Overview: Call of Duty 2021
Let's get the important stuff out of the way first, Activision was nice enough to send us a review copy of Call of Duty Black Ops 2. And boy oh boy, are we grateful because this match has already taken over the vast majority of my Xbox time and has managed to knock of Borderlands 2 as my move to match right now. The game is the most recent addition to the Call of Duty franchise, and the latest from development team Treyarch.
The game carries hints from the last Black Ops and brings in to the year 2021 instead of focusing on past offenses, or"modern" wars such as other entries into the franchise. The initial thought of moving the show to the future put some question marks about this name - how could it work, what could they do, is that only a step towards the Terminator? Well, Treyarch jumped in full force with this game and made it honestly one of if not the best Call of Duty to date.
Call of Duty Black Ops 2, takes everything that is adored in such matches and pushes them farther. The stream, the narrative, the challenges, everything only gets taken up a notch instead of resting on what's been done. The narrative absorbs you while you are playing, you're interested in the characters, and the storyline, you truly end up playing it fast enjoy a good book that you can't put down just so you can find out what about the narrative.
The online experience is everything we love about Call of Duty, the firearms, the activity, the intense struggles. It can easily be played in 20-minute breaks, or even for hours on end and you simply don't get enough of it. Should you happen to become tired of this multitude of game styles in standard online play, well it is possible to jump into Zombies for what's a completely different experience and game which provides hours more fun in a very different way.
The gameplay is what we've come to expect in the Call of Duty franchise: that the single player is engaging and challenging, the multiplayer is hectic, fast paste and sucks you into, and yes there is zombies. It has everything that you know and love (or hate) about Call of Duty games and brings one thing that following the very first Black Ops felt sorely missing in Modern Warfare 2, diving.
The story mode assignments can seem familiar occasionally, but that is to be expected considering we've been playing Call of Duty games for a long time now. The narrative itself is what you're playing for now and this game does not let anyone down in that department, it is possibly the most comprehensive story up to now.
Even though there is nothing new running behind the scenes from Black Ops 2, Treyarch has done a lot to polish the look of the game. The character models are improved and the levels are more inviting. You truly need to be able to go off the path in these levels and explore more. The firearms are more polished and there are now skins which you can equip your firearms with to get a marginally"customized" texture, which will be a great improvement but nothing over the top.
The graphics improvements aren't only in one player mode, you notice the improvements in the multiplayer too. The character models are different depending on your weapon choices and factions obviously. The gun models are improved and look different based on the attachments you equip, which is not anything new, but they seem better and smoother.
Treyarch has done a fantastic job of reaching into the future in a way that frees you inside, instead of merely throwing you inside. You're drawn into the storyline, the characters pull you in and make you want to play through another mission so that you can understand more about what it is that got us here.
The campaign plays similarly to other Call of Duty games, together with jumps between phases and events. You play through learning different points of this story through every assignment and limiting different challenges and enemies. An interesting twist involving this game and previous installations is period; the match is set in the future but the events which put everything in motion occurred previously. This means that you play through distinct functions at various times utilizing different weapons and play types. It certainly adds to the gameplay since in"future" missions you have better technologies and equipment available so that you can play differently in these missions.
During your drama through you still have to locate"intel" and perform little challenges that don't necessarily alter the outcome of the sport, but you get more points for finishing them all and you can compare your drama via score against your friends to find out who did the very best. It is nice that Treyarch included a stats screen so that you can examine that and see how many bits of"intel" you missed or other elements that it is possible to attempt to achieve during future playthroughs to get more points, but in all honesty this is just for completionists out there and does not really change your sport.
Call of Duty multiplayer is either loved or hated by players, and sometimes hated by the people who love it. It seems like coming home, however, enjoy coming home after someone has actually done some improvements around the place. The game is faster than previously and that which feels better than it did in previous entries.
You have your normal game styles, both core, and hardcore. There is also league play now, which will be an extra advantage for having bought the season. You've got your standard games, demolition, capture the flag, deathmatch, there are also the individual modes such as a gun game, one in the chamber and sticks and stones. There is a little something for everyone: whether you desire larger scale battles or fast frenzied free-for-all, you can find what you're searching for.
Right now, the servers still appear to be fighting to keep up, if you are at a larger party it is possible to get dropped or lose your celebration. You also have instances where you wait about for a reception to fill up, or you crash from a game. You also need to deal with the host migration during games that could get annoying, but it is to be expected with the influx of gamers hammering on the game day in and day out.
The only thing this is missing is bigger area maps. Everything is tight and restricted, every map has the normally annoying corners to camp, and you will find snare corridors where you're never going to get through living. There isn't really any way to"snipe" because there are several cramped areas so you better be prepared to run and gun. Hopefully this will be resolved with prospective maps, however, at launch, get ready for close up fighting.
Among the major selling points of Black Ops 2 has been the recurrence of Zombies and it does not let us down. Initially, there was some concern (at least from me) this would be a lighter version of Left 4 Dead, however, it is not, it is a completely different experience. The zombies get tougher with each wave, and if you do not work with your group you are certainly not likely to survive. There is also currently the zombie bus, so it protects you out of the area to area with at the map to start different guns. If you're not on the bus once it leaves the town, well you're in for hard times as your teammates probably aren't stuck with you.
The weaker side of zombies even with the newest introductions is the zombies come in reliable places, and you may do the typical circle kill routine to stand up a lot of points. It may become really repetitive and shed its appeal especially once you have people in the sport who are just performing the circle kill stage grab. The best choice is to play with friends and also make it an enjoyable sifting through zombie mayhem and also make it a close game so you don't need to deal with down this side.
This little drawback does not take away from the fun of Zombies, but it does make you long for the challenge and gameplay of Left 4 Dead, but one game can't be everything is it?
All in all, this is the best edition of Call of Duty 2021 so far and makes you remember why you enjoy this franchise. There are games out there that appeal to several kinds of gameplay and players, yet this game reminds you why Call of Duty would be the king of them all. The story is the most evolved, the mechanisms are the most tasteful, and also the game itself makes you wonder whether there is anywhere that this franchise may go without new hardware for the programmers to push.
Buy, and get the season pass too!
Thanks again to Activision for sending us a review copy, we are still enjoying it!