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. 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.
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    74
    Right now military shooters share the problem of the WWII action games from about five years ago: Eventually you have seen everything and played everything, over and over, again and again. Sure, the campaign has its moments, but nonetheless Black Ops 2 would love to be Modern Warfare – and that is a five-year-old game. And so it is once again the established multiplayer with its plethora of modes and personalization option (all of which are basically known) that comes to the rescue of this run-of-the-mill shooter.
  3. 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.
  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
    85
    This is the biggest movement in any direction we've seen from a Call of Duty game since Modern Warfare - but unlike Infinity Ward's game changer, Black Ops 2 lacks a little in both the polish and conviction areas. It's going to be hard to go back to the same corridor shooters after Black Ops 2 - and it's going to be harder still for someone to convince me to play generic Team Deathmatch - but the game still feels like it falls short in some areas.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Nov 13, 2012
    85
    It's a great game from a studio that's done everything it can with the tools at its disposal to reinvigorate Call of Duty, even if it doesn't refashion the series completely. You won't appreciate that just by playing its online mode, and you will be disappointed if you're wanting the property to be turned inside out and spun on its head. Those that simply love to play military first-person shooters, and were looking for something that finds what life is left in the genre, however, should find themselves perfectly catered to.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Nov 13, 2012
    92
    The best Call of Duty since the first Modern Warfare.
  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
    85
    For shooter fans that don't require as deep of a dive, Black Ops II's multiplayer may feel like more of the same. No significant new match types are present, and the Pick 10 system doesn't drastically change the gameplay experience. Most of the changes to the Call of Duty formula come in campaign mode, and they are executed with mixed results. Despite some frustrations, Black Ops II is yet another massive, polished, finely tuned entry in a series that shows no signs of slowing down.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Nov 13, 2012
    80
    Treyarch did well in introducing Call of Duty to new approaches. The solo, especially, is surprisingly replayable thanks to story variations based on both player chance and performance. The multiplayer seems to have found the definitive system for custom classes with Pick-10, and the new Zombies mode called Tranzit offers new surprises and and open-world feeling that surely make it better. The graphics engine really starts to look old though, and the solo suffers from big plot holes, less polished scripting, and less spectacular sequences.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Nov 14, 2012
    80
    Black Ops 2 is a good and complete Call of Duty-game. The Zombie-mode is once again very entertaining and the single player the best yet thanks to the moral choices it presents players with. The multiplayer still plays the same way after all these years, which makes sense, but is slightly disappointing for those who hoped that the new setting and structure would've caused it to change. All of the modes are a lot of fun though, but to enjoy it you'll have to bite through pretty outdated graphics.
  29. Nov 14, 2012
    70
    Call of Duty: Black Ops II doesn't offer a huge amount of surprises and fits rather neatly in with the rest of the series' later releases. The small changes to the formula ensure that the game is among the more interesting Call of Duty releases in a while. The robust multiplayer is among the best of the best, and will quench trigger-happy gamers' thirst for a while.
  30. Nov 13, 2012
    70
    Good enough, but after six years in these trenches, Treyarch and Infinity Ward should be getting back to the drawing board.
User Score
4.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 1998 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 »