Published on September 11th, 2012 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Hands-On Impressions
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC, Wii U
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2012 (Wii U TBA)
Reviewer Note: The game was previewed on the Xbox 360 console.
I admit that I haven’t been the easiest person for Activision to get along with, especially since I mentioned in my Modern Warfare 3 review that that particular installment in the franchise underachieved by a milestone. But the company was nice enough to give us some hands-on with its upcoming iteration, Call of Duty: Black Ops II. We have all seen the trailers for the game and know that it’s set in the near-future (2025 to be exact), and goes in a direction that Call of Duty has not ventured into yet: future warfare. My only question was, how would the fans would take to the change, or did they want the same re-hashed game from the past four years?
I will say this: I, for one, am happy that they are taking the franchise in a different direction. The single player looked good, felt fluid and even the weapons and drones that we controlled were fun to play around with. However, the meat of our hands-on time was in the multiplayer.
Black Ops II won’t ship until Nov. 13, and I can tell, from the very start, that this is the same old Call of Duty multiplayer that we have been getting for years already. I get that the environments are more “post-apocalyptic” and the guns are more “futurized,” but the game engine is, again, a rehash. At first glance, I honestly thought it was any pick among Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3 or Black Ops. This seems to be the running joke throughout the community of game developers, because I sat down with EA earlier that week to play Medal of Honor Warfighter, and the developers were like, “Try our brand new engine built from the ground up for this game, and is not the same re-hashed game that you have been getting for the past number of years on OTHER franchises.” I believe I heard almost the same exact quote from Ubisoft later that afternoon as well.
I get it now–there is no significant upgrade to the multiplayer that I’m seeing this year, unless Treyarch has some things in the multiplayer that it is not showing to us yet.
Sorry Activision, but I am one journalist that was not blown away by your showing of Black Ops II, and to have the actual live demo crash during the presentation did not help your cause. Take a word of advice, not just from me, but the community and take a year or two off and re-build the brand. Create an entirely new engine for the game, a new look and possible setting because rehashed sequels are killing the franchise.
Black Ops II is scheduled to be released worldwide on Nov. 13.