Call of Duty Black ops 2 Wii U Review
Call of Duty Black ops 2 Wii U Review
A new Call of Duty game is one constant that you can bet on every new year. Love it or hate it, Call of Duty has always delivered a solid experience. A lot of people have been critical of the series for its lack of innovation and meaningful change. I do agree with this criticism, but the Call of Duty formula is a winner. Like the saying goes, don’t fix what isn’t broken. Black Ops 2 is the latest entry in the series. Is the game more of the same? Or Does Black Ops 2 rejuvenate the tiring franchise?
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Black Ops 2, is the engaging story in the campaign mode. Yes I know, the story is another terrorist hunt but the game delivers a thrilling and confronting story. Without giving too much away, the plot moves at a frantic pace, constantly evolving with twists and never being too predictable. There are absolutely shocking moments that will hit you hard. Learning the shocking truth about the person responsible for the death of your father or the moment you discover that your closes friend has always been a mole, will drop your jaw. Treyarch should be applauded for creating a refreshing plot for a military shooter.
However impact of the story, is blunted by the immature script. The stereotypical bad boy American soldier constantly vomiting profanities is something the story could have done without. Treyarch had an opportunity to flesh out some of these characters if they moved away from the badass image.
The most distinguished feature of the campaign is opportunity for choice. Black Ops 2 doesn’t have the same amount of freedom as the Mass effect series. Choices are limited to certain events, most of them force you to choose to kill or spare a certain individual. The choices are morally heavily, having the power to kill a person especially in a brutal manner, really hits home. The choices affect the outcome of the campaign, so there are incentives to play the campaign again to experience the different endings.
Campaign follows the same tradition of other Call of Duty games, it is for the most part, heavily linear with a fair amount of scripted events. You will be following a set path mowing down countless enemies, there are times where the action slows down forcing player to go stealth and set pieces where players need to control vehicles. The gun fights are decent, but by the time I reached the halfway point, I was already bored. Treyarch really missed the ball, with the actual gameplay of the campaign. Nothing here really excites, nor does it inspire the imagination.
New to the series, are strike force missions. These missions play differently from a typical campaign assignment. The best way to describe the strike force mission, that it is a COD takes on the real time strategy genre. You will be given a number of war assets ranging from infantry, air support and robots to complete a specific mission, these vary from protecting a convoy to destroying a cargo ship. Players can view from a top down position to assign units to a particular position or action, or players can take direct control of the unit. Admittedly, I was a little overwhelmed with the entire experience. You will be shown a tutorial on the gameplay mechanics, but there are so many buttons inputs to remember, so chances are you will get confused and moving control from one unit to another felt clunky. The Wii U gamepad had the potential to streamline the experience of the strikeforce missions, by utilizing the second screen and the touch controls, but unfortunately Treyarch left the gamepad potential untouched. Fortunately the strikeforce missions do have an impact on the outcome of the outcome, so failing a mission or loosing assets are consequential to the bigger picture.
Campaign is not short on visual spectaculars. Black Ops 2 may not be the most technically advance game in the visual department, but that doesn’t mean it is a terribly looking game. Jumping off the edge of a mountain, sky diving or riding on horses across deserts are marvellous scenes to behold.
The Wii U version of Black Ops 2, allows players to play the campaign or multiplayer on the gamepad screen. There are a couple of issues when using the gamepad. Firstly in the campaign the frame rate dips in busy moments, when I played the campaign without displaying on the gamepad I did not experience such dips. On multiplayer side of things, the game runs smooth as per normal. I don’t advise playing on the gamepad if you intend to black ops 2 competitively, the screen is just too small to aim accurately at distant enemies. If you are the type who likes to have fun regardless of results and stats, then by all means use the gamepad. The most significant perk of the second screen, is the option to play locally with another friend without dividing the TV screen into two.
The multiplayer in Black Ops remains unchanged from its predecessors. You will be shooting enemies; earning points and unleashing deadly score streaks. If you have played Call of Duty before, you will already have played Black Ops 2. It is the same flower but with a different smell. It’s not a bad thing depending on what perspective you look at things. If you still enjoy the Call of duty formula, then you will love Black Ops 2. If you have grown tired of the series, then it is best to skip this one.
Certainly, Treyarch has mode some modification to the competitive multiplayer experience. The most noticeable is the revamped create a class system. The old system is long ago, now replaced with a deeper customizable system. The number of weapons, equipment and perks you pack, are now determined by a 10 point systems. Wondering how this works? Just look at this way you have 10 points to spend on whatever you want. You can spend your points by buying a primary weapon with 3 attachments, with two class 1 perks, one class 2 perk and no secondary weapon. This system is much better than the previous. Players have now more options to customize their load-outs to fit their playstyles.
Fans of Zombies will play happy to see the mode return in Black Ops 2. The map is larger than any zombie map before it. So large, the best means of transport is travelling on the bus. There aren’t many new design implemented in Zombies. Creating improvised equipment and weapons are the most noticeable. I loved zombies in the first Black Ops, I am a bit conflicted, Zombies this time around is not as enjoyable, nor did it meet my expectations.
The Wii U version is on par with the other console versions, most of features are present bar a few such as call of duty elite and live streaming. I have a PS3 copy of Black Ops 2, from what I can gather, the two versions are completely identical to each other. However the Wii U version has more variety in control options. You can play with gamepad, the Wii classic controller pro, Wii u pro controller or the Wii remote and nunchuck setup. I am a conservative gamer, so I do enjoy a normal controller more than motion, but the Wii remote and nunchuck set-up is fantastic.
Call of Duty Black ops 2 does not push the series forward in any meaningful way. It is more of the same. But Black Ops 2 delivers a solid experience, you can’t really mark it down for that. If you have grown tired of the series, then just wait for a price drop.. But if you still love the COD series then Black Ops 2 is a must buy.