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The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Black Ops 2, Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2, FPS games, PC games, PS3 games, The Sunday Seven, Treyarch, Xbox 360 games

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

We’re sure most of you are planning on picking up Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on Tuesday. If you’re still on the fence though, we think you should take a look at our new Sunday Seven feature that gives you our Top Seven reasons to buy the game. Even if you already have your pre-order down, take a look and join in the excitement for the year’s biggest shooter. Don’t forget to sound off in the comments section with your own reasons for or against the game too.

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

1: New Setting

Last generation it was all about World War II, nowadays everything’s set in sandy Middle Eastern hellholes. Finally, after years of rumours we’re getting that futuristic Call of Duty game. Forget space and lasers though, instead the year is 2025. There’s a blend of familiar and futuristic styles everywhere, from buildings, vehicles and of course the weaponry. The story will have some links to the last game, you play as the son of Alex Mason for a start, but it seems to work as a standalone narrative too. Essentially, while America and China are squabbling over natural resources, some lunatic sneaks in and steals the keys to the America’s Skynet-esque automated army system, turning it against those it was built to protect.

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

2: New Tech

The 2025 setting has allowed Treyarch to bring in some new toys to the action. They're claiming that everything we see here is very feasible for the near future, so it’s relatively grounded, no Star Trek lasery nonsense for example. Remote controlled sentry drones will play a large part in the ground and in the skies. The new CLAW (Cognitive Land Assault Weapon) is a new four-legged vehicle that looks very Star Wars, but with digital camo-paint all over it. All of these inventions pale in comparison to the sound of a wrist-mounted grenade launcher though, which might just have me weeping with joy.

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

3: Strike Force Mode

In addition to the campaign, there's the new Strike Force mode. This sounds like the biggest innovation we've seen in the Call of Duty series yet. Here you control multiple troops with a tactical angle to reach the mission's objective. Interestingly, three different play styles are supported, with you being able to swap between them at will. You can jump into the boots of any of your squad members, meaning you can get around the map with great speed. This sounds very similar to the excellent 'hot-swapping' mechanic that featured in Battlefield: Modern Combat 2 on the PS2.

Don't fancy using people? Well, you'll be able to control any of the drones if you fancy a little remote controlled death from above or with the adorable death trolley. Or you could hop into Overwatch mode to take on a commander role to set up waypoints and direct troops to specific areas of the battlefield.

Being able to swap between individual soldiers, drones and an armchair general sounds like the best addition to the series since zombies and will hopefully feature plenty of maps to avoid being a brief minigame. It certainly sounds better than a third-person mode. Remember that, rubbish wasn't it?

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

4: Graphical Oomph

Treyarch are no slouches when it comes to graphical detail as shown in particular with Reznov's twisted features in the flickering light of the Vietnamese tunnel in the first game. Things are looking even better now though with the new lighting tech highlighting the extra detail packed into textures and Treyarch are promising the game will run at 60fps. The freeway assault footage we saw at E3 shows how they haven’t lost their touch at giving us a movie-esque Blockbuster experience. What does that mean? Fucking massive explosions, jets, rocket launchers and guns so loud they smash through walls.

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

5: Choices

Linearity has always been the contentious spine of Call of Duty’s single-player. Run from A-B and shoot everything. We complain about it, but at the same time, you won't find a more bombastic corridor of death as we saw with MW3 last year. Treyarch have been listening though and have tried to open the game up with player choices. We've already seen an example of this when at one point you need to take out some soldiers far below. You could opt for a sniper rifle from where you are or rappel down towards and take a different path through the rest of the area. Needless to say, if there are plenty of these splitting paths, the game will gain some much-needed replayability instead of the usual one timer.

