on November 13, 2012
I was actually quite a bit excited after skipping MW3 altogether(last cod being played seriously being black ops). After the first few games I played, I found myself being actually quite underwhelmed by this supposed "innovative" cod. I read a few reviews mentioning it expanding on its predecessors and how its the best cod yet. While this may be the "best cod yet" its still cod and after jumping right in, seasoned cod players will find out its more or less the same as the previous games.
Alot of people like to complain about camping, but I won't because I don't find it a major issue in this game, not nearly as much as the spawn system anyway. It really sucks to spawn and get instantly killed, but I don't think it has anything to do with a crappy spawning system. Its more in part that the maps are very small. When you compare these map sizes to previous games, there is definitely a notable difference.
I didn't really find anything about the weapons that made me go "Wow!". It was almost kind of boring to see that even though this game is set in the future. Were getting the same ole kind of guns we have always gotten. I was expecting more.
Alot of people either Praise this game too highly or criticize it to badly. What I am trying to say is, don't go into this game expecting a masterpiece, but also don't assume this game is garbage and that you won't enjoy it.
on November 15, 2012
Alright everyone, this is my first attempt at a review on Amazon mainly because I think what I have to say needs to be heard and understood. I'm not going to drone on forever, but I'll give you a basic concept of what to expect from Black ops 2.
Like a lot of people here, I have been playing Call of Duty long before anyone else saw it as a viable franchise, straight back to the first title and every single one thereafter.
Like most Call of Duty campaigns, its generic, feels similar to other previous titles, and doesn't necessarily awe or wow you in any particular way. The graphics DO seem sub-par in the cut scenes, but the actual game-play graphics are up to par with previous titles.
Those who buy this game are not likely to be purchasing it for the campaign, so I will conclude by saying I have enjoyed it thus far because it allows you to create your own class prior to the mission, which is a first for Call of Duty. Props for trying to take a step forward.
Again, trying to be unbiased as I can, I will give you my view of the multiplayer. It IS essentially the same thing we have seen in previous titles, but I enjoy it because it takes steps forward and trys to be innovative.
Easy to play, right off the bat, decent guns and perks. They opted not to go with a points system for purchasing items, like in the original Black Ops, but instead, for each level you pass, you gain new guns, perks, killstreaks, and you can use tokens to unlock them at your discretion.
The maps are somewhat smaller than in previous titles, but it doesn't, in my opinion, affect the gameplay so much. There seem to be a lot more maps than in previous titles, and at my current level of 21, I still haven't played them all yet.
The guns feel solid and, with the new Pick 10 system, there are virtually THOUSANDS of combinations for class setups, giving an untold amount of experiment and replay-ability. Some perks like quickdraw and sleight of hand have been scrapped for attachments that now accomplish those themes. The wildcard system of Pick 10 allows you to ditch all your secondary grenades and guns if neccesary in an effort to stock up your gun with up to 3 attachments, which I really enjoy.
One last thing to mention is that this game is very similar in speed to the first Black Ops. Its not as fast as the Modern Warfare games. That being said, if you liked the speed of gameplay in Black Ops, you will enjoy it in this game. Rushing is not as easy, Kill/Death ratio is harder to come by, but you can still make it work for yourself with tons of new attachments and upgrades to class creation.
All of this being said, there are some very general things worth mentioning.
1) Spawning is not that great. You WILL get shot in the back and you WILL spawn occasionally right next to gunfire. That being said, this is easily fixed by being more aware of your surroundings and simply turning around now and then after you make a kill!
Not to mention, this is SOMEWHAT fixable by patches and updates, so stay tuned.
2) It IS reheated, redone, and is VERY similar to MOST other Call of Duty titles. There are elements that change game-play, such a the Pick 10, wildcards, and a bevvy of attachments and new styled kill-streaks, but the game-play and graphics remain relatively the same.
3) The amount of health you have in this game seems lower than other titles. You die somewhat quicker and most shotguns and sniper rifles are one hit kills. This, however, works both ways. You can GET kills easier, but you also GET dead easier.
4) Zombies is wicked fun as always and even for my friends that don't care for the multiplayer love the new zombie additions.
