Version tested: PC
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the 1423rd game in the Call of Duty series so it will have the same overlying mechanics as its predecessors. Basically shoot anything that moves while being guided by an NPC that also acts as your butler by opening doors for you. It’s developed by Treyarch rather than Infinity Ward (does it make a difference?) and is the sequel to the Cold War-set Black Ops 1. This time the year is 2025 and there is a new war on terror (oh really now?) starring the son of the first game’s protagonist.
While COD games are arguably mainly played for its multiplayer component, I will refrain from reviewing that portion as I’ve never played any of the previous games’ multiplayer so I don’t think my opinion counts for much, and frankly I just don’t want to review it. Sue me (please don’t, I was just kidding on that last bit).
This game is such a frenzy with bullets flying from every and all directions and profanities being shouted by both friendlies and foes, explosions in the scenery that seemed like it wasn’t triggered by anything, while you shoot at anything that moves with guns that you most probably wouldn’t even remember the name of.
The game’s inclination to hand hold you with its prompts to press the action button as well as the straight line given to you while you sweep it with your machine gun doesn’t do this game justice. Because this is seriously a beautiful game to look at, the visuals are in the “You Have Never Seen Anything Like This Before” vein and it has all the little details like a HUD at the corner of the windscreen of a jeep which shows emissions and stuff like that, that just goes to show how much work was put in by the developers in the visuals department and they deserve our respect.
Sadly, the game’s hand holding and tendencies to place you in tight spaces or tunnels fails to highlight the great scenery that envelopes this game. The developer’s time into the environment felt ultimately wasted in the end and that’s just a shame. The times that Black Ops 2 shined was when the game gave you free reign to shoot shoot shoot and shoot some more.
Beautiful visuals aside, this game showcases some brutal scenery like people burning to death so this is certainly not for everyone.
The plot, well, I didn’t really followed what was happening. It assumes you know what happened in the first Black Ops and didn’t exactly introduce the characters, both new and old. There is a story here somewhere, and it involves the antagonist coming up with a plan that needs to be stopped that develops more in the second half of the game.
No matter if you hate COD titles or not, this one deserves our respect for the work that was put into making it such a beautiful looking game. And while BLOPS 2 shoots ‘innovation’ in the face and teabags it, it does try to be a little different from those that came before it.
Optional side-missions are there for you to change the pace a little, it involves ordering squads of men to various capture and defend points on the map and you can elect to take control of any one of them. There are also moral choices (you read that right), but not in the same makeup of say a Mass Effect, more like a kill or not to kill type thingy and does affect the game in the later stages.
I certainly do not recommend this to those that love to hate COD games, but if you’ve been getting every COD game that’s ever released, no reason for you to not pick this up. The things that it tries to do differently is hopefully a turning point in the series and will lead to more sophisticated titles later on in the series.