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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Review

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Author Topic: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Review  (Read 772 times)
Turboweasle
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« on: May 31, 2013, 01:36:00 pm »

It's a CoD game.  5/10.




Nah, could you imagine if that's all I posted?  No way I would pass up an opportunity to share my opinion with you all.

As a bit of a caveat, I want to say that I got the game six days ago and that this is my first CoD game since MW2.  In addition to that, as I'm not a big fan of CoD, I'm going to be reviewing this game while keeping in mind that it is a CoD game; otherwise, what else would there be to say other than "It's a small change from the previous iteration released last year.  GOTY"?




So, where do we begin?  Probably with the...

Campaign

Does anyone ever play the campaign first on a CoD game?  I've actually made it a point to play through it at least once on each CoD game I've owned, but I've yet to do so for this one as of right now.  Due to that, I'll reserve judgment for the time being.  I am going to make a few predictions, though, which depending on if I'm right about them will determine how I rate the campaign.

Some brown/vaguely non-Western people (potentially Russians since this has something to do with the Cold War, I'm assuming) do something that the good capitalists don't like, so American and British spec ops go do spec ops things.  Explosions, chase scenes (which is really just a poor excuse for on-rails shooting levels), near-death experiences, etc, are all expected from a CoD game, so I won't hold that against the game.  I'm predicting that there's going to be some questionably-sane Brit that does something crazy to save the day (like strapping plastic explosives to a terrorist's pet mongoose or something).  But that's all I've got for this section.

Next up, the most important part of a CoD game...



Music/Sounds!

Thought I was going with multiplayer, didn't you?  I'm tricky like that.

I'm surprisingly pleased with the music in this game.  It's not particularly unique, especially for a CoD game, but it's memorable.  I liken it to the overworld themes in Pokemon games: Not masterpieces, but something you recognize when you hear.  It suits the game well.

The sounds, as expected, aren't amazing either, but they get the job done.  Guns sound satisfying, explosions are loud, etc.

Overall, I give it a 6/10 for slightly exceeding my expectations.



Visuals

It's got as many shades of grey (lol BDSM)/brown/black as you could ask for in an FPS.  Nothing groundbreaking in that regard.  But each level has a distinct feel to it, so at the very least I can say it doesn't get repetitive visually.  Granted, most of the game is spent looking through ironsights or quickly checking corners, not necessarily inspecting the quality of character models (which I did, by the way.  My ass looks fantastic in digital camo).  Since I'm playing it on the PS3 the resolution isn't anything to boast about, but I haven't had trouble identifying what most things are.

I say "most things" because I do have a bit of trouble picking out players if they're stationary in certain environments, mainly due to me being pitifully colorblind.  When I saw that there was an option to turn on colorblind assistance in the options menu I got excited, but apparently it's only for names, which I'm not really concerned with in the slightest.  Granted, not many people have that problem, so I'm not going to dock any points for it.  Though I do wish all developers would be a bit more conscious of stuff like that.

For visuals, I give BO2 a 7/10.  Nothing innovative, but it does what it needs to as a CoD game, and that's really all you can expect from it.  This isn't Mass Effect or Halo where everything needs to look all sci-fi and spiffy and whatnot.

All that's left now is...



Multiplayer!

Where do I even start with this?  The lousy netcode that results in you getting shot around corners, or disregarding that you shot someone on your screen simply because they shot you first according to the server?  The screeching prepubescents who throw racial slurs like confetti when you kill them?  Perhaps the obtuse user interface and generally unhelpful descriptions of modes/killstreaks?

Because there is a lot wrong with BO2.  It is a CoD game, after all.  It still relies on players' connections for hosting a match, which results in a lot of dubious things happening for everyone, in addition to conferring advantages or inflicting disadvantages to people seemingly arbitrarily.

But despite these things (which should be dealt with, Treyarch/IW), BO2 has improved on many issues I had with my last CoD game, Modern Warfare 2.