I'm giving this game 4/5 because it comes through with new innovations and trys to renew life into the Call of Duty franchise. It is fun, enjoyable, but certainly not without its minor issues.
I've always said if you get a game and play with your friends, you can have lots of fun even if its frustrating and you don't like every single aspect. Just enjoy it for what it is and that is why people buy Call of Duty. ITS NOT MODERN WARFARE 3 OR BLACK OPS 1. Its a new game with a new style and new adventures. If you are expecting the same exact thing as before, you WILL be disappointed. I think the innovations do a good job of trying to expand into uncharted territory.
I'm liking it, most of my friends are liking it, and you will too if you love gaming and aren't overly critical.
on November 15, 2012
Most negative reviews can either turn into too much of a rant or become so general that they are unhelpful (ie: this game sucks!). I am going to attempt to write an intelligent and helpful review that will be almost entirely negative because of the flaws and problems I see in this game that are central to the experience of the player. My review will focus entirely on multiplayer since that is all I have played and, if we are honest, it is why almost the entire community purchases the game at this point.
Now, to earn a little clout with those reading this review, I have been playing Call of Duty since the very first title released for PC back in 2003. I have played every single release since. I made the change from PC to XBOX when World at War came out. My experience with World at War was challenging because I no longer had my mouse and keyboard. After a few months of playing World at War I got my groove and have had a good experience with every release so far. Up until the release of Black Ops 2, I enjoyed World at War the most with MW2 and MW3 coming in second place. The first Black Ops suffered from poor spawns and irritating lag compensation, but it was still somewhat enjoyable to play. Also, keep in mind that for MW2, MW3, and even the first Black Ops I had a steady k/d of about 1.20 and a good win ratio, ranging from 5.00 to as high as 9.25 on MW3. So, needless to say, I became an above average player that won quite a bit more than I lost. My k/d was never very high because I preferred objective game modes over camping in team death match. This is why my win ratio is high and my k/d is average.
Fast forward to today. Black Ops 2. Where to begin?
First, lets start with the look of the game. The movement, frames per second, and textures are, in my opinion, a step up from the previous Black Ops. It seems smoother and brighter, and the HUD as well as guns look better. This is just my opinion, but I do think most people would agree there is a smoothness to the game that feels nice in comparison to the first Black Ops. Now, this is about as much as I can say that will be positive about the game. I also really like the new class building system of 10 slots for whatever you want and think it's a huge step forward for multiplayer, and I hope future COD titles include it. You want 4 perks instead of 3? Go for it!
Second, lets talk about the overall feel of the game. At first, the smooth frames per second and better aesthetic made me think the game was going to run better than the first Black Ops. I quickly discovered I wasn't just wrong, but that it was actually worse than its predecessor. I play with some very skilled players, some that make me look amateurish with their immensely high k/d, and even they have barely been able to maintain even k/d in this game. Why? What's the problem? What's so different about this game versus all the other Call of Duty releases up to this point? Two words: LAG COMPENSATION. Because they have kept an ultimately unhelpful auto kick for team killing in Hardcore you are forced to play Core unless you want to get kicked from games for simple accidents or teammates running into your score streaks. Why am I talking about Core vs Hardcore when I just said the problem was Lag Compensation? Because Core requires a high amount of bullets as well as accuracy to kill efficiently. And when Lag Compensation takes over, you are basically at the mercy of everyone else's connection and will find it very difficult to land a kill.
Essentially, this is how Lag Compensation works: John has a fast connection but Billy doesn't. John's experience is therefore altered to make up for his "advantage", which in turn gives Billy a fair shake. So when John starts to shoot Billy, there is a delay, and Billy has a few extra milliseconds to react. How this plays out when you are in the game is this: You round a corner, have the jump on a guy, start shooting him, and then you drop dead. You watch the killcam, and it turns out you only shot maybe one bullet before dying, not the 3-5 you thought you did. What happened to you was Lag Compensation. The player that killed you probably had a slower connection than you, so he is given a slight advantage. This is why some games you can feel like an unbeatable god, and others you feel like you're playing against wall hacking aim bots because all you do is come around corners and die. For those of us with faster connections, our experience is almost entirely the latter.
