REVIEW: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

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Oh man does it feel like a lifetime, but hello everyone, Hahkan Hero here and I’m finally back with a brand new review of one of the years top tier games and maybe one of the most controversial, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. First off, apologies to everyone; life has turned in so many unexpected ways and has kept me from what I love doing –and that’s doing this, writing, playing video games but all is well and I’m back with my very in-depth opinions of this game.

Black Ops 2 is an FPS from the likes of Treyarch and as the title suggests is a sequel to 2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops and as far as the campaign is concerned is as much as direct sequel as can be. So we will start there, I won’t go much into it because there is so much to discover and experience, but from what I’ve played of it the best way I can describe it is if you took the campaign you have always known and loves has received a well needed and deserved upgrade.  Some of the choices they made to this years campaign not only makes the game feel so much more free then previous  Call of Duty campaigns but the storytelling also evolves  with it and , in a sense, there are more than one way to tell the story—trust me it’s a really good thing!

Shifting gears onto the main reason on why the majority of the masses even buy a Call of Duty games and my personal topic of expertise, the multiplayer. So as I said before, they chose to chance up a lot in the Black Ops 2 campaign and fortunately that also applies to the multiplayer; and it has been revolutionized in the most efficient way possible.  We will start with something simply known as the “Pick 10 system”. In previous CoD’s, when you would create your custom load -out of weapons, perks, etc. you were always required to make your personal play style fit the mold of the game, meaning you had to pick a side arm you had to pick at least 3 perks, etc. This year that mold has been broken and that rule no longer applies what so ever. You have 10 points in every class you make and you are allowed to take those points and use them forever and whatever you want. If you don’t roll with a sidearm or equipment normally, use the points on more perks or more attachment’s for your gun. The combinations are endless and gives the user the most control on what they want to use when the play the game. At first hand, this can be very confusing to newer players, but this method not only added a new more fresh aspect to the multiplayer it required players to really put some thought into their classes and experiment with new  ideas rather then, like years before, follow the cookie-cutter classes of others. Another big change was going back to non-pro perks; basically all the perks in the game no longer can become “pro” and the ability that is stated is what you get, however what this did is really spread out the abilities into a more vast amount of perks which of course all cost 1 point when adding them to your load-out.  Also they have made it so that all the perks in the game only affect the player and not the gun, this means that the infamous “Sleight of Hand” perk has been eliminated, but fear not, reloading faster is still possible but in the form of an gun attachment known as “Fast Mag”.  So this brings me to the attachments. First off, it is now standard to equip two attachments to a gun, so there is no more need for a perk that does that, and with the addition to the Wildcard feature there is actually a way to have three attachments to a single gun, which has never been done before. There is an array of new types of attachments that you can use, some include the Target Finder sight that when ADS adds a red diamond to enemy players making it easier to spot them. Other new attachments include the adjustable stock that gives your gun the same ability as “Stalker” from Modern Warfare 3, the Long Barrel attachment that gives your gun an added range and the Millimeter (MMS) Scanner sight that when ADS pulses throughout the world and slightly shows players through walls.

The equipment section has also been upgraded as well; all your favorite types of grenades return with the addition of sensor grenades and shock charges to spice it up a bit. Sensor grenades show enemies on your map within a small radius and shock charges, when thrown out and stepped on, send an electric shock to enemies and slightly damage them as well. The most interesting form of equipment for me in multiplayer would have to be the tactical equipment known as the Black Hat PDA. This allows you to hack enemy equipment in the world and turn them against your opponent and it also allows you to pick up any care package from a small distance. Normally this piece of equipment can be difficult to use because you would have to be able to spot out the equipment which can prove to be difficult in such a fast pace game. However, there’s a good way to take advantage of the black hat if you would chose to make your class in such a way. You could combine the power of the black hat with the tier 3 (orange) perk “Engineer” to allow you to see all equipment in the world in bright red and through walls and ta-da you will be a hacking machine on the battlefield, but of course this only one of many ways to play. Now obviously with all these new attachments, perks and equipment there are ways to avoid them, everything is balanced to point where you won’t feel like any one attachment/perk/equipment is over used or too powerful.

All your favorite game modes return as well with the addition of few new ones like Multi-Team Deathmatch where there are 4 teams in one game all against each other and Hardpoint where you play a king of the hill type mode as you capture a point and constantly try to keep control of it. The most notable new feature though would have to be the addition of League Play and live streaming your games straight from the console!  League Play is a mode where you are given everything already unlocked and you can go into public games where you play to win and your wins determine a certain rank amongst the community. The games will place you in a division where you fight to gain higher in your division and this can be done with your friends in groups of 4. This is a really amazing feature that needs some work, but ultimately takes CoD into an eSport type era especially because this feature allows you to actually livestream your games which go straight to your YouTube or Facebook; a great way for players to get themselves out there and promote their gaming.

Last but certainly not least, there is none other but Call of Duty Zombies. Zombies is bigger and better than ever before and honestly me talking about it cannot even begin to tell you how crazy they have gone this year.  There are many that have bought this game simply for Zombies and trust me, after playing it for hours, I know exactly why. The Zombies this year uses the multiplayer engine which gave them the opportunity to take it to new heights; allowing more players, more zombies and array of new content that actually all fits together into an amazing experience, and there are more than a few surprises hidden as well.

All in all, I really believe that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 really shines above the rest when it comes to competitive shooters and I think they really listened to what the fans wanted and delivered. With that however comes my only gripe of the game, but the gripe is only about how people have been reacting to the game rather than an actually gripe about the game itself. I truly feel that the changes they made really affected how people play but the majority of people I’ve played/talked to about it seem like they have been overwhelmed with the complexity and have in turn criticized the game to depths that simply make no sense. The community for years has been begging and pleading that the change up the game where it doesn’t feel like you’re playing the same game as the year before, and as we know the 60 FPS can never be altered the game can look the same but with these new additions I can assure that the game plays almost completely different, but I suppose a portion of the masses isn’t ready for the change that they asked for. For those that are ready to play Call of Duty literally like you’ve never played before, I would strongly suggest you give this one a shot, the worst thing people can do is hold other past games against this one, but if you’ve been waiting or wanting to try a Call of Duty out or if you’re a seasoned player ready for a fresh, updated and intuitive fast pace FPS this one might be the best.

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Here’s the quick breakdown:

Presentation: 9.9

Everything from the menus in-game to the menu in the lobby looks stellar and is completely crisp and refined. I’ll also note that the spinning globe in the multiplayer menu that shows all the online players is a really nice touch

Graphics:  9.5

The engine is really showing its age,  but with that being said this is still the nicest looking CoD to date and the really pushed the limits in the engine as well

Sound: 10

Probably my favorite aspect of the game honestly; the soundtrack is deep, enticing and the most memorable tracks ever and all the in-game background music keeps you attentive and never bores

Gameplay: 9.8

The game plays as smooth and as it can be, there are small hiccups here and there but nothing that will take you away from the action or the experience

Replay Factor: 10

If the multiplayer doesn’t captivate you as much as it did for me, the zombies mode WILL, end of story!

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The Verdict: 9.8 out of 10

In my opinion, as controversial as it sounds, it is simply the best Call of Duty to date. I think Treyarch really put something quite spectacular together here and I will be playing this game for a really long time.

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