Community Review -- Call Of Duty: Black Ops II

So another year another Call of Duty — but apparently Black Ops II pushes things a little further than most COD games. I've been hearing this from a fair amount of people. Call of Duty fans, granted, but it still may be worth investigating. Sadly I haven't had the chance to play Black Ops II yet, so I'm going to abstain from commenting, but I'd love to hear some early thoughts from you guys and girls.

It's been a busy end of year, and it's hard to say if I actually will get time to spend with the game at all. I've been playing catch up for a while, and I don't think I can justify playing a game I might enjoy over a game I've been looking forward to for a while, or a games that I haven't quite finished off yet (like Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja).

Still, if I get time over the break, I'll be sure to give it a bash.

What are your thoughts on the game so far?


    It's, erm, well... COD. Not sure what I was expecting really, but I remember playing MW1 after a long COD break and genuinely enjoying the experience.
    This time around, not so much.

    I went in with the attitude of, "Urgh, here we go again" but surprisingly I found the campaign really enjoyable. Nice variety of environments and gameplay. Going RTS on the series was a nice change of pace (even if you have to move faster then multiplayer to beat it) and has potential to be great if they expand on it.

    I haven't given Zombies a chance or took the time to "put up" with the people in multiplayer, but I found the campaign really enjoyable that I actually liked exploring for "access" points. The story is beyond stupid but has multiple endings if you want to play through it again.

    The most negative I can say about the campaign is that I still friggin hate Woods and really wish he did die in Black Ops 1. Someone needs to tell Treyarch what swearing for emphasis really means, not to use swearing in place of dialogue. Same goes for Admiral Briggs (who doesn't act like one at all).

    Well, I think the folk who make CoD really only have one group of people to keep happy: CoD fans. From what I can tell, CoD fans are happy with Blops II.

    Treyarch seems to understand its base and gives them what they want. You can't hate on them for that... Well, you can, but you probably shouldn't.

    Last edited 19/11/12 11:11 am

      At least they have added enough to the game to make it new i think is my feeling. MW3 really wasn't even and update on mw2, it was just a map/weapon dlc. I had the biggest fear that blops 2 would be the same thing, but i do definitely feel they have changed it up a fair bit, without taking away what makes cod popular.

        Its basically what MW3 should have been, its no great improvement but its a step forward (backwards from blops 1 tho), but after the 30 backwards from MW3 it hardly counts.

        Tryarch fucked up tho, promised "real dedicated servers" then threw out a retraction with a shitty "they are dedicated, but its a dedicated host system" so no one has any control, and that means of course that hackers can still ruin a good game and have been since 3 hours after launch.
        93 kills 0 deaths in one 5 minute round... tell me thats not sus, plus even after being reported by the entire server the same guy was still on for another 3 hours that night just ruining games.

        Issues with PC version and Vsync causing lag, which was a known issue in blops 1 that they didnt ever fix, and there is also a bug where everyone playing slows down to roughly 3 frames a second, and stays that way untill the game is over.\
        A few guys like myself seem to also not be able to set the res higher than 1680-1050, given i have a 27" full 120hz 3D monitor it doesnt make sense.

        They have made quick scoping less usefull which is great
        Runs incredibly slick, visuals are nice, the weapon models are decent.
        The customization/loadout setup is rather good as well IMHO, being able to choose and extra perk, over a secondary weapon, or your nade is definitely a plus.

        ATM SMG's seem to be the weapon of choice for all, they have least amount of recoil, fastest firing rate and least spray when fired with dexterity perk.

        The new "Scorestreak" system works well for low tier/new players, but there is still too many points given for just straight kills, playing capture the flag, i got 12 kills 3 flag caps (thats a round win by myself) and 4 returns of our flag, and still didnt get top scorer, the guy with 24 kills, no caps and no returns did.

        Zombies is a hoot and a half, however the maps arent as apparent for exits as teh previous version, you cant always tell where your going, and those exploding zombies man they can ruin your night so fast lol.

        Single player i havent tried yet, but if its like MW3's i imagine i wont be able to play it anyway due to bugs that never got patched due to only effecting a small number of people.

