By Sam Coles:
The Call of Duty series is a franchise I love and I tend to get a lot of negative comments when I say that and get called “a casual gamer”. I’m not I play all sorts of games from hardcore RPG’s to first person shooters, I take the COD series for what it is a fun and dumb shooter with entertaining campaigns and multiplayer you can jump in and out quickly with friends or alone. Black Ops II is easily one of the best games in the series and was the last game to be developed specifically for the Xbox 360 and PS3 as Ghosts was a cross generation game. Five years down the line and the game still proves to be popular due to the fact that Microsoft added it to the Xbox One library via the backwards compatibility program. Should you pick it up today? In short yes.
Call of Duty Black Ops II is split in two timelines 2025 where you play as David Mason and 1986 where you play as his father Alex Mason. These timelines are linked as the events of 1980’s show what happened to the main villain Raul Menendez and why he hates the Mason family and the United States so much. Menendez was a small time gun runner dealing guns to an African militia where Mason has a run in with him where he ends up shooting him in the eye where he then swears revenge on him. The story is fantastic and for the first and only time had a branching narrative where there were different endings to the campaign these can range from good to bad depending on your actions.
Not a lot has changed from the other Call of Duty games when it comes to gameplay you simply point at something pull the trigger and shoot. As it is set in the not too distant future you would think there would be some sci-fi gadgetry, well no the technology is fairly grounded the future timeline is used so they can get away with the politics more than anything. You have control of drones and predator missiles the standard modern warfare weaponry so there are no space lasers like there in Black Ops III or Infinite Warfare.
Multiplayer was a huge step in this game compared to the original game as it tweaked a lot of the issues in terms of the balancing, net code and features. The net code was fixed and there was less lag compared to the abysmal connection of the original Black Ops and World at War. There were new game modes including Hardpoint which was similar to Domination but with one capture point that shifts around the map. Party games once again return from the original such as Sticks and Stones, One in the Chamber and my favourite Gun Game.
Visually the game looks great with fantastic animations from the character models and good visual feedback when you shoot someone with blood flying everywhere. The game runs at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second although it can drop during the busier sections and in multiplayer matches when it gets chaotic. Considering this is a five year old game it is amazing how good this game looks still.
Black Ops II has to be one of the best Call of Duty games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 and people are still talking about it today and playing it today. If you missed it the first time pick it up and if you’re an Xbox One owner you can play it via the backwards compatibility program.