If there is only one constant in the video game industry, it is certainly Call of Duty. The series, which originated on the PC in 2003, took off in 2007 with the release of the original Modern Warfare. Since then, Activision has taken great advantage of its new cash-cow, releasing a new title every year, and making sure that no newly released console goes without a version of the franchise.
And so of course Activision had a version of Black Ops II ready for the release of the Wii U. The game's single player campaign is a direct sequel to the original Black Ops, and alternatively takes place in the near-future world of 2025 and the late 1980s. The 1980s directly feature the characters from the first Black Ops,, while the near-future setting features Mason's son David. To be completely honest, the story is relatively bland and full of military tropes, but there is one incredibly impressive thing about it.
Instead of just presenting a linear "Run from A to B" experience, the developers over at Treyarch have implemented player choices, and even more impressively, they have actually made these choices matter. It's hard to give examples without spoiling the game, but there will often be choices that are not presented as such to the player which is particularly impressive even when compared to games with much better stories.
Since this is a Treyarch Call of Duty, the Zombies mode also makes a return, with a new "TranZit" mode that places you and co-op buddies on a bus that makes its way down the road as you fight off more and more zombies along the way. It certainly ads an interesting twist to Zombies, but it sort of remains the same thing it always was.
The multiplayer ends up working just about the same as it always has as well, with a few major changes. Most importantly, class creation is now handled with what Treyarch has coined the "Pick 10 System", which allows you to pick exactly 10 items. Everything is included, from the core weapon and its attachments to every single perk you take. As a result of this system you can also eliminate entire categories of weapons, even eliminate your main weapon entirely, opting for a knife instead, in order to make room for more perks and grenades. While it might not sound like much, this system allows for far more experimentation than the old system did, and therefore more variation in the other players you encounter.
To be completely honest, I was shocked by how good Black Ops II ended up being. I expected a fully competent game, but Treyarch surprised me by putting far more effort into both the single player and multiplayer than they needed to, and its fantastic to see someone actually trying to make this franchise better instead of just endlessly iterating on the same basic ideas over and over again like Infinity Ward seems to love doing with the games they release.