Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

black ops 2 ps3 box art
9.5 Overall Score
Visuals: 9/10
Single-Player: 8/10
Multiplayer: 9/10

Nonstop single-player action that gives a fresh feel to COD. MP is strong as ever. High replay value.

Story's a bit confusing at times.

Wicked, convoluted, success.

Some gamers would like to hear that Black Ops 2 failed. They’ll like to know that finally! the great behemoth known as COD is seeing its demise, but I have bad news for them: Black Ops 2 is a wicked, convoluted, success.

Treyarch took the Call of Duty brand way into the future, exposing what will someday be the weapons of warfare and the consequences of relying too heavily upon technology. Yet it’s a future Treyarch did a great job at painting, like a masterful artist who’ve drawn many a masterpiece in his lifetime. Brace yourself.

Convoluted Story

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2′s story is sometimes hard to follow because it’s so fast and so busy. Quite honestly, it’s convoluted. But as you progress your way to the game’s end, you’ll see things start making sense. The campaign’s based around Black Ops mainstay Alex Mason in the 1980s and his son David in 2025. The story takes you back-and-forth as you chase terrorist leader Raul Menendez across decades, all leading up to the present moment: 2025, where an all-out war is at hand with Menendez at the helm of the U.S.’s deadly arsenal of drones, warplanes and other deadly unmanned mechs.

But Black Ops 2 isn’t your normal, mundane and stale middle eastern war game where jihadists are pursued by western forces. No. Black Ops 2 takes you into the rich, untapped world of sci-fi action, giving a fresh feel, not just a coat of paint, to the Call of Duty franchise. It was believed, and was true, that Infinity Ward lead Call of Duty while Treyarch came in as second tier to fill in the lull of COD’s off year, but there’s been a change of sorts. Indeed, Treyarch now leads, Infinity Ward must take a backseat.

The story continues, taking you down unexpected routes in beautifully presented levels, with new gadgets that make you feel alive. It’s the first game in a longtime where I actually wanted to see what happens after every moment – and there are moments that I will go back to because of the choices I made. Yes, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 sees you making choices that will change the course of the game, so if you’re eager to know what would happen had you made a different decision in a specific situation, you’ll have to play the game again. Black Ops 2′s replay value is through the roof.

No longer are you following a soldier blindly to an objective, either. Black Ops 2 thrusts you into the action and has you taking the lead more often than not. It’s a clean departure from the ‘follow me wherever I go’ model modern day military shooters have adopted. Also, as if you were in multiplayer, Black Ops 2 allows you to choose your loadout before every single-player mission, giving the feel of freedom and flexibility.

Wicked Future

In Black Ops 2, the future is indeed black. Treyarch paints a bleak outlook of the future, unofficially predicting a war based on, not oil as it’s been in the past, but rather precious resources found mostly in China that are indelible to creating the day’s top weapons, and devices used on a daily basis. There’s a warship called The USS Obama, the now disgraced General Patraeus plays his role, and a woman who sorta looks like Hillary Clinton as the President of the United States (POTUS). Loads of surprises in the game, but I won’t spoil any here.

Successful Multiplayer

Treyarch changed a few things to the franchise’s successful multiplayer formula, the most notable being a feature it calls Pick Ten. This new feature completely throws out the set loadouts system in favor of a pick and mix approach. What Pick Ten does is allows players to choose their perks, attachments, grenades for their guns of choice to create their dream weapons – as long as the mix and match does not bypass ten.

Killstreaks also saw a big change, with Treyarch getting rid of it entirely for a newer, fresher and fairer system it calls Score Streaks. In essence, Score Streaks gives you perks based on the amount of points you garner during matches, instead of kills. A good change in my view as some players are more tactical than others, but everyone on the team has a critical role to play, therefore giving players perks based on scores, instead of kills, is an infinitely better idea.

