Most helpful critical review
Just an honest review
on 25 March 2013
I understand this review is quite late, and may get lost in the plethora of other reviews, but I was hoping to try and give my thoughts on the many pros and cons of the game. I'm hoping to try and make the review as detailed as possible to help any newcomers to the game, and to help anyone who is still on the fence. (probably not many)
I'm going to split the review into three sections, as this is how the game splits them on the main menu, and it seems appropriate.
I would like to get this part out of the way firstly, as it is usually the part that is overlooked mostly in the call of duty series.
If you have played any of the previous games you will probably know exactly how this goes. Spend 4-6 hours shooting similar looking bad guys, with a little bit of forced story involved, and not much else. Except this time... it's different! I think the thing that sets this game apart from other COD games is the many small tweaks Treyarch have added, which make for a fresh feeling experience. The first thing I would like to speak about are the strike force missions. These are missions that are outside the story of the main game, but tie into the overall campaign. They basically play out as small RTS style levels where you are tasked with defending a base or fighting your way through checkpoints. There are many different types of units to command, from soldiers, to drones, to huge mechs. Unfortunately, the RTS section seems slightly pointless, as the units don't really do what you ask, and the temptation to just take control of a soldier and spray the countless AI enemies is all too high.
The main change to the COD formula is the story choices. Whilst these won't rival mass effect, they do add an interesting twist, and surprisingly, actually do affect the ending. I think the main appeal of these is that based on certain circumstances, it is actually possible to miss certain choice opportunities, and it adds a small sense of replay-ability to anyone wanting more of the campaign. The main attraction that I found with the campaign is the fact that you can choose your own loadout, with many of the perks and weapons from the multiplayer, but there are also a few perks that are exclusive to the campaign. The most interesting of these is the perk "access kit", this allows you to open up special parts of the map where you can find different items such as mortars or animal traps to use against enemies. It is not essential that you use this perk, but if you don't, you are missing out on a good chunk of cool stuff to aid you. There isn't really that much else to say about the campaign, except that I have to admit I really enjoyed it. Some of the locations such as nightclubs and aircraft hangars look utterly brilliant, even running on the dated engine. I should also probably mention quickly that the the main antagonist, Menendez, is a well fleshed out character, and has a very interesting backstory and motive to his actions. Giving an honest rating for the campaign, I would have to give it a 4/5. It is probably one of the best COD campaigns I have played yet, but the strike force missions do fall slightly flat.
Unfortunately I don't have an awful lot to say about the multiplayer, whilst it is functional, I don't feel that Treyarch have made any changes that would make it feel different in the way the campaign does. One thing they changed is the create a class system. They have added a new system called the "pick ten". In a nutshell, this means that you can choose any 10 "slots" from perks to weapons to grenades. You no longer even have to have a primary weapon. Want to have 6 perks? Or maybe 2 fully fleshed out primary weapons in place of perks or equipment? I think this is the feature I probably enjoy most, because it gives the freedom of choice that the COD series has needed for a long time.
I personally have not experienced any of the lag problems that others are mentioning, and think that some people may be over exaggerating. All cod games have slight lag but nothing out of the ordinary is present here. One thing I must say is that the maps unfortunately don't feel terribly exciting. Some of the spawn problems from MW3 seem to be back, and the interactivity with the maps can sometimes frustrate, rather than thrill. For example, a train that runs through the map "Express" which can kill the player. Whilst it can be argued that it is your own fault for standing on the tracks with no effort to move, it isn't always possible when in a tense firefight.
Something I should probably mention are the perks themselves. Disappointingly, the perk system has had a slight overhaul, whereby seemingly useless perks such as "Toughness" which reduces flinch has been added, and many fan favourites have been taken away. Also, something I personally don't like is that perks like "sleight of hand" have instead been taken out and used as an attachment for the gun.
I don't really have much else to say about the multiplayer. My overall verdict for this section would have to be a 3/5. Whilst it does work fine, it doesn't feel as exciting as other call of duty games. I don't want to feel like I am using the word "stale" as my explanation for how the multiplayer section feels, but that seems to be the best way I feel I can describe it.
I have never been a huge fan of the zombies mode (I'm sorry!) but I have spent a few hours playing it with friends.
It seems that the new change has caused a lot of controversy from a lot of people, some people seem to love it, and some hate it. The main change is that instead of just running around a map with different doors to open and perks etc. to find. There is now a bus that takes the player to many different locations. I personally find this quite tense and exciting, sprinting towards the bus as it drives away, leaving lone players behind to fend off the zombies. I can however, see people's annoyance towards it. Another main problem people seem to have is that there are many cracks in the ground with fire that hurt the player. In my opinion this does seem to slightly ruin the gameplay, as getting from point A to B can sometimes be a chore, especially when you have 50 zombies on your back! Many people complain that Treyarch have moved away from tradition, but I would like to point out that the tradition some people are mentioning isn't. The first zombies map didn't have any pack a punch or special weapons, as people are mentioning as accustomed.
That is all I really have to say about the zombies, apart from the fact that there is only 1 map, which may put people off, and it isn't really fun unless playing with friends. My overall verdict for the zombies is a 3.5/5
The end verdict for the game in my opinion is a 3.5/5 Whilst I gave the campaign a 4, I don't really think such a small part of the game can justify any higher, especially when I found the multiplayer and zombies to be quite average.
Sorry for going on a bit! If you read the whole review and have any comments then please leave them in the comments section, any feedback would really be appreciated!
Please note that this is my first review so don't be too harsh! hahaha
I really hope this helped people, I understand it is late but I know from personal experience that some people still haven't got this game, and are being bombarded by loud opinions from either side. I hope my opinion didn't feel too forced, I was just trying to help people make an informed decision by themselves.
Thanks guys! :)