Now, there are people who defend Lag Compensation, saying it isn't fair to give an advantage to those with faster connections. While this may be a valid point, it is not a convincing one. Why is it not convincing? Because you are just changing you gets the advantage. And not only that, you are hurting the experience of any player with a good connection. When I played Quake 3 on my crappy old 786 PC with slow internet, I just figured out how to play with my disadvantage, and actually I got quite good. I didn't suddenly expect everyone else to be nerfed or slowed down in order that I could get as many kills as them. Changing who has the advantage in this situation is also unfair because you are going against what every gamer in existence is used to. Players with slow connections know and expect to have a tougher time. And Black Ops 2 should be a safe haven for them right? A great experience? Wrong. All it's doing is making those of us with fast connections stop playing, so the goal posts are just going to get moved. So now the guy with a mediocre connection is suddenly the guy with the best connection, and he is going to start to have a worse experience. In other words, there is always going to be someone with a slower connection and someone with a faster connection. So the experience of all players will be ever changing. There is no consistency, no standard, no constant. This is what makes the game so frustrating to play. You go from having a good experience and feeling like your first 3-4 bullets actually hit, to feeling like a worthless player, shooting blanks, falling to your death around every corner.
The reason I mentioned being "forced" to play Core, is because Hardcore would help with some of this. Because you have to shoot a player so much in Core, Lag Compensation can make it seem impossible to get a kill. If you are on the bad end of Lag Compensation, you will be helpless to change anything. In previous titles, if I was having a bad game, I could make alterations. If I'm not getting the jump on players, I'd switch to an SMG. If I am getting the jump on players but not killing them fast enough I might switch to a high damage AR or maybe the same SMG with rapid fire. I tried all my usual audibles when having a rough time in Black Ops 2, but it doesn't matter. Everyone I play with was saying the same thing, "There is nothing I can do."
Now, before moving on from the topic of Lag Compensation, there is one final thing I'd like to say about it. There is something inherently wrong with altering the experience of a player purely because their internet connection is better. The nature of online gaming has always been one where those with slower connections have to deal with their lot in life. But nobody is actively giving them a disadvantage, it is just the result of varying connection speeds. Actively giving someone an advantage over another player is, in one sense, cheating. And in a even greater sense, it is more unfair than just letting the chips of connection speed fall where they may. Many have said that Lag Compensation is present in all of the COD titles. While I have the "I swore I shot first" experience from time to time in previous titles, it is basically every gun fight in Black Ops 2. So something is dramatically different.
Third, lets talk about spawns. When players start complaining about spawns and getting shot in the back they are usually met with a response like this: "It is very difficult to have consistent spawns with how much people move and change location." Okay, that seems like a fair response, except it's a cop out that hopes to excuse a bad spawn system. If you want proof for how broken the spawn system is, play Nuketown, against Bots, and camp on one side of the map. My buddy and I tested this. It was just me and him versus 6 bots, and we never crossed over to the other side, in fact, we never went past the school bus. And still, without fail, the game would consistently, at random times, spawn a couple enemies behind us. This is why you can get caught in a spawn cycle where, even though you are spawning in different locations on the map, you take a few steps and get shot in the back. This little Nuketown experiment should make it crystal clear to any skeptic that the spawns are poor. Not to mention that almost every map the spawns are incredibly easy to control, and many games turn into "who can spawn trap the other team first". No creative ingenuity has come to the realm of spawning in any of the Call of Duty titles, so this isn't necessarily just a Black Ops 2 problem. However, it is quite frustrating to have the same problems persist in every release.
Now, to conclude this little review. The question has to be asked: How could it be this bad? How could they make a game with so many problems, so many flaws, and so many complaints after having 2 years to make it? The answer is: I honestly don't know. People blame the deadlines, claiming that having to make a game every two years is too short a time to iron out all the bugs. But we aren't talking about bugs and glitches (I haven't even had time to notice them) We are talking about a game that is essentially broken. When a 10 year veteran like myself cannot go positive or equal with k/d in almost every game I've played, then something is wrong. I did not suddenly become a terrible player. All of my 50+ friends that play this game did not suddenly become horrendously bad at this game. They have changed the very core of the gameplay and just like the first Black Ops, have turned many people away. Not because we don't like the maps, the guns, or the gadgets, but because we are defeated before we even start. Our fate is determined not by our strategy, skill, or in-game decisions. It is determined by an arbitrary "compensation" that ultimately decides who will win and who will lose.
