Black Ops II multiplayer & zombies review

The game launched on Tuesday, but we didn’t get to play it till the day after due to exam reasons. Finally now we’re sitting here playing through zombies and multiplayer. There’s a lot of new stuff, but also a lot of stuff that feels the same  and I’ll be talking about all those aspects in this review, check back later for a review of the single player campaign!

Also, I tend to suck at Call of Duty games. 

Zombies

Just purely because this is still fresh in my mind. Zombies has been revamped like never before, not only are there new maps, weapons and zombies but there are two new game modes called Grief and Tranzit. Just like the previous Black Ops game, you’re aim is to survive and to maneuver your way through levels and waves of zombies. The ability to buy guns and new areas with points you gain from shooting zombies is still the same and they also drop certain bonuses upon death.

The main standout points of Black Ops 2 zombies is Grief and Tranzit and how they work. Grief is a game mode that pits you and 3 other survivors against another team of 4 survivors. Everything else remains the same and you buy your way through levels and weapons with points. You’re also given the option to “grief” other players by turning on and off jukeboxes or other machines that make noise in order to redirect zombies to their hiding place. Throughout the map there are two main areas to “camp” or so to speak. The house that you unlock has a mystery gun box that’ll give you a random gun for the hefty price of 950 points. This spot is pretty much ideal to camp out the entire game. I’m not sure if knifing people off ledges was the intended design for the butterfly stun that knifing enemy plays gives. If you’re near a ledge, make sure to look around cause somebody will try and knife you off.

The aim of the game is to outlast the other survivors. The game is over when you basically finish a round standing and your opponents are on the ground. It’s a hectic game mode that takes some getting used to, but zombie fans will love it. It can be slow and confusing at times but you get used to it. I’ve never been a big fan of zombies myself other than the odd game against and with friends, but Grief definitely adds a competitive teamwork factor.

Tranzit is a mode that focuses on large scale exploration and defending from the zombie “invasion”. Such a large scale game mode surely implies that you have some co-op buddies, and if you don’t you’re in for a hell of a ride (or an ass kicking). It makes “Survival” seem like a petty game mode now that both Grief and Tranzit are dominating interests. Tranzit offers a semi-story based campaign type of Zombie mode, that relies on you exploring your way through the world they’ve created. It brings back memories of Left 4 dead. The comedy in the dialogue is extreme and just makes you feel like you’re having a good time, even in this zombie ridden world. Explore, and find out how this all came to be and above all, survive.

Zombies is entertaining, not really my thing as I’ve never really been able to get past any double digit sort of wave. I accredit that to my incompetence and inability to stay alive under any sort of pressure. From a biased free point of view, it’s definitely taken a lot of what made Zombies in the first Black Ops so great and improved and padded it with more awesomeness of the same kind. The choice of bringing Zombies to Nuketown is an ever so slight move that will impact millions of players, it’s iconic and it’s fantastic. To be frank, Nuketown Zombies and Tranzit will most likely be the only reason I will ever enjoy the Zombie mode for more than it is.

Multiplayer

A lot of the multiplayer aspects are the same old, but there are a few things that stand out that just push the multiplayer aspect to produce amazing results. There seems to be an overall improvement with the hit markers, every shot fired on target feels like it hits where it’s supposed to hit. Also knifing has become less effective as the range has been reduced, which is good I guess since it means less knife battles and more gun spraying? I’m not sure. There are multiple new kill streak and score streak rewards, meaning that you won’t just get rewarded for killing people but also playing the actual objective. Through score streak you can unlock multiple offensive weapons such as air drops, UAVs and Hunter Killer drones. The Hunter Killer Drones are a sure fire way to get a kill unless they manage to dodge under cover.

Basically score streaks are a way to encourage more people to play the objective on modes outside Team Deathmatch, you will get more points for completing an objective than you will for just killing other players. It also helps separate those who care about winning at all costs and those who want to preserve their K/D ratio and then make excuses when it sucks. Truly the way that multiplayer has been changed is for the better, hopefully there will be less camping and more playing!

Hardpoint is a new game mode to Black Ops 2, it’s an intense fast paced mode that sees teams fight over several “hardpoints” that change to different locations throughout the map. Controlling the hardpoint gives you points, obviously so you want to hold the location for the longest time. You might recognize a similar game mode from the Halo games, and which is precisely why it’s so enjoyable. Granted, it’s not for everyone and can make some people sick and it’s very hard to stay alive for extended period of times, but coupled with the score streak system, you’re guaranteed no campers and extensive action in tight quarters.

Multi-team is also a done game mode but new and refreshing at the same time. It’s fantastic for co-operative play and forces close knit teams of 2 or 3 against each other. Most scenarios are 3 teams pitted against each other and will cycle through the various other game modes like Hardpoint, Deathmatch and Kill Comfirmed, etc. Multiplayer also gives you the option to play “playlists” as always, and with the return of the beloved Nuketown in 2025 standards, Nuketown Moshpit is also back! Fantastic! It’s always nice to see games trying to bring players into a closer knit community.

As for customization in multiplayer, you have more options than ever before. If you want to sacrifice your guns and grenades to have all the perks, you can do that. There’s millions of combinations for setting up your soldier. Solely because there is such a diversity in play styles of gamers, the customization can cater to everyone who picks up a controller to play it. Best of all, the interface in which you can do all this is super friendly and everything is easy to learn. Pick up a “Wild card” to be able to jump into a round with only a knife and all bonuses or give up your smoke grenades for a primary secondary weapon!

Multiplayer overall is fantastic and has exceeded my expectations of it. Of course like every game it takes a bit to get used to, but with the new customization options and the “Pick 10” mechanic, multiplayer has been revolutionized like never before for Call of Duty and it’s definitely a sort of multiplayer that I, as a die hard FPS fan can appreciate and play continuously through the ever so addicting ranking system.

When you buy Black Ops 2, in reality you’re getting 2 games in one, a Black Ops Left 4 Dead and a Black Ops Story mode with multiplayer. It’s a fantastic deal!

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