well, color me surprised.
after having been disappointed by the last couple of CoD games, i was hesitant to purchase black ops 2. a lot of the gripes and criticisms of black ops 1 and more particularly MW3, were wholly justified. but, being the sucker that i am, i forked over $60 because i love me a FPS and i really enjoyed combat training in the first black ops (more on combat training in a minute). after having spent nearly a week with the game, here's my verdict:
campaign - in short, it's a massive improvement over the last four CoD campaigns. i don't think it's stretch to say it's the best CoD campaign since CoD4. yes, it still looks dated (very dated, actually), but what it lacks in snappy graphics it makes up for in pure fun. all the trailers leading up the game led me to believe the campaign took place in the future. well, only about half the game takes place in the future. the other half takes place during the last days of the cold war. all the protagonists from BO1 are back and they all still speak like testosterone-happy alpha males (the franchise really, really needs legit writers who can write dialogue). however, the gunplay is what matters and that's where BO2 excels. first of all, you can customize your load out before you start every mission. it's a nice touch that allows you play your way. not all guns, attachments, camos, etc are available right off the bat (you have to unlock them like you do in the multiplayer), but it's a nice change. the campaign also gives you several choices in the game that will affect the outcome. this is practically unheard of in FPS games, so kudos to treyarch for mixing it up and bringing something new. each mission also has a series of ten challenges specific to that particular level. some of the challenges are fairly easy, but some are very challenging. and sometimes the only way to complete all the challenges is to replay the mission. the only part of the campaign i don't care for is the strike force missions (but that's probably because i suck at real time strategy games).
multiplayer - ah, the great love-it-or-loathe aspect to all call of duty games. i haven't played any CoD multiplayer since MW2. i got sick of the glitching, camping, obsession with killstreaks, etc. BO2 isn't a drastic departure from the formula, but it's a least an improvement. scorestreaks have replace killsteaks which encourages more team play. smart move. the maps are much improved, in my opinion, from BO1. in fact, there's not a map i don't care for. the sound design is 1000 times better. where in BO1 it sounded like you were shooting pop guns and peashooters (pew pew pew), the guns in BO2 are hefty, beefy and actually have some bass. they sound great. not BFBC2 great, but close enough. i haven't experienced all the freezing on my ps3 that many others have noticed, but the lag is absolutely horrendous. rubberbanding is non-stop, hit detection is often spotty, and with 650,000 people online at any given time, i'm not sure why it can take five or six minutes to get a game started. but, despite it's flaws, it's the most fun i've had on a CoD multiplayer since CoD4.
zombies - again, kudos to treyarch for not resting on their laurels and simply regurgitating past incarnations of this mode. sure, it's still zombies, but in addition to the tradition survival mode, you now have the tranzit mode and griefing mode. i haven't played too many zombie matches (i don't last long anyway when i do), but it's definitely fun and challenging.
combat training - honestly, combat training, for me, was the best part of BO1. sometimes i just want to kick back, practice, own the AI, play with a friend or two and not worry about having to listen to a bunch of hopped up pre-pubsecent, vulgar kids. combat training was the main reason i bought BO2. unfortunately, combat training as we knew it no longer exists. you can still set up bots and play games, but there's not combat training progression. i was really disappointed about that. all the guns and unlocks are available right from the beginning, which isn't a bad thing, but part of the fun of multiplayer and combat training is the ever-present allure of unlocks. on the positive side, all game modes are available in bot games (free for all, team deathmatch, kill confirmed, domination, headquarters, etc). i really wish there were a combat training progression, but you can't win them all.
all in BO2 is without a doubt the best all-around CoD game since CoD4, in my opinion. there's plenty to admire and my hat's off to treyarch for making a concerted effort to try something new. given CoD's popularity they certainly didn't have to do it, but that fact that they did earns my respect. just hire some better writers next time.
on November 14, 2012
Yes, I am still one of the few people who buys and plays for the Campaign mode and think of the multi-player as an add on. So far, I am about 6 hours into the campaign and believe I am almost done with it. One word to describe it: "Amazing"
Not only is this the best story in any COD game I have ever played, (This one is my 5th), Treyarch actually added new features to the gameplay. Now, more than ever, decisions I made influenced things like who died and the story outcome . There is also a new mode, which lets you control battles from a third person perspective. You can switch to any character's first person perspective or drone in battle, if you like and think your army is not preforming well, using your own skills to help the team.
Zombies is also back and better than MW3's. There is a new "mini" adventure mode, in which you and others try to uncover secrets about the place ur exploring, pretty fun, but you always end up dying, as there is no end to this "adventure mode" You can also fight off waves of Zombies like the other games, but to me, zombie's was not really why I bought this game and gets old after a while.