And if you read this and think I'm crazy or think all of us who are complaining are off base, think about this... Why do they push so hard to motivate people to pre-order? Why do they push so hard to get you to purchase a season pass for the DLC? Why are they seemingly more concerned with getting your commitment and money prior to any reviews or consumer feedback? Could it be because they know the game is sub par and most people are going to spurn the DLC? Could it be because, just like the new Medal of Honor, negative reviews actually keep people from purchasing?
on February 27, 2014
I'll admit I'm new to the cod series so my first cod game was cod ghosts and was pretty fun for a while... but then (at least for me) around 3 prestige witch is what I am at right now it starts to get a little boring. It also has many features which I could rant on and on and on about but that is for another day. I decided to get black ops because a lot of people said it was good... and they were right. The multiplayer experience is super fun, the campaign is not amazing but is still enjoyable none the less and zombies is great all in all I would definitely recommend buying this game
on December 10, 2013
I am new to the Xbox 360 and this was one of three titles I purchased with my new machine (the other two being the first installment of Black Ops and the other being DiRT3). The graphics and depth blow the original Black Ops out of the water. I'm not terribly fond of the near-future setting of the game but it does allow for the introduction of new technologies and weapons that enhance the gameplay and make it that much more fun. One thing I noticed the multiplayer was lacking though was an assortment of 70s/80s era weapons as a carry-over from the campaign missions. If you get to use an AK-47 or a Dragonov in the single player game why aren't they available for use in mulitplayer? My only other complaint is the almost exclusive use of number-letter designations for all the guns. For weapons that havent been invented yet it makes it very difficult to recognize them by name. Everyone knows what an MP5 or Colt M4 are because they actually exist. When you do the same thing with fake weapons it just makes it hard to identify them in the game. I usually tell my friends that I play with that my favorite sniper rifle is "the one all the way to the left on the list of sniper rifles" because I havent memorized its alphanumeric designation. I also would have liked it better if the weapons upgrades counted for all similar weapons instead of having to level up for each specific weapon. If I spend hours getting the scope I want for my sniper rifle why can't that item be available for another sniper rifle as well? I dont really want to go through hours of playing just to upgrade my gun to the same level.
With those small issues aside, the online play is great. Much more scope than was seen in the original BO. I have only played through a few single player missions on the easy setting and they're okay, but I'm not terribly invested in the characters or the storyline. I have played the zombie maps once online with friends and they are fun, although again I'm not really into it. Somehow fighting Nazi Zombies in the first one just felt better than killing regular zombies that aren't Nazis. Also, what's the deal with every fourth zombie wearing either pajamas or hospital johnnies? Just kinda weird...
The bottom line though is that if you enjoy playing FPS games online this one is a definite go! I dont really have anything to compare it to (comparing it only to the first BO isn't exactly fair) but it it definitely fun and lends itself to quite a bit of exploration online.
on April 8, 2014
This review is late because I just bought this game 2014. I don't like spending 60 Dollars on games. I wait awhile to go on Amazon.com and buy them cheaper. Let me start by saying that this game is the worse ever. The spawns or re-spawing suck and did not improve from the previous Call of duty titles. When I use the sniper rifles, I am known by the hate word, "Camper". When I camp othesr die and spawn by me giving away my position or location which causes me to die faster with any type of air assault or bombs. In core it takes too many bullets to get a kill. It is also not fair that sniper rifles get one shot one kill and SMG's or Assault rifles take forever to kill anyone. There are alot of haters out there who hate me cause I camp alot. There is nothing in the rules that say I can or can't camp.Please show me if it is in there. In reality you would not be running around thinking you're not going to die. So as far as I am concern, I will continue to camp and if you don't like it then quit. This game was made for everyone. I am different, I don't have to do what you do cause you say it's right. You are not perfect and you did not make the game. It doesn't say no campers. It say game 17 and older. The bottom line is the game sucks and I will not play any call of duty as long as I live.
