Call of Duty: Black Ops II PS3
Activision and Treyarch bring us the next release in the Call of Duty franchise with Black Ops II but the genre is sliding downhill even though the multiplayer gaming includes a good variety of game modes.
Graphics & Audio: 16/25,
There are usually a wide variety of schools to choose from when discussing and serving up your favorite video game and especially those long running franchises like Call of Duty. One especially widely divergent look at the game can come from critics and gamers which is evidenced by the huge difference in scores on Metacritic between those two factions.
I want several things from a video game but most importantly I want to be able to play the full game without having to repeat the game to find the sections I missed because I chose to take one way and not the other. I do not want to play a first person shooter using even occasional platforming moves and it really makes me mad to have platforming in a game that touts itself as a first person shooter.
Call of Duty Black Ops II continues the franchise with a direct slide downward that I just hate to see as I used to like the games but they have become boring. Call of Duty like so many other franchises has stuck to a theme of what works now will continue to work in the next several game releases because people continue to buy the game.
Treyarch has designed Black Ops II with the same very narrow minded levels that the franchise has now become noted for and you have no choice with how to go about the single player campaign. The game is being touted that your actions dictate where the story goes which is a joke, your actions only dictate what levels you get to play and even then you only get to play them when the game wants you to.
Wait too long to get to those interesting Strike Force Missions that you can only play during some parts of the campaign and you miss out on them altogether unless you play through the single player story again. Treyarch uses the same tired old story along with the tired old IW engine that has been used since Call of Duty 2 with updates of course but it does lack the new quality of a modern engine.
Graphics, audio and gameplay effects are alright and at times great but the game just seems tired and worn-out in more ways than one with its reused plot, linear levels and forced platforming. I really hate it when a company decides not to take risks on anything and only follows along with what has worked in the past because there is never going to be anything new unless they quit repeating past game elements.
I would love to see a company dare to be different like past years when some dared to be different and included big open areas for shooters to perform missions however they want. Crysis and Far Cry broke the mold but lately they have even seemed to head back in the direction of linear levels where the gamer has no choice on where he goes.
In the single player section I found several parts very annoying to the point of wanting to quit like the cliff swinging part and the interrogation that were particularly frustrating. I guess I hated a lot of parts where you sit around and watch the screen without doing much except occasionally hitting a button to continue further along in the story.
It’s these mindless sections where I am forced to participate in the developer’s idea of a first person shooter and instead am forced to partake in an action movie as the hero. I felt more often than not in the single player campaign that I was watching an action film and occasionally had to press the remote to keep the movie playing.
Most of Black Ops II is just repetitive gameplay but a few times they do liven things up but more often than not you simply follow along in the story and get to shoot for a few minutes then go back to watching the story unfold. Even when they do introduce something new to the franchise they limit its use or only give it to you for a specified time and then you can’t return to play that section again without having to repeat the whole single player game.
Multiplayer is one area that the franchise has really done well and even though the maps and player counts are small there can be a lot of fun in the close combat you find yourself in. The ability to choose any weapon you want from any of the various so called classes really gives players the chance to create the type of warrior that is more realistic without having to sacrifice on firepower.
The multiplayer maps do give you the feel of close quarters and the various modes also give a variety to the gameplay but when all is said and done the main focus of the multiplayer is on smaller groups of soldiers shooting each other on four to eight blocks of space. Black Ops was a disappointment to me but I lost interest in the franchise after the last game with its myriad of problems at launch.
I would love to see the gaming developers give players the choice on how to perform missions instead of sticking us behind the trigger finger of the action hero. This game would benefit from a removal of the plot story points and letting the gamer just pick and choose which missions he wants to play without the cut scenes and without even having to play them in order.
Now there’s a thought, how about an update that gives you a list of all the missions and you just pick which one to play without having to play them in order and without cut scenes. At least then we could play mostly a first person shooter and get through the levels without having to sit through scene after scene of poor quality story.
Multiplayer and the newer additions belonging there are probably the only saving grace to this game in my opinion as the single player mission is not worth bothering with. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is not that great and even though there are some good points in multiplayer the game fails as a whole for a first person shooter.