Multiplayer is why a lot of you bought this game, and rightfully so. This time, multiplayer introduces features like the new 10 point system, letting you pick from a selection of weapon "grades" But also with this, are the glitches activation brings to every game. Match making is really bad. It took 10 minutes for every game I have played so far to be found and connected, which is way too long when you only have an hour to play. I'm sure activison will release patches in the near future to fix this, but for now, its pretty unacceptable. So far, I'm only level 31, but from what I've played. the spawning is terrible. It doesn't matter which map I play, two seconds after I spawn, a camper decides to screw me over, it gets annoying, and I hope Activision fixes this as well.
Truth be told, I would be playing right now if I were at home, and if MIT's professors weren't so boring, I probably would not be writing a review while my teacher is talking about the molecular levels of hydrogen. (Sorry, back to the point)...
Overall, this is a fantastic game other than some multiplayer issues which can easily be fixed. 9.1/10
on January 19, 2013
My personal opinion:
I thought COD4MW1 was the best Call of Duty at the time. Played World at War, MW2, MW3, but still, for some reason, I thought Black Ops 1 was the funnest. Now I'm not talking just graphics here but overall play. What I like about BO1 was the slower pace, the less ridiculous attachments and gadgets, and most of all, the maps. Maps independently varied from large to small but the greatest part was how these maps were arranged to disrupt camping. Black Ops 1 replaced COD4MW1 as #1 imo.
Black Ops 2 however is very fast and most maps have buildings where enemies can stick together and camp tight when they chose (which is most of the time!). Picture 4 enemies in a room, each in a corner, with 2 bouncing bettys and 2 electrical stun gadgets ... almost impossible to disrupt. Maps are so-so, pace is too fast, camping is way TOO MUCH, gadgets/attachments out of hand, killstreaks flat out crazy. I'm not kidding and hopefully some will agree that there is more camping this game than any other COD game. It's not fun when you look for a guy to kill and you die going into the same room 5 times. Camping exists in every game but way too much here. The boards were arranged much better in BO1.
Now I'm a descent player, top prestige all CODs with about 2.0 K/D. Why is it MW1 was funner than MW2 and BO1 funner than BO2? I don't know since sequels are supposed to be better but it seems like they always find something to ruin. Don't get me wrong, graphics improve and that's a plus, but that's about it.
Honestly, this paves the way for Battlefield realism and it's rush squad/team oriented play. I am honestly so tired of COD releasing a mediocre game each year to many us cough up $60. It's getting like Madden, which I boycotted this year for the first time. Maps are very important in shooters. Give us something good, you only have 1 year to design them! Sometimes 2 since Treyarch develops one year and Infinity Wards another!
Want $60? Make a good game. This message goes for all games.
To each his own. I give this game 2 stars.
on August 6, 2014
Bought this because my roommate moved and took his Xbox and games with him. I don't play it, personally, but my friends love playing zombies and going online and yelling at kids, so it was worth buying it for them. I was really surprised to find this game, used, for such a bargain. The promo code to download map packs inside the case even worked! A $15 dollar value, included in a used $15 dollar game!
UPDATE: Roommate took COD: BLOPS 2 disc out of PS3 so he could watch The Grand Budapest Hotel on BluRay. Upon putting the disc back into the PS3 the following day, it was discovered that the precious game disc had been cracked and would not work. I'm not blaming my roommate whatsoever, just pointing out that the disc wasn't cracked before he watched his movie.
UPDATE 2: Found a website selling used game discs and managed to find a disc-only copy of Black Ops 2 for under $10. Roommate is off the hook.
on September 27, 2014
I was skeptical upon first playing this game. If you're a big fan of the first Black Ops, you'll notice immediately how different this game looks and feels. But once you get used to all the changes you'll come to appreciate all the things the game improves upon the first. Most notably the amazing sound design, fast-pace, and customization options. Multiplayer has also been improved, with a much-needed "mute all except party" online option. The only downside to the game is that the shotgun and the sniper rifle don't take as much skill to use as before; the sniper is easier to control and more effective than before, and the shotguns have ridiculous range and power. Get passed the frustrations, get better, and you'll soon be on board with one of the greatest multiplayer shooters out there. As for its zombies feature and single player campaign? I honestly haven't tried them; there's too much fun to be had with multiplayer.
on December 16, 2013
I had this game for 8 months before I took the wrapper off. In fact I purchased me PS3 a month prior to getting this game just so I can play the game. But this is a great game with an awesome story line.
on November 12, 2015
I ordered this game for my son and he loved it. I can't move him away from the tv. Black ops II has one of the best Zombies mode in the call of duty series. I would recommend this game to any call of duty fan.
on November 24, 2013
After having dropped $60+ on Call of Duty: Ghosts, and quickly gotten to the point of selling it after a couple wasted weeks, I went back to Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (BO2) and am now writing a review about it, finally.
