosen from the same available options when they enter a match. This levels the playing field and lets you leverage the full power of the Black Ops II arsenal right from the start, which is great news for players tired of having their options restricted. However, this also means that you don't gain experience in the way you may be used to; the only XP you get from league play is a nominal reward at the end of a match. Without the ever-present possibility of completing challenges, unlocking new gear, and leveling up, league play feels detached from modern Call of Duty tradition. It's a strange sensation, but it feels liberating, allowing you to focus on the action at hand without the temptation to play in certain ways to target certain rewards. League play has the potential to shift the way that people play the game they've been enjoying for years, and that's an exciting prospect.
There are also some new sharing tools aimed at making the multiplayer experience more social and more extroverted. You can link your Xbox 360 to your YouTube account and live stream your league play matches, though at the time of this review, that feature was not yet live for testing. In the theater, you can watch your previous matches, edit highlight clips (or let the game take a shot at it for you), grab screenshots, and upload media to share with those on your friends list and the community at large.
Another new feature, so-called "codcasting," aims to introduce a new player type to the Call of Duty scene. By queuing up a game film and selecting this feature, you can watch the match with a suite of tools that let you highlight the action. You can track different players, watch certain areas with a free-roaming camera, and even use a picture-in-picture mode to see the standings and the action side by side. Though this has the potential to allow players to generate some dynamic, entertaining play-by-play videos, its current manifestation is very limited. You can only codcast saved films of games you have played in, and with no streaming option currently active, your only potential audience is the five other players you could invite in to your lobby. Future updates to this feature could make it more useful, but as of now it just feels like a shell of what it could be.
Black Ops II also heralds the return of zombies mode. Now in its third incarnation, this cooperative survival mode is still frantic, challenging, and home to some weird humor. But though some of the new missions play with the formula by adding a bus to catch or a competing team to watch out for, the core action has grown stale. Shooting the bullet-sponge zombies lacks the satisfying immediacy that Call of Duty thrives on, and dealing with their lurching, single-minded attacks grows dull even as they get faster and more numerous. The new maps feature veins of fire that flare up when you cross them and obscure your vision, adding more visual sludge to the already murky environments. Perhaps the fire is intended as some kind of platforming challenge--jumping frequently seems to be the best way to avoid it--but hopping around doesn't make the environments any less ugly or the enemies any less boring.
Though zombies mode is stagnating, the rest of Black Ops II is lively, and it's great to see some shifting in the familiar structure. Developer Treyarch's storytelling prowess has once again resulted in an engaging, exciting campaign, and the addition of league play to the online multiplayer arena is an intriguing change that could reinvigorate the formula that has endured for so long. By reaching forward while remaining rooted in the things it does so well, Black Ops II offers a great shooter experience.
COD... They now have zombies and aren't scared to add any other pop culture 'in thing' to get more sales and distract from the fact that this franchise has not changed since it left WW2 behind. It only gets the scores it does because it is mainstream. Anyone who plays COD is a casual gamer at best and is the reason real gamers can't have nice things. Hate away COD fans! You poor, brainwashed sub-gamers.
People that say Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is boring just suck at the game. Online Multiplayer is amazing. This is the most fun i've had in years playing video games. Black ops 2 is the only game i ever play now. Highly addictive multiplayer and prestige leveling up system. If you do not own this game buy it now. DLC maps are great too(Grind, Mirage, Downhill, Hydro). Don't listen to the Bo2 haters that have no skill. Nothing better than drinking beers killing angry try hards.
@antpm Even though its on the same engine, the lighting, color and attention to detail is much better then Mw3 bland design.
and yet resident evil 6 got 4.5/10 :/
i still might give this game a go, there is a deal on steam at present
If you bought this game you are dumb, you are probably console scumbag and you are probably a sports fan. If you are a fan of the call of duty francise i want you to burn alive.
