Published on November 25th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Wii U Review
Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Release Date: Nov. 19, 2012
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Editors Note: For our FULL review of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, please go here and see what our veteran editor Kyle Spencer game for Xbox 360. This review will be mostly touching on the Wii U differences as I fully stand behind Kyle’s review.
One of the more surprising announcements of Wii U titles was the fact that Activision was bringing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on launch day for the system. The Wii had some acceptable Call of Duty outings, but the lack of HD graphics and removal of modes made it always feel like a bastardized version of the real deal. Do Nintendo owners finally get a proper Call of Duty, or were corners cut in this version as well?
Thankfully, the Wii U version can step toe-to-toe with the Xbox 360 version, and in some places easily surpass it. The main difference is the Wii U Gamepad, which adds several extra layers to an already deep game. While used sparsely in Single Player, the Wii U Gamepad shines in the multiplayer aspect of the game.
To start, this version of Call of Duty easily has the best Local Splitscreen mode, due to the fact that one player can use the TV screen and the other can use the Wii U Gamepad as a personal screen. This makes the days of “screen-watching” come to an end, and adds a great layer of strategy to the game.
Taking the game online is one of the most important features of any Call of Duty game, and once again Nintendo shows it means business with their online strategy. The Nintendo Network feels similar to Xbox LIVE and PSN, in which you have a dedicated account that is also your ID. Want to add someone as a friend? Simple, just click their ID. Finally, the days of friend codes are OVER!
While playing online, the Wii U Gamepad can be used in one of two ways. The first is a constant full-screen map on the Gamepad, which also allows for “touch” Killstreak call-ins and on-the-fly switching of classes without having to pause the game in mid-action. The second use is the ability to play just on the Wii U Gamepad, and leave the TV for others to use to watch shows or whatnot. Surprisingly, the game looks fantastic on the Gamepad, and suffers no loss in quality. Many times I don’t even bother turning on the TV and just play on my nice crisp 7-inch screen that’s in the palm of my hand.
The game also allows for the use of the Pro Controller, and for Wii fans, the use of Wiimote Plus and Nunchuck. This allows gamers to find a tailor-made style to what they are accustomed to, and also allows your Xbox and PS3 buddies ease of use with the Pro Controller. Even though the Gamepad looks like it would be a bit clunky for a FPS game, I had a riveting time using it and it is my preferred way of playing.
Comparing to the Xbox 360, every mode and map is available, with the exception of COD Casting (live streaming onto Youtube) and Call of Duty Elite (which appears to be in the works). While the Wii versions of Call of Duty were always missing killstreaks, this game has everyone intact. The game also features the Zombies mode, which is a real treat for fans who enjoy the living dead.
Graphically, the game is identical to the Xbox 360 version, with some colors and textures I feel being a bit brighter and crisper. While the engine is starting to show some signs of old-age, it still looks very good in HD on a Nintendo console.
The single player is fun, but as Kyle stated in his review, it feels too familiar. At the end of the day, a lot of gamers pick up Call of Duty for the online multiplayer, and Wii owners usually felt left out in the cold. Well thanks to the Wii U, Nintendo fans can rejoice at a proper Call of Duty experience in HD.
The game is not perfect, but it sets out what it wants to do, which is be fun. Being the only FPS game on the Wii U, it still manages to set a bar as far as what the Wii U Gamepad is capable of and how it should be used. It may not make you want to sell your Xbox 360 or PS3, but for once it will make you think about it and give this game a try.
+ All the bells and whistles of the Xbox 360 version
+ Excellent local multiplayer
+ Excellent use of the Wii U Gamepad
– Single Player feels too familiar
– Game engine showing it’s age