Call of Duty, if you haven't heard of this game, you cannot call yourself a gamer. It's one of the most popular franchise of all time, and there is still no end in sight..
The most heard criticism is paying for "another milked Call of Duty", but is that justified? As many of you know, Call of Duty is being developed by two teams; Infinity Ward (founders, CoD 1, 2, MW, MW2, MW3) and Treyarch (CoD 3, 5, BO and BO 2). The team behind Black Ops 2, Treyarch, has started to create their own road with the first Black Ops, and will try to continue this in Black Ops 2. Have they succeeded? Let's find out..
Unlike other Call of Duty's, Black Ops 2 will take part in the (near) future: 2025. This results into a breeze of fresh air. Don't be scared, you will not be running around with laser guns, all you see seems very realistic and possible. I haven't come across anything out of control, you have for example a device to spot heat through walls, which seems to have a good chance to exist in 2025. The setting is fresh yet still realistic and enjoyable.
The story will, as expected, connect to the original Black Ops. Your main enemy will be raul menendez, a mafia boss-like type character, who appears to be very loved by the citizens. He supports the regular worker, and is strictly against multinationals and other enterprises. He believes the hard workers are getting screwed over and ripped off, and let's the people know this. You could describe him as a socialist/communist.
He has played a role in the eighties as well, before he got so popular in 2025. This will be shown with flash-backs, and this all will connect with the original Black Ops. He sees his main enemies in the USA and (the in 2025 other most important country) China. You see the story through the eyes of Mason and his father. You play as his father through flashbacks, and with his sun in current time. Due to this, you will mostly play with the original Black Ops arsenal, and later on you will get to touch the more futuristic gear.
Due to playing in flashbacks and current time, the variation is really noticeable, they made sure you won't be bored. There is constantly action, moments of silence are rare. Perhaps to rare, as those exciting "will he spot me?" moments are hard to be found. Your basically in a non-stop roller-coaster, more than ever in a Call of Duty. Aside from this, the game has six different endings, depending on the choices you make in the game. This has never been implemented in a Call of Duty before, and it's a great extra addition.
Another new singleplayer addition are the strike-force missions. You can play as a commander, controlling vehicles. You can do this by a top-down view, and you can switch to first-person mode to manually control your vehicles. These are sub-missions and count as extra, meaning you can skip these if you don't want to play them. It can be compared to the zombie-mode principle. You can however encounter them in the singleplayer, depending on the choices you make. You will most likely find yourself in first-person view most of the time, seeing the top-down mode doesn't work well at all. Due to this, it becomes an arcade-like game-mode where your driving vehicles. All in all, a nice idea but the execution doesn't make this mode worth playing a lot.
So how does this Call of Duty look? Well, nothing surprising, a few adjustments to the engine, removing the dust and making it shine again. The graphics have improved slightly, but nothing huge. The colours are a bit brighter and quite nice. It looks a lot like it's predecessor's, with a nice glaze on top of it, making the graphics fine and nothing to worry about.
The trade-mark of Treyarch, the cherry on the cake: Co-op zombie-mode. It made it's first appearance in Call of Duty 5: World at War, and was a great success, making it impossible to exclude from a new Treyarch Call of Duty.
The zombies in Call of Duty Black Ops 2.. I'll be honest, the physics do not look great at all, the way they die don't either.. Nothing in that scenario has improved from Call of Duty 5. Of course, it's not the biggest part of Call of Duty (this is claimed by the Singleplayer and Multipalyer), however it is a reason for many people to buy the game. No worries though, this year, once again, it's great fun!
The objective is simple: Kill zombies and survive. What more do you want? This year it's hard once again, the maps are bigger, you get some new tools and some support from vehicles. Just like always, there are some hard-to-spot and brilliant easter egs, cool music and enough ammo to burst open dozens of heads.
This time around however, there is a small story, which has connections with each zombie-map. Each map has it's own story. Aside from this new feature, the maps are a bit more varied and so are your tools.
You can once again play this with a maximum of 4 players. You start of easy with a pistol. Each zombie awards you points (headshots more then others) and with these points you an buy new weapons, upgrade weapons, buy grenades, buy traps, etc. It's quite similar to the other call of duty's, just with some new maps and tools. Once again, great fun!
Thé reason for the hardcore Call of Duty fan to buy the game. Many years Infinity Ward tried to improve the multiplayer to add more stuff, such as more kill streaks and perks. However, this resulted into bugs, imbalance and annoyance.
This time around, Treyarch chose it's own path and added more features, as opposed to just more tools within the existing features. You can now spent points in your create-a-class menu, resulting into a more personalized setup. Each attachment, grenade, perk and weapon resemble a point. You have a maximum amount of points you can spent, and you can decide to drop a grenade for an extra perk, or drop an attachement for an extra gun, the choice is yours.
However, Treyarch did go a bit towards Infinity Ward's direction regarding the killstreaks. There is a lot of stuff going on in the multiplayer: Planes flying everywhere, bombs falling on the whole map, etc. On top of that, the spawn points are worked out horrible, having enemy's spawn on top of each other everywhere. Aside from this, there is currently either an imbalance in weapons or a bug with certain attachments, which makes it better than it is supposed to be. Some of this will most likely be patched, but for now, this is a big minus.
Treyarch is also supporting commentators and streamers. You can now directly stream your gameplay through an option build in the game, resulting into more people uploading gameplay, starting streams, etc. A lot has build in to make the enjoyment for the watcher better (such as spectator mode), and make it easier for the up-loader. A great thing for the Call of Duty community, if you ask me.
Aside from all this, there are of course a bunch of new maps, new guns, new sounds, etc. In my opinion, it feels quite like a Call of Duty, but more like the old (CoD 5) style, rather than IW's Modern Warfare style.
Having added a lot of new features, but retaining the fun for the most part, bringing back great old features and having a great story once again, I think this Call of Duty is the first in a while which is able to call itself legitimate a new Call of Duty.