For instance, the killstreaks.  I don't know if Black Ops or MW3 are like this, so forgive me if I praise BO2 for something it didn't originally do, but the killstreaks have been improved vastly.  Now, I hate the idea of killstreaks; I feel that they further reward the team that's doing well, thus resulting in a given match usually becoming even more unbalanced.  But at least an improvement has been made in that killstreaks no longer necessarily require kills to acquire -- assists, UAV/counter-UAV assists, captures/defends, all give you credit towards your killstreak bonuses, meaning you don't have to run-and-gun like an MLG pro to support your team.  In fact, it arguably encourages more of a team player mentality, which is something CoD desperately needs to foster.  And on top of that, it appears that match-clearing killstreaks (such as continuous air support) are much less common than in previous iterations of this franchise, which is an improvement.  Additionally, killstreaks count less than normal kills towards other killstreaks, which to some degree eliminates many possibilities for killstreak chaining (which was a problem in past CoD games I've played).

Another element of multiplayer worthy of small commendation is customization of classes.  You can have two perks for each of your three perk slots if that's what suits you, but at the cost of having attachments/guns/grenades.  It provides interesting ways to make your gameplay as streamlined as you can in a game where the objective of every match is to not die and to make the other team die.

In a way, I'm pleased to see Treyarch making baby steps towards departing from the same old formula that persisted from Modern Warfare to Modern Warfare 2 (and Black Ops, which I played all of 3 matches in).  But they are baby steps, and the CoD franchise has a long way to go before I'd every consider attending a midnight release at Gamestop.  There is still much that needs to be improved upon, and I'm not sure if it ever will be due to the wildly successful nature of the franchise.

At any rate, I give the multiplayer a 7.5/10.  Because even though it's at times infuriating, you can have fun playing it, especially with friends.  And isn't that the point of CoD?  Besides, it doesn't sell itself as anything other than what we've all come to expect from it.  And even though some of us may have problems on principle with what we consider the stagnation of the series (and believe me, I am one of those people), we got what we expected from it, and I can't in good faith expect more from a game than what it told me it was.



As requested, Zombies

I die too much to figure out if this mode is good or not.

It seems to me that the hitboxes for zombies (especially their stupid, rotting heads) could use significant improvement, though that may be just a result of latency issues.  Additionally, I find the only map I've played on to be far too open; there is little possibility for teamwork in the sense of holding down a position through coordinated actions, and it quickly becomes apparent that there is very little wiggle room when it comes to staying alive after round 10.

Additionally, as this was my first game with weapon upgrades/player upgrades in zombie mode, it was a bit difficult for me to figure out what I needed to do to stay alive.  I couldn't tell if some of the drinks would make me run faster, reload faster, or switch weapons faster; nor could I immediately discern how to use things like tombstones.  And perhaps Treyarch intended to have it be a bit obscure -- I don't know.  What I do know is that, for me, it's simply frustrating and not a whole lot of fun.  But because I don't have ample experience with it to feel okay with giving it a score, I'll abstain from doing so for now.




So my final verdict on Black Ops 2 as a whole is a 7/10.  And feel free to disagree with me on that; I'm by no means fully accustomed to the game yet, and there are easily things that I could have overlooked or simply gotten wrong.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:25:39 pm by Turboweasle » Report Spam   Logged

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Autumn1194
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2013, 01:39:41 pm »

Nice review! I'm surprised you gave it a 7.5 though Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2013, 01:46:16 pm »

Surprised how?

I probably should have clarified what my rating scale is.  I'm not IGN; I consider 5/10 average.  So a 7.5/10 for the multiplayer is pretty positive for me.
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"And I also told the students that, for the sake of humanity's future, I hoped they were all sterile." - Ignatius Reilly.
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~Turboweasle~

I NEVER squeeze my jubblies, so that stuff wouldn't work for me.
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 01:48:07 pm »

That's why it's surprising... I thought you hated the multiplayer with a passion.  Tongue
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 01:58:21 pm »

I'm not IGN; I consider 5/10 average.

