OXCGN’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Review
Breaking new ground?
by Kent Sobey
©2012 Kent Sobey
Online gaming would be a whole lot different today if it wasn’t for games like Call of Duty.
They made it easy to get involved, and it’s more addictive than ever – it’s not uncommon to see people with over twenty days of online play under their belt.
In order to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of online gaming, however, franchises like COD now have a yearly release.
Some people like myself love this, while others hate it. Either way, it’s probably going to be a few years before this cycle stops, so you better get used to it.
I have already reviewed the single player component of the game in a separate article – this review is strictly related to the multiplayer.
It’s no secret that I preferred Blacks Ops’ multiplayer compared to Modern Warfare 3, but when it came it single player, Black Ops did not even come close – let’s see how this year’s multiplayer iteration holds up.
This couldn’t be further from the truth though, because it is in fact very different. There are effectively two ways to play online against other players.
The first is the way that you are used to, where you can pick between core and hardcore games.
Most of the game modes that you are accustomed to are all there, but the addition of multi-team games is just amazing.
Multi-team games are a mix of team deathmatch and a few other games modes, but the catch is that there are three teams.
This adds a whole new level of craziness, and if you’re someone who watches their kill/death ratio like a hawk, then I wouldn’t advise this mode, because you’re almost always surrounded.
For those of you that like to have a little bit of fun and don’t care much about their stats, then this is the mode for you – it’s frantic, fast paced, and excessively addictive.
As an added bonus, if you ever set up you own custom games, you can actually have up to 6 teams – think Gears of War‘s Wingman mode!
Another new game mode is one called Hard Point.
Hard Point is similar to Domination, but you only gain points when you are actually inside the area, or Hard Point.
This game mode tends to work better when people work as a team, so if you’ve got a few buddies online, then give it a go. Otherwise, you’re just going to die a lot and feel like you’re trying to do everything on your own.
Test of strength
This is something that should have been implemented in the Call of Duty series a long time ago.
In League Play you don’t level up like you normally would in normal online modes. Instead, everything is already unlocked, and once you are ranked, you play against other people of similar skill.
I’m not quite sure what they are basing the skill level on, but it seems to work, because you never really feel like you’re playing against people that are much better than you – and on the flip side, the games are never easy either.
I can’t fault all the new ways of playing online that they have added to the game.
What I can fault, though, is the balance of the weapons and tech.
I do understand that we are playing in the future, but some of the tech is just ridiculous.
For example, the Target Finder scope makes it possible to see enemies much faster than you probably would have before.
Sure, they say there are ways to counter everything in the game, but in order to counter something like that you have to sacrifice something else, which means you are exposed to a weapon or tech that someone else on the opposing team might be using.
Basically, you will always be exposed to someone’s crazy load out which is not the way it is supposed to be.
Another balancing issue in the game is that the sniper rifles are way too easy to use.
“Quickscoping” seems to have become the way that most people play – and it really puts me off.
Sniper rifles should be hard to use, and you should have to be patient to get a kill (running around and using it like a shotgun).
They also all kill with one shot (most of the time), so you may as well just go for the one that shoots the fastest.
One thing they’ve tried desperately to balance are the perks in the game.
And while they may have got the balancing right here, the perks are boring and you’ll probably just use the first ones you unlock.
Another thing that fits into the boring category is the maps; they’re not bad, but they’re not that good either.
Creating classes has also changed in the game. Now you get to pick ten things that you want to use.
You can even lose your secondary and run around with a knife if you so choose. This does give you a much higher level of control over your classes which is a nice addition.
Hit and miss?
I just can’t help but think that each year we seem to gain a whole lot of cool new features, but lose the ones that made us get addicted in the first place.
For example, Modern Warfare 3 introduced Strike Packages which were amazing, so why don’t we have them anymore?
There’s no denying that the game is good – but I have to say that it’s not as good as its predecessors.