@fluffy_puppy666 I want to take a time machine and stop your parents from conceiving you. you piece of trash
@fluffy_puppy666 you sound like a COD kid, congratulations
@fluffy_puppy666 This irracional show of rage does not help your point mate. I don't like Call of Duty too, but speak this way and you are not better then those "dumb, sports fans" that you are addressing to.
Storyline is fine. Good background strategy. Needs to make plot less confusing though. Then again, weapons enhancements just awesome. Great game! Graphics improvement needed. Too stagnant from the other COD games.
All in all, good game, 8/10.
COD wanted 2 do Sth creative. So they stole ideas from Brink (the Colossus), MGS (taking down a Hind D with a stinger), Batman (grappling hook)... Seriously! Is it really this hard 2 come up with a creative idea?!
@proceeder you honestly think that MGS was the first to introduce the thought of taking down a Hind D with a stinger? And that a grappling was invented in the story of batman?
what is this sad environment you live in that is so deprived common sense?
One thing I don't understand is why familiarity in a COD game is now such a huge issue in Bops2 but wasn't for MW3 (I'm speaking for the reviews, not people's opinions). Seriously, MW3 was nearly IDENTICAL to MW2. The interface, graphics, and content were all straight from the last game. Spec Ops was the same gig which made it less fun to play, and hell the game even had the same dramatic slow-mo reaching your pistol at the last second ending sequence! No attempt at creativity whatsoever. Oh, and the multiplayer maps were HORRIBLY designed, especially for TDM. Bops2 isn't mind blowing, but it's definitely a nice sequel to Bops1. New theme with lots of effort put into detail, new campaign style with multiple endings, new multiplayer mode, new loadout selection in multiplayer etc. I just think Treyarch deserves some credit for making an effort to put out a solid sequel and give players a game with some cool new stuff in it to enjoy. It's certainly more respectable than Infinity Ward's recycled profit grabber from last year that somehow scored higher.
The hitmarkers in the campaign ruined the immersion of the game for me. The whole cinematic experience i loved COD for, was destroyed and diminished to a cheap arcade game with an X showing up wherever i hit an enemy. Treyarch's beautiful blood and gore effects are enough to know I hit an enemy. Hitmarkers showing up with the sniper are especially retarded. Please give us a patch to turn off hitmarkers in the story mode, leave hitmarkers for online mp. My biggest complaint is each level in the story is only 5 minutes worth of gameplay and the rest cut scenes, was this game made for non-gamers only?
damn!this game is boooorrrrriiiiinnngggggg!!!! the graphics sucked like **** so did the gameplay! ......
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this game is not bad but simply could be so much better
u were in hurry or sth guys?future missions sax,Past is good just like bo1
This game is pretty awesome.. But I don't have anymore live.. so no more leveling up and stuff for me unless someone has any trials they would like to give me.. It would be very appreciated a lot.. thanks have fun gaming everyone. My xbl gt is RebelChick84.. :)
Well i'm reading over at IGN that this game didn't even beat the sales of MW 3. So much for all the "record breaking pre orders" and all the rest of the hype and BS. Fact is this COD crap is dying on a vine because NOTHING new comes out of it. Same graphics (crapola) as they have been for years, same game engine, same everything.Deserves a 6 at best (and that what users pretty gave it).
The game is too old for this day and age. It needs a MAJOR upgrade. MUCH better graphics, a story line that goes beyond the 16 year old age group, and a total new game engine.
Make no mistake, the game still "sells" but the end is coming. At the same time, other Gaming Companies have to make sure they STOP using this awful game as a "model" for their own. I see too many games dumbing down graphics and gameplay to give you the same stagnant experience. Arcade shooting.They are failing.
We need to go back to "back to the future" to quality games, and away from cheap made products hyping it all up in advertising (that's become the status quo for many Game Producers these days). This company makes fortunes. They could go to brand new game engines, and give the public a much better made and more innovating game.
