Black Ops II marks perhaps the best multiplayer outing the series has had since Modern Warfare, five years ago. I’ve played 19 hours in total and reached level 55, which is the last level before you ‘prestige’ and start it all over again.
The biggest difference that Black Ops II makes to the Call of Duty formula is the elimination of the traditional Create a Class system that was introduced in the original Modern Warfare, which determines which weapons, equipment and perks that you spawn with. That system always entailed the same thing: picking a primary and secondary weapon, three perks in three slots, and a lethal and a nonlethal consumable.
In Black Ops II, that’s replaced by the ‘Pick 10’ system. Here, you’re able to choose from up to 10 items including all of the equipment and perks that I mentioned above. For each weapon, attachment, perk or piece of equipment you equip you’ll spend 1 point, up to the limit of 10. There are also ‘wildcards’ that you can equip in their own slots, which allow you take additional items in a given category – so you can choose to take two Slot 1 perks, three attachments on your primary weapon or replace your lethal slot with another non-lethal slot. The catch is that each wildcard also costs one point, so going for a more general class is still viable.
The new system allows for a much more creative class design space – if you want to eschew a primary weapon for a well-augmented secondary, you can do it. If you want to have four non-lethal grenades, you can do it. If you want to have an entire class focused around knifing people, spawning with no weapons at all and just getting loads of perks – you can do that.
It’s a very cool idea, and I’m really enjoying the creative freedom that it allows. While there are still some dud loadouts (one weapon with little ammo and no Scavenger perk, any LMG), I’ve seen a much wider variety of weapons and class setups than ever before.
Having said that, there are still some weapon imbalances in play that somewhat dilute that creative experience. For instance, the PDW-57 SMG, R870 MCS shotgun and KAP-40 pistol seem quite overpowered compared to other weapons in their class. That latter item, the KAP-40, seems quite ridiculous – it’s as good or better than most SMGs even without attachments, making it an excellent backup to a long-ranged Assault or Sniper class.
Still, the game feels reasonably well balanced and I’m having a lot of fun so far – the weapons are satisfying, the creative element is much improved and the maps are well designed. I’d definitely recommend checking it out.
This article was written by William Judd. William writes for Mobile Fun, the UK’s leading online retailer of Google Nexus 4 cases.
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