User Score
4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 767 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Jan 31, 2013
    6
    I was looking forward to Black Ops II because of the single player campaign. The new story choices, sci-fi overtones and the new tactical RTS elements looked intriguing. Unfortunately, the campaign turned out to be lackluster. Sure, there was the odd occasional mission that was special (such as the one where you body glide off a cliff) but it was mostly just linear shooting galleries. It was a far cry from the fun of Modern Warfare 2's highpoint. The new RTS missions are also laughably simplistic. They just don't seem to work very well. The multiplayer is solid but unspectacular. The best part of the suite is the fact that you're rarely overwhelmed by scorestreak attacks. There's nothing more frustrating than being relentlessly hounded by helicopters for the duration of an entire match! Sadly, the maps are too small and boxed in. This negates any real strategy and results in a reflex heavy twitch-shooter where players dart about like they're competing in a marathon. Basically speaking, Call of Duty: Black Ops II has sank from promising to disappointing. Expand
  2. Dec 22, 2012
    9
    I've only played a little bit of this game, but it's fantastic. Multiplayer is fun, as is zombies. I'm not into games like this for the campaign, so if there's any criticisms there, I can't really comment, but both zombies and multiplayer make this game worth it.
  3. Jan 29, 2013
    4
    BLACK OPS 2 ZOMBIES ONLY REVIEW. Having played World at War and Black Ops 1, I can say that the zombies mode in this game has definitely lost its touch. Sure, it's improved in the sense that there are now more modes: TranZit - where you travel between the different maps via a bus - and Grief - a competitive game mode where two teams compete for score, but still killing zombies. The maps aren't great either. Sure, they're designed around the TranZit mode but that is mainly, from my perspective, for little kids that want to over-complicate a simple mini-game. The classic style zombies is still present though. The three areas for the survival mode each have different resources. The first area, for example, just has a mystery box and 4 wall weapons, like the original Nacht der Untoten. It should also be noted that one can now change the starting round, whether there are dogs and whether it's headshots only, as well as the option to turn down the difficulty. Despite these additions, the actual fun has declined. You kill over 200 zombies before you even get to double figures on the round counter, yet there is little satisfaction. The weapons aren't satisfying to use due to the lack of recoil perhaps. Or maybe the zombies don't die as quickly. Whatever it is, something is definitely missing. In my opinion, Shi No Numa, Der Riese and Kino der Toten had the perfect balance between complexity of the map and complexity of progression. Everything was simple. You didn't have to go through a million different rituals and easter eggs just to upgrade a gun or even access the mystery box. Yet, they weren't too simple where there was no scope for strategy or variation. In Black Ops II, the problem is that it's gone too far yet again, just like the DLC maps for Black ops 1.
    //TLDR; if you're buying Black Ops 2 for the zombies, be aware that it's nowhere near as fun as World at War and the focus has been shifted away from zombies being a mini-game towards it being a more complete horde mode; which falls short of even Modern Warfare 3 or Gears of War 3's survival modes.
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  4. Nov 18, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First off the mark, this is still very much a Call Of Duty game through and through. With each year that passes each release of this annual franchise exceeds the overwhelming (and frightening) gross of its predecessor, does this mean it is we, the users who are to blame for the repetitiveness? No, not quite. This is a beautiful cash cow for the suits over at Activision, a safe haven for a guaranteed payday once November rolls around. But I think this time, like the first Black Ops instalment, Treyarch are attempting to maybe not rock, but gently cradle the boat in changing this franchise.
    I had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the first Black Ops instalment, but the complete opposite to Infinity Ward/Sledgehammers year old Modern Warfare 3. Black Ops changed the narrative of the other entries into this franchise, not so much hell bent on killing everything in sight but actually creating a story, and a captivating one at that, one which has continued into Black Ops II. Decision making has made a welcome debut (correct me if needed) to this franchise.
    The campaign, albeit a medicare 8 hours, was thoroughly captivating from the beginning. We are re-introduced to the originals of Mason, Woods and Hudson and their search and capture of the the terrorist threat known as Menendez. this mostly happens through a very old Woods re-telling the story to David Mason, Alex Masons son, in the futuristic 2025. Without delving too far into the backbone of the story, there is a sense of despair on both sides of this campaign, Menendez is a truly troubled individual with a tragic past, an antagonist that can be very relatable unlike previous entries, this game, in my opinion doesnt rely on their groundbreaking cinematics for cheap thrills (the little girl in London, really?) but to show the emotion in these characters who we have now known for two instalments. The decisions to be made in this game truly are difficult as we, the players know that this will indeed have a tremendous impact on the remainder of our play through.
