Most helpful critical review
93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Love it or loathe it, i like my fence...
on 22 November 2012
Another year, another call of duty sequel. Once again opinion swings erratically from person to person with some swearing blind to viewpoints which others see as ludicrous. This makes it enormously difficult to review. But i'm going to anyway.
I'll focus on the multiplayer here as thats the mainstream appeal of the franchise. Zombies and the campaign are what they are. I enjoy them and if you liked them from previous call of duty titles i fail to see how you could dislike the offerings of black ops 2. I'll say i enjoyed this campaign more than the original black ops.
So, the multiplayer. As always, the usual rocks are being thrown at a fresh CoD window. 'A field day for campers,' 'bad servers', 'terrible spawning,' 'bad connection', 'requires no skill', 'the same as last year,' 'cash cow', 'terrible maps' etc etc. As far as i'm concerned, pretty much EVERY call of duty experiences these issues. I'm not saying these criticisms are simply wrong. What i am saying is that these problems are not unique to black ops 2. Certainly for me Call of Duty is becoming increasingly stale as the years go by so these criticisms are becoming louder and more commonplace. No, it will never be the way it was in the good ol CoD 4 days. A shame, but inevitable.
Anyway, i'll kick off with the maps. It's clear from the off that every attempt has been made to compartmentalise larger battlegrounds. If you plan on camping, be aware you're going to have to do it damn well or as part of a team to pull it off because there are very few areas which involve a single area which needs watching. You'll need eyes in the back of your head and a rather dull philosophy on how the game should be played to succeed at sitting around. Maps like carrier and turbine are a large blend of open areas with indoor cover to offer variety, and contrast drastically in atmosphere. As does the distinctly WWII feeling standoff and the casual modernity of Plaza. Sure, there are places to sit but unlike previous CoDs you're highly unlikely to survive there for long. The graphics are sleek, but for me lack the realism and grittiness of the original black ops. Maybe thats to be expected from a futuristic setting.
As for spawning, I can't help but laugh. Its worse than previous titles. Much worse. But it seems intentional to me. If you charge off away from your teammates to an unoccupied area then black ops 2 will flip you the bird and spawn your opponents around you in abundance, pretty much behind you in some instances. Hint: work as a team! I see the idea behind this, but i dislike the result. Personally i find it very difficult to string any killstreaks together or even get a handle on where my enemies are during matches. Unless you're an absolute speed demon with a good internet connection, prepare to die. A lot.
On to the new loadout system. Ten slots to fill with what you wish, however you wish. Want more perks, you'll need to make sacrifices elsewhere, be it weapon attachments or grenades. For me, this is how create a class was meant to be. Black ops 2 doesn't restrict you in the way previous CoDs have with regard to how you want to play. What it does do is balance out the classes excellently. In previous titles, perks such as assassin/ghost have been greatly overpowered. If you want to be a stealth machine on black ops 2, you're going to need a plethora of perks to make the grade (cold blooded, ghost and blind eye are all seperate perks which you'll need to shell out a slot for.) Gone are CoD points and back is the unlock as you progress system. You also gain tokens as you level up to spend on newly available options to customise your loadout. So choose carefully!
I like the gun selection. There are new ones to use and new customisations to be put on them e.g. the new target finder sight to identify enemies with a specialised reticle. Gun levelling also makes a welcome return. I've noticed that a lot of people have identified certain guns/smgs as overpowered. Well, anyone remember the ACR/MP7 from MW3? Frankly, the people who use these guns are just as killable as everyone else. If all guns were the same/underpowered, then it would irritate me more to be quite honest. Personally i've been a fan of the SCAR since MW2 and i'm delighted to see it make a return. It serves me well and as such i pay very little attention to what other people are using. Frankly, i don't care.
Scorestreaks. Well, despite the fact i rarely get above a dragonfire, i think the principle is a step in the right direction. You are rewarded with points toward a streak for doing pretty much anything which benefits your team, from destroying a bouncing betty to suppressing an opponent with a guardian turret. Great. Mostly, these scorestreaks are revamped versions of existing killstreaks e.g. Lightning strike is simply a sexed up mortar team from the original black ops. Another minor difference is that care package rewards such as the death machine are now kept until the end of a match rather than your next death. A welcome bonus!
So, to conclude this slightly long winded review i'll clear up my rather ambiguous position. I like the game. It surprises me that they marketed this as a sequel to Black Ops. With the obvious exception of the campaign, it bares no resemblance to the original in my eyes. Yes, it has its flaws but no, these are hardly shocks to the system. If you're getting tired of CoD and buy this game with expectations of a brand new gaming experience then prepare to be disappointed. Personally, i find it very difficult to pick up this game and get into it from the off as i could with B Ops 1, hence the 3 stars. It is however a step away from both its predecessor and modern warfare as far as i'm concerned, or perhaps even a balance between the two at a stretch. Either way, a unanimous 'we love you' from CoD fans was never a viable possibility. I'm sure we can all agree on that at least!