There Will Never Be Another Game Like Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Pampered chef steamer basketsteam deck play xbox games CALL OF DUTY®: BLACK OPS review call of duty black ops 2 this phrase alone probably invokes so much nostalgia in you that is a pleasant reminder about how simple life used to be at the time black ops 2 came out in 2012. the game is basically a decade old at this point and i was 14 years old when this game was first introduced to the world im 24 now and life is exceptionally different as im sure is the case for all of you as well what is it about black ops 2 that makes the game so special though on the surface black ops 2 is just another run-of-the-mill call of duty game with the standard offering of a single player campaign traditional cod multiplayer and of course zombies the game is looked at by nearly everyone these days with a sheer reverence for it and fond memories of each element in fact i literally started my youtube channel on this very game it sparked my love and interest for creating content and i certainly would not be here today without it but what im curious about is finding out whether we truly loved black ops 2 because it was genuinely a good video game or were we in love with the relative simplicity of our lives at the time its a hard question to answer and to some extent i think its impossible to entirely remove the nostalgia from analyzing this game objectively but im gonna do my best to do that anyways after considering all the parts of black ops 2 deeply whether you liked or disliked the game its fair to say that there will never be another game quite like it black ops 2 was what some would probably consider to be the pinnacle of the cod franchise the peak of the series if you will to some degree that depends on your perspective on whether bo2 truly was the peak for cod but it doesnt really matter in any case it at least made an impression on everyones mind so deeply that its still talked about even to this day that is certainly not the case for every cod game and this already indicates to me that black ops 2 truly brought something unique and new to the table that will stick with us for the rest of our lives in my opinion black ops 2 is a lot like jennifer aniston it most likely represents a big part of your childhood or past if you watched friends on tv and its also one of the most gracefully aged things on planet earth at least in the sense that most of the gameplay mechanics direction and core gameplay are are still very palatable in 2022 and in the context of modern day video games black ops 2 even now isnt too far off from what would be considered acceptable in my opinion i see bo2 as a genuine sequel to black ops 1 and not just in the story sense but in how the gameplay evolved over time treyarch set out to make black ops 2 the most ambitious cod game to date at the time and it seems like they achieved it its worth noting that not everything paid off however there are some aspects of black ops 2 that definitely do fall apart under scrutiny but as an overall package is extremely well executed and as far as single player goes black ops 2 did one of the more interesting things ive seen from a cod game maybe ever instead of being a one and done on the rails narrative experience they introduced some rpg elements alongside the classic campaign format to make a branching pathway story arc structure where the things you do in game actually matter in a big way and can vastly affect the outcome and while the gameplay of the strikeforce missions werent terribly fun it all added to the experience that was the black ops 2 arc we will get to campaign in more detail momentarily but as far as the multiplayer side of things go it seems they set out to make the most engaging and viscerally fun experience possible taking the core gameplay of the black ops arena multiplayer but expanding it and deepening it further to give the player the most variety of experience as possible for the hardcore players and the casuals alike black ops 2 multiplayer seems to be just as memorable to people as something like cod 4 or modern warfare 2 multiplayer as well i really cant find anyone that hasnt at least played or enjoyed b02 multiplayer at one point in time or another its an experience we all share it seems and with zombies well you can tell they had a big vision for what this mode could be and they took some extreme risks with this iteration and again not all of those risks quite paid off but honestly in some cases i think the flaws in black ops 2 and im talking the game as a whole are actually what make this game beautiful to me the game isnt perfect far from it in fact but you you dont even want it to be a perfect game its insanely fun and enjoyable and partly that is a direct result of some of its flaws and if that doesnt make any sense to you stick with me i promise that would make sense by the end of this black ops 2 has the sense in literally every element of its core game that sticks in your memory everything from the campaign to mp and zombies all have these unique qualities while not all of them are good at least remain in your mind but lets get down to it and figure out why black ops 2 is so special among the cod franchise starting with the single player campaign hey there real quick before we continue any further im going to be making a review video like this for every single call of duty title and obviously these take a long time to produce so getting footage for multiplayer lobbies im actually going to be playing multiplayer with members so if you guys want to support this kind of content and become a channel member not only does it help out a ton but ill also be playing with you guys as i go and get footage and re-review and visit some older call of duty games so if you want to take part in that you can become a member and it would be greatly appreciated otherwise no pressure if you dont want to do that the least