Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 73
  2. Negative: 0 out of 73
  1. Jan 7, 2013
    95
    If the original Black Ops was Treyarch's coming-out party, then Black Ops 2 is the studio's affirmation that their COD expertise was no flash in the pan. If you're one of the 16 people who hasn't played this gem yet, go buy it now. Conversely, if you're among those who bought the game but hasn't ventured into the single-player campaign (yes, it happens), there's a great narrative and divergent gameplay awaiting your experimentation, so check it out.
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    94
    The elastic story provides plenty of incentive to replay the campaign, the strikeforce levels aren't executed perfectly, but they're a glimpse at the future, and the multiplayer features are tweaked to make every play style relevant and to level the playing field. It does so many new things so very well, making it the most groundbreaking Call of Duty since the first Modern Warfare. Shooters simply don't get much more deep, varied, surprising, or rewarding than this.
  3. 94
    There is no doubt many will turn their nose at yet another Call of Duty game running on the same engine at 60 frames per second. The "ain't broke don't fix" path has certainly been taken again. This being said, Treyarch has undeniably been able to up the ante in nearly every facet of the Call of Duty experience with Black Ops 2. The riveting single player storyline features the wonderfully-designed strategic Strike Force Missions; the online Multiplayer experience is much more robust than ever before and the Zombies mode has also received significant upgrades. It is quite amazing how the development team managed to fit this much content onto one disk. Needless to say, shooter fans can purchase Black Ops 2 with confidence.
  4. Nov 12, 2012
    94
    As far as value for your money goes, Black Ops II is a veritable waterslide of enjoyment, and for a change, actually does a lot different to what we've come to expect.
  5. Nov 13, 2012
    93
    Graphical hitches and gameplay tweaks aside, it's still one of the best first-person shooters out there, loaded with exciting moments and a story that – wait for it – is actually worth experiencing. Throw in the hours' worth of addictive multiplayer and you have something that'll hook you well into the next generation.
  6. Nov 13, 2012
    93
    Combined with the host of subtle and overt improvements to the array of other systems, the additions to make it more appealing to Esports, and the more fleshed out Zombies mode, this is not just a fantastic Call of Duty game, but one of the best shooters of the last decade.
  7. Nov 20, 2012
    92
    With Black Ops 2 Treyarch packaged a great and content-rich game with an intense and exciting campaign and a great multiplayer experience with a very strong selection of maps; the Zombie mode is the only underwhelming part of the game. If you like CoD's adrenalinic and frantic style, you'll love this.
  8. Nov 13, 2012
    92
    The best Call of Duty since the first Modern Warfare.
  9. Nov 13, 2012
    92
    Call of Duty: Black Ops II is not just the usual CoD sequel. The campaign has great replay value thanks to to multiple endings, branching storylines, twists and tough choices, and the multiplayer adds a brand new cooperative vibe to the gameplay.
  10. Nov 13, 2012
    92
    A truly complete gaming package. The multiplayer game is excellent, the expanded Zombies mode is an enjoyable and very welcome addition, and the single player campaign is a fun ride that will have you yelling "Josephina!" at random times for weeks to come. About the only miss is the addition of the Strike Force missions, but they don't drag down the overall experience with them.
  11. Nov 19, 2012
    91
    I'm not going to go so far as to say that this it the best Call of Duty yet, but I certainly find myself more compelled to spend a lot more time with this than I did Modern Warfare 3. Both the campaign and multiplayer portions of the game feel like a step above the previous entry, and if early sales and online player base are any indication, this is going to be the game your friends will playing for months to come. So if you're on the fence, I'd definitely suggest picking this up, it delivers enough changes to keep the series relevant and fun, while retaining everything that makes Call of Duty what you've come to expect.
  12. Nov 13, 2012
    91
    With a single-player campaign that finally lives up to the hype of movie level quality and a solid multiplayer experience that clearly shows the benefits of a yearly iterative cycle, Call of Duty: Black Ops II comes close to being one of the best titles in the series.
  13. Dec 18, 2012
    90
    Treyarch did an amazing job, creating another high intensity experience that sets the standard for every other shooter to aspire to.
  14. Dec 5, 2012
    90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has got to be one of the year's best first person shooters. It's got enough to give every kind of gamer more than enough to keep them happy.
