Well, this is the big one! Here is our review of Activision’s brand new Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the latest entry to the biggest selling video game in existence. Treyarch have revamped, changed and edited many, many things – did it pay off? Read on for our review of Black Ops II!

Call of Duty is undoubtedly the largest video game series which ever existed, selling more copies per title than any other video game. Black Ops II is Treyarch’s branch of Call of Duty and brings many new elements which were not previously present within their entries to the Call of Duty franchise.

Black Ops II moves the game into a futuristic setting rather than the Cold War-era original Black Ops. The game has taken a leaf from the Modern Warfare series but rest assured, is completely different. New modern weapons, scorestreaks, attachments and options are available in the game and overall, the game’s guns feel much more “with the times”.

The title is set in the year 2025 and the protagonist in the campaign in David Mason, son of the protagonist of the original Black Ops. An new element has been introduced to Black Ops 2, the option to make CHOICES in the campaign. This is not a simple, run-of-the-mill linear campaign, decisions affect the outcome of the game and will change how things go as you progress.

Treyarch was trying to do an excellent job of bringing innovation to a repetitive series and have, by the large, pulled it off. While I’m not a huge fan of any shooter’s single player campaign, Black Ops 2’s campaign is spectacular and great fun – definitely worth the play!

A lot of previous Black Ops weapons have returned, especially in zombies, however, many exciting new offerings have been introduced by the team over at Treyarch, and, also, a selection of guns taken from Modern Warfare 3. Attachment choice is now fantastic, with one of the widest range of attachments ever available in Call of Duty. One of the lovely new attachments is the Select Fire which allows you to change from burst fire to automatic fire on assault rifles, submachine guns and some other weapons.

The new scorestreak system replaced killstreaks and allows you to achieve those lovely bonuses much easier than before, especially for objectively focused players of the game. It works very simply: reach a certain score (points/XP) figure without dying and receive your streak bonus. It adds another bonus to players who love capturing flags or planting bombs.

Being more of a multiplayer and zombies fan myself, I particularly liked the range of maps available in the game. The new maps are fantastically designed, unique and very, very fun to play on. I can already see certain ones becoming my favourites, however, I am still getting used to all of them! Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to try out Nuketown 2025 yet due to the hardened edition code mix-up, however, it looks very promising from the trailer for the game.

Another new element I must point out is the ingenious new PICK 10 system. No longer are custom classes so limited, now, players can take extra perks, attachments, grenades and weapons using their points. Each standard item costs one of your ten points and wildcards allow you to use additional bonuses (eg. Perk 1 greed allows you to choose a second perk from Perk 1 slot at a total cost of 2 points, one for the Wildcard and one for the perk itself). It is an excellent new system and it really has made a huge difference to the series, definitely a welcome move. Classes really do feel more personal due to this and the tactical aspects are great, allowing more freedom of choice.

Graphically, Black Ops 2 is looking absolutely beautiful. This has got to be the best looking Call of Duty yet, slightly beating the lovely Modern Warfare 3. In terms of sound effects and music, Black Ops 2 has also done a tremendous job. UI sound effects, music, narration and in-game sounds all sound new and freshly recorded for the futuristic feel. Treyarch have outdone themselves!

Now, on to my favourite part of every Treyarch Call of Duty game… the absolutely terrific Black Ops II: Zombies Mode. Treyarch really has gone above and beyond their Call of Duty (excuse the pun) by making zombies mode feel strong, progressed and equally important to multiplayer. The brilliant new TRANZIT mode is great fun when playing with some players and zombies mode feels better than ever. New stat tracking systems, new weapons, new maps and even a new perk (Tombstone) debut in the rejuvinated zombies mode.

The new map, Green Run, is split into five different areas (which are all like individual tiny maps). In tranzit mode, you traverse these regions on the zombie bus. This bus brings you from place to place while zombies attack through the windows and roof. This new mode is terrific fun online and is one of the best things to ever happen to zombies mode.

Three of these five areas on Green Run are available to play normal survival zombies on; TOWN, FARM and BUS DEPOT. Town and Farm both have a selection of perks and the random box, however, Bus Depot only has the random box. Town is the only area with Pack-A-Punch. While some players may be unhappy with the small size of these maps and the inclusion of only a single map, I am sure than bigger and better maps will be included with the four map packs on the way beginning around January. Overall, zombies mode is a pleasure to play and is better than even before (and we haven’t even touched on grief mode…).

Really, I don’t think there are any flaws for me to mention in this review. There are some online issues and a massive hardened edition redemption code issue ongoing at the moment, however, these are only launch issues and I’m sure they will be ironed out in no time!

To wrap up our review, the game is a spectacular entry to the Call of Duty franchise, perhaps deserving the title of ‘Best Call of Duty yet’ and innovates on so many areas with much success, which was a risky move for Treyarch. So, all I have to say is… BUY THIS GAME. Thanks for reading our review, here are the final scores….