you can do is subscribe to the channel for more of these reviews and it shows that around 80 of you guys arent currently subbed and we are getting really close to half a million so make sure that sub button if you havent already but anyways lets continue okay and um Music all right im just going to come out and say it black ops 2 probably has my favorite cod campaign possibly ever its certainly flawed yes but its so charming and gracefully aged otherwise that its so easy to overlook the glaring flaws the basic premise of the campaign is both a journey back in time in which you play through the stories of frank woods and his operations with alex mason as they try and capture targets frank woods was tortured by raul menendez and wants revenge through an unfortunate error frank woods also ends up causing the death of raul menendezs sister which causes their hatred for one another to deepen even further the structure permission involves cutting back and forth between current day where you play primarily as david mason alexs son and try to stop raul menendez and his plan for cortes da in a premise where raul is primarily focused on cyber like warfare which is creepily similar to our current day despite being a 10 year old game is oddly relevant even now not only does the cutting back and forth between time periods help illustrate the storytelling very well but it also keeps it visually and thematically interesting so one thing never gets played out for too long as soon as youre getting bored of the frank wood stuff in the past bam cuts right back to present day with david mason and all the futuristic tech and settings as soon as that starts to get boring bam cut right back again also the black ops 2 campaign has probably my favorite cod villain for its main antagonist ever maybe besides makarov raul menendez is such a well-developed and memorable character that throughout the course of the missions you get to learn why hes so twisted and evil and to some extent youre forced to empathize with him and even feel sorry for him at times despite being a horrible monster the mission where you play as him just after noriega breaks you free the exaggerated realism with the over-the-top blood splatters the pulsating hud and the kind of hilariously ignoring the concept of reloading altogether its this like heightened realism and its one of those points where you get to understand your enemies motivations to a level i feel like we dont get very often stepping into the shoes of your enemy even just for a moment is so effective in making you at least care about the stakes even more i just think of vanguard with generic nazi man whos a bad guy because bad in vanguard the game has to outright tell you not to like this guy and the heroes are just perfect saints basically they may as well be superheroes with no real depth a much more interesting protagonist is also one that struggles against the conflict within his or herself as well as fighting the external threat and wrestling with that instead of doing the right thing all the time at every possible moment is far more interesting in black ops 2 the way that you see raul menendez will alter your treatment of him later on and that brings me to why besides pretty good storytelling the black ops 2 campaign is great the multiple outcomes and the players choice having genuine weight to it this is the only cod campaign that has a deep emphasis on player choice one criticism i have for cod campaigns in general is in a lot of ways theyre just very on the rails boxed in almost interactive movies youre youre just watching a story unfold instead of actively participating in it and dont get me wrong thats fine i genuinely have nothing against that style of storytelling and call of duty my point is black ops 2 genuinely tried something different and it paid off in a great way theres the obvious choices like should i kill this guy on the spot or not or the famous shooting mason in the leg instead of the head but in order to get the best possible ending you have to do random things as well like grab an offhand document in a random mission and even avoiding a pipe spewing fire uh so your boy doesnt get his face burned off just small and subtle choices like that dramatically affect the outcome this is perhaps the strongest aspect to this campaign you feel so much more personally invested in it and you consider your actions much more carefully than normal the scene where youre on the boat and people start getting shot theres like 934 outcomes of this scenario depending on what you do prior to that mission and its actually very unlikely that most people who played the bo2 campaign ever got the best ending at all unless they did the very specific things you need to do during the playthrough or they did multiple playthroughs which is exactly what treyarch intended for it its not all perfect though there was a new element added called strikeforce missions now technically these are all optional but in order to get a good outcome you have to complete all of these missions and im gonna be real these are all boring and terrible disasters basically they completely divert from the main story being told and the gameplay is more like an rts game where you do basic objectives and control a squad from the top down that i just find mind-numbingly boring personally i just wanted to blow through them as quickly as possible to get back to the good stuff but i had to do them to get the good ending they just dont really seem to fit well from a story or gameplay perspective with what the rest of b02 was going for and honestly it mostly feels like filler as the total length actually of the campaign isnt all that long theres also a traditional created class system for the campaign and while i can appreciate it theres some neat special weapons you get access to from it the choice of weaponry matters zero in the grand scheme of things its just so you can use your preferred weapon and