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Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Wii U) Review

Review for Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the sequel to 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops and is the most recent entry in the ever so popular Call of Duty franchise. Whilst every game in this series turns out to be a worldwide hit, the most recent games have felt a bit stale, leaving much to be desired. Is Black Ops II doing the right thing to set itself apart from the others and do the Wii U-exclusive features make this a worthwhile purchase?

The campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops II jumps between two different time periods: the Cold War era and the year 2025. The missions set in the time of the Cold War follow Alex Mason and Sgt. Frank Woods - two of the protagonists from the first Black Ops title. Jump ahead in time to the year 2025 and players take the role of Alex's son, David Mason. The characters from each of these time periods are all trying to put a stop to Raul Menendez, the game's main antagonist.

Although the premise of the story seems to be the same old "Hunt down the bad guy, save the world" which has been done on numerous occasions in previous Call of Duty games, upon further inspection it's actually quite different. Black Ops II is the first game in the franchise to include a campaign in which players are given different story-altering choices. For example, not shooting one enemy would mean him coming back for revenge later on, but the scenario could change further down the line if the alternate option is taken.

However, the most interesting addition to this instalment's campaign is the Strike Force missions. These special missions play out as if the game was a real-time strategy game, allowing players to command various units in a top-down perspective. For those that find strategy isn't their thing, then players can assume control of these units, turning the game back into the FPS genre Call of Duty fans are so fond of.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Whilst playing the campaign, the information shown on the GamePad isn't anything to write home about - it merely shows current mission objectives and has a couple of virtual buttons on the screen to change the game's controls. There is one button in particular that stands out, though, and has the word "Display" written on it. When touched, the game will ask the player if they want to use the GamePad as a display device; tapping yes allows for the whole game to be played on the GamePad's screen. Not only does this work for the campaign in Black Ops II but it also works in the multiplayer and Zombies modes.

Speaking of which, the multiplayer in Call of Duty games has always been the main selling-point of each entry. This time, the multiplayer area has had a complete overhaul with Black Ops II. Firstly, Kill Streaks have been replaced by Score Streaks, which, rather than getting a certain amount of kills in a single life and then being rewarded, the player's score in that life is accounted for and will then determine the reward they receive. Scores can be earned by carrying out simple tasks such as killing enemies, to capturing flag points in Domination. The inclusion of Score Streaks increases the overall fun factor of the game, even for players who aren't very good at aiming and those who don't get many kills. Although the player is still limited to picking only three of these Score Streak rewards, the fan favourite Care Package is included, so that the player can see some variety in their rewards if they so wish.

The Create-a-Class feature has also been reworked, with Treyarch introducing "Pick 10," which is a new method of equipping a soldier with various weapons and equipment. The Pick 10 system is incredibly straightforward, allowing players to select any 10 items they would like to use for that class. The items that count towards this total include Perks, Weapons, Attachments and the newly introduced Wildcards.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Wildcards grant specific bonuses for the currently selected class, such as the ability to add a third attachment to soldiers' primary weapon or the ability to be able to use two perks from one of three categories. Players can use up to three of these cards per class, but each one counts as an item.

Players of Call of Duty: Black Ops may remember the CoD points system Treyarch included in that game, which was used to unlock weapons and other useful items. This currency has now been replaced with Unlock Tokens, which are acquired each time players gain a level. In order to unlock Score Streaks and items for use in Create-a-Class, players must first attain the rank required to unlock that item and then purchase it using one of these tokens.

In addition to several of the elements receiving a revamp, the controls for Black Ops II have a range of customisation preferences. Those who have previously played the Call of Duty titles for Wii will be pleased to know that the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo and the Classic Controller Pro options are available to use in this game. Wii Remote pointer controls are a lot more fluid this time around and gameplay flows just as well as it does on other systems, meaning this entry keeps the fast-paced action, rather than slowing down the game due to hardware limitations. All of this is possible thanks to the extra horsepower inside of the Wii U.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When playing multiplayer on the GamePad, players can switch their classes and fine-tune their controls on the fly thanks to the interface located on the GamePad's touch screen. Score Streaks can also be called in using this method, although in the heat of battle it's much quicker to just use traditional buttons.

One of the most innovative features in CBlack Ops II is the ability to play split-screen multiplayer matches with one player focusing on the TV screen and another focusing on the GamePad. It is also possible to take this split-screen experience online against others, which works surprisingly well, with no noticeable slowdown or frame rate issues.

With the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II containing everything seen on the other consoles (apart from the live streaming and Call of Duty Elite service) it's hard not to recommend this game for owners of the system. This truly is the definitive Call of Duty title, containing some great exclusive features for Nintendo's new home console. Anyone looking for an epic multiplayer experience on the Wii U need look no further than Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

With a number of different control options on offer, and innovative split-screen play, it's easy to call this the definitive version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The gameplay is a lot more fluid than the Call of Duty games found on Nintendo's previous platforms, and whilst the GamePad features aren't ground-breaking, having the full sized map on the touch screen and the ability to change classes without ever having to pause the game are some really helpful additions.