    These are by no means massive overhauls to this ageing franchise but they are indeed steps in the correct direction. The multiplayer has introduced several different elements to coax new players in, gone are the killstreak days which have been replaced with "scorestreaks". The maps are significantly better than those of MW3, they're not as crowded, and respawn, for now, has improved.
    With a game like this, i do find it hard to have a genuine hatred. These are yearly releases which now have an overwhelming emphasis on multiplayer. I make it a point to complete the campaign/story before even considering going near multiplayer, that cash I paid needs to go somewhere. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is my no means a diamond in the rough, a hidden gem blah blah blah, but to hate on a game which is trying to change (Treyarch at least) but still maintain the money spinner that is Call Of Duty, there needs to be a compromise. Are these gamers really going out and buying this with the notion thats its going to change all the rules? If so then i suggest you wait on a game that is three plus years in the making. Whatever the next title will be in 2013, one thing is for sure, it will make more than Black Ops II simply because it is new, and thats why we the gamers win the battle, by subtle changes to the game, but Activision win the war, because they are still going to make millions, no matter what entry they churn out or how many. This is why i gave this game an 8. Treyarch did things differently with the first Black Ops and they have continued to do so with this, its not a game-changer but it is an attempt to listen to the players and to compete with other developers in the same franchise, without a doubt one of the better Call Of Duty titles in a long time.
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  5. Mar 25, 2013
    5
    It's not bad but the Over-popular and overrated Black oops 2 doesn't give the entertainment awesome video games need. Fans(or should I say lunatics) will not be pleased.
  6. 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. Expand
  7. Jan 16, 2013
    10
    i love it i am not big call of duty fan i prefer skyrim zombies game etc But i won this game i said try it out this was best game ever i like Multiplayer & zombie maps

    i love it if call of duty would turn around do whole call duty zombie i mean not just zombie maps i mean i mean like left 4 dead but better
  8. Sep 27, 2013
    9
    I was really expecting this game to be okay at best, but i was wrong. Black Ops 2 is what its predesesor should have been, The graphics are improved the multiplayer is fun as hell, the gameplay is at its best and above all its story mode and characters are amazing. Black Ops 2 is my favorite COD and has one of the best villains in gaming history, Raul Menendez.
  9. May 25, 2013
    4
    I'm not much of a CoD fan, but always had fun playing the franchise and was really excited for BO2 after BO1. Turns out, my expectations were wrong on this one. The single-player is bland and the story is confusing 'cause you're in the future, but you play in the past, which makes no sense at all! The MP is fun, but it's extremely lags here and there, then after a while, I stopped playing it. Then there's the Zombie mode, which is hard to consider as "FUN", its slow, boring, and a huge waste of time! Out of all the CoD's Iv'e payed, this is the worst. Expand
  10. Nov 15, 2012
    9
    Call of Duty: Black Ops, possibly the best Treyarch Call of Duty has created a sequel. Is it good? Yes, the changes and gameplay are amazing. But what did I miss? Oh that's right, the idiotic trolls giving the game a 0. It's apparent at how many idiots there are, and possibly a good number of those who will vote my review down because I'm not playing their game, but enough about that. Black Ops 2 has a great campaign mode writen by David Goyer who helped write the Dark Knight. The storyline is clever although not the standout if the game. The game sees even brighter light with the Multiplayer. It's as good as it's ever been and added some new designs for good measure. The zombie mode, seemed like a flop due to the dissaperence of the original characters, but, zombies changed to much it makes it all worth it. Tranzit is the highlight of zombies, showing off the new made "Greenrun" and a whole new direction for Call of Duty. This is as good as the original Black Ops which I gave an 8/10. Well done, Treyarch. Expand
  11. Nov 18, 2012
    7
    Due to the fact that the online multiplayer is incredibly broken and very hard to tolerate as of this moment. I will skip reviewing that and focus on the single player campaign. For the most part the campaign is EXTREMELY easy. There is barely any challenge even to playing BO2 on veteran I think it took me around 4-5 hours to complete and only had to continue a handful of times... IT IS 100% casual friendly unfortunately. It is full of scripted scenes and what not but the game does provide an interesting way of going about the missions. You have multiple choices for different outcomes within the game so there is actually a reason now to replay the campaign. Choosing an option may trigger a different scripted scene in the game and change the way some parts can be played. Prior to this call of duty I think the only game that had any form of choice would be World at War with either Sgt. Roebuck or that other dude dying (can't remember his name!). Aside from all this I believe Treyarch's call of duty's keep getting better while Infinity Ward's keep getting more and more