Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WiiU
ESRB Rating: Mature 17+
Release Date: 11.13.12
Review Copy: Yes
There are many genres that I enjoy playing but none of the strike a bigger cord in me today than the one that involves guns and loadouts. Face it, guys and girls like guns – virtual guns. There’s just something about seeing points add up during a specific playlist, K/D’s increase and heat maps. Am I alone? I doubt it simply because every year we the consumers in one way, shape or form find a reason to bring Call of Duty into our home. Treyach and Infinity Ward are swapping years on the Call of Duty release front and if I can be honest, I find a reason not to play it every year. My attempts to keep that resolution have failed with every iteration since Call of Duty 4.
After clocking it over 60+ hours I have to say that this title is probably the most fun I’ve had with Call of Duty thus far. The Story picks up with Alex Mason and his son David as you move through the time warp of years to understand the story to stop the greatest villain the world has ever known – Raul Menendez. Treyarch actually does something very unique with the story line with the decision making elements involved in the narrative. Whenever I get an option to kill an enemy, most of the time I just wanna take them out but that may not be the best thing. The narrative is introduced with the dated engine that needs to change if Treyarch wants to keep the game’s visuals fresh. Contrary to some, the graphics obviously matters and the 60 FPS looks really good in the game.
Although the ability to make decisions is an improvement, the game’s linear progression is still something that is evident in the title. After a while I want some more options to be out of a box. In come the Strike force missions which allow you to an RTS, sandbox like experience in the Campaign Missions. It would have been better if Treyarch kept this out because I found that controlling your militia was frustrating and wrought sleep symptoms. That may sound harsh but I truly dreaded those parts and wished they were over before I played another one.
The game really shines is the multiplayer where Treyarch introduces the Pick 10 System for setting up your arsenal prior to getting deployed on the E-Battlefield. The Pick 10 system allows you to pick a maximum of 10 items to maximize your style of play. Want to double up on your perks? Go for it. How about additional weapon slots/perks? Sure thing. Class Act (overkill), John Rambo (no perks/attachments) or maybe your thing is lag switching (Ban Inevitable) – all these things are at your disposal in Treyarch’s latest masterpiece.
Treyarch also introduced “league play” which lets you compete with other guys/gals with ranks similar to your own. This mode is not for the faint of heart and crybabies are asked not to participate in this playlist. While E-sport continues to be a thing, Treyarch also added the streaming options and the ability to COD-Cast your games.
Black Ops II Zombie mode offers a more horde-ish experience in Tranzit Mode. Get on that bus and head to your doom unless you know how to play as a team and use the firepower given to you. The key to Zombies mode is to stay together and keep moving and you’ll be able to be successful. The soundtrack is a mixture of EDM and classic interludes which will keep you engaged in the action while you enjoy familiar controls schemes in this solid shooter.
Where once they may have been considered the COD studio playing catch up, Treyarh has proven that they can continue to innovate and add elements for a more enjoyable experience. As they work on their next title, expect them to set the bar a little higher, continuing to set its identity apart with shooters in the same genre.