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Call of Duty: Black Ops II Multiplayer Review

Call of Duty Black Ops II is Treyarch’s latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise. This time around Treyarch implemented some massive changes for the multiplayer of Black Ops II that really set it apart from their or Infinity Ward’s previous games.

First and the biggest changes is what Treyarch dubs the “Pick 10” System. This system allows the user to customize their create-a-class loadouts and new and exciting ways. Each object in the load out counts as one point (Guns/perks/grenades/weapon attachments). The perks in multiplayer have been cut down, perks such as “Sleight of Hand” are now implemented through the use of attachments in this case the “Dual Mag” attachment for a gun is the same thing as sleight of hand was in previous games. This makes certain perks no longer feel like a requirement (Like Modern Warfare 2 and Stopping Power), You can also by default equip two attachments to your primary weapon by spending two of your ten points. However this can be overridden if you make use of “Wildcards” these allow you to spend an extra point to equip an extra perk/weapon depending on the one selected.

These wildcards allow you to take multiple perks of the same slot (or weapon attachment), however you do pay a cost for this as the you must spend one of your ten points to use the wildcard and another to actually equip the extra perk. This adds a whole new level of customization to your classes. Allowing players to really experiment and see what works for them, which is something I recommend every person that plays the game does. My example is this: I use the “Primary Gun Fighter” Wildcard; this allows me to equip a third weapon attachment to my gun. While it fits my playstyle better I had to give something up to stay within the 10 points. So in this instance I gave up my grenades as a trade off. Originally I rarely used them, however as soon as I lost that option I would start running into situation where I would think, “Damn a grenade would score me an easy kill right here”. Not only does it open up a ton of customization, it also helps keep gameplay fresh. This is probably my personal favorite of all the new things in multiplayer.

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The next one is also a change that I am immensely pleased with, and that would be how you work towards the old killstreaks. No longer does a player have to get a certain amount of kills to call in the killstreaks anymore, this has been redesigned and turned into score streaks. This sounds fairly obvious however it is a very interest and positive change to the flow of gameplay. You get points for pretty much anything you do, all of these scorestreaks have a basic amount of points that must be acquired in a single life. Each kill lands you 100 points, with points for assist and support streaks you have called in (UAV). This also applies to objective games, completing the objective in modes such as domination (Capturing a territory) nets you massive points. Capturing a node usually results in picking up enough points to get a care package or something of that caliber instantly. This encourages players to go for objectives instead of sitting back and camping to get their streak rewards.

Treyarch also made weapons feel a little more realistic, gone are the days where you can effectively snipe with assault rifles (Even though there are quite a few burst fire rifles now). Running around with an LMG causes you to move slower, and once again sniper rifles dominate long range combat. This means flanking and positioning during a match is important. Due to the maps being smaller and more clutter there aren’t a lot of good perches for snipers to set up on, and unless getting covered by teammates leaves them more exposed to being flank and ganged up on. Shotguns wreck people at close range, and with attachments such as the long barrel (Increased Range) make shotguns a good choice if you are doing a lot of close and slight mid range fighting.

This one isn’t really a game breaking feature but it is something that bugged me in the past, you keep weapon camo’s through prestiges. This was a major reason I disliked prestiging, it felt nice to run around distinct gun camo’s. Also on top of that you can prestige weapons as well, allowing you to complete all the challenges again and level up faster. Like in the previous black ops you can also create a custom emblem to represent yourself (It does get rather annoying seeing poor designed naked ladies after awhile though).

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Finally there is a new playlist introduced as well called “League Play” this is where all the hardcore MLG style players will probably hang out. You have to play five matches to get placed for the season, and at the end it places you in a bracket based on your performance. The first season just began a few days ago so it isn’t too late to get in on the action. You can move up in the latter based on your weekly score. Every game you play adds points to your score for the week if you win, while losing a game takes points away. The playlist includes all game types, so it grades you on your ability to be part of a team. Every week your score is calculated and compiled with capping out at 1000 points for the week. More than likely there will be some prizes or recognition going out to those who place at the top of the ladder when the season ends.

Even though there are definitely some issues with the multiplayer such as collision detection at times (two people knifing usually results in the person dying swearing at their screen) and the spawns could use some work (I have spawned almost exact where I died and gotten mowed down immediately by the person who just killed me). However the massive changes to the multiplayer system to me more than make up for it with new interesting game play that tries to go in a new direction without shattering the mold that made this series popular.