dumbed down to the point where they are just boring. Call of Duty 4 was their peak - they're done give it up. This is a far superior installment to Modern Warfare 3 - aside from the freezing and multiple bugs I would say it is one of the more fun FPS I've played. I enjoyed the campaign and enjoyed the futuristic guns and different style of weapons. This is not a complete rip off of Ghost Recon FS or Halo, it does do it's own things and it is it's own game and that should be praised. I would score it higher but due to the bugs and, god I don't know how this happens, but LAG? In single player? I cannot just bring myself to give it an 8 9 or 10. It's good, it's playable, it's enjoyable but it has it's share of problems. I can finally put away Boringfield 3 and enjoy a decent call of duty after the issues are hopefully fixed with this game. On a side note: I'm glad Treyarch only made a few tweaks to their old formula - it would be a shame to see Call of Duty go down the Socom route and die when there are barely any other shooters these days that are as enjoyable as a Call of Duty. Expand
  12. Nov 13, 2012
    0
    This game is just awful. I really wanted to get into it, but I just couldn't. It's the same tired formula they used in black ops, and it's even less enjoyable than mw3. The single player campaign is awful, the game gives you auto-aim, so you don't even have to try when playing, and it still uses the same engine it's been using for so many years now. Call of Duty has essentially been turned into a medicore cash cow over the years, shame. Expand
  13. Nov 13, 2012
    0
    This is the worst game i have ever played, why did they ruin this series!!!!!!! I used to like it, MW3 was bad so i though this will be bettter but it wasn't, i'm sad, i i used to like this game series but now i hate, i really hate it with a passion, this game is bad, stop lying to yourselfs and go buy a real game.
  14. Apr 14, 2013
    7
    After playing this game for a few months, I can say it is honestly impossible to not rage at this game with all the lag and BS that goes on. Pistols are OP'd, snipers run around quickscopin. I could write a 2 page essay about the flaws of this game's multiplayer. However I still don't believe it deserves a 4, its probably still better than 90% of fps out there
  15. Jul 15, 2013
    8
    Okay, here's yet another Call of Duty game. If you've played every CoD game from CoD4, you know what to expect. Only this time, the game is set mostly in the future.

    Let's look at the single-player campaign. To be honest, you have to give credit to Treyarch for trying something new with the campaign structure. What you do will affect what path you take and how the story turns out. It's
    nice to take a break away from the linear campaign structure, as what was done in the past. The story was quite ok.

    Zombie mode. They actually have done SOME improvements, but why do we need a storyline here?

    Multiplayer: Here is what people care about the most. I like the idea that you can prestige your weapons once you max out your level. Other than that, it's really the same Call of Duty multiplayer from the past games, except that it's in the future. It should be noted that there are parts of the singleplayer that is set in the 1980s. Why can't we have that in the multiplayer? You know a mode set in the future and a mode set in the past? That would be something.

    Overall: The only surprise you should expect from BO2 is the non-linear single-player structure. Multiplayer is quite the same. It's still fun, though. BO2 does NOT suck, but if you're expecting a totally revamped CoD, you'll be disappointed.

    P.S. Wake up, IW and Treyarch. This is the same engine used for five years. Give us a new engine already! Small lighting changes don't cut it.
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  16. Nov 6, 2013
    7
    I like the near-futuristic approach to Call of Duty. The weapons are fun to use, and are slightly more varied than in previous installments. The muliplayer is exactly the same, otherwise. Same game modes, and pretty well the same maps. Spawns are slightly less bad than in previous games, and the maps remain small. The singleplayer is decent, with specific actions that result in different endings adding a minor difference to the Call of Duty formula. Zombies is back and is as boring as ever. The formula is getting extremely stale at this point. Since there are no other decent multiplayer games coming out for a while, guess were stuck with this one. Expand
  17. May 14, 2013
    3
    Now, I'm not just a Call of duty hater. I think at times the series is entertaining and is a joy with actual friends. I mean that by friends you can talk to, without headphones. I guess the most positive thing I can say about this game is that it's real fun to play with other people, I recommend playing with others so you can at least try to socialize with people. The negative comments I have for this game is mainly my lack of care for this game. I just don't find anything interesting in this game, which I think sums up my opinion about this game. It's fun with friends, but quite boring without anyone to play with. By now you probably yelling about how I don't talk about the multiplayer, I just don't personally like it, in this game at least. My ending statement is: this game is fun with friends, but is really boring without others to play with. Expand
  18. Nov 10, 2013
    9
    The low user score is unfair but who can stop the fanboys... Another successful installment of the CoD series with a few welcome tweaks.
