Seems a little ridiculous that the game was judging the online multiplayer content of a brand new console platform when it was only 1-2 weeks from hitting retail. I think GameSpot should have reviewed the single-player campaign and then just written a short paragraph stating "multiplayer modes will be reviewed at a later date". Very unfair for them to mark-down the game's review because of their silliness.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Review
Call of Duty: Black Ops II hits the Wii U in stride, delivering an intense campaign and frenetic multiplayer action.
Black Ops II's competitive multiplayer has seen some changes as well, notably in the way you equip yourself before going into battle. The COD points system from Black Ops has been ditched in favor of a new token system that still affords you some control over the order in which you unlock new weapons and gear. The more interesting change is the new loadout system, which gives you ten points to play with and assigns a single point to every element of your loadout (guns, attachments, perks, lethal and tactical items). It offers a bit of flexibility if, say, you don't use a sidearm much but could really use an extra perk, and the new wild cards allow some limited creativity. Put one of these in your loadout, and you can go into battle with two well-equipped primary weapons, or you can load up on perks and bring just a knife and your wits.
These are two extreme examples, but tweaking your loadouts with the gear you've chosen to unlock still confers a sense of getting more powerful and better equipped for combat. These are still the fast and deadly battlefields that have drawn millions of players for years. Positioning and reflexes are king, firefights are over in the blink of an eye, and success is rewarded with deadly equipment and satisfying experience gains. New gear, new weapons, and new score streak rewards are sprinkled throughout, offering new martial capabilities and strategic wrinkles. Traditional gametypes and a few rule-bending party games all offer familiar frenetic fun, but don't expect to find a populated match in any mode at any time (like you can on the PC and other consoles). The player population is still relatively low, and though this limits what kinds of matches you can find, you can almost always find some kind of match.
Unfortunately, this low population means that one of Blacks Ops II's most interesting new modes might as well not exist at this point. League play changes up the familiar multiplayer formula by giving players access to the entire Black Ops II arsenal right from the start. You don't earn experience points in the same addictive way as you do in public matches, but league play levels the playing field from the get-go, letting anyone use whatever guns, attachments, grenades, and perks they want. 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. This analysis is based on time spent with other platforms, however, as we were unable to get into a single league play match after hours of trying over the course of many days.
The other intriguing facet of league play is that it sorts players into divisions based on skill in an effort to create more balanced matches. This is an appealing idea, because big disparities in player skill lead to unsatisfying matches for both winners and losers. However, this kind of sorting is meaningless as of this writing and, barring a massive swell in the player base that would facilitate the creation of multiple divisions, is likely to remain meaningless.
Even though there aren't tons of players active online in Black Ops II, there are still enough to make dabbling in the sharing tools worthwhile. In theater mode, 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. You can also peruse COD TV in order to enjoy the content that others have shared.
There's also a new feature called "codcasting" that 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 way to stream your codcast over the internet, 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 is right at home on the Wii U. Developer Treyarch's storytelling prowess has once again resulted in an engaging, exciting campaign, and the online multiplayer population is likely to grow as more people acquire the new console. Though it's a shame that league play is dead on arrival, there's still a lot of taut action to enjoy online, helping Black Ops II provide the Wii U with its first great shooter experience.
@Inconnux i know but when this review was done the Wii U was barely out so you would expect that the online would be a little dead but then again Gamespot wont take something like that into account
The fact that you can play the whole game on the gamepad is great buy it !!i am playing it all day :)
I heard the wii version has less blood and no dismembering limbs and heads during the campaign like the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. Is this true?
Now under "The Good' it says "Great campaign scripting." I'm assuming that means either Activision paid GS to say that, or they actually fired the guys who wrote the campaign for the first Black Ops because that was by far the worst CoD campaign in existence. No matter what, though, i still never intend on buying this game until its maybe 5 bucks
@theexperience13 No, it really means that the campaign's script and story is actually good for once! The story is great, unlike the previous C0D games.
I think it'd be worthwhile just for the sweet Gamepad functionality (especially in local multiplayer). Not a system-seller, but a nice feature nonetheless.
- Player Reviews: 5
- 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)