publisher: Activision Blizzard
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet
Call of Duty: Black Ops II for PC, X360 and etc. is a military first-person shooter, the ninth installment of the most popular game series of the genre. It was developed by experienced Treyarch Studios, the team behind Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty: World at War, and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is set in an unusual setting for the series. In 2025 another cold war breaks out, in which the opposite sides are the United States of America and China. The stake is rare earth elements required for production of expensive electronics and for alternative energy. The story’s main character is David Mason (son of Alex Mason, known from the first Black Ops), and his nemesis is Raul Menendez from Nicaragua. The game is a direct sequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops, which is why we find here many flashbacks from the 1980s, as well as some old friends. Along with Alex Mason, Frank Woods also makes a return.
Because of the future setting Call of Duty: Black Ops II for PC, X360 and etc., the game features advanced, futuristic weapons and equipment, which are currently in early stages of development in military laboratories. In effect, you can use sniper rifles with scopes that reveal opponents hiding behind covers, or weapons using electric charges, instead of traditional gunpowder. There are also some useful gadgets, such as improved sights or a computer built in uniform, thanks to which you can call in air support in set moments.
The developers prepared a variety of activities for players. In addition to heavily scripted action sequences, during which you almost do not take off your finger from the trigger, you can control advanced vehicles, such as F-38 fighter or futuristic helicopters. Black Ops II allows you to maneuver vehicles on a scale that is unprecedented for the series, providing a great deal of freedom – vehicle sequences do not resemble typical CoD’s tunnel-shooter-like mechanics.
The well known game model was expanded with new ideas, such as decisions about how to perform certain actions during missions. For example, you can decide whether you prefer to cover your friends from a distance using a sniper rifle, or zip down the rope guns blazing. These choices bring more dynamics into gameplay and let you adjust it to your preferred play style. They also let you see the events from a different perspective.
Strike Force Operations mode is a new idea for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which is a set of optional missions played out as a simplified real-time strategy. At any time you can play as a foot soldier, sit at the controls of a drone, or coordinate the operation from air. Interestingly, failing in this mode does not mean game over, but it weakens your position on the international arena. Your actions (both victories and defeats) influence the ending of the story.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II for PC, X360 and etc. brings expanded and improved multiplayer mode as compared with the previous installments. Pick 10, the newly introduced character development system, gives you 10 points that can be exchanged for any ten improvements, while being able to skip some categories in order to improve others. This system also introduces so-called “Wildcards” that in a way bend these rules allowing you to select a specific element twice, e.g. two side weapons instead of one. Moreover, you can make use of advanced tools of destruction, like the previously mentioned drones or microwave gun. The developers took care about a variety of locations, so there is more than a dozen of maps that let you fight in various settings, including devastated Los Angeles (Aftermath map) and an abandoned village (Yemen map). The game uses proven, yet slightly improved solutions from Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3, and is closely connected with social media.
Black Ops II for PC, X360 and etc. could not miss out the popular Zombie mode, which accompanies every Call of Duty game from Treyarch since the release of World at War. This time it consists of three game variants – open world Tranzit, where in four-player co-op you make your way through hordes of the undead, classical Survival, well-known from previous installments, played on confined and much smaller arenas, and Grief, where two opposing teams fight against an army of zombies (whichever team dies off first, loses). All the modes were created based on fans’ feedback.
The graphics engine is a heavily modified technology used in Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops. The authors sought to introduce better physics and partial destruction of the environment, as well as extremely detailed locations. At the same time the developers managed to keep one of the characteristics of the series - smooth animation at 60 frames per second. The game uses DirectX 11.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8800 GT or better), 16 GB HDD, Windows Vista(SP2)/7