Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II is a solid installment in the blockbuster franchise that offers consistent aim-n-shoot gameplay. While the campaign stays conservative, the top-notch online modes aid to complete the mission.
Black Ops II includes three main modes – Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies. Campaign takes military warfare the near future, Multiplayer deploys online competitive play, and Zombies is a co-op survival mode up to four.
The campaign is an extension of the first Black Ops with returning characters and another round of explosive set pieces. New are optional Strike Force Missions that allow users to take command of any part of their squad from drones to soldiers. The success or failure of the missions will determine geo-political matters in the ending. In addition, optional choices can be made which will determine one of multiple endings.
The campaign is trademark COD with high-octane attacks and infiltration, now with super high-tech equipment. One level requires users to employ stick gloves and hang on the side of a mountain and subsequently float to the waypoint in a wing suit. A few flashbacks offer new insight to character history that requires the user to a wield an anti-aircraft gun on horseback.
The AI is standard. Most enemies die easily and the ally AI usually waits for them to be picked off by the player. The new weapons, like the Titus-6 Explosive Flechette which splashes micro-explosives to the target, are a blast. In addition, users can customize their loadout with a comprehensive number of weapons, secondary weapons and support equipment. For example, the millimeter scanner scans forward to provide a handy radar of all enemy locations.
Strike Force Missions are spectacular and offer a new tactical approach to each mission. While the missions are optional, the ability to control soldiers, drones, and turrets dynamically relegate the user to squad leader rather than a follower in the main campaign.
Multiplayer excels is Black Ops II with a speedy connections, solid hit detection and a stable 60 frames-per-second frame rate. In combat users can decipher friend from foe with large labels and standard assault gun shots take a solid three seconds to kill an opponent.
Multiplayer options include Public Match to earn XP and League Play to compete against like-skilled players. League Play will be divided into seasons to allow user to rank and earn ladder points that accumulated through the season.
Zombies includes a campaign-like Tranzit mode in which users to ride from location to location on a deranged auto-pilot bus that tours select locations. Amid the ride, users will be attacked by waves of zombies and can find additional items to secure transit to the next location. In addition, the Zombies offers a new Grief mode in which two groups of four compete to lure zombies to each team.
Additional modes include Custom Game, Theater, COD TV for official Call of Duty videos, sBarracks to edit Playercard, browse Challenges, view Combat Records and more.
New social actions, like the ability to live stream gameplay from the console to the web or mobile device, extend the title into sports game territory for a complete competitive landscape.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is a premier effort by Treyarch. With a solid campaign, tactical Strike Force missions, concrete multiplayer and a comprehensive Zombies mode, Black Ops II completes the yearly Call of Duty in a blaze of glory.