Graphics

Compared to the Wii version of Black Ops or Modern Warfare 3 this game looks absolutely stunning. It's safe to say that Treyarch has done a fantastic job in porting this game to the Wii U and it looks marginally better than the same game on other systems. When playing the game exclusively on the GamePad, none of the detail is lost and it looks incredible.

Sound

Black Ops II includes some great voice acting across both the single player campaign and Zombies modes. To accompany the voice acting are some well-crafted sound effects and a brilliant musical score.

Value

There's a whole lot to do beyond the main campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The multiplayer modes will keep players busy for hours and the Zombies mode is also included for those that want to vary things up. This time around, Zombies has a huge open map as well as a number of easter eggs waiting to be discovered.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is by far the most fleshed out Call of Duty game to date; with a whole load of content included and some lovely exclusive features, it's clear that Treyarch is committed to making the series successful on Wii U. Whilst at this point of writing the online community is fairly small, it should grow over time, especially with Christmas just around the corner. Readers who own a Wii U or are getting one should put this on their Christmas lists!

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07.12.2012

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Developer

Treyarch

Publisher

Activision

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (3 Votes)

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Loving this game. Was very disappointed with Modern Warfare 3 but I've loved every second of BO2. The graphics are gorgeous.

My only gripes are:

  • Can only use the WiiU's home button in campaign mode meaning you have to mess about switching to campaign if playing multiplayer just to check on Miiverse.
  • Too little a community. This is a given really but hopefully it'll grow. Smilie
By far the best CoD game.

( Edited 07.12.2012 20:22 by Ifrit XXII )

Staff Member

Ifrit XXII said:
Loving this game. Was very disappointed with Modern Warfare 3 but I've loved every second of BO2. The graphics are gorgeous.

My only gripes are:


  • Can only use the WiiU's home button in campaign mode meaning you have to mess about switching to campaign if playing multiplayer just to check on Miiverse.
  • Too little a community. This is a given really but hopefully it'll grow. Smilie
By far the best CoD game.
I personally never owned Modern Warfare 3, I played a friend's copy of the game and to me it felt just like MW2.

Regarding your gripes with the game, I'm pretty sure all games on the Wii U have the home button disabled whilst connected to the online community of said game. I may be wrong, but this is just going by how it was on the Wii.

As for the community, I'm sure it will grow over the Christmas period and by early 2013, I can expect to see a lot more people playing the game. (I sound like Michael Pachter now!)

You should add me on Wii U. My Nintendo Network ID is C3Mush. Smilie

( Edited 07.12.2012 20:31 by Mush )

Nice review mate Smilie

The Strike Force missions seem like a missed opportunity to me. Maybe I rushed the tutorial but it seems very cumbersome, and touch control could really have made this excellent (bearing in mind I'm playing this purely on the Gamepad, so far). I tend to go in solo, FPS it up and die. But it's a small niggle, and partially my fault.

Anyway it's an excellent game, adapted very well to Wii U and more people should buy it. Well worth a 9/10!

Barry Lewis < nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics >
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."
Staff Member

nin10do said:
Nice review mate Smilie

The Strike Force missions seem like a missed opportunity to me. Maybe I rushed the tutorial but it seems very cumbersome, and touch control could really have made this excellent (bearing in mind I'm playing this purely on the Gamepad, so far). I tend to go in solo, FPS it up and die. But it's a small niggle, and partially my fault.

Anyway it's an excellent game, adapted very well to Wii U and more people should buy it. Well worth a 9/10!

Thanks. Smilie

I've been mostly playing on the GamePad too, with a bit of Wii Remote and Nunchuck gameplay here and there and whilst I agree it would've been better with touchscreen controls, I don't see any problems with it as it currently stands. I'm really glad Treyarch added some new things to the campaign as well as Zombies and multiplayer.

Arrrrgh! im so jealous of you guys. Ive put off buying this for my ps3. i want to play it on nintendo hardware but cant afford a wiiu till new year..gutted. That was a good review and has made me even more excited to play this on a nintendo console.

I never played any c.o.d on the wii. Do wiimote controls configure into wiizapper controls?

Staff Member

Supa_hyped said:
I never played any c.o.d on the wii. Do wiimote controls configure into wiizapper controls?

I'm not too sure about this one, but the Call of Duty titles on Wii had settings for the Wii Zapper, so I'm assuming this does too. Either way, the controls are very customisable, so I'm sure you'll be able to find something suitable for using the Wii Zapper, if that's what you want to use for the game.

Solid review! I took a leap of faith and bought BLOPS2 on WiiU and have been pleasantly surprised. I'm a sucker for Zombies and this is the hardest one yet!! Loving it...look forward to blasting some more with you Mush Smilie

Staff Member

SirSwiftness said:
Solid review! I took a leap of faith and bought BLOPS2 on WiiU and have been pleasantly surprised. I'm a sucker for Zombies and this is the hardest one yet!! Loving it...look forward to blasting some more with you Mush Smilie
Welcome to Cubed3!
Looking forward to playing some more Zombies with you too. Hopefully next time we play, we can Pack-a-Punch our guns. Smilie

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