Call of Duty: Black Ops II

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In the latest installment of this blockbuster first-person shooter franchise, any connection to reality has not only left the building but thrown itself off the roof in a hi-tech wing suit. Set simultaneously in 1986 and 2025, the single-player campaign follows the story of father and son, Alex and David Mason. In the sometimes convoluted plot, Alex’s actions in 1986 come back to haunt his son David in a future where military technology has suddenly progressed at an alarming rate and a terrorist out for revenge threatens to destroy everything.

The single player game starts out well enough, but things begin to come a bit unstuck around the middle of the game. After an exhilarating opening, the game reverts to the run-and-gun gameplay seen in every episode of CoD before. The exceptions are the optional Strike Force levels where, rather than controlling one player, you quickly can swap between any member of your team or tactically guide the battle from above, moving your troops strategically across the battlefield.

The multiplayer modes don’t offer a lot new, but do have a few nice simple gameplay tweaks. For the hardcore fans there is also a new option of CoDcasting, which allows you to edit out the best of the multiplayer action from any perspective and publish it to YouTube with ESPN style sports production values. For those who like a bit more of a chill to their gaming, the popular Zombies mode is also back with new modes.

Overall, Black Ops II is a good game, but it could have been great. The CoDcasting and Strike Force additions are both brilliant and will guarantee good sales to fans, but the single-player game should have had the guts to stick with the over-the-top gameplay of the initial levels. For multiplayer fans though, this is still a must-buy title.

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Publisher: Activision
Platform: PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, PC
Age: 18+
Price: £34.99 – £49.99

David Hutchinson

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