    STORY AND CHARACTERS: The Black Ops series started with a great story with the set in the cold war era. This one continues with the same story travelling between that era and the near plausible future. Well thought and well delivered. As for the
    characters they are well built and you can relate to their story. Menendez steals the show.
    PRESENTATION: As good as ever. In a time when the next gen consoles dominate the conversations BO2 still manages to deliver great quality graphics even with an aging engine. Whatever that means.
    GAMEPLAY: Not many innovations here but why mess in a winning formula right? Exception made to the strike force missions. Did not liked them and feel a bit off in the campaign.
    PROGRESSION: Treyarch tweaked the progression system on the online experience to a new level with the pick 10 system and the weapons prestige. Very good idea if you ask me.
    ONLINE: Picking up with the above mentioned the MP is even better with the referred pick 10 and weapon prestige which delivers a very well balanced and engaging online experience.
    The CoD series still delivers the best FPS game around. No doubt about that.
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  19. Nov 13, 2012
    0
    Look, i'm not a troll, this game is simply, bad, there is no getting around to that, smallest maps in video games history, weapons have no recoil at all, every map is camper-friendly, the campaign is 4 hours long, zombie mode is worse than it was in the first one, there is nothing good about this one, stop lying to yourselft and wake up, i was a fan but MW3 & BO2 ruined this series for me, stop playing this crap and go buy a real game. Expand
  20. Dec 22, 2013
    9
    Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is almost three great games in one. It has a fantastic campaign with multiple endings, improved multiplayer, and an enhanced zombies mode.
  21. Sep 18, 2013
    2
    Where Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series keeps improving and revolutionising the open-world genre with hot new releases, Activision's Call of Duty franchise has shunned and abandoned the shooter games by releasing mediocre after mediocre games that spawned from a once good series starting with Modern Warfare.

    Everything in the game feels lacklustre and I can't believe the critics giving
    the game a 9/10 or a 8/10, guess they just like the same crap every year with slightly better graphics. Shooting mechanics have improved and so has the story but that doesn't save 3 hours of boring campaign missions, terrible net code and lack of fidelity that makes everything feel disjointed. If you're gonna come back from Black Ops 1, you gotta bring your best. Not this unpolished, lazy mess of a game! Expand
  22. Nov 13, 2012
    2
    this game is not fun. i personally don't care i am not buying any more call of duty games. this is the final straw MW3 then this. this is absolute horse crap. the graphics are so bad that i feel like it is the same as the original modern warfare. i loved the original black ops too. the gameplay is about as bad as MW3's with no good new features. and the multiplayer is buggy laggy and just impossible to deal with. being randomly disconnected is a pain. then if you try and play in a group it doesn't work because you can't join lobbies for some reason. i don't think this game should have the privilege of being released. it's not fun to play and is just plain bad. im going to return this tomorrow. this is where i draw the line. Expand
  23. Feb 4, 2013
    8
    The call of duty franchise as a whole gets so much hate for it's continuing success and I am not the biggest fan of the series but I thought black ops 1 was a fun game, especially with some friends. The campaign of this game is probably the best of any call of duty ever, its very varied and has so many cool little set pieces we've come to expect from the series. The story however is uninteresting and the new protagonists are extremely boring and forgettable. Also the new strike force RTS segments have so much potential that is wasted with terrible friendly AI, thankfully these are mostly optional. The multiplayer has new ideas that in my opinion make it the most refined yet, but it feels way to similar to the other games which isn't really a problem as the games are fun but I got bored way faster than in the original black ops. As long as you're not expecting something completely fresh the multiplayer is still fun. The zombies mode was my favorite part of the original and this is the gamemode they've changed the most surprisingly. The zombies campaign treyarch promised is nothing more than a large map with a bus and build-able items which is somewhat disappointing but still fun. There are only three maps unless you get the special edition which is not too great considering these are just parts of the large tranzit map made into to small little arenas. The zombies mode is still fun but a little disappointing considering on how hyped up it was. Overall though this is still a fun package with hours of content and fun to be had. Expand
