Like the NHL and FIFA Franchises the Call of Duty Franchise has been around for some time now. Since October of 2003 to be exact. Over that time Infinity Ward (The original publisher) has come out with some pretty good games. They have branched out into different eras as well as going into the past and WWII and into the future. The original series up until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had focused mostly on WWII. When Modern Warfare was released it was the first game set in the future. The games themselves even though they have different story lines tend to all lead towards the same thing usually. The Future. Some of my favourites are Modern Warfare 2 and both Black OPS I and Black OPS II. (Henceforth known, as BOI and BOII respectively.)
The franchise is one of the first to start making the characters look like the voice actors. They have had some great ones over the years by the way. People like Gary Oldman (Viktor Reznov, World at War and BOI), Kevin McKidd (“Soap” MacTavish, Modern Warfare 2 and 3), Sam Worthington (Alex Mason, BOI and BOII), Troy Baker (Jack Mitchell, Advanced Warfare) and Kevin Spacey (Jonathan Irons, Advanced Warfare).
Although Modern Warfare was an awesome game and always great to play BOI and BOII were just slightly better than it. Here is the reason why.
Black OPS II is an interesting story because it focuses on two eras. One would be Alex Mason, the main protagonist from BOI, and the other would be David ‘Section’ Mason. Alex’s son. Alex’s story line focuses on the original fight against the antagonist Raul Menendez. Section’s time line focuses on the reemergence of Menendez who is now leader of Cordis Die.
The game begins with Alex and David in Alaska where they live. An old friend and CIA operative, Jason Hudson comes and visits them. Hudson comes to tell them that another friend, Frank Woods has gone Missing in Action (MIA). Even though Alex promised David that he wouldn’t go back to the army the fact that it was David’s “Uncle” Woods was too much for them to not do something about it. After rescuing Woods, Mason and Hudson drag Woods to a radio tower where they run into Menendez for the first time. Mason shoots Menendez in the eye and escapes before the building blows up.
The game then fast forwards 40 years into the future. Section and his Partner Mike Harper and some others are trying to infiltrate a high secret base where they are to acquire a secret high tech weapon known as celerium.
Rewind again to the mid 1980s. Mason, Woods, and Hudson go on a mission to try and capture Menendez. Woods wants this mission for imprisoning him. When they find him Woods accidentally releases a grenade which goes off in the adjoining room killing Menendez’s sister Josefina. This is what drives Menendez to wanting revenge and thus creating Cordis Die.
Back to the future, where Section and Harper are on a mission to gather intel into Menendez’s plans. In the next mission an undercover CIA agent named Farid sends them intel on something called Karma which can be used to hack Menendez’s Celerium worm. Karma turns out to be a person. This mission is the first time that decisions will impact the game. If you save Karma (Chloe) from Defalco (who’s Menendez’s number two) she is safe for the rest of the game unless certain actions happen. If not Defalco captures her and you must complete a special mission to save her.
After this mission ends you switch back to Mason and Woods. They are sent to capture the Nexus target. When they find him it turns out to be a trap. Woods and Mason are sent to get Manuel Noriega when he is captured and taken to a place of refuge for a prisoner exchange. Noriega takes advantage of this using his own military to trick Woods into shooting Mason mistaking him for Menendez. This is the second time you have a choice. After you take the shot Woods and Noriega go over to the body. Woods discovers it’s Mason and attempts to kill him but is shot in the knees by Menendez crippling him. Noriega isn’t seen again but Woods wakes up to find David, Mason and Hudson all in a room. Hudson had been captured and giving them false orders in order to stay alive. Menendez tells them that one other person has to die. Hudson says he has a family then sacrifices himself.
In the following Mission you play as the CIA mole Farid. This is where we see what Menedez has been planning all along. You play as Farid fighting your way through the streets of Yemen. You are guided there by Harper who has split up from Section. Once you reach the edge of the city you meet Menendez again. He shoots a rocket at the hovercraft Harper is flying. Once Harper is dragged out of his downed craft Menendez hands Farid his gun. Farid now has the choice of shooting Harper or shooting Menendez. If you shoot Harper you kill him and remain alive for further missions. If you attempt to shoot Menendez he blocks it and shoots you. Harper survives and is in other levels of the game. Once this happens you play the remainder of the mission as Section. You eventually catch up to Menendez and capture him leading to the next mission.
The next mission starts with you talking to Menendez. He escapes and gets to the control room while you fight your way through the USS Obama to get to it as well. Just as you’re arriving you see a bunch of action. You briefly play as Menendez and take admiral Briggs hostage. One of Sections crew named Salazar, from an earlier mission betrays them. If you rescued Chloe and Farid shot Harper he will sacrifice himself when Salazar attempts to shoot her. If Farid is dead Salazar will shoot her in the head. If Defalco is alive he will slit her throat instead. After this you as Menendez are given the choice to either shoot Briggs in the head or leg. Either way Menendez will unleash the celerium worm. The level ends with you chasing Menendez to the deck of the Obama and missing him as he takes off in a fighter.
In the second last mission Mason and his team are tasked with saving the president along with the other G20 leaders safe from Cordis Die riots. As Mason moves through the downtown streets of LA they hit a point where you can actually save the G20 leaders if you make it to the truck in time. If you don’t then they will die. After this Mason flies a fighter jet to try and take down some of the drones that Cordis Die have released. The Level ends with the president being saved.
The final mission “Judgement Day” begins with Section and his team skydiving to the Cordis Die Headquarters in order to shut down the transmission and stop the drone fleet from destroying major cities in the United States. When Section reach the control room they are too late and the transmission starts. Once it’s over they go to capture Menendez. Eventually Section does. Now the choices you have made previously will determine the ending. Whatever happens you will have the option to either capture or kill Menendez. If Harper is alive he will make a comment depending if you shoot or capture Menendez. If you kill Menendez and Harper is alive Section will go over and help him.
This ultimately determines the ending cut scenes. If you shot Mason anywhere but the head he will appear and meet up with Woods and Section. If you shot him in the head Section and Woods visit his grave and you Section says he is going to retire in which Woods agrees along with his dad. If Menendez is alive and Chloe is dead he will escape jail and come and kill Woods. If Menendez is dead it triggers riots by his Cordis Die followers. If Both Chloe and Menendez are alive then Chloe will stop the celerium worm untimately leaving Menendez in jail.
The story overall is one of the best I have ever seen. It was different because it was the first time I have been introduced to the different choices option. The story is genuine and makes you really care about the characters even though they are fake and just in a video game.
The Graphics in this game really stand out beyond what many games go to. The people look more and more realistic each game that comes out. BOII really follows this trend by allowing us to see just how far the games have gone to make things realistic for people. The gun fire, surroundings, and explosions have all increased incredibly.
The game play in this game is quite interesting actually. Everything is more realistic, meaning that aiming down your gun is much harder to do than it was before. The recoil on each gun mimics that of their real life counterparts incredibly accurately. This makes the game even harder on easier levels making it for a better game overall.
Like all Call of Duty Games the controls haven’t changed since the previous installments so players and fans can immediately start playing and know all the controls. I do like at the beginning of each game they have a brief tutorial for the new players but the controls are pretty simple to use.
The content of the game is great This game is filled to capacity with small things. Even though you can’t interact with everything you definitely see that the producers of the game really cared and put a lot of effort to making this the best game possible. Overall it’s got so much stuff in it that I haven’t found everything yet. I’ve been playing it for almost 3 years now and I still haven’t found all the little goose eggs or Intel.
Overall Review for the game:
Game play: 9/10
Overall Rating: 47/50
Next Review: Call of Duty: Black OPS I