Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Hands-On
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Hands-On
Where to start? Well, if you haven't done your homework our First Look is definitely a solid beginning.
Create-a-class is where the multiplayer experience begins, so lets kick it off here. The previous system is now too rigid, but also perhaps too leading and suggestive for Treyarch. They’ve thrown the number of options for weapons, attachments, perks, lethal equipment and tactical equipment together and come up with Pick-10, the new create-a-class point system that essentially lets you choose where you spend each point.
Aside from the traditional ways you’d expect to blow these points, they’ve added three Wildcards slots, each slot offers an option to extend these class configurations even more, adding multiples to attachments, perks and lethal and tactical equipment. You can now have up to 3 attachments on a primary weapon, two on a secondary weapon, Green Cards that offer two of each perks 1, 2 and 3, and you can also choose two lethal and tactical pieces of equipment. All this depends, of course, on how you spend these 10 points though.
If you want more grenades, spend the point on the lethal equipment, or if you have two perks you’re after in the first category, spend it there. Of course, you have to use a Wildcard to be able to spend a point on the extra slot, so you better get use out of it.
You don’t have to use a category if you don’t want to either. Something not used as much or at all can be traded for something you will have a use for. No primary weapon or no grenades, or doubling up on each of these, and anywhere in between - the choice is yours.
And that’s Treyarch’s goal here, choice. Endless combinations and therefore greater freedom, ideal for any and every possible way you want to set up your classes, and perhaps pushing us a bit further to get more creative with it.
So what if you try to over-use the points? It doesn’t simply say you can’t do that, instead another screen appears and politely asks, which one of these filled slots don’t you really need, cause you do only have 10 points to use. This gives you a real time way to evaluate what you need the most.
What’s on offer to fill these Pick-10 slots is vast and impressive. And while we’ll see similar weaponry upgraded for the near future setting, it’s probably the attachments and equipment that really stand out.
Scope attachments range from the standard red dot sight to a laser sight, to the powerful Millimeter Wave Scanner - a scope based on the same technology used by the controversial TSA Body Scanners - which detects stationary targets through various surfaces. Even when not scoped, the optic still shows the scanning in the sight. And then there’s the target finder, a tunneled sight that actually lights up the target with a red square to help identify and target hostiles from friendlies. Peripheral vision is eliminated though, so there is a price.
Because perks no longer affect your guns, any gun customization has to be done through attachments. Fire rate selection, quickdraw, suppressors and much, much more are on offer amongst the plethora of sights, all set out on a grid so you can easily see what’s on offer, again in real time, on a single screen.
Perk Pros are gone and perks are now “tunable”, according to Treyarch. This is demonstrated with the returning Ghost perk. The effect of the Ghost perk now only applies when you are moving - if you stay still you’ll get picked up on a UAV (which is perfect for counter-camping).
Placeable assault shields come in the weapons category and are a great addition brought in to help reclaim those areas that can be cut off by the perfectly positioned enemies.
The usual grenades are mixed in with newly added shock charge and EMP grenades. And while the shock charge only affects another player similarly to a stun grenade, it can be thrown and left in strategic places, such as a doorway, to serve as an alarm system when triggered. This of course gives you ample time to take the shocked player out. The EMP grenades give you more targeted use for this EMP burst effect and are priceless when faced with enemy drones.
You and your enemy have to get these drones somehow though. This is where Score Streaks have come in - to replace Kill Streaks. Anything done in a match that contributes to earning a score will add to your Score Streak. This builds like a meter as you score for your team and once filled to a point, you can deploy one of the three rewards, depending on what level the meter has reached.
The Guardian Turret gives us a glimpse at the technological evolution of the near future. A man placed microwave turret that sends out heat waves that significantly impair player movement and health, priming them to be taken down - a great way to control chokepoints across the map.
Back to the drones though, the AGR - a chopper dropped drone that bursts out of a care-package-style crate autonomously and drives in to shoot the place up - can be AI or player controlled. At any point you can pull up your data pad and control the drone - movement, guns and rockets - but you can also drop back into the gunfight whenever you want, at which point the AI kicks in for the drone. And then there’s an AI controlled A10 strafing run that gives you continued feedback on its progress. There's plenty of reason to chase score instead of just kills now.
Multi Team Deathmatch and Hard Point are the two new modes that have been revealed. The first is… well, what it’s called. Up to six teams, a total of 18 players in a single match that can be divided up however you like - six groups of three, four groups of four and so on. Hard point is classic King of the Hill, and it demonstrates a clear attempt to focus the action to one point on a map.
The maps we saw have additional hazards and moving elements, such as cranes moving containers through the duration of the match. Aftermath is what’s left of LA after a drone attack, Cargo is a large shipyard with said moving containers, Turbine is the larger map where you can climb on almost everything and Yemen is an urban close quarters map with gaping fall-to-your-death zones.
The ranking progression has been overhauled as well to coincide with the Pick-10 system. Every level up - or promotion - gives you a single unlock token to be used to unlock new Pick-10’s or score streaks. With over 100 items in the Pick-10 options, 55 rank levels and 10 levels of prestige, you’ll have to prestige almost twice just to unlock every single item. This is now done through gaining
experience points, separated from the score points mentioned.
These are shown with a medal and are repeatable, but not always
earned, depending on the type of kill and achievement (a system we couldn't quite get a full grasp on during our playthrough).
A stronger emphasis on E-Sports also brings a few new features. League Play introduces skill-based match making where each player’s skill level puts them into a division with players at similar levels. This is to avoid not only repetitive deaths for a player but also to add challenge to those unstoppable players on a streak that may start to find it too easy and boring. Steady progress in a division will see you move up the ranks.
CODcasting and theatre mode cater to the spectator side of the game and turn a match into a sports broadcast. With various map views to give a sports game feel of what’s happening coupled with the running CODcasting commentary and you’ve essentially got a live E-sports game. Add live streaming via the click of a button, and you can watch your favourite players, pick up techniques or scope other player’s styles, all over Wi-FI.
So, with all that said, the question that comes around every year with a Call of Duty multiplayer is still lingering, is it new and different enough? Obviously there are elements that on their own are not - but put everything together and there’s definitely a very different set of playing styles on offer.
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Wed 22 Aug 12, 11:44pmTyoson
Posted: Wed 22 Aug 12, 11:44pm
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