Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jan 3, 2013
    90
    While the campaign length is fairly standard of past iterations of the series, it's worth multiple playthroughs and the multiplayer offers endless hours of fun and enjoyment; whether it's slaying zombies or facing off against other players in a wide range of multiplayer modes with an endless number of loadout combinations.
  2. Although each year's Call of Duty has always been a package deal, Black Ops II represents a watershed moment. It's bulging at the seams, not only because nearly every team that's ever worked on Call of Duty has had a hand in it. The engine has been tweaked, multiplayer and CODcasting are both revolutionary, single-player has a decent lifespan and offers more than the same roller-coaster but on a tougher difficulty setting, while Zombies is mental comic relief. [Christmas 2012, p66]
  3. Nov 27, 2012
    90
    Black Ops II isn't a revelation; what you'll play here is largely what you've played before. There's simply so much to play, though, that it's impossible to deny that Treyarch has finally given us a Call on par with the best of 'em.
  4. Nov 19, 2012
    90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the best shooter of 2012, and also one of the best games overall.
  5. Nov 19, 2012
    90
    We're not sure if this is the best Call of Duty of this generation, but we're convinced Treyarch has produced the most complete one since the first Modern Warfare.
  6. No matter how much you oppose Call of Duty and its publisher (or even the FPS genre), you can't deny the powerhouse that Black Ops II is. Three humongous modes, each complementing the others perfectly. That's right: three whole modes.[December 2012, p.56]
  7. Nov 15, 2012
    87
    An interesting blend. It consists of everything I expected to see and a few things I didn't, the latter of which surprised me. I can't say the Strike Force missions were a good idea but at the very least, they're a departure from the norm. And the addition of player choice is definitely a plus. As for the rest, the high production values, Hollywood-esque presentation, relatively intriguing campaign, and a multiplayer that delivers on all counts, it's hard to say this year's CoD falls short. Some can say the multiplayer is too similar but hey, this is Call of Duty. The fans know what they like by now.
  8. 85
    Black Ops 2 brings the same intense action the series is known for, with some interesting Treyarch twists. It may not be shiny and sparkly new, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to play.
  9. Nov 13, 2012
    85
    Even if Treyarch misses the mark on occasion, I respect the developer for taking chances with a series that would sell just fine if it stuck with the status quo.
  10. Nov 26, 2012
    82
    So the game is all in all darn fun. Longtime fans may be disappointed though with the short campaign and long in the tooth engine. I feel it does the job well and soldiers on…. Final run down is there has been some touch ups done on graphics, though not enough to be noticeable to any huge degree; whatever it lacks in overall graphic pizzazz, it more than makes up for in the fun factor. Touch ups have been done on the Prestige system and perks as well.
  11. Jan 12, 2013
    80
    One of the most complete, albeit shaky, packages the series has ever seen. [Issue#226, p.68]
  12. Dec 4, 2012
    80
    Very much like the previous games, but with small changes that stir up the gameplay. The single player campaign is action packed and entertaining, and the multiplayer mode is as smooth as ever. There's also more focus on connectivity and e-sport.
  13. Nov 16, 2012
    80
    Though zombies mode is stagnating and the novel new social features are a flop, the rest of Black Ops II is lively and entertaining, and it's great to see some shifting in the familiar structure.
  14. Nov 16, 2012
    80
    Taken as a whole, Black Ops II is excellent value despite a hefty RRP. The campaign is genuinely replayable thanks to the branching plot and some truly memorable levels, and the multiplayer trumps that of every other Call of Duty, providing the series' most comprehensive customisation system yet alongside a newcomer-friendly matchmaking system that doesn't ignore the hardcore.
  15. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    Black Ops 2's campaign is perhaps the weakest one since Modern Warfare came on the scene. However, the multiplayer accompanied by Zombies reinforces Black Ops 2 and turns this into one of the more desirable games.
  16. 80
    A new height for storytelling in Call of Duty games paired with a remodeled multiplayer component that is as addictive and rewarding as ever makes for really attractive package, despite its shortcomings.
  17. Tether the plethora of modes here together and you get a Power Rangers-style mega-force that 's much more than the sum of its parts, and only the overly familiar template and a lack of soul keep it from nabbing a higher score. Although it's technically brilliant, running at a constant 60fps, it lacks the esoteric charm, ideas and personality to rank as a true classic.
  18. Dec 23, 2012
    78
    Worth checking out for online and the sci-fi novelty value alone. [Jan 2013, p.95]
  19. Nov 25, 2012
    70
    Though the single-player campaign is far from a strong point of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 due to its clumsy narrative, ill-judged sections and short length, the online multiplayer still hits all of the right targets. Some crucial changes ensure that it's a decent fit for a range of skill levels and more flexible than before, and the Zombies mode has been improved once again. It might not fire on all cylinders, but as a multiplayer game, Black Ops 2 is still in the upper ranks.
  20. Nov 21, 2012
    70
    Black Ops 2, in thematic solidarity with the sacrifices of its protagonists, will likely not be remembered among the best of its brethren. And yet, the best Call of Duty installments yet to come will succeed because of the work that Treyarch has done here.
  21. Nov 19, 2012
    70
    All in all, this is what a sequel should have been: a combination of the good from the old with a number of tweaks from the new.
User Score
4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 799 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 13, 2012
    4
    Look at my review history. Am I someone who jumps on a bandwagon in any way? Look at my review of mw3, and by the way, BO1 was mt favorite COD. BO2 is a compete waste of my money and it makes me happy mw3 was so poorly recieved. Granted, I've only played it for 1 night. But, the campaign is as most basic as possible, and the multiplayer is so steriotyplical that I amost knew what was going to happen next based on a game I played 5 years ago, and that game is blah blah blah. I let mw3 slide even though I knew it was the same as usual but I can't let this slide because now I have to sell this and accept a $30 dollar loss because I didn't listen to a !,000,000,000,000 other gamers. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    5
    So I bought the game, hoping it'd be better than the last CoD I bought (MW2). A bit disappointed.

