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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (X-Box)

Unless you're a gamer, you may be looking at the title of this review, and wondering what this particular game has got to do with horror.  Well, it has a horror related feature called, Zombies...

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" has three main modes to it- Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies.  While I thought Campaign mode was fun, and really enjoy playing the Multiplayer mode with my nephew and niece, it's the Zombie mode that I'm going to discuss.

Within Zombie mode, you have three types of games you can play- Tranzit, Grief, and Survival.  This variety helps to give the game some measure of replay value.  All three game types are well done.

In Tranzit (available on the bus stop map only), you work your way through the maps by riding an automated bus.  At each stop you can build equipment to help open doors, act as a shield, etc while buying new weapons and killing zombies.  I haven't been able to "finish" this game type yet, so I'm not sure if there's an end game objective... or you just keep going to see how long you can survive.  This is a Dr Manhattan type fellow that shows up, so they may be the end boss... maybe.  This game mode is best enjoyed as a four person group.

In Grief, you're either on the Centre for Disease Control team, or the Central Intellegence Agency team.  The  object is to be the last team standing.  I prefer being CIA because the black suits look cooler than the hazmat outfits the CDC wear.  You can wound member of the other team with grenades, but you can't kill them outright- and you can revive members of your own team if they go down.

Survival puts everyone on the same team (CDC), and has a very simple objective- survive as long as possible.  You can wound other players or revive them.  I kinda wish you could choose to have the hazmat suit or the black suits.

All three game types start of slow and easy, but get increasingly harder with each new wave of zombies.  Game play can get pretty intense and chaotic- which just makes the game all the more fun to play.  The weapons are varied, with some being more effective at later levels than others.  My favorite weapons to use are the Light Machine Gun, the Rocket Launcher, and the Ray Gun.  The "magic" bonuses, like Max Ammo, and Insta-Kill are nice to have, and help to balance things out well.  The idea of the weapons box is a great idea too, and offers more weapons to use.  It was annoying when I got a pistol three times in a row.  I also really liked the idea of the teddy bear item in the box that caused the box to teleport to another location on the map.  When if first happens, some interesting moments of panic can occur.

The music added a slightly surreal and humorous touch to the game.  There's nothing like killing a charging hoard of zombies to the sounds of country music.  In Tranzit, the quotes that the four characters would randomly say were pretty funny, and helped to lighten some of the more intense moments.  One of my favorite quotes was, "I need ammo- and cheese!".

It wouldn't be a proper game review if I didn't discuss the graphics.  Just marvelous.  It's kinda cool at times to just stand and watch the shambling undead shuffle forward before they stepped into a fire and continued forward while on fire.  Their glowing blue eyes, the crawling zombies, the hand walking zombies looked great.  The maps look awesome too- especially the farm one with the hazy fog, the textures on the walls, etc.  Just a great looking game... especially on a big screen TV.

I would definately recommend playing the Zombies mode with friends.  I'm placing "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" in The Good.

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