Call of Duty Black Ops II multiplayer for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Previewed by Siobhan Keogh
When I had eyes-on time with Call of Duty: Black Ops II's campaign at E3 in June, I wasn't too impressed. It all looked a bit samey - gunfire, explosions, people yelling and swearing - and frankly it gets a bit tiresome to play the same game over and over again. I may have to revise my position a little, however, after seeing Call of Duty: Black Ops II's multiplayer.
Black Ops II moves away from the wars we know and have visited and into a near-future scenario. As such, there are familiar guns and technologies, but there's also new tech incorporated into both campaign and multiplayer. In multiplayer, the "data glove" is used to call in scorestreaks.
Scorestreaks are pretty self-explanatory: they're basically like the killstreaks of old, but you earn them based on your score rather than your kill count. In objective game types, you can gain additional points toward your scorestreak by capturing locations or fending off would-be attackers, on top of the points you get for taking out enemy soldiers.
The biggest change in multiplayer comes before you start your game, however, at the "Create a Class" screen. Rather than having a set of mandatory weapons - primary weapon, secondary weapon, grenade, perk - you instead have 10 points to spend on whatever you want. You could spend the points unlocking the ability to have extra perks to make your character faster and more resistant to damage, then just have him run around with a knife and no guns.
These extras are made possible because of "wildcards". You'll need to spend one of your 10 points to use a wildcard, but they're what give you the ability to add extras to your loadout.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to try out zombies mode this time around. It's a shame: quite a few changes have been announced, including a campaign called Tranzit. Fan favourite map Nuketown will be making yet another return in zombies, too.
Black Ops II still features the Call of Duty multiplayer experience you've known for years now, but the tweaks and changes Treyarch has introduced might keep it fresh for big fans of the franchise.
Between the revamped loadout system, wildcards, new maps and new game types, there's plenty that's new here to play with. Whether the campaign offers anything new, however, is yet to be seen.