on August 17, 2013
I've been a COD gamer since the beginning, and it's clear to me what Treyarch was attempting to do here. This could've easily been the best COD in the franchise. They designed the system to be an objective based game, hence why they call them score streaks, not kill streaks. The perks are weak, but if you find the right combo they work well together. The weapons are weak, but a couple preform as they should. The thing that breaks this game is the lag compensation, sniper/tac insert, crappy hit detection/wanted pro; The halo jumping, the imbalance of the score streaks, like a hunter killer will take you out with flak jacket on, but a loadstar will get flak hit markers; The overpowered sentry guns make emp grenades a necessity, emp is an abused tactical because you need a perk to counter, and they give 50 points per assist. The ability to have multiple tactical/lethal through scavenger. The imbalance of the weapons, a shotgun will kill in one shot, but so will a rifle in real life; So that argument is null and void, but in a game where the rifle takes 4-6 shots and a shotgun takes one it's unbalanced and overpowered. Because most of the maps are poorly designed, and small, the spawns are horrible. The matchmaking is worse than ever. If you have a 2+ k/d forget about it. Every match I get into is a 150-20 with a dozen score streaks in the air etc pub stomp. Which makes it impossible to play solo, hell even with a squad you get a 2 in there you get matched with a whole team of 2's. I said the only reason I prefer MW3 to this game is because I can dashboard all the crappy games I'm put into and not be punished. You'll never stop rage quitting so why punish people like me for their actions? Not to mention the camera angels are horrible because you'll corner check, see nothing, then as soon as you turn you're shot; Then the kill cam shows you looking right at an enemy then turning? I don't know if it's lag, or a combo of both. On the subject of angles, the head glitching is still in it. The snipers are the biggest problem because the hit box is so large they don't even need to hit you to kill you. The snipers have built in toughness = no flinching, and built in quick aim down sights. Combine that with a powerful aim assist it's almost effortless to kill with a sniper in this game. The campaign is short and unrealistic, the zombies mode is the same as the last one. Along with a bunch of annoying things that ruin the game play. The point is everything that is good about this game is drastically over taken by all the negatives. The simple fact is this game isn't fun, and that's the whole point is to have fun. I can go on, believe me, but why bother you get the point. If they had just kept the formula from black ops 1 with 60 frames per second and dedicated servers it'd be perfect. What frustrates me the most is you can tell that Treyarch gets it to a point, they have the formula they just continue to ruin it. While kill streaks are fun, and all the extra stuff. The thing that makes this game great is the battle amongst players. The most fun I have is being on the HQ and defending it against waves of enemies and trying to out play/think them to survive. Again you're not going to have fun on this game, not to mention the over complicated pick 10 system. If Activision ever decides to listen to the public we can make a great game. As for this one another squandered opportunity because of a rushed deadline, and incompetent leadership. Not to mention all the leaches in MLG/YouTube that influence the developers. Then at the reveals they are clapping seals never once raising any real questions/complaints. Bottom line don't buy this, if you want it that bad rent it for a week. Save yourself the money, not to mention the frustration.
on February 23, 2016
This is one of the best Call of Duty's produced to date in my opinion.
The maps are great and nuketown is the best map for horrible shooters like myself to just lob grenades and kill people randomly
on January 31, 2013
Ok, I have purchased the past three games in the series and liked them ok. Most of my gaming friends live many states away and only like to play COD. So, of course, I bought this one. For the first month or two, it was ok. But after a while the laggy, unbalanced matching making and glitchy crapfest of play(random craptastic teamates who do nothing but kill one another, the little kids trolling the multiplayer and people who take it wayyyy to seriously) make that portion unplayable for me on Xbox. The campaign, while interesting, suffers from horrible AI and half butt storytelling and missions. Not to mention the respawns of the enemy AI.