nothing more theres a lot of neat little details i noticed as i was replaying it too when you shoot mason so that it isnt a lethal shot you can see a really small mouth movement just before it fades to black indicating that hes still alive but it happens so quickly that youll probably miss it if youre not looking for it also i find it hilarious how apparently everyone in this game is a short king i guess according to the game chloe or karma is 52 and 95 pounds and when you see her standing next to any other character shes just as tall if not taller than everyone else some of the tech abilities they use do feel kind of quaint corny or i dont know outdated but honestly not as much as you youd expect for a 10 year old game most things still feel somewhat plausible or in touch it also doesnt overstay its welcome some cod campaigns i feel like seem to drag on and its like they tried to stretch total running time in exchange for an engaging experience black ops 2 aside from the strike missions has no fluff cuts right to the chase and gets you what you need to know and above all else is just a genuinely fun single player experience the gameplay is about what youd expect you know its clearing levels as you shoot through bad guys but occasionally you have to make a choice that are all fun to consider its satisfying either killing or capturing menendez or seeing woods and mason reunite at the very end its a nice moment that feels earned given the choices you had to make so it would happen the black ops 2 campaign will probably genuinely stick with me for the rest of my life its not the most genius or well-written story or anything but its so memorable for a lot of reasons and it absolutely stands out among the series as an excellent cod campaign and i sincerely hope they make this branching story structure again i know they did in cold war its got multiple endings and i liked that campaign a lot too but it didnt have the nuances in the choices like bo2 had not to mention the campaign made a great basis and premise for the iconic multiplayer experience so lets talk about that too shall we being um black ops 2 in all honesty might be treyarchs one of if not the best multiplayer experience now im not saying its perfect or flawless in fact far from it but again a lot of its imperfections are what make it beautiful and memorable so lets just dive in yeah what exactly is it that makes the multiplayer of black ops 2 so damn good to me not only is the game absolutely overflowing with personality but it also rides the line between fun and balanced the best in my opinion so lets start with that i think generally speaking you can place cod mps on a spectrum on one end you have just pure chaotic fun where everythings broken from a technical and balanced standpoint but at least its fun classic example i always use is modern warfare 2. on the other hand you have ultra meticulous balance and good technical gameplay i dont know if theres a great cod example for this but something like counter-strike or even some older halo games focus was on ultra fair balance but either way you get the point black ops 2 was able to be balanced for the most part without losing its fun factor a perfectly balanced game runs into the danger of becoming boring and black ops 2 avoids this in very intelligent ways so what do i mean by that bo2 again for the most part strikes a near perfect balance with its weapons and perks each weapon and therefore attachment have a play and counterplay to them also to me the pick 10 system seems to make the most sense in this game there are just enough items and perks to use without feeling like filler but still having ample meaningful changes you can make to your classes and i cant quite put my finger on it but something about how the guns sound feel and the overall gunplay just feels so damn good in this game and it doesnt get old the maps are also with a few exceptions super well designed classic cod 3 lane style maps with their own unique flavor of gameplay to each one the maps were all designed as well with the sandbox specifically of black ops 2s weapons in mind and something ive noticed im sure many of you will relate to what im about to say but i swear in older games like black ops 2 multiplayer i can remember in detail the names of mp maps i know how they look and feel and they left a big impression on me same with the weapon selection i could probably name you every gun in each class in black ops 2 without looking at them genuinely and i dont really know why that is everything about this game hangs very vividly in my memory and i i dont understand maybe my brain has reached max capacity for remembering cod guns and maps but i would say like after infinite warfare specifically i could no longer retain the names and images of maps and guns in my mind they all started to blend together at a certain point but with bo2 theres no mistaking something like raid or or nuketown 2025 or hijacked in fact now that i think about it black ops 2 was basically the last treyarch game to have its mp maps reimagined for new cod projects you know what i mean in in bo4 and cold war there were a bunch of black ops 2 maps and even b01 in each game brought over nothing original from b03 and then on obviously because of its movement system or even in b04 have been remastered point is theyre all from older cod games like b01 and two its what people remember most and and like playing and let me ask you a question what sticks out in your memory more slums or morocco or how about standoff in bo2 or arsenal in bo4 i understand thats a bit subjective but i really do feel like cod maps dont have the same like remembrance power in our minds these days same with weapons generally speaking as well and when it comes to attachments i also give bo2 mp some credit it has enough attachments and gives you a fair amount of freedom to experiment with them without feeling like filler again the new cut attachment