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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Review

There is no denying that the Call of Duty franchise is one of the most successful franchises to be in existence. Black Ops 2 was one highly anticipated game from both fans and haters of the series. It seems like we already got a Call of Duty game last year (haha I made a funny) and following tradition, this was Treyarch’s year to make an installment. A sequel to Black Ops the story continues in the year 2025 where everything is slightly more advanced and shiny. The developers promised multiple changes were made to the game, offering a new experience, immersive story, and a game that feels fresh. Does the game live up to those words? I can confidently say, no.

Black Ops 2 is a direct sequel to the original Black Ops showcasing Frank Woods and company figuring out why Alex Mason was seeing numbers and what they meant. Black Ops 2 is what happened because the people failed to decipher what was in Mason’s head at the end of the first game. You play the game as David Mason, Alex’s son and Alex Mason. Menendez is the prime target and the puppetmaster of the new war that has the United State on its knees.

The story, like the first one, is rather bland and poorly executed. A story like this really hinges on good character development and writing, and of course, the characters may as well be standard soldiers with no names. The game likes to portray these characters with a back story but the storytelling is just bad. Every moment where someone has a flashback you get a basic idea of how they turned out, but because it is portrayed on a small scale, you cannot relate to Menendez or David Mason. Look at games with rich characters like Lee in The Walking Dead, and Sherlock Holmes in Testament of Sherlock Holmes. You get to see them degrade and dwindle down to be broken men. You don’t get that in a war game when the setting is global war. There is no focus on the characters and too much focus on global conflict.

In short, the story sucks. Take note that a game can have a bad story and still be good. See Serious Sam and Painkiller for a reference point.  Now I know everyone who reads this and is a fan of the game is going to say, “But the game is for multiplayer, not singleplayer.” I will get to that in a minute; I would like to speak about the gameplay mechanics first. The core mechanic is killing everyone who is not American, which is the standard for the Call of Duty games. You will have access to a wide variety of weapons that all feel the same. All the automatic weapons feel the same and require no skill to use. The same goes for the snipers, shotguns, and side arms. While there are features with the weapons that distinguish them like clip size and firing rate, you do not need much skill to wield them.

The upgrades you unlock as attachments vary as well, but when you find that one combination, you will never feel the need to change it up. You are able to customize your loadout and you do not have access to everything from the start. Of course a new mechanic has been added to deter people and make them think they spent 60 bucks on a new game. There are a variety of optional missions you can do during the main story. If you have to escort a convoy, you can protect all of them to get a completed challenge. Get enough of them to unlock perks and weapons for use in the singleplayer. Right off the bat this seems redundant because all the weapons don’t feel different or have variety like they do in Painkiller or Hard Reset. Some of these challenges are unforgiving as hell like in Assassin’s Creed 3. They involve getting various kills in a certain way for the most part.

A new set of missions has been added that does break up the monotony of killing those who have different views than you. They are tactical missions that require some form of skill and a lot of luck to win. You are given a certain amount of units like SEALS, CLAWs and Quadricopters. They have objectives that aren’t killing everyone on the way to a different point. I guess I can give credit to Treyarch for adding these. If it wasn’t for that stupid challenge crap they would actually feel enjoyable.

The core gameplay is still the same with bad level design and a game that plays itself with regenerating health. The game is not very challenging despite the fact you will be dying a lot. Mainly because they pit you against 3 helicopters with 20 or so troops all firing at you. That isn’t challenging, that is just plain unfair and annoying. For a game that is supposed to be driven to fast paced gameplay it is pretty slow and boring considering you spend half your time behind a rock waiting for your screen to not be red. The game plays itself no matter what way you look at it, and that is what makes Black Ops 2 so damn boring.

It wouldn’t be a Treyarch CoD game without Zombies and the newest installment is trash. I will admit I played a lot of Zombies on World at War and to this day I find WaW Zombies to be the best rendition. This time around Zombies feels like it has too much content and there has been too much focus on making a standalone title rather than a minigame where you massacre hundreds of the undead for your own amusement. It doesn’t seem fun anymore. There is too much focus on needing to find a power station to activate perk machines and finding the random weapon box for Zombies to be fun anymore.

The final aspect I need to talk about is the multiplayer. While I am not an avid PvP gamer, it does not take a genius to see that MP in Black Ops 2 is the same thing as Black Ops and MW. Technically, Treyarch did change many parts of the MP for call of Duty, but it still feels like the same unbalanced trash as the previous rendition. Just like the singleplayer, MP is boring as hell. It does not help that the community is filled with people shouting the word “Faggot” or “Fucking Camper” every time they are killed.

Black Ops 2 is the same game as all the other Call of Duty titles after Modern Warfare. This is a 60 USD map pack and nothing more. The fact it made 500 Million USD on day one is not shocking with the amount of hype, marketing, and money that went into the game. I find it depressing that so many people spent their hard earned money on a game they already played last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that. It is a shame the voice cast has some really good actors because this games does them no justice. With a pitifully short campaign, dull gameplay, lack of replayability and content, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 gets a 3/10. At least Treyarch added the strategy-esque missions. That is what saved this game from getting a lower score.

3 Comments

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  1. Zack Sucks Big Fat Dick Balls says
    November 30, 2012, 11:42 AM

    Your writing style is terrible. You write more in anger for the franchise than you do for the actual game. A 3 out of 10? I didn’t even buy the game cause it’s not my style but it’s definitely higer than 3 out of 10. 3 out of 10 is an unplayable game that has no depth in it’s features and this game is very playable and has more depths in features than many other shootrs. a scoreof 6 out of 10 is a bit more duable.

    Reply
    • Zach M. says
      December 4, 2012, 2:11 PM

      If you are going to say I suck “Big Fat Dick Balls” you could at least spell my name right.

      Reply
    • Beau D. says
      December 5, 2012, 8:01 AM

      *higher
      *because
      *shooters
      *A
      *score
      *doable

      At least have the decency to throw a few commas in there as well as checking your own grammar before bashing one of my writers, you illiterate prick.

      Reply

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