    Started playing the campaign, and what I
    found was an interactive movie. Gameplay is easy even on the higher difficulties where you'll only die if you think yourself Rambo and start running and gunning. The story is decent. The scripting was OK, and overall the sequences felt well played out. If you want a cinematic experience, you'll get one. If you want something more, such as gameplay and replay value... this may not be your game.

    Multiplayer is the same as always, with some added stuff. It's enjoyable as long as you turn off voices or can bear being screamed at by the frequent twelve year old.
    Zombies are always a fun addition.

    Overall I don't think the game is bad, but it's nothing great either. A mediocre game in my opinion.
    And seriously : update your graphics engine, the game is starting to feel old.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 18, 2012
    4
    At first, I gave this game a 7/10, but after spending a lot of time online this weekend, I can now say I was wrong. Sure the campaign is decent, and zombies is zombies, but right now multi-player is the most unbalanced in the series. The two major objective issues I have are lag compensation, and spawning

    As it stands, lag compensation favors players with poor internet, and also favor guns with high rate of fire (i.e. SMGs) since the lag compensation will likely make 60% of bullets you think hit, actually miss.

    The new spawn system was designed to avoid getting spawn camped... however the problem is now players will randomly spawn around you. It doesn't matter if your team locks down a corridor, or section of the map, the enemy will just appear right behind you since the game actively avoid forward spawns.

    Aside from those two problems, I have a personal problem with the map layouts... They are way to cluttered with obstacles. Therefore, shotguns and SMGs rule king. I have no problem with these guns, I just wish the 90% of the maps didn't favor them as I do enjoy AR's.

    It's sad to say that MW2 is still the best in series, and I'm sure many would still play it if it wasn't for all the hackers.
    Full Review »