system is interesting and i think modern warfare 2019 personally does it best but im thinking like in vanguard the 80 different variants of attachments that realistically 90 of them never get used and they certainly arent memorable at all like the ones in bo2 are every single weapon map attachment equipment and so on they all have their place in this game and again im not saying the gameplay balance is perfect in fact you dont even want it to be but the most broken aspects of b02 mp by far is within the score streaks black ops 2 was also the first game to innovate on the core defining element of mp the killstreak system has been slightly modified to reward objective players as well instead of those just farming for kills i think the scorestreak system itself is great and it makes perfect sense for black ops 2 mp the score streaks themselves are where the broken elements come into play and thats not even really a criticism the bo2 score streaks are just plain overpowered some of them and once you get streaks rolling in bo2 its like the most fun cod experience there is if youre getting streaked on though its also like the worst to be on the receiving end of it thats the duality though you have to consider you want fun kill streaks then you have to accept sometimes its gonna suck to play against them i dont even really consider this a fault of b02 and i think the score streaks in some sense are really what made the game stand out and all of that was just to do with sheer gameplay which by this point i hope ive made it abundantly clear that its just pure classic hand-crafted fun but the same game is also just literally overflowing with personality first off game modes like gun game one in the chamber and those kinds of party games were so smart to have in the rotation also the game had a fully functioning theater mode that allowed you to record your games upload clips to the public board that the rest of the player base could see allow you to make videos of literally whatever you wanted there was so much creativity that came out of that aspect alone also im just gonna say it i miss emblem editor so much the sheer creativity as well of bo2 emblems are unmatched you could browse community emblems and there was even a whole section of youtube tutorials dedicated to making emblem art i swear to god some nights i would spend more time working on and perfecting an emblem than i would spend playing the actual game unfortunately though i dont think well ever see this feature again now emblems come pre-packaged and theyre they just dont have the same flair or sauce to them anymore id id argue the same with calling cards too granted some people did abuse the emblem system as well to some degree but it certainly wasnt the majority of people and they also found a way to monetize emblems so sadly i dont think well ever see that again speaking of monetization there was some bundle in vanguard that came out not too long ago with a gun and a few other things ironically an emblem that cost 40 dollars literally more than half the price of the full game and you only get the blueprint for that specific weapon in bo2 there are some great camos that you can apply to every gun in the entire game with no exceptions for get this a grand total wait for it of a whopping a massive two whole dollars yeah just uh let that soak in for a minute so uh there are there just like the guns and maps the dlc camos are almost all inspired and incredibly memorable probably the most consumer-friendly version of this dynamic thats ever existed and its not just modern cod that this has affected though this system started to get way out of hand all the way back in call of duty advanced warfare but thats a discussion for another time my point is while the gameplay has its flaws things like lag compensation i remember people werent too happy about the lanky hit detection uh skill-based matchmaking which i dont personally believe is the boogeyman everybody makes it out to be but again thats an entirely different topic for another time but also you know broken guns here and there occasionally and so on black ops 2s mp is generally regarded as one of the most fun and fair multiplayer experiences to date not to mention the personality and identity was impossible to ignore just like the campaign b02 multiplayer will probably stick with me forever as well very fond memories of it even to this day and just a great gameplay experience that does hold up with time black ops 2 multiplayer has a lot of new things where we did some very simple things to make the game Music now we come to the point of the video that ive been really excited for this is obviously where my wheelhouse is and ive been wanting to talk about black ops 2 zombies for a while and its complicated so stick with me black ops 2 zombies is memorable because it has some of the worst offerings in zombies ever combined with some of the best but its not that simple youd be led to think based on that logic alone black ops 2 zombies would be a pretty below average game in terms of zombies if you only looked at that element but as is with most things in life its way more complicated than that so lets start with a bit of history about black ops 2 zombies this project was primarily headed by jimmy zielinski in the beginning who is also responsible for many of your favorite maps in black ops 1. in bo2 they set out to change the zombies formula by no longer having you in a confined space but retaining the core gameplay loop but allowing you to traverse a more open world and the way they talk about it you can see what they probably envisioned hey guess what heres your map and heres the walls the idea is to say you know as far as you need to go or would want to go um to do the things youd want to do and discover all the the story elements and things that you can find that actually help your game play and um as far as like actually constructing things out of junk you find in the in