I was NOT a fan of Black Ops 1, I thought it was too hard in bad ways in both the campaign and multiplayer modes. I loved MW2, liked MW3, and figured I would skip BO2 for the next MW game, until I finally, skeptically, tried BO2 at my friend's place and was amazed that I really liked it. I bought it myself then.
I really was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the campaign mode - I was expecting it to be terrible (boring, WAY too fast, hard in the whole you-get-shot-once-and-have-to-hide-most-of-the-time way like a lot of the games seem to be getting like, and cliche), but it was not any of that - it was quite fun! You cared about the plot, the game play was fun enough and I liked that in some parts you had an option with which action to take depending on a few different things, and the action you took determined the ending of the game. It was enjoyable to play.
Multiplayer (online, team deathmatch):
The multiplayer (team deathmatch, all the other modes are not for myself and my buddy as more casual of gamers, we found) was quite difficult at first, but I found that while I died a LOT early on, with practice and upgrades I still died a LOT, but had more fun doing so. The levels are fun enough (Standoff!) with a few that aren't so much (Aftermath, Yemen, Overflow), some are sprawled out, some are smaller, they vary in size and shape and offer different ways of playing for each type of player. They are such that you can usually see the opponent(s) somewhat clearly. They are fun if you run-and-gun, if you camp, and evidently if you quickscope or stab people too - you can play differently with each map depending on what you are in the mood to do (and the kind of people on your team or against you).
Rather than trying to avoid a rant as I originally wanted to do, I will instead happily go on a bit of one now about people who are TOO good at this game (fill in the blanks for what that means). It gets frustrating at times, but I will say quite frankly after going from Ghosts, which is a nightmare for a casual gamer, back to BO2 with "too good" of players and all, it is still comparatively like Disney Land in terms of fun. I tend to just back out of a match if I see people who have no rank next to them, since they seem to be the people who have absurd scores.
I have read many blog and forum conversations, and many people out there just condescendingly-dismiss people who say there is cheating happening, and tell them (in overly-insulting ways, of course) they are just "bad at the game" and "there IS NO cheating of any kind that exists." Of course there is. It is obvious. Sad, morally-flexible people who cheat but always justify and excuse it and then blame or are condescending towards others (thus come off as a bit sociopathic) make the experience less fun for those who are good enough to play fairly. Don't let people try to get you to deny your reality and tell you otherwise.
Sure there is unintentional glitching and lag that happens naturally (you shoot a person 5 times then they kill you, in the kill cam you shot only once), but you also see it obviously happening intentionally (frozen people, flying through walls, boosting, etc). But it is also just how it goes, how things are, the nature of online gaming - most games out there, I'm sure. You have to take the bad with the good, or give it up. You see the best and worst in people when they have the opportunity to anonymously interact with others from the safety of behind made-up screen names.
The best thing to do is just report people who are TOO good and CLEARLY doing something fishy. "Lag-Switchers," for example, ARE out there (as I am writing this I just saw a person go 26 - 0 doing this). You can follow someone on your team who has a ridiculous score and watch them do it on your screen - you can see the person they are shooting get frozen. Report these people.
After reporting the person who you believe to be cheating, quit the match, otherwise you will either be slaughtered if they are on the other team or you will get few kills if they are on your team. OR, you could do what I do and mess with the person and follow them around and shoot at them and distract them as much as possible to annoy them, which lets them know that you know what they are doing and do not appreciate or respect it.
All of that said, I don't think it is necessarily as completely and utterly rampant as a lot of us, even myself many times, think, considering the punishments/penalties you can get for getting caught - I think a lot of it is just as simple as one person's connection speed may be a little faster, that kind of innocent thing. And it seems pretty clear to me when someone is doing something fishy more than the normal stuff. So not completely rampantly-common, but I would not say rare either.
**End online rant**
Bots Mode (either online or offline multiplayer with or without friend):
The custom games mode with bots is VERY cool to do in this game and excellent to do if you get tired of online play against the "TOO good people" - you can do it online and offline split screen with a buddy next to you! Every level/map including DLC, perk, weapon set and score streak is unlocked immediately so you can figure out which combos work best for you - the game saves your layouts too. You can even unlock up to 17 different things within each layout if you want (only for bots mode). It is very customizable and a lot of fun!