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

6: Player-Influenced Narrative

Another big factor in bringing us back are narrative choices with gameplay and story consequences. Main characters can live or die, sending the story off in different directions, even resulting in multiple endings -another first for the series. We’re not expecting Heavy Rain levels of detail, but we believe we’ll be able to finish the game with some pretty grim results. This might be because of the way we choose to send the story or just by incompetence at letting the wrong person get shot. Either way it’s going to be great finding out.

The Sunday Seven: Reasons to Buy Black Ops II

7: Multiplayer

A number of large changes to the multiplayer options show how the series is looking to bring back fans who may have wondered off to Battlefield 3 for their online action. Loadout editing has seen a complete overhaul that removes many of the back-and-forth menus, giving you simpler access to your weapon collection. There’s a refreshing focus on only taking what you want into battle. You have ten slots to fill as you please. For example, if you never really use your secondary weapon, you can replace it with grenades, a weapon attachment or even an additional perk.

Killstreaks have been replaced with score streaks, which better reward players for helping with objectives rather than focusing on kills, which will be great for matches like Capture the Flag. Unlocks are now earned when you level up instead of the old COD currency points.

The Elite membership will be free for Black Ops II, which provides some neat stat tracking and community options. The most impressive addition to the service though is being able to record matches and even upload live matches to YouTube. Activision are pushing for a proper eSports feel to the game, letting you see the best players in action. If nothing else though, it’ll make it easier to catch-out the cheaters.

So that’s our Sunday Seven, are you convinced about Black Ops 2 or are you hedging your bets until the reviews land? Or are you content with the other big hitters this year like Halo 4 and Borderlands 2?

Add a comment8 comments
Late  Nov. 11, 2012 at 16:33

Zombies!

LancerMcVancer  Nov. 11, 2012 at 17:24

As with the last 2 COD games i have said that i will not be buying it as its still the same old same old. Come Tuesday morning i will see on HUKD that some supermarket is doing it for 25 squid when bought with a pack off 4 bog rolls and a i'll be off down the road to get a copy!!

Breadster  Nov. 11, 2012 at 18:54

I love me some CoD. This one is looking like the best one yet. It certainly can't be worse than MW3. I'm one of those who went over to BF3 for my multiplayer fps fix.

gmdlogan  Nov. 11, 2012 at 20:42

I'm only getting one copy this year instead of 2 Hardened Edition's last year. My son wants it so he can have it.

But as for the last generation being World War 2, did you actually play Black Ops?

MattBrennanUK  Nov. 11, 2012 at 21:25

I'm only getting one copy this year instead of 2 Hardened Edition's last year. My son wants it so he can have it.

But as for the last generation being World War 2, did you actually play Black Ops?


Generation probably referred to console. As in PS2 and XBox's Call Of Duty games.

bggriffiths  Nov. 11, 2012 at 23:07

I'm only getting one copy this year instead of 2 Hardened Edition's last year. My son wants it so he can have it.

But as for the last generation being World War 2, did you actually play Black Ops?


Generation probably referred to console. As in PS2 and XBox's Call Of Duty games.


Yeah that's what I meant, think Medal of Honor/COD/Brothers in Arms etc. Blops 1 at least added a bit of Variety with the Vietnam stages. Personally, I'm up for a return to WWII.

Lemming  Nov. 12, 2012 at 09:10

Have to say I felt black ops had one of the weakest single player experiences of COD. It's the only one I've not gone back and done on harder difficulty. For me the only appeal of this one if zombies mode, I find COD multiplayer getting more and more repetitive and too unbalanced towards those people who can spend all day playing it. I only really enjoy the tactical modes without ridiculous kill streak rewards.

Probably skip this one till its on offer next year, got borderlands 2, assassins creed 3 and dishonored to play and I doubt this with touch any of them...

Late  Nov. 12, 2012 at 13:24

Would be nice if they reset all stats tonight, when the game's supposed to come out. There's people with several prestiges under their belts already.
They'll already have the advantage of experience when the rest of us get the game. Don't let them have the additional stuff that they've unlocked too. :(

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