Black Ops II Multiplayer Impressions and its Faults
After almost a month of fairly consistent online play, I think it’s safe to assume that the newest release in the Call of Duty franchise, Treyarch’s Black Ops II, is an extremely successful game. It builds off of what Treyarch has been attempting to do since World at War, but seems to fall a little bit short.
The game is a juggernaut, without a doubt, it’s as fun and addictive as it’s always been, but, it absolutely has its short comings. Player progression, class and weapon customization, kill streaks, it’s all here. It’s been revamped a little to make it fresh, something that has to be done in the super crowded genre it’s unanimously the king of. While the game is fairly polished, it’s lacking. It seems like they rushed this one out, while the first Black Ops was more refined. Maybe because of its lesser known status at the time they had everything to build on without the hype and expectations and delivered arguably one of the better Call of Duty’s ever made. Some may even say the best. And don’t forget we are up to 9 releases of this franchise. 9 times. 9 times the tag Call of Duty has been touted around and you’d think they would at least have some of the little things worked out.
The spawn system is as awful as ever. Watching kill cams of how you freshly spawned only to run forward where someone is waiting for you, scoped in, because they’ve already memorized the spawn routes. Or , how you were just killed by that same guy, you spawn again, and you’re immediately hit with a Hellstorm missile, and never given a chance to move. Spawn trapping was a huge problem in Black Ops 1, and you’d think they would’ve learned their lesson with 2. Some deaths absolutely feel cheap. When you unload a clip, red dot focused and all, and maybe a few bullets connect, and somehow they miraculously turn, line you up with their pistol, hit you in the knee cap, and you fall. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. Maybe its the maps, they feel overcrowded, and uninspired, leading to ridiculous choke points, spawn camping, excessive use of shock charges, claymores, bouncing bettys, and anything else you can think up. Walking around the battlefield without Engineer on may as well be a death sentence without anyone even taking a shot at you. The kill streak system has been revamped, again. Instead of just relying on kills or really even be called a kill streak at all anymore, it is now a score streak. You’ll get points for actually playing the objective like capping flags in domination, or picking up dog tags in the returning Kill Confirmed game type, leading to quicker score streaks being activated. I actually really liked this implementation, giving people reasons to play the objective rather than camp a headquarters bottleneck nowhere near the current objective.
It just seems like they could’ve polished more of what they built on in Black Ops 1. The controls are the same, the feel of the game is the same, the visuals, albeit are now “futuristic,” all feel the same. I remember playing it for the first week or so, and saying to myself that this feels more like World at War than it does Black Ops. It felt new. I don’t know. I don’t really understand it I guess. They tried to make a triple A title, and it is, but they have definitely digressed.
Plain and simple, the game is good. Is it going to win some awards? Probably. Is it going to win game of the year? Absolutely not. Mind you I haven’t played any of the story, and only a little bit of the new zombie modes, which is a nice twist to the normal horde/zombie continuous wave modes, peppering in a little story and incentives. The multiplayer just seems like they tried to do too much. The 10 point creation system, a slew of unlockable items you probably will never touch, as well as score streaks that just don’t seem interesting. I love Call of Duty, as a whole, as a series, it’s fun and exciting. The game brings you to new locations while trying to change its formula and keep things interesting. But online this time around feels cheap, and lacking. A quote I read a little while back around the release of Modern Warfare 3 that made me rethink about how I feel about the game is still pretty present in my mind every time I hear a 13 year old kid call me an obscenity for continuously killing him and racking up score streak after score streak to eventually make them quit, “I love Call of Duty, I hate the Call of Duty community.” The series is starting to wane thin on my patience, and while I’m always up for a good FPS, the repetitive nature of some of the issues is making me think twice about the next Activision FPS I may or may not purchase. This is all my opinion, agree or not, the issues are evident. Take or leave Call of Duty for what it is and it's still fun, but I do think like myself, a lot of people are starting to care less about what's coming next.