So, while everyone and there grandmother play the game, I find that the frustration level of playing it is not worth the price I paid for it. Never again will I purchase a COD game, it is another Halo 2 or 3 for all the cheating, glitching, big shot 10 year old screaming into the mic, matchmaking and physics.
on November 30, 2012
Another year has passed, which means that the hype machine for the next Call of Duty game has come and gone. All the snazzy marketing that we have come to expect over the years, trailers, spots with celebrities, multiple reveals, and the obligatory 2 hour special live multiplayer streams. With all the glitz and pizazz one would think that everything there is to know about the game, an alert gamer would know, that's not the case. It shouldn't really come as a surprise, but through the genius of marketing, gamers were only shown a very controlled portion of the game. That's to be expected to a point, but I did not know to what degree until I played the game.
Campaign mode is pretty much what gamers have come to expect from a Call of Duty game. Large set pieces litter the missions one after another, with a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure. But largely, there's nothing Earth shattering or anything that will have you sitting back and just saying "Wow." You have your requisite super evil villain and a few brave soldiers who take on an Army. Campaign missions in Black Ops 2 take part in either in the year 2025 or in the year 1986, being split up in order to follow the Mason family. Fans will remember that Alex Mason was a main character in the original Black Ops, and in Black Ops 2 his son David Mason plays a key role also. It is an interesting concept in theory, yet execution of the concept is lacking. In the past I have enjoyed Call of Duty campaigns, yet this one felt like a mash-up of a variety of levels just to showcase `new' features and game-play mechanics.
As a result the campaign feels choppy and disjointed, and there is very little real flow or pacing to it. In past campaigns I developed at least a modicum of interest in events and characters, not the case in this one. It quickly became a mind-numbing exercise just to get done with it. During the course of the story Treyarch decided it would be wise to add `side missions' called Strike Force missions. They play out like a poorly designed Command & Conquer or Tom Clancy's End War mission. While they are optional, they further added to the overall fragmented feel. This is the first Call of Duty game I have played where I was underwhelmed by the campaign experience.
The mode that put Treyarch on the map of many gamers makes a return. I am of course speaking of Zombies. In World at War, Zombies was a little mode hidden for those who finished the campaign. It quickly became popular and was a normal inclusion when map packs were released. In Black Ops it played an even more significant role, and was a major selling point. In Black Ops 2, there are three separate Zombie modes. Survival - which is the traditional horde mode - the simple goal of staying alive as long as you can. Tranzit mode, which puts a group of four people in a bus station with little notice of what they need to do other than survive. The third mode is Grief mode, which see's two groups of four try to not only outlast each other, but to outscore each other.
I will be the first to admit that I have never been as enamored as others have about the prospect of playing Zombies. To me it has always been a slight diversion from either playing the campaign or the multiplayer mode. With that said, of the time I have spent playing Zombies in Black Ops 2, Tranzit is a pretty interesting new addition. It's predicated on the player experimenting and trying to find things. Granted, just a little bit more direction as to what I am supposed to do would be helpful. I'm not sure of the value of having to watch three separate YouTube videos in order to have a general idea of what I should be doing. But Grief mode was not an enjoyable experience for me. There is no time limit, so theoretically, games can go on for hours and hours. I am all for long engaging games, but having a long mode just for the sake of having it doesn't make much sense or carry much value.
The last mode is the one that most gamers will get Call of Duty for; multiplayer. Multiplayer in Call of Duty is the meat of the game; it's where most players will spend a majority of their time. In the past, Call of Duty games have followed the same successful formula that was introduced in Call of Duty 4. I read a lot of articles, and watched a lot of trailers leading up to the release of this game and thought I had a good understanding of what to expect. I read a lot of promises made by David Vonderhaar , Game Design Director at Treyarch, about what Black Ops 2 would be. Yet, I realized everything I read and saw up to the point of release day was carefully planned to give false assumptions.