The multiplayer levels present no dead ends – you’re in a constant flow of play, and the action always seem nonstop. The game’s visuals in both single and multiplayer are the best quality the franchise has seen, and all the maps seem fairly balanced and well-built. Treyarch went all out, there’s no doubt about it.

They felt the pressure. Treyarch did. They knew some things needed to change if the Call of Duty brand wanted to remain on top. So Treyarch shot for all or nothing, bringing meaningful change to a brand well in need of it, and winning while doing so. Longtime fans will have a blast with this, and so too will newcomers. There’s no better shooter on the market today. Black Ops 2 is simply a wicked, convoluted, success.

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Author: Ernice Gilbert View all posts by
Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!

39 Comments on "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2"

  1. rpatricky November 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm -

    Exactly as I expected.

  2. Ernice Gilbert November 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm -

    Did you read the review, bro?

  3. Baran Altuncu November 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm -

    Good to see a game that is deserving it’s success all around the world, now lets see it MW4 is going to be as changing as BO2.

  4. foxton November 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm -

    have they got rid of host servers? and are the mp games longer than before? can you alter the game lengths? are the mp games more team based now the kill streaks are gone, because lets be honest no one ever gave a shit how their team mates did as long as they got a decent kill streak

  5. foxton November 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm -

    and how can it get 9/10 8/10 9/0 for the 3 subsection but 9.5 overall lol

  6. Ernice Gilbert November 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm -

    @Foxton: Bro, this is not Battlefield. LOL. This is Call of Duty. Most of your questions seem to pit COD against BF – that’s not how it should be rated. They’re different beasts.

  7. Baran Altuncu November 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm -

    @foxton: Listen to Ernice, the way you are describing the way you want the game to be like is like a BF game not a COD game. Yes people play the objective more, but there are always people who find kills more satisfying.

  8. foxton November 20, 2012 at 7:03 am -

    no im not doing that at all, i am merely asking if they have changed the things i dislike about COD and hence dont buy their rubbish. Ernice says it has taken a gamble and its paid off, im asking exactly what that gamble is. I honestly queired it because of you glowing review i may consider giving it a try. But you didnt answer any of them so im guessing they havent. They must atleast have dedicated servers now though right?

  9. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 7:24 am -

    The changes are, as I’ve stated in the review: Branching single-player campaign – the first for a modern day shooter. The freedom to choose a different course with influences how the game will proceed. That too, has been lacking from the modern day shooter. The ability to choose your loadout before every single-player campaign mission and much more.The game’s single-player portion, foxton, is enough to warrant a buy. Replay value is high. Very high~

  10. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 7:25 am -

    As for MP, it’s the same COD formula but with relevant changes. I spoke of Pick Ten and Score Streaks in my review. You should really give this game a try. As for dedicated servers, no, there are none.

  11. foxton November 20, 2012 at 7:57 am -

    ok thanks for your answers Ernice. as good as you have made the single player campaign sound, i think im a majority when i say that FPS are all about MP (with the exception of Bulletstorm ME3 etc).
    With no dedicated servers there is no way i will ever buy a COD game, its an absolute joke that the most successful game franchise still hasnt bothered to provide dedicated servers is quite frankly disgusting.

  12. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 8:57 am -

    That’s the thing, though. Call of Duty being the most successful game would mean much heavier dedicated server costs. We’re talking multiple millions, here. They are not cheap. Also, I haven’t experienced many problems with the servers, and when I do, it’s nothing bad. I’ve had problems with BF3′s dedicated servers – and now the lack thereof if it’s not hosted by another gamer.
    -
    This may sound a bit off, but I actually think the rage over dedicated servers is overplayed. Seriously so. I’ve played Call of Duty for multiple years and have had little problems with servers, and my internet speeds are not the best. So saying you’d never buy a COD game because it doesn’t have dedicated servers is misinformed. And you’re missing out on some great action! But that’s your prerogative, I suppose.

