Like father like son, the Mason family returns in Black Ops 2 in the form of Alex Mason’s son in the year 2025. This game is really not what you imagined it woud be after playing a recap of the first Black Ops. Just about everything in the campaign takes you by surprise (exaggeration). The multiplayer is fantastic as well, this is a shooter that has been brilliantly perfected for its audience.
The original Black Ops campaign was short and sweet, and the best thing about Black Ops 2 is that it builds on everything that happened during the first game. You primarily play as Alex Mason’s son, David in the year 2025. When you’re not in 2025, you play as Mason back in the cold war years (directly after the Reznov shennanigans). David, codenamed “Sections” is troubled by his kidnapping and his fathers (Alex Mason) death.
The modern day threat is back and the same one as in the 80’s. Menendez of the Menendez cartel is back with a vengeance. The story that Black Ops 2 brings to you isn’t just that of a standard army shooter, it’s the story of a broken relationship between a boy and a father. The story itself flows like a river from the game into your absorbant little retinas, you’ll have more than ample time to go back and cross reference the first game with the second, and for things to come back and haunt you. The flashback scenarios return as well, giving you a background story to everything that’s happening in the year 2025.
As for the peak of it all, without revealing anything, the whole play builds up so delicately and when it reaches its climax, it explodes into a whirling pool of Holy Crap’s and What the Hell’s. Nobody can say that the story isn’t predictable, because nowadays there’s rarely anything that’s predictable, but it’ll catch you off guard for sure. It’s one of those moments where you go “Aaah” and then immediately followed by “Crap”. Strikingly enough, the fact that the story flows perfectly is not the only thing that’s amazing about this campaign.
One word, Strikeforce. Now that Black Ops 2 has introduced Strikeforce missions, the quality of shooter campaigns will never be the same. You now have the power to shape the battlefield the way you want it, and not just by collapsing walls and blowing up objects, but the way you tackle the situation. If you prefer to be a robotic nut then you can go ahead and control turrets or Claws to achieve your goal, or perhaps you’re a fan of taking everyone on the good old fashioned way in flesh and bone. Regardless, each Strikeforce mission gives you the power to take control of several ground troops and technicals, how you use them to achieve your goal is solely up to you.
The only thing confusing about Strikeforce missions is how they actually relate back to the main story. Aside from being led by David Mason himself, they don’t really show any connection to the real story and you’re kind of forced into doing them as they become unavailable after a certain number of missions. There is relevance to the 2025 world, but not really to the story as far as I can tell.
Another interesting thing about the campaign is the mission briefing. Ever wished you could have you multiplayer loadout in single player and just tear the ground up? Well now you can. Each mission has a “mission brief” prior to starting it. In this special screen you can change the loadout of your gun, be it the gun attachments or the guns themselves (primary AND secondary) and what technical grenades you want to use. There’s even a special set of “perks” for the campaign which range from being able to access special areas or being able to run faster and cover more ground. So really, couple this with the Strikeforce missions, there really is no excuse to say “this game has no replayable aspect”, because it does. Fancy sniping your way through the entire campaign? You can!
Overall, Black Ops 2 brings a killer game to the table. Its campaign is far more enjoyable and interactive than any shooter campaign before it, and it’s super engaging, you’ll opt out of putting down the controller even to go pee. The multiplayer is just as great as the first Black Ops, padded with more awesomeness in the form of crazy customization and beautiful maps with hardcore game modes. Zombies is fantastic as well, Black Ops 2 really is a game that’s 2 in one.