Wails from the script
Well, the setting has changed for one. Much of the game is now set in what could be dubbed "future warfare" where governments have gone drone happy and China controls much of the world's resources.
Shut down the computer
Thing is, China isn't the villain of the piece, that honour goes to Raul Menendez who, much like your average Bond villain, has a victim complex a mile wide leaving him firmly in the "Death to America" camp. No prizes for guessing you'll be gunning for Team USA then – in missions that flit between past and future battles – as Menendez's sob story is laid bare.
I'm just going to say it now: Black Ops 2, despite involvement from some Hollywood scribes, including David S. Goyer – The Dark Knight, Blade – won't be winning any awards for its narrative. Indeed, if Goyer was as involved, as stated, then he's evidently decided against bringing his best to the project.
Aim to chute?
That said, strides have been made to revolutionise its narrative structure. This is still no Mass Effect, but story branches will split based on your mission success. This, at least, lends some replayability to proceedings. Further variation comes courtesy of numerous Strike Force missions. Think, single player assault-type missions with casual real-time strategy thrown in for good measure.
These are not only an attempt to splice something new into the Call of Duty formula, but also affect the game's progression (and even ending) depending on how well you perform. Previously missed objectives might also be completed here too, should you perform well.
Aside from these few sections, however, the spectres of aforementioned bottlenecks and survival episodes remain unexorcised, meaning the actual nuts and bolts of the gameplay doesn't lend itself well to repeat servings.
Attack with the Parrot drone
Treyarch has gone all out to impress with toys – flying suits, operable mechs, cloaking fatigues, even cavalry charges – but such options fall flat when used against enemy forces lacking any semblance of personality or intelligence.
Next page: Zombies, the lot of ya...
You enjoy the single player on these bags of shite? What's wrong with you?
I enjoy flying helicopters upriver machine gunning people to death while listening to Jimi Hendrix. You act as if that were odd somehow. And you're not honestly going to try and tell me CoD4 had shit single-player, are you?
I'm not interested in the multiplayer, mainly because of the player base. I prefer to play solid co-op games online. Killing Floor is a good example because it forces the players to work together, rather than act like dicks and hurl obscenities at each other all night.
Each CoD game has been a photocopy of the one before it since IW and Treyarch started sharing the engine. This series is at death's door and even the hardened fans are growing tired of it.
A friend once referred to CoD as "Duck Hunt HD" and it seems from the review that this version is no different.
Call of Duty is well past its sell by date
Single player COD has barely advanced since the first title - linear levels, heavy amounts of scripting, retarded enemies and allies, infinite spawn points, hidden triggers, unopenable doors and windows and even more scripting. What was forgivable 10 years ago simply isn't forgivable now.
That sounds a bit hard to balance. I imagine some loadouts will be nerfed in short order.
Was hoping for a review of Mass Effect 2.
You sure those screenshots aren't photographs?