  13. foxton November 20, 2012 at 9:46 am -

    much heavier server costs but they have the money to do that because of the sheer volume of copies they are shiftng! we all know they could do it, but they just refuse to and i feel that if they did they really could blow the competition out of the water. Smaller games with much less income can afford it so why cant the bigger games with much more income?! people experienced a slight lag when their the host especially with low broadband speed and it gives you a slight disadvantage so people quit, then the next person quits and so on and so on. ive experienced games where you spend more time migrating from host to host than you do actually shooting! Im sorry but it is a real show stopper for me. I grew to Love FPS on Killzone 2, so when i tried COD id never experienced host servers before and it just killed all the fun out of the game.

  14. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 9:56 am -

    Okay cool. But millions play every single day. I’m sure they’re not, in every single game, dealing with host issues. I am not – that’s for sure. But yeah, I know how you feel, especially after a game like KZ2. KZ4 next year, I hope!

  15. foxton November 20, 2012 at 10:22 am -

    http://www.ps3trophies.org/forum/call-duty-black-ops-ii/180160-dedicated-servers.html#post3223081

    see this thread i started to ask if there were dedicated servers (sorry Ernice i thought id get an answer quicker from here :) )
    it looks like there are a whol load of issues with it!
    I know what your saying though mate, lets hope KZ4 comes out soon and does the job!

  16. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 10:31 am -

    Dedicated servers for Black Ops 2? I already told you, I think, in one of my past comments, there are none. And yeah, KZ4 for the win!

  17. foxton November 20, 2012 at 10:45 am -

    yeah but as i realised it was still early morning i didnt expect a response so quickly from you. the point of me showing you the thread tho is to highlight the amount of frustration die hard cod fans are having with not having any dedicated servers.

  18. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 10:49 am -

    I see where you’re coming from, but I personally haven’t experienced extremely bad game times that often. Mind you, I have. But not often.
    -
    But Black Ops 2 is a great game, man. It really is. Here’s to hoping KZ4 and PS4 hit me in the face next year! That would be the end of my regular life for a while :D

  19. foxton November 20, 2012 at 11:06 am -

    ha ha yeah me too :) i may give it a try, there really is no other FPS that interests me now, ive got my plat on fifa 13 now and am starting to finally get through all the ps+ games too so looking for another game to play. I may buy this when the price drops. But episode 5 for Walking Dead out tonight so that will be my enterrtainment for tomorrow!! i tell you what ill try BLOPS 2 if you get into walking Dead :)

  20. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 11:10 am -

    Okay. Deal! I’m getting it on Friday, how’s that? You’ll see me online gaming! And then I’ll need to see you playing Black Ops 2. Deal?

  21. rpatricky November 20, 2012 at 11:25 am -

    Foxton. I suggest you rent it. I was dumb enough to buy, and open, and play my copy in hopes that there would be some renewal of faith in the COD franchise. Sadly, after 8 host migrations and 2 connection interruptions and 3 times it chose me as the Host (with a 3MB down and 512k up speed) I get accused of lag switching because my connection cant handle hosting. It’s the same shit with glitter. It gets a 7.5 tops. While the MP is not horrible it is still plagued with the same connection issues that can completely ruin a game. The SP campaign does have multiple endings and choices but playing through most of the levels is hardly worth a second go because most are boring and unfulfilling. And Ernice, 9 & 9 & 8 is more like 8.6 average not 9.5.
    I also don’t agree with the dismissal of dedicated servers on COD. They have the money, it’s greed that keeps them from happening aim and simple.

  22. Baran Altuncu November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am -

    @rpatricky: I read a way to stop the lagging. Let me get the video for you.

  23. Baran Altuncu November 20, 2012 at 11:37 am -
  24. rpatricky November 20, 2012 at 11:40 am -

    Not falling for that shit. There is no way to fix it. I think a 7.5 is completely fair for yet another COD game.

  25. Baran Altuncu November 20, 2012 at 11:50 am -

    Did you even try it….WoodysGamerTag is a great souce. -_-

  26. rpatricky November 20, 2012 at 11:56 am -

    Fair enough. I’ll give it a look. Better not be a Rick Roll! Haha!

