Average User Score: 4.7Nov 14, 2012There are two ways to review a game such as Call of Duty, which is what I feel leads to the polarising effect thats often seen within theThere are two ways to review a game such as Call of Duty, which is what I feel leads to the polarising effect thats often seen within the reviews. One way is to review the game solely on its own merits, its story, graphics, gameplay, controls and taking no other part of the franchise into consideration. In this regard, Black Ops 2, like so many other Cod games, delivers with slick controls, fast paced addictive multiplayer, class customization and all the other hallmarks of a quality product. The campaign is still more of an add on, with the majority of the focus being placed upon multiplayer, and still retains the tradiontional linea, "clear a room move on" style of level design, interspersed with set pieces and vehicle sections. New steps have been taken with the addition of multiple endings based upon your choices, however this feature fails to actually add anything to the experience, at most just dragging you into a second playthrough if your curious about the different consequences of your actions. Top down RTS style side missions have also been added, yet the implementation here is poor, hampered by the AI being used by the soldiers and almost forcing you to take direct control over your forces if you want to progress, thankfully though these are options and can be avoided if you find them not to your tastes. The game therefore seems like a decent product, a polished, professional piece of AAA game design, but there is of course one other thing to consider.
The second way to review the game, and the one that overall I will be taking, is to look at it as part of the franchise as a whole. This sadly is where the game falls down. All of the points I've made thus far are valid, but the problem comes when you compare it to the other Call of Duty games, and realise that this is the exact same formulae that they perfected years ago. Set pieces, chases and other action sequences where you are basically forced to watch, your control reduced to panning the camera or what are essentially quick time events, still take you out of the action and reduce you to more of a bystander than an active participant. Missions are still linear, you clear a room of bad guys, move to the next one, rinse and repeat. The multiplayer may be fast paced and hectic, but its also once again the exact same format that has been served up for the last few years now, a few new game types are not the kind of innovation that should be expected when you reach this stage of a franchise. The maps are cramped, designed for solo players in mind and reinforcing the general veiw that this is in no way a team game. The new score streak system differs very little from the previous kill streaks, in some cases being even more unbalanced. One also has to question the logic behind rewarding the leading players with even more powerful and deadly weapons and abilites and further increasing their lead instead of providing these benefits to the losing team to enable them to close the gap and keep the game close, competitive and exciting. Its all designed around the unrealistic one man army approach taken in these games, which is what cultivates the negative attitudes of many of its online players, and whilst their behaviour is no fault of the games, activision, infinity ward and treyarch have never taken any great pains to make the online a more enjoyable, balanced or even fair place for its more reasonable players.
Call of Duty is guaranteed to sell, regardless of the changes they make, so you have to ask why the developers dont try something new, it feels more as if they churn out these almost identical clones out of either laziness or an actual inability to create something new. The changes, as seen here with the RTS segments, are poorly implemented and they make never have enough of an impact to drastically change the core experience, always altering the periferal, inconsequential things rather than risk any potential backlash for changing the game. After all who wants to be the guy that killed "the best selling franchise in gaming history"? The thing is, you cant kill it, year after year people will buy it, so take the chance, innovate, change it up. If people preffered the old version, they can play that game, if they want a new experience, give it to them. Black Ops 2 works as a game, its a great example of one, but it fails as part of a franchise, because yet again it brings very little to the table that the previous games have not already covered. If you want a good, solid, slick modern FPS, go play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or your preference from the heap of sequels it has. Just dont think this is going to be anything you havent seen before.… Expand