After the disappointment that I suffered through in Modern Warfare 2, I said to myself that I was officially done with Call of Duty. Javelin glitches, speed skating glitches, negative XP glitches, idiots who rather not complete objectives and just boost for the damn tactical nuke. I think you get the point. At that point I started hating the game and the series as a whole. As a result I eventually caved in and bought the Hardened Edition of Black Ops that next year. I loved the campaign and the awesome zombie mode. The multiplayer was still “meh” to me even though I liked spamming the RC car. The following year Modern Warfare 3 was released. I stuck to my guns and skipped it, because of the disappointment of Modern Warfare 2. So here I am today deciding about Black Ops 2. Sure I’m sick of Call of Duty compared to other shooters on the market, and the E3 demo sucked, but I eventually decided to give it a chance. In the end I’m glad that I did.

PROS:

It’s Like Being In An Action Movie
I don’t know what it is with Infinity Ward and Treyarch, because every year when a Call of Duty game is released I feel like each developer is trying to out Michael Bay one another. Basically, Call of Duty plays out like a huge summer blockbuster with tons of carnage, cussing, guns, destruction, and plenty of explosions to keep me hooked in. No need for an epic story. Just give me “shock and awe” along with plenty of body bags for the virtual dead and everything will be just fine. Well Black Ops 2 provided all of that in it’s unique blend of Cold War and Future War eras and it was pretty cool. I just wish they had a better plot like the first Black Ops game had.

Improvements In Multiplayer?
Did I just say that? Well yes I did. Black Ops 2’s competitive multiplayer is a big step up over over the first Black Ops game. Score streaks now take the place of kill streaks making other players work a little harder to get that special attack they crave. There’s also a heavier emphasis in completing objectives in certain gametypes to help curb away the wannabe snipers who just sit around and camp out waiting for kills to come to them. Seriously guys, let me just rant by saying that being a sniper in a Call of Duty game is just plain stupid. Complete the objectives! We don’t need an eight man team with seven snipers and one person trying to win the game. In other words…Play Smart! Just keep in mind that I’m only here for the fun of the game, or until everyone starts cheating. If that happens I’ll go back on my hating spree.

Endless Customization
Black Ops 2 has tons of customization options that had me busy for hours deciding on what I want to do with each of my custom loadouts for multiplayer. What type of kickass guns do I want? How about perks? Do I want more or less. More perks come at the expense of less weapons, but I can be faster and more like a ninja as I knife randoms with ease. Of course I can go the other way and be more like Rambo. The best part is that using these customizable options allows me to tailor a multiplayer experience to my liking as well as having the tools to conquer each game mode.

Zombies!
The main reason I purchased this game. The zombie mode has been fleshed out a lot more to include some new game types along with the traditional Survival mode. Tranzit allows me to travel to each map via a bus. While traveling I had to beware of hitchhiking zombies coming along for the ride as well as trying to kill me. Grief is also pretty badass as two teams of four take on the zombie horde. Last team standing along with winning the round wins the game. Grief does add a lot of fun and strategy to the game. Sure you can’t hurt the other team, but you can always find ways to screw them over giving me the advantage. Zombies is where I’m spending most of my time playing, because it’s addicting and fun. With that said I once again raise the question to Treyarch. Why not make a stand alone zombie game?

CONS:

Strike Force Is A Bit Of A Letdown
So what is Call of Duty. A First-Person Shooter or a Real Time Strategy Game? The RTS missions called Strike Force sound like a good idea, but they come off as rather retarded. The idea was for me to control the actions of unmanned vehicles to complete various objectives. Sounds great and all In theory, but what it really boiled down to was me taking control and doing everything for myself since my unmanned attack grunts are not very helpful in the long run. Each vehicle and deployment look very kickass, but in reality they kind of suck. Going through these missions is more of a pain in the ass, because all I want to do is go back to the action.

Missing That “Wow” Factor
Black Ops 2 is a pretty good game, but what the series has been missing lately has been that “Holy shit! I can’t believe that happened” type of moment. The main example that I can think of would be the nuke scene in Call of Duty 4. I thought that moment was crazy when the nuke went off and my main character during that mission died. The first words I had after that moment was “What the fuck just happened!” Since then the Call of Duty series hasn’t had anything that would even measure up to that moment. Sure Black Ops 2 has branching paths based in my decisions and tons of action, but I want something that I’ll remember for a long time. Since Call of Duty 4, I feel like the developers just mailed it in and said to Activision “Here’s the new Call of Duty game. Now let’s release it and collect our millions of dollars.”

IN CONCLUSION

So I actually liked Black Ops 2. Does this mean that I’m officially back with the Call of Duty franchise? Well…I would have to say “No.” The game does pack in plenty of fun and tons of replay value in the multiplayer department, but I still believe that the developers need to add that extra punch that made Call of Duty 4 the benchmark of the series to date. The Black Ops games so far have been a positive step in that direction. Maybe what Activision needs to do is stop milking the cash cow and watering down the series with yearly installments. This will make the games more fresh and entertaining as well as generate less hate from some of the internet trolls out there. Just making a suggestion for the better. Overall, Black Ops 2 is a good game making my purchase well worth the money.

Developer: Activision, Treyarch
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

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