‘Black Ops II’ strengthens multiplayer, adds zombie options

The “Call of Duty” franchise has enjoyed major success with “Modern Warfare 3” and “Black Ops.” Gamers have spent countless hours enjoying the single-player campaign, demolishing hordes of zombies or challenging themselves, as well as improving ratios with others online through multiplayer gameplay. Now is the time for Activision, the makers of “Call of Duty,” to rise again with its newest game: “Black Ops II.” Returning from the previous “Black Ops” are Alex Mason and Frank Woods, still set in the 1980s. Most of the story in “Black Ops II” takes place in 2025, where players assume the role of Mason’s son, David. At this time, the United States has entered another cold war.

This time, it is with China over a dwindling resource: earth elements. Many components, like cyber-attacks and the new Strike Force, will be featured in the campaign, as well as a storyline that is not completely linear. Players can make right and wrong turns throughout the campaign, ending in multiple ways. This allows players to play the game many times without getting bored with the missions. Aside from the campaign, multiplayer is the aspect of the game that garners the most attention. A major change in the multiplayer world is the class system.

Players assign points to certain traits for their players, adding another level of customization. Another great change in the system is the end of Kill Streaks, which are instead replaced with Score Streaks. Score is assigned when a player helps the team, whether a player kills an opponent, captures a flag or assists in a teammate’s kill. In order to gain these points, players need to handle some weapons, which are given a more modern or futuristic feel. These weapon modifications include an Assault Shield, which is a handmade portable shield, a Dual Band Scope, a sniping scope that shows the heat signatures of objects, a Shock Charge, a grenade that does not kill but instead stuns using electricity, and more. These mods are made, including the perks that players put into them. For players with certain skill sets, they will be matched with other players with the same skills, in order to get a better experience. All the favorite game modes, or playlists, from the “Call of Duty” franchise return for the most recent installment with modifications. These modifications, however, are ones the players themselves choose. Custom gaming options include parameters, such as bringing in computer- controlled players to any game mode.

Party Games, which were known previously as Wager Matches, come back in this installment, as well. However, as with the Training mode, Experience is gained when these matches are played, which then carry onto the single player campaign, giving experienced multiplayer gamers an extra edge in the campaign. These playlists would be useless if the places that contain them were not on the same level, and Activision has taken this under consideration. From Yemen to a 2025 version of Nuketown, the game provides different mediums for players to hone their skills.

One of the biggest changes in “Black Ops II” is the undead. The zombie mode is returning for its third game, and it is as large as ever. For the first time ever, a person can play zombie mode as a campaign called Tranzit, where up to four players can travel through environments, where a new story evolves. Zombies can still be enjoyed as it has been previously played in Survival Mode, where the places are smaller places within Tranzit. For those still wanting to battle others, a third mode, Grief, is introduced, where two teams with up to four members on each team can survive from the zombie horde.

The last human standing wins the war. This option, like the other multiplayer modes, has modes that allow games that only allow headshots, for example. With the greatly enhanced gameplay, “Black Ops II” gives more power to the players through organizing multiplayer matches and their own multiplayer character, as well as provides options that allow many multiplayer gamers to go back to the campaign time after time in order to discover all that it has to offer. The multiplayer modes and zombie mode that players appreciated in previous versions underwent a major overhaul, giving players much more gameplay to go through.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops II” will be released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Windows on Nov. 13, and on the Wii U on Nov. 18.

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