  24. Jul 7, 2013
    7
    I have to give it to Treyarch, they seem to make the more bearable versions of this highly iterative franchise. This year Black Ops II admittedly has a better campaign than its predecessors. The choice element is a little fresh but isn't implemented all that well, but the missions were fun enough to keep me advancing, even if I did end up tiring of the story. The multiplayer is as slick as ever, but it really doesn't add all that much. Zombies is perhaps innovated most in this title, but it still feels a little weary with age. Its a good game, but Activision should really pack their bags now and leave on this one, because even though this game is decent, it is not going to save this franchise from an inevitable end. Expand
  25. Nov 2, 2013
    9
    Let me first say that I had no interest in Black Ops 2 initially. Like many, I thought I was done with the Call of Duty franchise as each year it became more of the same. However, I rented Black Ops 2 and that changed very quickly. The campaign is probably my third favorite (behind Modern Warfare and Black Ops). I did not think it was nearly as great as most say it is. I really don't mind since I play through the campaign once before I delve into the real purpose of the CoD games..the multiplayer. The multiplayer is far and away the best since Modern Warfare revolutionized it about five years ago. Since 2007, it is been more of the same with more tweaks here and there, but this game allows for alot of customization. Multiplayer has so many options to fit your play style especially with the Pick 10 style. I can go into a game with no grenades if I want and stock up on perks. Also, the emblem creator is better than ever with more slots and customization. It's a fun way to express yourself even if some user emblems are not exactly PG rated. While there are some technical issues and the game is not perfect, the game is the most fun I've had playing online to date. I've owned it for a few weeks and have already put in over 100 hours and I haven't felt even begun to get bored. Expand
  26. Dec 15, 2012
    7
    Singleplayer was pretty good interesting ending choice but still good. The multiple endings leaved much to be desired but it still worked. While somehow I believe most players hated the mode where you change between individual units, I actually found it a refreshing change. The slight changes to multiplayer were good too. IMO there is no way this game could score less than a 6/10 but there are always going to be haters and as they say haters gonna hate. Voice acting and cinematics A+ as you would expect from this title. Expand
  27. Dec 29, 2012
    0
    Unbalanced multiplayer, mediocre campaign, and overall terrible community. Activision really should've spent more time creating this, especially when it's such a "high-profile AAA" game.
  28. Nov 18, 2012
    9
    Campaign is solid. Zombies are as overrated as ever. But the multiplayer returns with an added zest. The graphics have been bumped up from Black ops 1 , which is lucky as they were a jerky mess before. The games fluidity now matches it's IW brother but has less game breaking killstreaks and weapons. The pick ten points system is a stroke of genius and the maps are much more ergonomic than Infinity wards ugly high walled prisons. I was an Infinity Ward fan right up until the release of mw3. I loved ( and still do ) COD 4 and MW2 , but the control has well and truly passed to Treyarch. Infinity Ward the ball is in your court. Try and match this! Expand
  29. Apr 5, 2014
    5
    Story: 7 out of 10 Graphics: 8 out of 10 Gameplay: 8 out of 10 Fun: 5 out of 10 Controls: 9 out of 10 Ease to Learn: 8 out of 10
    Length: 7 out of 10
    Re-play: 7.5 out of 10
    Audio: 8 out of 10
    Bugs/Glitches: not much
  30. Jun 15, 2014
    6
    The first Call of Duty game I've ever owned and put time and effort into. While it's not exactly a bad game, Black Ops II suffers from focusing too much on online play. The offline play is fine if you're happy with mediocre A.I., which isn't that big of a deal considering many games of this genre refuse to use A.I. bots in order to put a heavier focus involving online play. The single-player campaign is awful...and this is why almost nobody plays the campaigns of this franchise. Lack of story, good narrative, variety in the levels, or even good level design within the campaign means there's no real reason to bother with it, especially considering the short length which can last only two hours if you happen to be good. If you enjoy quick thrills and competitive play, then this game will suit your needs. Expand
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 12, 2013
    80
    One of the most complete, albeit shaky, packages the series has ever seen. [Issue#226, p.68]
  2. 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.
  3. Dec 23, 2012
    78
    Worth checking out for online and the sci-fi novelty value alone. [Jan 2013, p.95]