This is the third and final part of the Oracle Black Ops 2 review that will cover the campaign mode. If you missed one of the previous reviews covering multiplayer and Zombies, check them out under the video game tab of the A&E section.
In previous Call of Duty games, the campaign mode has typically been overshadowed by the incredibly popular multiplayer and Zombies game modes, and this has been a shame for a franchise that has been fairly consistent in giving the fans a significantly enjoyable experience.
However, Black Ops 2 still manages to surprise audiences as it changes the entire formula of the usual Call of Duty campaign, and heightens the future expectations forever.
Black Ops 2 follows two connected story lines taking place in different time periods. The former focuses on the Cold War period and returning characters from the game’s predecessor, Alex Mason and Woods. This portion of the story is told through flashbacks by an aging Woods in 2025, and these are recounted to the protagonist of the future story line, David Mason (son of Alex) . Yes, this is much more clear in the actual gameplay. Both focus on the antagonist, Raul Menendez, who is seeking revenge for the actions of Alex and Woods in the flashbacks. Menendez is planning an extensive cyber attack, and David is (obviously) the only one who can stop it.
This is not your typical villain, however, as the player is given the opportunity to see his perspective, and you can’t help but sympathize with his feelings of vengeance. Never before has a Call of Duty game painted such an elaborate picture of the evil mastermind behind the game’s events.
Treyarch frequently delivers a movie-like experience, and by altering the flow of this year’s story, they accomplished this no questions asked. By including a slew of highly entertaining cutscenes to break up the intense war scenes, the game gains steam until it reaches its incredible ending(s), which are sure to leave the audience thrilled. In addition to this, the company also introduced a new system where player decisions affect the outcome in the end. And these decisions aren’t black and white, they are actually extremely challenging and may have the player second guessing him/herself even after they’ve made a quick decision. Two players may not witness the same ending, seeing as Treyarch implemented several different ways for the game to end. In addition, the game continues to go through several twists that are sure to leave the player shocked.
It is also thoroughly entertaining to see the futuristic technology that was implemented in the future storyline, and I can surprised to say that I hope they continue down this path.
Also new to the game mode is Strike Force missions. These, too, affect the outcome of the game, however the lack of entertainment value really makes this addition a swing and a miss. Thankfully, these are an optional portion of the story mode. Admittedly, I only played the primary mission that is required to complete prior to moving on through the typical missions.
Treyarch could have easily given fans the same experience that they have grown accustomed to. However, they showed their ambitions yet again, and this is very admirable. The story is extremely well-written and will have players sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the next curveball the game will throw. There is no doubt that the company gave fans the most versatile, thrilling and overall entertaining Call of Duty campaign to date. Campaign Score: 9/10
In general, Treyarch’s ambitious alterations in its entirety has ultimately changed the Call of Duty franchise forever. One week after release, it has become apparent that the changes made to the multiplayer mode were neccessary to further mature the gameplay. In addition to this, Zombies has returned at its best along with an incredibly strong campaign. I can put confidence in saying that Black Ops 2 is the most daring and, believe it or not, best Call of Duty installment the franchise has ever produced. Black Ops 2 Score: 9/10