Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been released. You might have noticed.
Unusually last night’s midnight launches took place before the review embargo was lifted, leaving thousand waiting until this morning to discover whether the game now sitting in their consoles is any good.
Fear not. It sounds fantastic.
“Tether the plethora of modes here together and you get a Power Rangers-style mega-force that‘s much more than the sum of its parts, and only the overly familiar template and a lack of soul keep it from nabbing a higher score,” Official PlayStation Magazine wrote in its 8/10 review.
“Although it’s technically brilliant, running at a constant 60fps, it lacks the esoteric charm, ideas and personality to rank as a true classic. Black Ops 2 is the ultimate expression of what Call Of Duty has achieved on the current generation of consoles, but it’ll take PS4 to unshackle the series from its current limitations.”
GameSpot also awarded the game 8/10, concluding: “Though zombies mode is stagnating, the rest of Black Ops II is lively, and it's great to see some shifting in the familiar structure.
“Developer Treyarch's storytelling prowess has once again resulted in an engaging, exciting campaign, and the addition of league play to the online multiplayer arena is an intriguing change that could reinvigorate the formula that has endured for so long. By reaching forward while remaining rooted in the things it does so well, Black Ops II offers a great shooter experience.”
Also in the 8/10 party was Polygon, adding: “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is made up of so many dissonant parts that it's hard to believe they were all made by the same studio. Black Ops 2's campaign and Zombies mode are disappointments, especially coming off the across-the-board success of its predecessor.
“But it's a testament to the extraordinary quality of its multiplayer that Black Ops 2 won't go down as a forgotten entry. For most, that's probably enough to strongly recommend it. A saving grace, if ever there was one, Treyarch has taken big risks with the most successful multiplayer formula in online shooters since online play and party systems. That innovation, combined with the constant refinement of Call of Duty's multiplayer mechanics over the years, makes Black Ops 2 the best online shooter out there.”
CVG went for 7.8/10, stating: “Eighty-six years of technology, and there's still so little to split between Call of Duty 2's World War II and Black Ops 2's World War Next. Perhaps that is the enduring message that Black Ops 2 has to share with the world. That no matter how much technological progress humankind makes, we're doomed to fight the same war over and over again. If so, then one thing's for sure - nobody tells the story of that one war with quite as much flair and panache as Call of Duty.”