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Call of Duty: Black Ops II Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Review

Love it or hate it the popularity of the Call of Duty franchise is hard to deny. The series is often called out for being the same game every year, but this time Treyarch has decided to try something rather different with Black Ops 2. The game now focuses on a futuristic setting, with new multiplayer systems, and a more robust zombies mode. There is no denying the sheer depth of content, but do all these changes lead to a totally different Call Of Duty?

While most people just jump right into the game’s multiplayer, the Black Ops 2 campaign has more to offer than most might expect. Continuing with the characters from the original Black Ops, you spend most of your time playing missions in 2025 and playing out flashback during the cold war era. Playing the original Black Ops will neither help nor hinder in going through this story. At first it starts off like any other, but soon turns things on its heads by offering a rather interesting story about revenge and discovering the past.

For once the villain is actually much more than a bad guy who is evil for no real reason. Early on you realize where all the characters’ motives are and this is above and beyond what most people would expect from a Call Of Duty game’s story. After playing for an hour the game seems to offer a totally new experience. Also surprisingly the story has you making decisions that can drastically change the game’s ending, making sure the campaign has some real replay value.

The strike force missions, something new to Call of Duty, offer a tactical way of play. However, the learning here comes across as quite confusing and arduous. Still this type of mission allows you to control where units go and where they should attack. You can also control individual units on a mission. The idea for these strike force missions is good in theory, and it’s been tried before in the past, but the only surefire way to guarantee victory is control a unit yourself. Hopefully in the future there will be a bigger focus on tactical options and better AI.

Not only does Black Ops 2 offer the best story in the franchise, but it sets a new standard for Infinity Ward to match in next year's title – if there is one. If you have consciously planned on ignoring the story like past titles, you will be seriously missing out. Still it’s not like people go straight to the multiplayer without a reason and this time things take a big change.

While at its core the actual gameplay of running and gunning feels the same, the systems running this time lead to a different kind of multiplayer. The multiplayer takes place entirely in the year 2025 and uses future weapons only. Classes now rely on a new 10-point system where every gun, attachment, and perk cost a point to equip. This leads to a new kind of customization and freedom in making a custom class. There are also new wildcards that allow different options such as more than one kind of perk in a class.

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