Heh, I hate those guys because anything below 7 is shit, 7 is average, 8 and nine are good and pretty damn good and 10 is obviously perfect.

Anyway, good review. If I can disagree with you on one item especially, it'll be the sound. I've heard the gun sounds and I just can't bring myself to ever like them. The quality is muddy and they don't actually sound like guns. I'd give it a 3 from what I've heard but actually playing the game and hearing everything might yield a 4.

But that's just how I see it. If they satisfied you that's still cool.
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 02:06:04 pm »

That's why it's surprising... I thought you hated the multiplayer with a passion.  Tongue

True, it's not really my preferred type of multiplayer.  I find the spawn-shoot-die-respawn cycle tedious and repetitive.  But that's what CoD is, and it wouldn't be fair of me to criticize it because it doesn't conform to my preferences.

And besides, when I approach the game not caring whether I do well or not, I do have fun playing it with you and Oom (and sometimes K and Keihan).  So it at least occasionally does deliver on the enjoyment factor.


If I can disagree with you on one item especially, it'll be the sound. I've heard the gun sounds and I just can't bring myself to ever like them. The quality is muddy and they don't actually sound like guns. I'd give it a 3 from what I've heard but actually playing the game and hearing everything might yield a 4.

Oh I agree, they sound nothing like guns.  And the silencers (in all FPSs, not just CoD) are completely wrong in that they don't turn a POW sound into a barely-audible "tk" sound in real life.  But in the CoD universe they do, so I'm willing to forgive the inaccuracies and look past them.
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"And I also told the students that, for the sake of humanity's future, I hoped they were all sterile." - Ignatius Reilly.
Never mind what your daughter is taught in school; what she remembers is what she has learned from you.
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~Turboweasle~

I NEVER squeeze my jubblies, so that stuff wouldn't work for me.
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 02:09:27 pm »

Needz moar zombiez. Tongue
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Autumn1194
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 02:10:37 pm »

Yeah, where's your zombie review?
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 02:12:56 pm »

 Roll Eyes
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"And I also told the students that, for the sake of humanity's future, I hoped they were all sterile." - Ignatius Reilly.
Never mind what your daughter is taught in school; what she remembers is what she has learned from you.
Anti-Noob Fortress of Veteraness Council Member
~Turboweasle~

I NEVER squeeze my jubblies, so that stuff wouldn't work for me.
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 02:19:02 pm »

c'mon Turbo... You only went down 16 times :(


BMan goes down 38 times  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 02:21:04 pm »

Thank you for advertising that to the rest of the forum.  Now they'll all know I'm not a gaming god.  Tongue
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"And I also told the students that, for the sake of humanity's future, I hoped they were all sterile." - Ignatius Reilly.
Never mind what your daughter is taught in school; what she remembers is what she has learned from you.
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~Turboweasle~

I NEVER squeeze my jubblies, so that stuff wouldn't work for me.
Turboweasle
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 02:27:30 pm »

I went ahead and added a zombies section, though there's not a whole lot to say about it.
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"And I also told the students that, for the sake of humanity's future, I hoped they were all sterile." - Ignatius Reilly.
Never mind what your daughter is taught in school; what she remembers is what she has learned from you.
Anti-Noob Fortress of Veteraness Council Member
~Turboweasle~

I NEVER squeeze my jubblies, so that stuff wouldn't work for me.
the KR3AT3R
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 02:46:22 pm »

I see.  I really think you should try playing with us some more and use a mic so you can ask questions/receive advice, etc...
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 06:12:10 pm »

I usually get interrupted by family too much to use a mic at night.
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"And I also told the students that, for the sake of humanity's future, I hoped they were all sterile." - Ignatius Reilly.
Never mind what your daughter is taught in school; what she remembers is what she has learned from you.
Anti-Noob Fortress of Veteraness Council Member
~Turboweasle~

I NEVER squeeze my jubblies, so that stuff wouldn't work for me.
the KR3AT3R
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 06:37:40 pm »

Ill try to get on during the day sometime.  Afro
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