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. 80
    This is not to say it's a bad game, it's just not different enough from previous Call of Duty titles. The story isn't memorable, the maps and weapons aren't any different to what we've previously experienced, the gameplay is near identical to previous games, and when it's not identical it falls flat and fails to impress.
  2. Jan 19, 2013
    80
    It's fun, and an indication that Treyarch is willing to explore ideas that Infinity Ward has thus far ignored. [Issue#93, p.74]
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Dec 18, 2012
    89
    A daring step forward for CoD that goes some way towards reinvigorating the series. [Jan 2013, p.59]
  6. Dec 17, 2012
    70
    Depending on what you're after, it's either the best or worst CoD ever. If you only play multiplayer, jump in without reservations. [Jan 2013, p.62]
  7. Dec 12, 2012
    85
    Black Ops II is a mixed bag. The single-player features the most coherent and engaging storyline seen in the series so far. While the story really shines, the campaign itself feels over-scripted and underwhelming. It's hard not to enjoy the multiplayer, though. While one could argue it's the same old Ground War, it's still a lot of fun. [Dec 2012]
  8. Dec 7, 2012
    75
    Despite all of these changes in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the single- and multiplayer aspects can't quite shake the feeling of déjà vu. On the other hand, it's the same experience that many players have known since Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare.
  9. 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.
  10. Dec 4, 2012
    83
    Black Ops II presents interesting backdrops and fine shooter action. The game hits its stride when it presents features that move beyond your traditional shooter, whether that be shooting at helicopters from horseback or diving out the back of a crippled plane.
  11. Nov 29, 2012
    85
    In terms of technology it's not so fresh anymore, but the rest is really likeable. Thanks to the necessity of making choices (some of which are 'hidden' and not obvious) this time I didn't feel like a puppet in the hands of the writers and the multiplayer is amazing. [13/2012, p.42]
  12. Nov 27, 2012
    80
    There is a lot contained within Call of Duty: Black ops 2 and I am glad I bit the bullet and made the purchase. The team at Treyarch definitely feel like they are winning the race in terms of trying to bring innovation to the series compared to the very worn-out Modern Warfare franchise. The multiplayer experience is starting to feel old now, even with the fact that when you prestige you don't loose all your weapons. However with multiple endings for the campaign, Strikeforce missions, and an improved Zombie mode, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was worth the wait and was an enjoyable game. The single player campaign is short at about 6 -8 hours, but there is plenty to keep people interested if they enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game.
  13. Nov 26, 2012
    83
    Black Ops 2 isn't the game it could have been; there hasn't been enough change in the multiplayer mode. The game does offer an interesting single player experience and a cool zombie mode, unfortunately with dated graphics.
  14. 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.
  15. Nov 19, 2012
    80
    So if you're looking for an excuse to cave and buy yet another Call of Duty? Go ahead! There's enough new to explore and enjoy. But if you're tired of Call of Duty, that's what you're gonna get here, so don't bother feigning surprise when you're disappointed yet again.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Nov 18, 2012
    80
    Not everything new that Black Ops 2 introduces is a success, but what works - from the branching narrative to more flexible multiplayer customisation - makes it the most unique Call of Duty yet.
  19. Nov 18, 2012
    80
    This game feels like Call of Duty which means its a good shooter. However it has some bugs and its innovative but not really innovative. Do you understand? Its a good shooter but its not the best game this year.
  20. Nov 18, 2012
    80
    It's still very much a game rooted in past successes, but the bold changes it makes on the campaign side shows Treyarch aren't quite prepared to rest on their laurels.
  21. Nov 16, 2012
    80
    All in all, Black Ops II is a solid game, but it feels kind of tired at this point in many respects. The new additions to the single player, zombie, and multiplayer components are a good effort, but they're not enough to transcend the series to a new level (like Halo 4 did for the Halo series). But if you enjoyed Black Ops, odds are you'll also enjoy Black Ops II - albeit a little less so.
  22. Nov 16, 2012
    60
    Black Ops II isn't a lazy annual update – it deserves credit for trying to play around with gaming's most winning formula. Yet this engine is showing its age, creaking at times as the jets fly overhead. Its new strategy levels don't need strategy. And the best parts are tweaked copies of what has been before. In the end, Black Ops II doesn't give us meaningful innovation, and it suggests COD's future success will depend on much more than fiddling around with the past.
  23. Nov 16, 2012
    80
    Minor objections about design decisions aside, Black Ops II is another great shooter in a year of great shooters. It's a competent, confident, generous package, true to its core values, but with enough new to carve out its own identity, enough variety to appeal to a wide range of players, and enough content to belong on your shelf for more than just a quick playthrough. This is the way to do a yearly installment without just phoning it in.
  24. 80
    Black Ops II might not be perfect, but the entertainment value far outweighs some questionable design choices.
  25. Nov 16, 2012
    82
    Ultimately though, a large portion of the experience still feels like a classic Call of Duty titles. We can't complain about it much, because no matter how many times you've played a game like this, each time you can't help but just enjoy the thrill of the ride, the vibrant new and impressive set-pieces and the adrenaline-pumping action.
  26. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    Black Ops 2 is conflicted. It wants to move in bold new directions, but it falls back on safe, but aging, mechanics.
  27. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    This is Call Of Duty, nothing more, nothing less. Fans of the series will lap it up, those who didn't like the previous games will not be swayed by anything it does. It has a target audience and Activision know what they want. Black Ops II doesn't disappoint, it just doesn't push the series on any further.
  28. 80
    Call of Duty: Black Ops II continues the trend of a Michael Bay action film packed into a video game format. There's spectacle, voice talent, zombies, and finally a story with a good set up and player agency to boot. It may lack significant innovation, and the missions set in the 20th century are far from compelling story pieces, but with a robust multiplayer experience and a half-decent story, Black Ops II does the series proud.
  29. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    Ultimately, ambition is the word that best describes Black Ops 2 - and that's remarkable enough in itself. This is still Call of Duty, with all that entails, and anyone who has resisted the series so far likely won't be won over this time either. For the fans, though, Black Ops 2 offers the rare sight of a series at its height choosing to experiment and change rather than stay loyal to a proven, but tired, formula.
  30. Nov 14, 2012
    80
    Backed by Activision's fantastic investment and support, Treyarch has succeeded, and made a sort of ultimate current-gen Call Of Duty. Not a reinvention – that, hopefully, comes next year, on box-fresh hardware and a new engine – but a refinement of the most successful series of its generation. Black Ops II is an excellent Call Of Duty game, then, but it's only a Call Of Duty game, with all that implies.
User Score
4.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2031 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 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 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 every year it's basically the same thing: tedious and awful. Full Review »