For Activision, the Call Of Duty franchise is like Midas. Anything it touches would change, to not just gold, but to Platinum. People go crazy over a Call Of Duty outing and within a day of its release it shoots to the Top charts and rave reviews are all over the place. If you think about it, it is indeed over-rated! I mean the Call of duty franchise doesn’t have cutting edge graphics or doesn’t do anything to revolutionize its genre. What it truly does is give you a sturdy, polished multiplayer gameplay and a truly cinematic singleplayer experience that even the veterans at EA failed to accomplish with their Medal Of Honor reboots. And COD, almost always, without flaw, excels in giving you that experience!
Treyarch had struck gold when they came up with Black Ops in 2010. It had an action packed gameplay, a great story with enough twist and turns to boggle your mind. It was on par with the original Call Of Duty Modern Warfare franchise promising everything its predecessor had given us. Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 takes over years after the events of Call Of Duty Black Ops. You play as Alex Mason & his son David Mason and at times as Sgt Woods. The gameplay differs from the protagonists you play as and the story unfolds shifting from flashbacks to current events and vice versa. Thanks to brilliant voiceovers and facial animations, the characters are hence interesting and believable. The star studded cast of the original returns with Sam Worthington, Gary Oldman, reprising their roles as Alex Mason and Reznov with Michael Keaton voicing over Agent Hudson and Rich McDonald voicing David Mason and Michael Rooker voicing Harper. Raul Menendez shines through out as the merciless trauma-turned-terrorist. He could very well be the next James Bond villain.
Black Ops 2 is the first game in the franchise to feature non linear gameplay. I was skeptical about how this would work out but was glad to find out that it was well worth a second playthrough leading to multiple endings. The gun-play was smooth assuring a steady 60 FPS. All thanks to the ‘Black Ops engine’ beefed up to match this-gen games. I was rather flabbergasted to how they managed to vitalize this ageing engine to the match the this-gen-standards. The set pieces looked gorgeous. Yes there were some low quality textures, invisible walls and clipping issues here and there but it was never distracting. You’ll be immersed in the varied locales, ranging from rich, lush vegetation to scorched deserts from claustrophobic insides of a battle ship to a music-heavy dancefloor. Loadout is another feature which is introduced here with unlockable guns and accessories as you progress. It was a noteworthy feature and having able to customize your loadout made that much difference in your gameplay style.
Trent Reznor’s main theme was haunting, revenge inducing and heroic, all at the same time. I listened to it for hours post-playthrough of the game. Jack Wall’s in-game soundtrack was no-less enjoyable, switching from eerie ambiance to adrenaline pumping score, I’d recommend the game OST as a must-listen-to one.
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 promises a robust single player experience with a touching story and characters you can care about. The non-linear gameplay added a lot to the franchise and could be expected in upcoming titles. There is a reason why the Call Of Duty franchise is considered to be one of the top selling and most played games of all time…Black Ops 2 is one reason to add to it.