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The Gaming Review - Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Rated: 
ESRB: M
Game Platform: 
Xbox, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii U
Star Rating: 
9 out of 10

Blowing our minds...with C4.



The Pitch: Treyarch’s second outing in the Black Ops line, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 expands all three of its key gameplay modes in ways you’ve never seen before. Frag fests ensue.



What It Really Is: The best versions of a Call of Duty campaign, multiplayer, and zombies that we’ve seen to date. The Campaign continues the story in the original Black Ops. Old faces return, new faces show up, and where the plot doesn’t fully explain everything that happened in the last game, it does an excellent job of being a complete story in itself. Not just that, it’s one helluva choose-your-own-adventure, with in-game decisions permanently affecting the outcome and ending of a story that rivals some of our favorite '80s action movies.  Of course, a COD game wouldn’t be complete without multiplayer, and Blops2 punches out that aspect too, preserving the beloved deathmatches but utilizing new, highly customizable loadouts and progressions that keep it feeling fresh where other entries would start feeling stale. Finally, there’s the most unique portion of the franchise tucked away in Zombie mode. You know the drill: drop into a landscape and survive as long as possible, but now there are even more strategic ways to play, as in the level "Grief," where two teams of two square-off in a zombie deathmatch. You can’t kill the opposing team; you can only make it easier for the zombies to eat them. It’s a zombie mode that emphasizes using (and keeping) your brain. Irony!



Maxim.com Ready-Made Press Blurb:Black Ops 2 is the best operation you can get in America without having health insurance.” -Maxim.com



Fun Fact: Treyarch has loaded Black Ops 2 with Easter eggs, many of which are hidden within zombie levels, but they’re also peppered into the campaign. Our advice: When you’re done with the campaign, don’t skip the credits. Just sayin’.



Special Editions: Black Ops 2 has two flavors: The Hardened Edition and the Care Package. Both come with the game, two challenge coins, Xbox avatar goodies, Nuketown Zombies content, Nuketown 2025 bonus map, and player camo, but the Care Package actually comes in a badass toolbox and also includes a freaking RC Quadrotor Drone. The Hardened Edition just comes in a box. Don’t make a rookie move here.

Who It's For: Call of Duty is easily the most divisive franchise in all of video games. People either love it or hate it in an emotional way that’s usually reserved for step-children. If you’re able to put differences and affinities aside, what Black Ops 2 has accomplished is an uncommon achievement in the genre, keeping the best of what came before and injecting additions that are actually improvements to a successful formula, and not just some new crap to parade on the back of the box.



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