November of 2012 has been such an epic month for games and for one in particular is Call of Duty: Black Ops II; the distant sequel to the Vietnam era Black Ops. There are a few things that pleased us about Black Ops II but some things kind of made us think “what the…?”
Firstly multiplayer in Black Ops II is something that is special; in that it in a stage of its own. After all it is THE GAME everyone compares some First-Person Shooter to. Call of Duty multiplayer is why they do it, and Black Ops II brings that to a whole new level. Multiplayer is for the first time since World at War engaging for a Call of Duty game. It used to be that the higher you go the less and less point there was to keep playing the game, but thankfully Treyarch fixed this with more items to unlock which gives the play more reason to invest their time into it.
For each weapon in multiplayer, there are roughly 16 amount of attachments for the Primary weapons, and roughly around 9 attachments for the pistols (and 5 for your Crossbow). Considering there are 432 levels for a player to rank up their primary weapon, there is a lot of time to be invested for your average player. That number is not including your secondary weapons, or other unlocks such as camo, or reticles. Of course, a player can also now prestige their weapons, upon reaching level 16 with a primary weapon.
One thing we were excited to see Treyarch give into is the “score-streaks” instead of the dreaded kill-streaks. How is that a good thing you are asking? Consider this: you get 100pts for a kill, plus 10-25 for headshot, and even more for other things. A UAV costs a player 350 points to call in (also factor in 10pts per teammate kill while active), a player could achieve said thing by simply capping a flag on domination and getting a kill with headshot. This makes it easier for new players to come in and potentially well compared to the hardcore Call of Duty players.
There is one game changer in Black Ops II’s favor: Wildcards. Keep in mind when choosing these though, you can only have 10 things equipped at any given time. Once used wisely, they can completely alter player’s abilities, such as the Primary Gunfighter wildcard which gives the player the ability to use 2 Primary weapons at the same time; such as the M27 and XPR-50. Other wildcards are pretty useful except for Tactician. Why would I say this is not useful? Simple, everyone uses some form of equipment in the game (bouncing betty, claymore) and I have noticed most players tend to use either Hack or Shock for their tactical grenade slot. Sure carrying them both would be beneficial if you camp (which a lot do), but for gun runners it is pointless to not have a lethal grenade set.
For the most part Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer is very fun, and thankfully they added One in the Chamber, and Sharpshooter into a regular playlist. While multiplayer is really engaging for every player, I would imagine around the 2nd prestige it would become much diluted and a lot less fun.
Ah finally something new when it comes to zombie mode! Tranzit takes you and your party on a ride (literally) around the normal Black Ops II zombie maps, allowing you to gather items and build things, or just create some general mayhem. This mode is Survival mode with an added twist that you have to keep moving to survive, and as an added bonus you create new objects to help you survive. These new objects can open doors, or provide substantial cover and kill zombies with a single blow.
There is another game mode new to the zombie world as well: Grief. This pits 2 teams against each other, to conquer the zombie world before the other. Once an entire team goes down, the game is over and the team left standing wins. It is survival team mode for zombies.
If you are not interested in either of the new game modes, then there is always the regular survival mode. This time though you have the opportunity to select the zombie difficulty mode, which can be beneficial for new players as well.
Single Player Campaign
Black Ops II offers a completely new and revamped single player campaign. I cannot say too much without doing spoilers, so I will leave this section short as can be.
The reason it is revamped is for a number of reasons, but to keep it spoiler free results I will just say that you can completely customize your loadout before each and every single mission with the weapons from that era.
Ah wait, there is one addition to the Call of Duty franchise that is actually fun once you get the hang of it: Strike Force. This is a FPS/RTS/Top-down strategy mode that adds something unique to the storyline. However, a player does not have to complete them to move on in the story as they are just bonus missions for a player to complete. I enjoy Strike Force missions, as it is different but it is something that is just based on opinion.
Overall the campaign threw some great story elements into the mix, as I expected they would. If there is one thing that the team at Treyarch know how to do, it is tell a great story. However with the storyline lacking the most epic son of a &%$#@ that walks the face of gaming (Reznov) it does bring down the value for me.