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Review: Black Ops 2 Multiplayer, lets get personal!

by Nicholas Holden (Holden ZA)  Posted Friday, November 23, 2012 1:51:00 PM

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Black Ops 2 multiplayer has been one of the most eagerly awaited Call of Duty titles to date, especially for hardcore fans. It is all thanks to the team at Treyarch who have decided to take a completely different approach to the multiplayer. This approach is one that has been met with open arms from the Call of Duty community. 

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What Treyarch have brought in are several key features into the multiplayer experience which makes it a lot more personal. One of these features is the new ‘create a class system’ which is based on a pick ten principles. The basic rundown of the pick ten system is that player will now receive ten ‘points’ in which to create a class with. You can then allocate these points by choosing a primary weapon, secondary weapon, perks, primary grenades and all the other traditional class preferences that you could use in previous Call of Duty titles. This means you are limited to having one primary weapon and one secondary weapon only. Rather, you can decide to use or not to use any of the slots that are available. Every addition to your class will cost you 1 point, thus making your selection process vital. Also added to the new pick ten system is the introduction of wildcards. Wildcards allow you to add extra options to your class system, such as adding an extra perk or adding an extra attachment to your class. Choosing a wildcard costs 1 point, the same as other items, but essentially choosing a wildcard opens up an extra slot in your class selection; thus selecting a wildcard and using it will cost you two points. What the new system does is create more diversity and personalization, which translates into the online games being much more unique and more competitive than ever before.

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Treyarch has stepped up the game for competitive play by introducing several new features such as league play, shoutcasting and full customization options for custom games. So kicking things off, lets dive into the new league feature. The new league play offer players to play in two new leagues, a Championship league and a Moshpitt league. Players can play in teams or as individuals. Playing in one of the two leagues allows you to rank up and earn an international rank; your rank is based almost entirely on wins. For a more in-depth coverage on league play please click here.

Moving forward to one of the most exciting features for me, the shoutcasting. This feature allows you to take control of a match by being the commentator of a competitive matchup. This allows you to customize how the game will be watched and exactly how your viewers will see it. Yes your viewers, Black Ops 2 has integrated a new streaming feature to Black Ops 2, which will allow you to upload your match for all to see, with you at the helm of the experience. However, for South African this feature won’t be possible to use with public lines which best upload sits just under the 1mb mark. The requirement for a stable live stream requires an upload of at least 2mb.  

Then there is the full customization for custom games, I know that sounds a bit odd but in previous Call of Duty titles this wasn’t possible. The full customization allows for features such as the ability to disable map elements, this is a small feature that means a lot to competitive gamers. It essentially means that maps will no longer be able to give away your position based on an in game element. These small tweaks makes the maps viable for competitive gaming, rather than it going to the waist pile as we have seen happen all to often with Call of Duties. There are a lot more features that allow for growth, especially in the competitive environment, which is something the more serious ‘COD-ers’ can be grateful for.

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The last addition to the multiplayer is two new modes that have been welcomed with open arms. They are hardpoint and multi-team modes. Hardpoint is an adaptation of king of the hill, where the ‘hill’ will move several times throughout the map in predetermined locations. This mode is an extremely competitive mode, so much so that we have seen it added to the European gaming league as one of the new modes to the roster. Then there is the multi-team mode, which is essentially as the name states, multiple teams competing at the same time. This mode is tons of fun, my only criticism is that teams are difficult to identify, thus when you realize you're behind and need to focus on stopping one team to try and win the game; you are left blind due to all the characters looking extremely similar.

The multiplayer in Black Ops 2 is a big improvement from previous Call of Duty titles. With much more personalization and customization the multiplayer becomes a more personal experience, thus more rewarding. With regard to South African gamers we are still struggling with some matchmaking issues for console gamers. However, some players are reporting that this has been fixed with the latest update. We will have to wait and game to see if this is true, but so far the multiplayer has been a one hell of a fun time. 

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