  27. foxton November 20, 2012 at 11:57 am -

    @rpatricky thanks for the heads up man,
    i will get round to playing it at some point, but at £40 im not gonna pay that much for something i no i prob wont like, with the amount of issues its having. Ernice The Walking dead is less than half the price of Blops 2. thats a kinda unfair deal :)

  28. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 11:58 am -

    @Foxton: Dude, you are a bad dealer man. We cut a deal, now you bail! :D

  29. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 11:59 am -

    @Patrick: Bro, there’s no way Black Ops 2 deserves 7.5 – come on man. Also, I must be one of the lucky ones, but my connection usually sticks. I don’t experience all of what you talk about.

  30. foxton November 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm -

    sorry man, but its not a fair deal :) why dont you just play walking dead anyway, the GamesThirst Community need to know how good this game is ;)

  31. rpatricky November 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm -

    And I don’t think MOh SP deserved a 3……. But I guess that’s because I know how to aim a sniper rifle and actually finished the story mode. There was no bug as a lot of people stated. Everyone tried the COD style aiming but that won’t work. The 2 RPG guys have range listed above their heads and all you have to do is put the reticle at the 2 mark, zoom, aim, and shoot. Done.
    Ok. So maybe BO2 is a hard 8 because it does do some things different but fails on the important parts. Even I can be reasonable.

  32. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm -

    Ha. Okay. Well I’ll ask for developer for some codes. And you should really try Black Ops 2. Listen to Patrick then, and rent it. Patrick is tired with COD because, I believe, he’s just tired. He’s played it for so long and wants change. His score of 7.5 is simply not so. Black Ops 2 breaks a few grounds, at least for COD.

  33. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm -

    @Patrick: tell me where did it fail?

  34. Ernice Gilbert November 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm -

    And let’s not even talk about MOH. Lord, that game failed.

  35. rpatricky November 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm -

    MOH is fine by me. Buggy as hell, and they probably won’t patch till DLC (ala BF3 style) but I like it. The MP ending actually choked me up a bit and some of the cinematics were amazingly real. Overall I give it a 7 because of the AI and buggy release, but the fire team is a fun setup when the mics actually work.
    So yes, COD ranked higher because it was LESS buggy and already had a patch to fix some issues, but I still find it less enjoyable to play when the connection issues continue.

  36. Baran Altuncu November 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm -

    Single-Player should have gotten a 9 from what I heard from my friends. Also I saw gameplays, very nice structure also Multiple Endings? You should have given it a 9.5 Story.

  37. Mezzo November 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm -

    After putting over 50 Hours in Zombie, Story & Multiplayer Modes collectively, i can safely say that this game is completely worthy of that Score.
    ————–
    I am known COD hater, well not a hater – but a Criticizer, from the developer’s half ass’ery, it’s DLC practices, to it’s Copy & Paste formula, i have criticized it all.
    ————–
    And i was ready to do the same with this title as well, but fortunately this game felt ‘Fresh, Tight & Extremely Fun’ ( I Thought I’d Never Say This About A COD Game ) — Treyarch has worked really hard on this COD title…. & it shows.
    ————–
    ( To Me ) Treyarch has not only passed Infinity Ward & their Modern Warfare Series, they have left them miles behind.

  38. Joshua Tompkins November 21, 2012 at 10:49 am -

    I would give it an 8.5. It has a good single player, fun zombie mode, but it loses points in mp. I do not know why but it is not that enjoyable this time. I think it has to do with the maps. These maps are terrible compared to the Black Ops 1 maps. They are to close quarters. I liked Black Ops because the maps where a little more open and I also like the purchasing system in Black Ops 1 better. Ernice I can see where you get the score and agree to a point. I am just disappointed in the map layouts.

  39. TheGrimOfDeath December 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm -

    I think that the map layouts are great Joshua, they all look great in gameplays. The colours are vivid, nice layout and is much better than MW3.

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