My friend and I finally became sick of trying to play against people online, so we have been able to extend the use and enjoyment of this game entirely through Bot play. We first challenged ourselves by passing every level against all 9 possible enemy bots on first the easiest, then next easy, then next, then finally Veteran level with 50 kills. Then we've tried to pass every level on the easiest setting going 50 - 0. Next, we'll do it all with 75 kills, and so on. We've also tried going 50 kills just by stabbing. Because there are so many different ways of customizing it has made the re-playability of the game even for those who do not want to deal with online players awesome and enjoyable.
--I finally have all four of the DLC packs: Revolution, Vengeance, Apocalypse and Uprising. Not a HUGE fan of the Revolution maps (Downhill is ok, the other 3 are not very fun to me) or Uprising (except Studio which is fun), but I like the ones with Vengeance ok and have enjoyed Apocalypse quite much. I'll try to be more specific soon.
--I'm not a fan of Zombies mode, though I know others are. It's like a challenge mode with waves of enemies.
--I will mention, since they are the two most recent Call of Duty games, here are the big differences between Ghosts and BO2 I can see with online play:
With Ghosts, the problems of online play lie primarily with: A) how EASY it is to die (you get shot at all you die, which may be more "realistic" but is NOT FUN which should be the overall point); B) the terrible spawn points; C) the layout, colors and sizes of the levels; and D) how the screen seems so zoomed out.
With BO2, the problems lie with the people playing the game.
In Ghosts you can't see anything, so everyone is running around frantically or camping because they have to in order to play the level layout. In BO2, people do that if they want to, or they can have some logical tactics too, depending on the preferred weapon. Sometimes you see that (people playing like normal human beings) and the games are a lot of fun, and sometimes you get the hyperactive stabbers and quickscopers trying to get trophies or whatever, and the games are then not fun. But it varies, and CAN be fun, unlike Ghosts.
--The graphics are nice! The levels are simple, not too big, the bad guys are clear and everything is fairly easy to see, so if you try Ghosts and then this game you will understand how much of a good thing that is.
--It is fun when you get with a group of people who don't all run straight at the opponents, die promptly, then think something will change so they repeat over and over until the match is over with a score like 32 - 75. In other words, in TEAM deathmatch it is fun when you get with a group who play as a TEAM.
--With online (team deathmatch) play, my buddy and I have noticed what we call the "10:00 Cheaters" - basically the second it gets late enough where people who work all day have to start winding down to go to bed, that seems to be when all the REALLY/too good people really hop on. It's remarkable, we will have had a fun enough hour or so of playing time, with our average playing skills and all, and suddenly we'll start getting slaughtered a couple matches in a row. One of us then looks at the clock and points out that "...it's after 10:00pm, the 10:00 Cheaters have come out..." so we usually call it a night at that point. So, kind of a funny note, but also (perhaps obviously) true: if you are a more casual gamer then playing at off-times, like later at night, seems more likely to result in getting the hardcore gamers in matches.
--Too many young kids (and I mean children, not teens) are allowed to play this mature-rated game, as is evident if you do not immediately mute everyone, which is what you always want to do since you don't want to hear high-pitched rambling. It's obviously something that has been widespread and blatant from day 1 of the advent of online play for video games, but it still just seems so sad (and irritating!) to hear children who should be playing outside with friends or simply not playing an adult game instead cussing at people using words they barely understand the meaning of. Parents? Actual parenting? Sigh.
I give the game 4-stars (instead of 5) because of the silly cheating/exploiting-type crap you do have to deal with online sometimes/often, but overall I really like this game. This is a game with a very high re-playability factor.
I would suggest buying it used for no more than $30 or $40, since it is not at all a new game now, but regardless of how much you choose to spend it is fun. Worth the cost, and was very surprisingly enjoyable to me, with all the great options and modes for gameplay. A very good parachute for when you inevitably jump from the disappointing wreckage of the COD: Ghosts airplane. Lots of people still playing it online too.
on February 25, 2013
I've been playing COD since Call of Duty 2. I can honestly say that this seris has lost it's way since Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. They continue to put out rehash after rehash of the same game, but never fix the games true issues (Multi-player Lag, Hackers, and gun power)
As for this game, the graphics are the worst in the series. I mean absolute worst. I'm almost 100% sure that the graphics match that of the PS2. However, there are some pretty innovative items in the game compared to previous versions that make it worth playing.
As for multiplayer online, it's the same issues as always. Lag, Lag, Lag, Oh a Hackers, Lag, oh more Hackers...It's losing it's gusto
on June 29, 2014
Cod will always be cod, but what determines cod is whether or not the maps and guns are any good.
Black Ops 2 for the most part has both.
Gave the campaign mode a try, but it just didn't interest me.
Online multiplayer is obviously the backbone of the franchise
[Purchased on April 26, 2013]