@jagdedge124 But it did beat MW3... it grossed over $500 million in its first 24 hrs and is now the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Anyways, completely agree with your last paragraph. Sad to see the big game companies act like they don't have the budget to go all out on major titles anymore (especially EA). They do, but they like money and awards better.
I thought it was awesome they have the drones, bots, and other electronic war machines in the game, however it bummed me out you could rarly use the stuff at all. And what was with the switching between first person, and 8th person shooter? Stupid!
Why the F**** you review this piece of crap and not Far Cry 3 ? Is getting and average of 9.0 score across all websites ......I hope this is nothing to do with that sexism article you girls writed the other day....
For all you saying the game should be rated a 5, think of it this way: essentially COD is a sports franchise. How may people go out every year and pay for essentially the same game with marginal changes/improvements? Would I do that? No I personally don't see the value, but many people do. With that in mind, I personally believe that it deserves an 8 simply for not screwing up, but no more unless it brings somethhing substantial to the franchise.
All the Call of Duty releases should be expansion packs for $20 nothing new just reselling the same game for gullible kids and making millions.
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@percuvius2 did you actually played it or your like all the other that just played it couple of hours? all games are like that all are fans in one level or another doesnt matter the game, the only that really changes are the maps and weapons, doesnt matter its halo, cod, counter strike, battlefield, etc. So halo people still be loving most halo games, same as COD ones (i talk about most of the people will do that)
Holy cow if you like to play the single player campaigns and not just a multiplayer junkie, blops2 campaign is indescribably good. I am as jaded a cod critic as anyone out there but even I have to admit the SP has set a completely new bar. Way way way up there
@philMcCrevis Each level in the story is only 5 minutes worth of gameplay....the rest cut scenes. The campaign now has hit markers(b4 only in multiplayer), so now we have to see an annoying X pop up on the screen whenever we hit an enemy to take away from the cinematic experience and immersion of the game, and also I feel to insult my intelligence. treyarch's beautiful blood and gore effects are enough to know I killed an enemy, the hitmarkers almost totally ruined the experience.
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Black Ops 2 Gameplay with Commentary http://www.thestrongestthereis.com/tsti-podcast-38-part-2-behold-the-blackops
well cod is know for its tight close quarter action mechanics and that is what I expect from all its sequels and any sequel with a cod name should have these tried and tested mechanics ,also it is about war and soldiers in a near real fictitious world so any call of duty game which doesn't have this is not really a call of duty game .if I were to develop a sequel I would put all the winning elements in it which made the last one successful , even if it feels like a continuation or expansion. if I were to make a world of warcraft type game , I cant truly call it call of duty. and just because they are shooters , they are definitely not the same , yes it does get boring at time , but it also is kick ass fun. the developers do try and experiment with each edition but like I said "a shooter will be a shooter" don't know why no one makes an issue about other series of games , I personally enjoy playing cod "drop in droop out style" its an awesome time killer.
this was my view on COD.period
Ahhh yes another waaaay overrated COD game. Look at the "user score" average. 6.2. That's about right. COD is too outdated. Graphics are too old, the weapons sound awful the list goes on. An Arcade Shooter (not at all a war game) but one that needs MAJOR polishing and work on most everything given the times. Thank god for adolescents and their generous parents.
- Player Reviews: 131
- Game Universe:
- Call of Duty: Finest Hour (XBOX, PS2, GC),
- Call of Duty (NGE, PC, PS3, MOBILE, X360, MAC),
- Call of Duty 2: Big Red One (XBOX, GC, PS2),
- Call of Duty 2 (MAC, PC, X360, MOBILE, WINM),
- Call of Duty 3 (X360, PS3, PSP, WII, XBOX, PS2, MOBILE),
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (X360, PS3, PC, DS, MAC, MOBILE, WII),
- Call of Duty: World at War (PC, PS3, X360, WII, DS, WINM),
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PC, PS3, X360),
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC, PS3, X360, WII, DS, MAC),
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Stimulus Package (X360, PC, PS3)