I’ll get this out of the way from the start: I don’t see the attraction of the Call of Duty franchise, especially Black Ops. After Call of Duty 2, I’d say that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the best entry in the franchise as it retained realism and didn’t go for Hollywood thrills and spills over authenticity. With Black Ops II authenticity has definitely gone completely out of the window and so I find myself being even less interested than ever before. That being said, Black Ops II‘s multiplayer definitely felt the most enjoyable to play in a very, very long time.
With Modern Warfare 2 having been the last in the CoD franchise that I played for any length of time – and didn’t cause me to throw the game across the room in a fit of rage at how bat-$h!t crazy and implausible it was – playing BOps II was a little uneasy for me with its raft of fake weapons, idiotic ‘perks’ and strange killstreak bonuses. Indeed, many of the features were completely new to me, yet for all I know they could have been in the game from the very start – Either way, BOps II was actually quite fun despite it not having changed an awful lot at all.
Playing on an Xbox 360 build of the multiplayer, I played two matches: one four teams of three deathmatch, and a two teams of six “Hardpoint” match – which is nothing more than a King of the Hill mode. The latter played out in a destroyed downtown LA level known as “Aftermath” while the former took place in a mountainous research facility known as “Turbine” – both were relatively straightforward CoD maps with many paths and cubby holes to hide in.
As usual if you’re team’s awful then you’re going to have to carry them and it’s rare for people who are flung together to want to work as a team – essentially reenforcing some of the reasons why I decided to stop playing the series.
For those wondering what this game looks like, I can only direct them to look at the last CoD game and then imagine that looking practically the same and then you’ve pinned down the visuals found in BOps. From afar the game did look superb, however, when playing sat right up close to the screen – as Gamescom had positioned players in each booth – those smooth edges become bulky and jagged. It’s likely that all the footage shown of the game came from the much better looking PC build – however that’s no more than speculation on my part.
Ultimately, I left the oppressive black walls of BOps II booth and monitors seeing a sea of utterly enthralled players – and a queue that stretched for hours – feeling that, even though it felt better to play than before, this was still going to be a title that sold by the bucketload and there isn’t any way anyone can convince them otherwise.