  15. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    Exactly what we expected. The campaign struggles to surprise, but the multiplayer and zombie modes have been greatly improved, and they are the ones to credit for making it an outstanding title. Some people will complain about the lack of evolution, while some others will enjoy the hundreds of hours of fun it offers.
  16. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    Don't miss the opportunity to play one of the best chapters in the series.
  17. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    While not everything that Treyarch has introduced with this edition of Black Ops works, the 'outside of the box thinking' they've done has made this experience fun and fascinating.
  18. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    Black Ops 2 is a very impressive achievement both from the audacity of its slightly flawed single-player narrative to the massive construction of its multiplayer offerings, and so, Black Ops 2 scores.
  19. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    This time around, Treyarch was seriously devoted into the creation of a plot that emphasized the importance of characters and storytelling. For multiplayer fans, new modes like League Play, CODcasting and being able to live stream their games on YouTube is enough to get them excited. And, on top of that, a revamped zombies mode is there for any co-operative shooter lover.
  20. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    A ton of work has gone into this game from top to bottom, and it stands as a real testament to the developers who didn't want to just coattail this one into the books. Nearly every system and aspect of the game has been tweaked or overhauled, and it certainly shows in the final product.
  21. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    The first Black Ops put Treyarch on par with Infinity Ward; with Black Ops II, they surpass them. This is the most impressed I've been with Call of Duty since the first Modern Warfare; aside from some problems with the Strike Force missions, this is a shining moment for the franchise.
  22. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    Zombies drops you into an intense, expansive world with untold secrets to discover, multiplayer's Pick 10 system and Scorestreaks open up new strategies to exploit, and the single-player campaign warrants repeat visits from its captivating, branching storyline.
  23. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    In a lot of ways, it feels like Treyarch is giving a gigantic middle finger to Infinity Ward, the Modern Warfare developer that always seems to dominate the spotlight. Black Ops 2 isn't just the culmination of the Black Ops series, it might become the most-loved title in the Call of Duty franchise. Either way, fans won't be disappointed this year.
  24. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is simply awesome. The single player Campaign Mode is an incredible surprise and is worth a few play throughs. Treyarch did a great job balancing the multiplayer experience, playing simple and focused. The final result with the CODcasting is something great and the online streaming as a nice bonus. This is the best year to buy a CoD game.
  25. Nov 13, 2012
    90
    Treyarch is striving to give the players even more content than before, which results in a campaign and a zombie mode that gives you a lot of replay value. The best of the best is their "Take Ten" concept in multiplayer, which sets a new standard for a genre that already has evolved so much in recent years. Battlefield is for the first time not the king of the hill – Call of Duty is.
  26. Dec 18, 2012
    89
    A daring step forward for CoD that goes some way towards reinvigorating the series. [Jan 2013, p.59]
  27. Nov 13, 2012
    89
    The common thread of all of the subgames is that they are very hard to master. Most of them are easy to pick up and start playing, with the exception of Strike Force. But you'll want to play them over and over again until you finally conquer a mission. Once you get that mastery, you'll feel great.
  28. Nov 19, 2012
    88
    There are enough new and fresh ideas here to make it stand out, and there is certainly plenty of content to keep you playing. Black Ops 2 will easily be the best-selling game this year, but it will also be remembered for changing the way we look at the CoD series.
  29. Nov 13, 2012
    88
    If you love shooters, this is a videogame full of content, with an inspired story in the campaign, a great villain and some new ingredients that enhance the Call of Duty experience. Overall it's a great title, but the gameplay formula is getting old.
  30. Nov 14, 2012
    86
    That Treyarch and Activision aren't just resting on their laurels, and are happy to inject new ideas into the experience, is something that should be rewarded by your interest. Interactivity in the way the campaign flows, in particular, is rewarding and fresh, and is something I hope we see more of.
User Score
4.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2086 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 13, 2012
    2
    Same game as any other Call of Duty after COD 4, adds absolutely nothing new. Campaign fells like a boring B-movie. What a huge disappointmentSame game as any other Call of Duty after COD 4, adds absolutely nothing new. Campaign fells like a boring B-movie. What a huge disappointment and a waste of money. Full Review »
  2. 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 favoriteLook 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 »
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    0
    The game is extremely weak, repetitive. The campaing is awful, the multiplayer is boring, every year a Call of Duty game is release and everyThe game is extremely weak, repetitive. The campaing is awful, the multiplayer is boring, every year a Call of Duty game is release and every year it's basically the same thing: tedious and awful. Full Review »