Call of Duty Black Ops 2 was a fairly average entry in the franchise being the first to truly leave behind traditional gameplay. This was a move towards more intense microtransactions and wild combat not based in any sense of realism. The game released in late 2012 on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC with some other minor ports to other platforms. It was also later made available on Xbox One through Xbox Backwards Compatibility to vast amounts of hype. This was the ninth Call of Duty game and it was developed by Treyarch while being published by Activision.
The story directly continued after the events of the first Black Ops jumping far into the future with occasional flashbacks to the core characters from the first game, to fill in the gap of time. The game is set in 2025 and follows Alex Mason's son David as the main protagonist as they deal with an American Cold War with China. Things have changed as warfare is now robotic focused and the tools at play are wild. The antagonist is Raul Menendez, a man that hates the world due to what happened to his sister and someone that has directly affected the Mason family. The story was actually rather interesting with unique futuristic locations and a plot that was well developed. It also featured multiple endings based on what players did during the story, but only one was chosen as canon for the follow-up.
Aside from the campaign was another take of the Call of Duty multiplayer that many are well aware of. It plays very similar to the first Black Ops with futuristic weapons and killstreaks. It was also the first to have a weight based system for classes allowing some different combinations and choice in how your kit will look. The maps were actually mostly great in the game in terms of wild designs and pleasing environments. The spawning was also decent and generally an average multiplayer experience. The look of the game however has not held up that well with the gritty look feeling rather aged. The gameplay is still solid if you enjoyed it in the past and it plays like a modern shooter at this point.
The zombies mode was incredibly underwhelming, especially for someone that spends the majority of their time on Treyarch titles in that mode blasting the undead with friends. The new map Tranzit was large, yet awkward in that you could only move in small segments or get slaughtered in the mist. It just wasn't a good time despite opening up the series considerably. This was also followed by a series of DLC zombie maps that were also terrible.
The Die Rise map was narrow, awkward and just something I want to forget. Mob of the Dead brought players to Alcatraz which was a neat setting, yet the map itself again very tight to play in. The Buried map was actually solid providing a large space to fight zombies in though I remember some criticisms for it. The final map was Origins with the original zombie kill crew as the new one sucked so much and even that was rather plain. The only truly good zombies was Nuketown which was traditional, but something players had already experienced before. There was also Grief that had players fight against each other with zombies and while fun for a bit, ultimately not that addicting.
As a general Call of Duty package, Black Ops 2 was average and after replaying it not something I'll continue with. The multiplayer had some neat environments, but average gameplay. The zombies was purely disappointing despite being expanded upon with the focus on story instead of survival being the main problem. The visuals haven't held up too well after this time with the gritty Treyarch look only helping so much. The story was fine taking the franchise in a different direction though with the change of play to the future and wave of microtransactions I remember why I left this behind.
Our Call of Duty Hub
Read our Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Review