Call of Duty Black Ops 2 review

People weren’t sure about Black Ops 2 when they found out it was set in the near future of 2025. Everybody thought you’d be firing laser guns and floating about but the good news is that not only is half of the game set in other theatres of war in the past in the 80s, the guns in the future still fire bullets but are enhanced by some pretty nifty gadgetry.

I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone so let’s just say that this is a personal story of revenge and a bad guy trying to do bad things to everybody – and you have to stop him!

Similar to Black Ops, the story is told through a series of flashbacks which means you never really get a feeling of immersion as you’re pulled into the bodies of different soldiers in different countries doing different things all the time. One minute you might be flying around in wing suits and clutching to cliffs using MI3-inspired gloves, the next minute you’ll be riding on horseback firing AK47s. It really is a rather mixed bag.

It’s the usual high-octane action you’ve come to expect from Call of Duty games but you do get the feeling you’re stuck in the middle of a highly scripted action movie where the director yells “cut” and calls a halt to everything if you try to stray from the path.

Everything looks very pretty and it should do seeing as this is probably the last COD game to be made on the current engine for current-gen consoles.

Acting is also top notch with the likes of Sam Worthington, the Candyman dude and that guy with one arm from The Walking Dead providing their voice talent and facial capture. As usual the single player is short and sweet but there are also a few rather odd strategy levels in there where you direct things from above and then take control of soldiers and machinery on the ground. It’s confusing at best and the AI makes things frustrating. Fortunately these are optional and something I skipped after the first try because when I play COD I just want to switch off my brain to be honest.

Treyarch’s Zombies mode is back and this time it’s more fleshed out than ever. New modes include Grief where you play with and against another team of survivors and Tranzit where you travel across all the Survival maps in a bus driven by a zombified Johnny Cab (watch the original Total Recall and you’ll know what I’m on about).

Then there’s the multiplayer which should keep you playing long after the short single player mode is done with. There’s the usual selection of game modes on offer such as deathmatch, team deathmatch and domination and some smaller maps this time around for more intense action and a new loadout system which gives you much more choice as you earn coins which you can then use to buy things you’ve unlocked through earning XP.

You already know if you want to get this game or not and most of you have probably dived in on launch day. If you like your action to be more like a movie and less realistic then this is definitely worth a look. However, after playing games such as Far Cry 3 and Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer since Black Ops, things are beginning to feel a little too constricted. Black Ops 2 gets an excellent 8 out of 10.

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