        Last edited 19/11/12 1:37 pm

    So, this is my first CoD on PC, and first since the 'original' blops which I played on the 360 (and it's probably my favourite outside of CoD4). I'm coming from spending most of the last year playing BF3, on pub servers and my first foray into competitive gaming.

    I won't comment on the SP (hardly played it yet) or zombies (as it doesn't grab me as much as it should), so I'll just talk about my MP experience.

    I'm having mindless fun, but that's it I think. The maps, most importantly, are nothing to write home about. There are standouts in all the other CoDs that just had a good feel about them, and worked on the majority of gametypes. Here ... eh I'm struggling to remember them, let alone pick a standout. I don't mind Yemen as it's at least a little less linear with a mode like Domination. I think Cargo would also be decent for that but I'm yet to have it turn up in Dom. Carrier annoys the absolute crap out of me, as does Drone and the revamped Nuketown-on-a-boat (Hijacked). That said, I do like Slums and Standoff.

    Weapon wise, the SMGs really seem like the way to go right now. Equip a laser on 'em and they hipfire like a freakin' laser - and with the high ROF they typically dominate a lot of encounters. Especially the last SMG unlock - the Scorpion Evo, which doesn't seem to have any downsides to me. Also, for some reason, the shotties seem to make people rage quite hard despite the fact they're the most balanced shotties in the series - nothing like MW2's dominating SPAS-12, etc.

    The thing I love the most is the 10 point loadout system which allows you to create nice varied loudouts for whatever situation you want. Do you just want to knife? Fine, get rid of all weapons and have six perks instead. Never use your secondary? Done, get rid of it and ply your primary with three attachments. It's positively delightful, and that system will get the most longevity out of the game for me.

    The thing I hate most on PC is the matchmaking system. It works as intended when you're searching on your own (despite most of the playlists other than TDM being a bit tricky to get into due to lack of players..) but when searching in a party? Frustration galore. Over the weekend we only had one local lobby, the rest of the time we'd end up in a US or European server. Treyarch are looking into solutions which hopefully hit this week, but it means we end up just individually trying to get in the same server then end up on opposing teams for the majority. A few of our guys have already nicknamed it Lobby Ops - probably spent at least an hour waiting in them this weekend.

    That turned out to be a lot more text than I intended. tl;dr version - PC MM frustrating, SMGs king, maps average, loadout system brilliant, still *feels* like CoD.

    Havnt touched the single player and dont think i ever will. (havnt played single player cod since cod:waw). Multiplayer however is great. The same cod weve known for years just with a new set of 'stuff'. You know what youre gunna get when it comes to the multiplayer and it delivers.

    Having now spent a week on the game. I can say they have definitely upped the Anti on the MP.

    Apart from the usual map pack / weapon pack update that most cods are, the pace of this game is significantly improved.

    The main thing i think i'd point out is that there are many more ways to get points, and what now get called "score streaks" other than just killing people.

    Destroying enemy equipment, and score streaks helps you get closer to yours. So if someone has layed a boobietrap or called in a UAV, you can destroy these to get points towards your own rewards. This probably doesnt sound like a big deal, but if you are not a hi KD run and gunner, this gives you much more chance to call in your own toys, which is a big deal for lower tier players.

    The other thing Treyarch have done with this game is to put more of a focus on skill with guns, while not overly apparent to the average gamer, the amount of recoil on individual weapons is much different. And with no perks to slower this, it certainly makes you think a lot harder about your weapon choice.

    In addition to this, a bigger range of sight upgrades also gives you a little more change. Its has the standard red dot/reflex sights, but also has the target finder and EOtech sights, which have their own benifits and downsides.

    The maps are very typical of Treyarch, which sadly do promote camping a fair bit, but they do seem to work well with the new pace of cod, and i think make it a little more friendly to people who are new to the series (if there is anyone who hasnt played it before of course).

    I could go on for ages about what is different in black ops II vs previous titles, but i think most people will already have their mind made up. If you are not a cod player, yes, this will feel like just another cod, but if you are a long term fan, this game WILL bring a lot of new and exciting things...which is a lot more than could be said for MW3.


    new cod is good, and different enough to warrant the purchase if you are a cod fan.

