Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Review

Today my fellow gamers is a historic day. This is the day I get to review a Call of Duty game that has actually been worked on, that actually offers something different, that actually changes how we look at Call of Duty.

We are looking at Call of Duty Black Ops 2.

Story
We fast forward into the future, the year 2025. We are introduced to the son of Alex Mason, David Mason who is currently in the US NAVY and is trying to prevent a world wide popular terrorist Raul Menendez from attacking the US.

Mason meets up with now disabled veteran Frank Woods, who tells you the story of what happened that made Raul decide to attack America and what happened to Mason's father. It is revealed that Raul has found a new rare earth element known as Cellerium, a new element that can be used to create a device with more processing power then the entire US Military.

The events that lead to the end of Raul Menendez is entirely up to you, this is the first Call of Duty where events and characters may or may not happen based on choices and actions you make. Most of what happens in the story is supposed to happen but for major key events it's entirely up to you.

Another notable aspect of the story is the villain. Raul Menendez is not just a terrorist, as I said earlier he is a popular terrorist. Raul Menendez is an internet and modern cultural icon in the story and has over a billion followers using the same social media sites we do. He is looked at for guidance and is celebrated for his ideas, this makes him an even bigger threat to the US then Osama Bin Laden, he not only has military power he has power over the people of America.

Makarov from the Modern Warfare series simply used improbable and illogical tools to cause World War 3. Raul Menendez not only uses weapons but also his influence on the American people as a weapon against the entire US nation. Although it is a good story there are still moments in the campaign that make you question what happened to lead to a certain event. There are gaps in the story that don't explain themselves well enough for you to understand what happened.

Presentation
Although Black Ops 2 uses the same engine as the last Call of Duty titles, each new title is simply using the same engine upgraded in a certain way. However this upgraded version of the engine I must say looks better then MW3 and Black Ops, there's a much more sleek and polished touch to this COD title then others.

The motion capture is better than the last titles and you get a constant 60 Frames Per Second across the board in good detail, it does not look like a previous COD title.

Gameplay
You may have heard it before whenever someone reviews a new COD title, "If you played any game from the series, you played them all." This is true, to a certain degree. I have to be honest, I came into this game thinking that but I was struggling, this isn't simply a "new" Call of Duty. This is an actual NEW Call of Duty, granted not the newest and most innovative  thing to be seen in a COD title but truly a COD that does something different.

Treyarch set out to give us a new Call of Duty, without it being called Black Ops 1.5 or MW 3.5. This is a new experience.

Campaign wise you have the choice of customizing your load out, with what equipment and even perks you can use on the battlefield. The Access Kit for example allows you to enter into locked rooms with special equipment or can even turn out to have a hidden benefit if you use the access kit, either finding  a new weapon or allowing you to bring in air support. Even camos, you can use camos on your guns in the campaign.

As I said earlier, you can choose the outcome of certain events, doing this can be done by completing the new Strike Force missions and of course choices you makes in the campaign.

Strike Force missions are almost like an RTS game (Real Time Strategy) you can take command of certain units and order units to attack or certain enemy or enemy equipment by issuing commands, or you can take command of one of the units and use it to fend off or attack the enemy. I must say though, you want your feet on the ground.

The AI in Strike Force is terrible and will either take long ways to reach way points you've marked for them to go to or will fail the objective entirely. You need to at least take control of a soldier based unit to complete the objective. Strike Force missions are even circumstance of choice and chance, if you fail an objective on a mission you may end up having to complete a Strike Force Mission in order to make up for the failed objective, failing a second time may result in an ending you did not want.

Another thing added into the campaign is hit markers, you now know whether or not you are hitting the enemy and even if they're dead. This was a problem in previous COD games in my opinion, you didn't know whether or not the enemy was dead unless you risked the level progress by walking by their last known position. You could walk by where you think they might have died to only realize that they are still alive and take you out in less then a second.

Multiplayer
The multiplayer is also different from previous titles it offers something new to the COD player and to the gamer. You can choose whether or not to bring in a primary or a secondary, you can choose to not take 3 perks or choose to bring in 6 perks. You can choose to not go with anything and just go with a combat knife.

The multiplayer offers this new create-a-class system known as Pick 10. You have 10 points to create your own class, bring in a gun, that's a point, add an attachment that's a point, add a perk, that's a point, bring in equipment, that's a point.

Also new to the multiplayer is Wild Cards, Wild Cards allow you to bend the rules of the game for your favor, these wild cards take away a point as well. These vary from adding in a new perk to each tier, bring in more lethal equipment, or add a 3rd attachment to your primary weapon or a second attachment on a secondary. You can make your own unique multiplayer class, which will give you your own advantage in the fight which could turn the odds in your favor.

Another thing that has changed is perks and attachments, a few things to list off is now there is no Pro variant perks. Now perks have a single rank and purpose, also now perks do not affect the performance of your weapons, they only affect your character. The attachments you unlock is the only thing that changes your guns performance and abilities.

If you want quicker ADS speed then equip the quick draw handle, reduced recoil, equip the fore grip, better hip fire accuracy, equip the laser sight.

Weapon balance in Black Ops 2 is great, I honestly can not think of one solitary weapon that over powers a certain weapon category or even an attachment that makes a weapon over powered it's balanced, unlike MW3 where the Type-95 could beat any weapon of any tier, each weapon out of it's particular weapon tier will perform strong and good with either a higher fire-rate or slightly more damage than most. Sacrificing power for fire rate or fire rate for power.

Each weapon offers you strengths in certain areas of combat but not all. Such as the assault rifles, they're the jack of all trades but the masters of none. The shotguns are masters of close quarter combat and nowhere else, the LMGs are strong in medium to long range engagements but terrible in close quarter combat.

The Verdict
Treyarch has finally done something that previous COD games didn't do before. Change the way we experience Call of Duty. From now on, future COD titles will be compared to Black Ops 2 for what it changed and how well it did so.

It does have it's problems though, it isn't perfect across the board but most of the pros do beat out the cons.

I'm giving Black Ops 2 an 8/10

It's problems lie with its Strike Force Mission AI and also lack of explanation in certain aspects of the story. The AI in Strike Force leaves you frustrated and the story leaves gaps as said earlier that don't explain what happened in that gap. Certain endings of the game will leave you with questions. Going against everything you've learned about in the story. Aside from those problems Black Ops 2 is still a good game, not the best of 2012 but still good.

For those wondering why I didn't review zombies, don't worry. That review is next.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed and please share or follow my blog for more reviews and weapon guides.

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