For starters, gone is the traditional Create a Class system. Yes, there is still a Create a Class, but now with the added element it has a Pick 10 setup. You essentially have ten slots to use however you want to build your classes. In theory it's an interesting idea and allows players to tailor their classes to their play style. This idea and concept has already been ruined by people making `Knife' classes. This class involves selecting five or six perks and equipping a knife as the secondary. The class basically allows users to run through shock charges, flash bangs, and lunge through gunfire to get cheap and easy kills. Almost every public game there is at least one or two people doing this. Some would say, just shoot them. But it's not so simple in practice, when half your bullets get hit markers and do not register as causing damage. It's been a cause of much frustration while playing the multiplayer.
Unfortunately, frustration seems to be the theme with multiplayer. Two things I was hoping would be fixed with the latest iteration of the franchise were not only not fixed, they were enhanced. Those would be Drop Shotting and Quick Scoping. Most know these terms and despise them. Drop Shotting, engaging in a fire fight with someone only to have them lay prone (while shooting) to get a cheap kill. I have long said going to prone there should be a one second delay on when you can fire. Lying down in the middle of a gun fight should not be a valid or easily abused tactic. Quick scoping is using the auto aim mechanic to get guaranteed one hit kills while using a sniper rifle. Again, I am frustrated that this is a tactic that is still allowed to exist in a game, especially when its plagued each iteration of the series for years.
Another addition that Treyarch promoted heavily is League Play. Get matched up against players of similar skill and work your way up ladders to be top in your group. Again, another idea that is good in theory and had potential to make things a little more competitive. They even added the ability to stream live, league play games. Unfortunately with all the `improvements' that Treyarch supposedly added, they used the same net coding as prior games. If you are in a League Play game and someone is streaming it, expect every person in the lobby to have a red bar connection and skipping across the screen. The most disappointing aspect of League Play, you cannot pick the specific game mode you want. So, for a gamer like me enjoys Kill Confirmed, Team Deathmatch and Hardpoint, well I may get to play them. But, I'll also be forced to play Capture the Flag, Search and Destroy, Demolition and whatever else pops up. Once you are in a room and the mode is locked in, there is no backing out. If you leave early, you are placed on Probation. Leave again, and you are prevented from playing for a set amount of time. Personally, I got the achievement for playing this mode but am done with it. I will never play it again.
The last thing that Treyarch wanted to make sure people knew about was CoD Casting and the eSports setup available in the game. Streaming content, doing commentaries, etc. is now all available from the games menus. Following and watching Mr. Vonderhaar's social media interactions leads me to believe that he is catering to a very select group of people. Many of the additions and changes made to the Call of Duty formula this year were inspired by the so called `Major League Gaming' crowd. Treyarch essentially robbed Peter to please Paul. The normal casual gamer was thrown to the wayside to make sure that the `hardcore' `pro' gamer had things they wanted. I am left feeling that Treyarch spent so much time and effort into pleasing that niche group that they completely ignored what true fans liked and enjoyed from past games.
I have been a Call of Duty fan for quite a while now. I have defended the series at times, and spent countless hours playing with friends online. Yet, even I can see that Black Ops 2 is not the game it could have been. I am all for innovation and change, as long as there is a clear and discernible reason to change and it's change for the better. One complaint that many gamers have is frustration that Call of Duty has not ungraded their gaming engine. Mr. Vonderhaar has said that the engine now is nowhere near what it was to start. Just because you paint a car red to cover up the rusty blue, doesn't make it vastly different. At its core it's the same game engine that was present in Call of Duty 4. It's really as simple as that. Until the Call of Duty franchise realizes that they need to upgrade that engine the franchise will become more and more stagnant, as is becoming more and more evident each year.
Even with all of its faults I still wanted to like Black Ops 2. I have played Call of Duty every year since Call of Duty 4. It's a habit, my friends all have it, and it's easy to pick up and play. Yet, gaming should be fun and relaxing, with its myriad of issues and flaws I don't know how much enjoyment I have gotten out of it. I have certainly gotten my fair share of frustration though. In today's video game market where there are any number of options to play games need to take into account their core market and fans. Mr. Vonderhaar has chosen to ignore the core fans and cater to a select group which has left me feeling alienated and ignored. I simply do not enjoy this game. There are numerous other games in my collection that I can play for fun and get more enjoyment out of. I am not sure I will be adding another Call of Duty game to that collection.