Yes folks it`s finally arrived - Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and what an arrival it is, breaking new ground and showing there is plenty of life in the old dog yet.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, developed by Treyarch and published by Activision, is a new and refreshing departure for the first person shooter, especially with a story that is worth following.
Instead of reaching for the skip cut scene button I found myself becoming engrossed in this story of revenge and loyalty, especially the bad guy Raul Menedez who is not your usual villain.
He is quite a tragic figure and you learn of his reasons for turning against the world as the game progresses.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is divided up into two different time zones where you play as a variety of characters, though mainly Alex Mason (remember from Black ops).
The cut scenes revolve around Alex`s partner Frank Woods retelling the story of Alex`s missions to his son David, which you get to relive in some of the most intense battle scenes in Call of Duty history.
Riding horses with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, taking on the might of the Russian army back in the 1980s or fighting in the jungles of Nicaragua - mix it up with missions set in 2025 and you have a great variety of weapons and scenarios to keep everyone happy.
The game play is more or less the usual Call of Duty First person shooting, yet Treyarch have introduced a multitude of different modes, from driving to flying, including a sequence with some pretty cool jet packs.
I found the tactical elements a bit of a drag, yet that was a mere drop in the ocean really as all the other elements of the game work well.
Throughout you just don`t know what’s coming next.
Again there are some pretty spectacular sequences, with masses of action taking place.
With no time to stand around thinking about what to do next it’s in your face all out warfare and some of it extremely brutal and quite shocking, with scenes of burning corpses and summary executions.
This is a disturbing and honest depiction of war, this game is definitely not for kids.
With a campaign lasting around 10 hours it is a rollercoaster of a ride with twists and turns, especially with the introduction of decision-making at certain points within the game.
You are given the option whether to execute certain characters or not, that will then lead the game in another direction.
With multiple endings it’s all down to you to decide how the game plays out, again this gives the player more interactivity.
We also see the return of Zombies mode-only, this time with its own campaign with an 8 player co-op available and a variety of different modes.
Of course, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is really about the multiplayer online experience and Treyarch haven`t let the side down with some nice changes, you can now pick and mix your weapons to suit yourself and with plenty of unlockable upgrades it’s all good, with 14 maps (15 if you pre-ordered) there are plenty of missions to keep you and your friends busy online.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is a great example of how you can take a fresh look at a well-established franchise and inject some new life into it. I could bang on about all the different modes and score streaks available in multiplayer or the wide variety of weapons, even the well written yet slightly rambling storyline. To be honest, the best thing to do is go out and buy it as this is one of the best FPS out there and it’s going to take something special to outgun this one.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release date: 6th November 2012