The Call of Duty franchise has stood the test of time by developing games year after year that have seemingly surpassed the previous year’s release. It is no different this year. Black Ops 2 was released on November 13th, 2012 and it has all the goodies in it to make every player happy. Whether you are new to the franchise or are a seasoned veteran, this game has something for everyone.
There are 3 distinct types of games that you can play. There is the normal campaign mode, in which you play through the actual storyline. There is a game mode (YES it is BACK!) called zombies. Thirdly there is the fan favorite of multiplayer.
Campaign – The campaign is very unique in that it spans 2 different time periods. The first period is during the first Cold War. The second period occurs in 2025 during the second Cold War, which features a whole new set of futuristic machinery and weapons. The two periods are played intermixed to show the player how the plot plays out. Decisions are crucial in this mode because there are multiple endings to this game. There are a handful of occasions where you must decide to let someone live or be executed. This of course affects the ending. For the first time in Call of Duty, the developer Treyarch has included another set of missions that are selected separate called “Strike Force” missions. These missions are not necessary to play but if you complete them all, you will be rewarded later in the actual campaign. Strike force missions are strategy based, in that you control squads of men, unmanned machinery and turrets. These are objective based missions which require critical maneuvering. Constantly you must move your men and machines around to destroy objectives and to protect objectives. Overall, this is a campaign worth playing.
Zombies – As in its predecessor, Black Ops, Zombies returns again even better. There are 3 maps to pick from: The Farm, Town, and Tranzit. If you purchased the “Hardened” or “Carepack Edition” you also received Nuketown Zombies, which is based off of the map “Nuketown” from the first Black Ops. I have a feeling that if you bought the regular version, you will be able to still get the Nuketown Zombies map in the next DLC. While playing zombies, if you take too much damage from the zombies or other elements of the maps, you are forced to the ground and you have a certain amount of time that your teammates can revive you. If you aren’t revived quickly enough then you are out, my friend, and must wait until the next game. Zombies can be played solo or online with friends. The Farm and Town are relatively small maps, but that is what makes them fun. You don’t have a lot of time to think as wave after wave of Zombies is coming at you. If you have never played Zombies before, there is no way to win (I hope that doesn’t deter you). You start at 1 and keep going up. You will see a new level start on the bottom left side of your screen when the previous one is completed. Each new level is progressively harder as the zombies get faster and more numerous. You have to kill enough zombies with your pistol or knife to get money for upgraded weapons. In the level Tranzit you need to think quick as you attempt to find different pieces of machinery to put together different kinds of mechanical devices/weaponry, some being: a source of electric power, a turret, and a zombie shield. The zombie shield is quite fun as zombies are launched into the air when you hit them with it. In Tranzit you keep hitching rides on a bus that takes you between the farm, town and the bus station. There are also parts that you can findto upgrade the bus. One upgrade puts a massive steel contraption on the front that annihilates zombies as the bus is driving. All in all, Zombies is an experience not to be missed. It requires quick thinking and skill. I recommend this game mode to all gamers. It is a blast.
Multiplayer – This game mode is played online against people all over the world. This has always been the fan favorite of COD players. I must commend Treyarch for doing an amazing job on these maps. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was such a disappointment as all of the maps seemed to play the same. Tisk tisk Infinity Ward. Treyarch has made the best multiplayer experience yet. There are 13 maps on the regular purchased game. If you preordered the game you also received Nuketown 2025, which is a futuristic version of Nuketown from the first Black Ops. Every map is different in this installment of multiplayer: some are small, some are huge, some are vast open spaces, and some are full of buildings to run around in. You play in many environments including: an aircraft carrier, a very nice plaza, a cargo port and many more. Most diehard multiplayer fans choose to prestige after each time they max out on levels. When you prestige, you start at level 1 again and work up to level 55. If you prestige in this game you are given 3 options to choose from which help you (you only can pick one of them). I won’t tell you, though. I don’t want to give too much away. One new feature is that you can prestige your weapons too. If you do this, though, all of your attachments that you had will be locked and you will have to earn them again. Some of the primary, secondary and special classes of weapons have made a return, while a whole new set of weapons is available to try. The game modes that we know and love are all back: Team Death Match, Search and Destroy (my favorite), Kill Confirmed and the list goes on. Some new gadgetry included are: the target finder (a sight for your gun that helps target enemy players), MMS which senses heat signatures, a portable assault shield which can be deployed on the ground as cover and much more. There are even upgrades for the automatic crossbow this time including, different sights/scopes and the tri-bolt (fires a bundle of 3 bolts in each shot). Kill streaks are back (now known as score streaks) and are better than ever. Some new streaks include a lightning strike, warthog (plane that makes several passes while shooting enemies), hunter killer (a drone that is deployed and seeks out a target) and many more. Some of the ones you know and love from the first Black Ops are back, including: the RC-XD, care package, UAV and the good ole’ K9 unit! The Multiplayer experience is a combination of fast gameplay, strategy, and camping (I know, everyone hates campers). Every match plays differently from the last so the experience never gets old.
This feels like a brand new game. It is a breath of fresh air. The campaign is well written. When playing the campaign, you really feel like this kind of warfare could happen to the USA. It is a wake-up call to our country and the rest of the world. The Zombies maps are an amazing experience in horror/multiplayer fashion. The environments are eerie and dark. The zombies growl and scream at you. You get that feeling of being overwhelmed as each level progresses and the zombies are more in numbers and harder to kill. The multiplayer maps are vastly different, which makes for a great online experience. The weaponry available is fun to use. Also, the experience never gets old.
There are really only 2 cons to this game. These are the bad language, which includes the four letter words, and the graphic content of blood in the campaign. The good news, however, is that you can disable the graphic content and language in the options menu. I played through a couple of the campaign missions with the content on and then off. It really does what it says. Even in the cinematic screens, the cussing is muted. When people are shot, the blood is not shown. When playing online, people are free to say whatever they want and it does get pretty nasty sometimes. I recommend buying a nice set of headphones that allows you to cut out voice chat completely. Then you never have to listen to the cussing and racial slurs that people say. When you cut out voice chat, you literally mute all of the people talking through their headsets throughout every match. Multiplayer games are bloody, but nothing like the campaign. The only real bloody part of online is the very last kill of the match. When the last kill happens, everyone watches a replay of it and it can get bloody. I don’t recommend this game to anyone under 17. It is rated M for good reason, and our children should not see or play these games until they are old enough.
This game is worth buying for all who love first-person shooters. If you are already a fan of COD, then this game is a must have. Kudos to Treyarch for the best COD game to date. As always, please monitor your time spent playing games. They are fun in moderation, but don’t let them take over your life. That is what God is for. He is number 1! Make time for God first, family second, and the rest after that. God bless you!
Photo Credit: Flickr By Bugsy Sailor