Developer Treyarch tweaks the standard COD formula with Black ops 2. Adding changes to multiplayer, zombie, and campaign modes Black ops 2 gives the standard COD fan something more to swallow. Despite my intense disdain for what has become of the COD series I wanted to take a fresh look at this title as I did enjoy the first Black ops….a little. I was hoping for an improvement on the “game saving” Zombie Mode and of course some really cool guns to shoot. Call of Duty is….well, Call of Duty. You’re going to get fast paced action, a half decent storyline, and of course a solid multiplayer experience. Black ops 2 delivers all of this and more. Looking at Black ops as its own series separate from the Modern Warfare series we are two games in and frankly getting worse. While I completely understand that pretty much nobody plays the campaign mode, it is still part of the Black ops 2 package and honestly it was sub-par. While the storyline is half decent the changes they made to the format seemed forced. The sandbox style campaign could be interesting to some if Treyarch had made up their mind and decided that this is what they wanted the campaign to be like. It seems like they just sprinkled a little sugar in the coffee to see if it was going to be good or not instead of committing 100% to trying this mode out. The same goes for the side missions they call: Strike Force Missions. Why does a campaign that no one plays anyway need all of these extras? I believe that the people that do play the campaign want a solid experience instead of a loose package held together by tape. Campaign not worth it.
Multiplayer underwent reconstructive surgery as well. The multiplayer gameplay is solid as always, with new “games”, guns, and levels players will enjoy finding new spots to “camp” in or a new area to throw the random grenade that always hits me and makes me say: “C’mon Cuuuz”. Kill Confirmed is by far the best game-mode the multiplayer has (at least to me). For some reason I feel accomplished when I pick up an enemy’s dog tags after my teammate actually did all the shooting. That’s all standard COD stuff though, the change comes in how your load out works. There is a pick 10 system that gives the player more creative license with his or her load outs. If you want to carry all tactical grenades like the new shock charges (which are really effective and annoying at the same time) you can, but you will have to sacrifice one thing or another. How much of an effect does it have on the gameplay, not much. Honestly I found it to be more helpful to my own psyche than it did for me in the game, I honestly felt more in control but died the same amount. The stages are beautiful as always and I’m sure that we will see more of them for some sort of monetary “donation”. One of the coolest things that the multiplayer has to offer is the emblem system that returns from the last installment. The system allows you to show off your Photoshop skills by giving you the ability to stack a set amount and selection of pictures to make pretty much anything if your good enough…I made the Pringles man and Butters from South Park. A friend of mine made Rick Ross and Kakashi’s Sharingan eye from Naruto, I have also seen a Pikachu and Cammy from street fighter’s butt, thong and all. Multiplayer GOOD.
If you are looking for the same old COD experience look elsewhere, this game takes what we know as COD and tries to flip the script, unfortunately many of those changes flop on hardcore fans and some newcomers. Take the Zombies mode for instance, GARBAGE. One of the only redeeming qualities of the Black Ops series is the Zombies mode, why change it so drastically? Treyarch tries to make the Zombies experience more like Left 4 Dead or Dead Island by making it “open world”. Being able to catch the bus and fend off zombies that try to get a “free ride”, just reminded me of those times I caught the bus to school in Detroit, Mi.
While the idea of building things to aid you on your zombie journey is cool, like the shield that sends zombies flying with the press of the melee button, it seems forced in this series. I completely understand the want to change the formula and add something new, keep it fresh, but not like this. Give me a different type of zombie other than the old “zombie on fire/ exploding zombie” bit. Make it so guns are hard to come by and players have to find resourceful ways to kill zombies as they travel to their final destination. I don’t know, I’m just throwing out potentially lame ideas, but what we have now is a zombie game that forces you to consistently “hit the box” then CLEAR IT! (which means to get the heck outta dodge), then run around in circles to corral the zombies so you can make it to the next round…annoying , repetitive, and eventually BORING. The ray gun is still the best gun to get, and apparently there is a glitch that nets it to you every time if you do it right…unconfirmed… Zombies not good this time around.
Overall Black ops 2 tries too hard to be different. Though I respect Treyarch’s fortitude to change the formula, I feel that some of the changes would have gone better un-served or served in a completely different title other than COD. Duty (as we call it in my circle of friends) has become a yearly release, just like Madden or NBA 2k (and I only say 2k because the Live series has been dead to me for long time now). With a HUGE fountain of loyal fans Treyarch will have an opportunity to either scrap all the bad changes they made or refine them in the next installment, which if keeping with trend, we should expect after the next Modern Warfare game.
If you are looking for a fast paced, arcade, online multiplayer FPS to get into, then enjoy, but if you want it for the Zombie or Campaign modes I would look elsewhere.