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Review: Call Of Duty: Black Ops II

Playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been the usual massive hit in the CoD franchise – selling over 11 million copies in its first week.

The latest instalment really gets into the dense network of events that Frank Woods tells us with a determination and a rage that betray his now aged appearance. During the various missions, whether viewed through the eyes of Woods, Alex and David Mason or “Others,” you do get the feeling of being there with them and after a few missions, you become passionate about each character in a very unique way. In fact, you have to make choices, which are not easy, and you are often pushed to the limit of your personal morality.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II also shows us the dark flip side, with Raul Menendez at the beginning of the game. In spite of the stereotypes, the bad guy is analyzed, and his emotions and motivations eventually emerge. This is where your doubts begin to surface, as you ask yourself if you are really hunting for a madman, a terrorist, or are you defending executioners of his sister?

Futuristic Settings

The futuristic setting has allowed the introduction of some elements such as the “Wingsuit.” It is camouflage that allows you to become almost invisible. There are other gadgets (no spoilers), which enrich the new campaign. There is some excellent acting, supported by an efficient Italian dubbing for the role of Raul Menendez. There are plot twists, unexpected revelations and a final mini movie at the credits.

The Endings (no spoilers)

There are several, so you must not look them up. The choices you make during the game will influence the ending, so play the campaign through to the end and make the decisions yourself. After completing the game three or four times you can look up how to get the other endings. Do not spoil it for yourself by looking them up in advance because it will remove you from the story, and you will have wasted your money.

Strike Force

To stagger the eleven chapters that make up the campaign, there are also a series of missions called “Strike Force,” which combines the typical structure of real-time strategy with that of the first person shooter. They are levels where you have to attack or defend specific objectives within a time limit.

The player can manage troops composed of soldiers, but with the CLAW (Cognitive Land Assault Weapon), by placing them on the field as he sees fit. You are able to give them various orders to maneuver. You may take direct control of any element in the field to play in the first person as if it were a mission in the campaign. You can still switch to other members of their team or issue new orders to the rest of the team. These missions are optional and do not preclude any advancement in the game, but carrying them out in a positive way helps to complete the entire campaign, thereby getting a perfect alignment of narrated facts.

Equipment Slots

Another important innovation, compared to the first game, comes with the number of available slots you have in order to equip your arsenal. The new “Pick 10” system gives you a maximum of ten perks to apply to your class including guns, attachments, perks and accessories – and you have to take into account what you really want to take with you onto the battlefield, and what you are willing to give up.

In addition, through the use of special bonus called the “Wild Card,” you can equip up to two specialities of the same type, at the same time, and use a few skill combinations by sacrificing a few grenades, or a secondary weapon, in order to bring everything up to a maximum of ten slots.

Zombies

Zombies are back in the game. It is their third appearance, and is the first time that they have a campaign that runs alongside the Black Ops main story. Zombie mode has also undergone major changes and now is more complete and detailed than the arena survival mode with the first Black Ops. It is possible for players to face a campaign with a trip on a bus that is used to move from one area to another, in search of elements that are useful for the continuation of the adventure.

Apart from the constant worry about staying alive and resisting the attack of relentless hordes of zombies, players must also try to get as many points as possible to open up new areas to explore to collect items and advance in the campaign. It is still possible to play the levels unlocked in the classic survival mode, and engage in competitive challenges through cooperation with other players.

Online Multiplayer

The introduction of the “League mode” adds a remarkable challenge that addresses those who want to bring their own clan to clash with the strongest players in the world, and who are not satisfied with the simple public matches. You have the ability to customize your character even further by creating classes with a system of perks and specialties that are bound by the limited slots. The number of challenges related to various weapons and accessories is always high and requires a lot of time and dedication to complete all the tasks required to unlock all objects.

Enhanced Online Multiplayer

The online multiplayer has been enhanced in the sequel with several new features. There is now a section that allows you to deal with all the players of the globe in a series of competitive matches, with unrelated perks obtained in normal ranked matches. The league is divided into two modes:

>> Moshpit – with standard rules and six players against six.

>> Supreme – with special rules and four players against four.

All of the accessories and all the specialities are already unlocked and available immediately for all. You can filter the games in any way you wish. It is a mode that becomes very challenging — especially the more gregarious clan matches that are hard to deal with, but are very satisfying for testing yourself against the rest of the world

>> Official Call of Duty: Black Ops II site.
>> Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops II from Amazon from £49 now 27.00
>> For PC gamers there is a download mirror available on Fileproto

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