      I agree with what you have said, they appear to have balanced everything. the camping isnt as bad with the MMS scope and ghost only working when you are moving.

      They only thing that is over-powered a bit is the Black hat. Can kill most streaks and steal care packages (even from team mates)

        i hear there will be some changes to black hat. At least with the care packages. But i like that oyu can take out a sentry with it given you cant just stab them the way you used to.

    I've played everyone of them to date and this one is no different. It's not that it's bad or anything, it's just well... Modern Warfare...

    I am enjoying this, because MW3 was bollocks, and I really enjoyed BLOPS 1

    I also love Battlefield 3, but with it being on my PC and the massive updates and I usually try to play it when I am capped and it has to update.

    I am not a big multiplayer gamer, nor am I really competitive, I usually try to avoid it.

    Fallout or Skyrim or anything SP and I am fine, but everynow and then something like this comes along, this and Halo 4 from recent memory *I was on fire, not to brag, I hadn't played multiplayer Halo since Halo 2 or 3*

    I completely skipped the third modern warfare game believing the downhill trend of modern warfare 1 to modern warfare 2 would continue. So I have no idea if modern warfare 3 was any good or not. Thus I have no idea how this black ops game stacks up against it. But I can say that this one stacks up really well against the previous call of duty games that I've played.

    Run down of the game: First person linear campaign. As well as the campaign there is a RTS styled campaign where you direct units in missions, but you can also take control of a unit and play these in first person view. The RTS side-missions have impact on the story. There are quite a few optional objectives in the first person campaign that impact on the story as well. The campaign is much longer than previous cod games, getting up near 10 hours if you go through exploring everything. I found the original black ops to be very re-playable with it's very short campaign; this one with it's much longer campaign and so many secondary objectives and successes/failures having a significant impact on the ending can feel like a bit of a chore rather than an easy cruise. Good for the mass effect fans, not so great for any time-poor cod campaign fan.

    If you only play the game through once, you'll probably find the story to be a bit clunky and ill fitted. But it still has it's moments where you realize something before it's revealed which is evidence of well executed story telling.

    "Quantum entanglement" <- Kind of wish they had consulted an actual physicist about the celerium devices. Cause damn. Yeah I get it, beating the speed of light barrier, Doesn't make the RAWR RAWR RAWR PHYSICS FAIL. NEXT TIME USE COULOMB BARRIER BREAKING MAGIC. MORE AWESOME.

      For the record, MW3 wasn't any good. I personally think the multiplayer peaked with MW2. Multiplayer was a combination of dull and frustrating and the single player campaign was just all over the place. While I didn't enjoy BlOps1 and wound up returning it, I felt nostalgic for it after getting sick of MW3.

    What's it like on PS3? My workmates all want me to get it, but I've been reading its got the same gripes as the original BLOPS... frame rate issues, lag, disconnections, and hit detection sucks?

    True? Not True?

    After the supreme averageness of BLOPS 1, I'm gonna pass on this one.

    I've been spoilt playing on the Frostbite gaming engines for so long I am genuinely disappointed every time I even LOOK at a COD game. Absolutely nothing has changed in the past 7 years and nothing will. The last decent COD game was COD4 and I think a lot of people will agree. However a lot of years have passed since and nothing has changed. Sure there have been some incremental improvements with the engine over the years, however nothing earth shattering, there's no use flogging a dead horse.

    As for the game itself, I played about 30 mins of it "try before you buy" spec, and I think I still have my keyboard imprinted on my right cheek. The game is boring, it's utterly boring to the point that if I wanted to fall asleep after having (and not that I do or have ever) been out on a meth fueled bender, all I'd have to do is crank up this puppy and I'd be comatose in a matter of minutes. You still don't so much as play the game so much as you move the mouse and press keys on your keyboard every once in a while until you're playing experience is snatched away from you by one of the in game cut-scene's that activision love so much these days.

    I'm not even going to bother more with my diatribe as this game is just the same as every other piece of rubbish that has come out of activision with a "COD" tag on it for the past few years. 2/10 score if you're lucky.

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