the environment um you know that thats that doesnt happen in one map because you can just run across the map in half a round and get that we needed to give them multiple locations around you know a very expansive area and then you know on foot dangerous a vehicle is going to be a little more protection so we wanted to give them kind of choices of how to till the zombies attack it sounds cool on paper but its also worth noting that the development of transit in this case was also held back much by the hardware limitations at the time developing for both the ps3 and the xbox 360 what they actually wanted to do with transit just wasnt technologically possible given that hardware despite them giving it their best shot in fact the entire reason that denizens and the fog in between areas even exist at all is to slow the player up so the map can load in front of them jimmy z im sure had good intentions for what transit should have been there were even entire areas that had to be cut from transit and even features and whole game modes that were scrapped as a result the engine at the time simply could not support the full version of what treyarch intended and they cobbled together what they could for this on-disk experience so its obvious at this point transit is indeed objectively a bad map but why does everybody remember it so well in contrast duron fong in vanguard is also extraordinarily bad but it doesnt even have one percent of the remembrance power that transit does why not though and i want to make this point crystal clear something can be objectively poorly designed yet still be fun whereas the opposite can also be true something can be objectively designed very well yet still lack any real fun transit falls into the category of the former where its design yes is fundamentally very flawed yet most people can recall some of their favorite zombies memories and moments on this very map in fact its part of its scuffed nature that make it a blast to play with friends let me explain what i mean with an example the pack-a-punch system in transit requires you to place a turbine at the bottom of the power station in solo this can be a real pain in the ass because the zombies can still lock on and break that turbine while youre running to the bank safe to get the door open below if you dont make it in time the door stays shut and you have to go get another turbine place it down try the whole thing again in co-op you need to coordinate when somebody is placing a turbine and get somebody else down there on the opposite side of the room in the bank to keep it open this adds the element of cooperation required to achieve that goal also the fact that fast travel portals are entirely random theres no way to guarantee you can revive someone if they go down on the farthest end of the map if you get lucky sure but its no its no guarantee again this is bad gameplay but admittedly something that makes it more fun one general test i like to use as a marker to determine if a map has a good layout design is if hypothetically a teammate downed on the farthest point on the map away from you could you still revive them before time runs out if the answer is no its not a good signal transit doesnt make this guarantee in shadows of evil its a big map and somebody going down on the other end can mean game over but you use the beast mode sights you can reach anyone anywhere on the map and revive them because of the increased speed that it grants you its its clever transit doesnt really have that level of foresight but thats fine thats the beautiful part of transit it does however have tombstone which allows you to reclaim your weapons and perks after death and respawning the next round which is helpful granted its just that its fascinating because theres no right way to play transit most of the buildables have multiple use cases such as using the latter for the bus or you can use it on the diner to get the galvaknuckles jimmy z maps in general and especially transit are truly the most open freeform sandbox maps we have ever seen in zombies there is hardly any structure to the gameplay loop at all you load up transit either solo or with your buddies and you never quite get the same experience twice not to mention its also where the storyline really started to grip me oddly enough and i can tell you exactly why okay so ive made the case in the past that the reason the chaos story didnt captivate players in the same way was because despite maybe being a good story its a story being told to us where in the era of b01 and bo2 i felt like it was more like we were writing the story alongside treyarch through our theorizing and speculating and after doing some digging that is literally true it literally is the we bounce back and forth with the community it is it is us it is them it is things we hear them say or think that that is in the game and then we we can spin those ideas back with them um we can put ideas out and just see how they they react to them and its really actually kind of a relationship uh we never really meet face to face necessarily but we were we are watching what theyre doing out there and and you know listening to how they respond to the things that we put in there so transit really became the most enigmatic map in terms of looking for new things and having such a mysterious aura around its unanswered questions like nobody really knew if bus route b was real or not or how to get there the transit horse if you recall that uh the night bus jimmy z even saying transit has a unique ending besides just death uh the nevada site different bus routes opening the bowling area alley and so on man even the secret radios that had to be interacted with in a very specific way to hear them these had such a captivating and thought-provoking energy to them that you could do nothing but speculate after which is kind of why i got interested in the zombie storyline in the first place Music this was the home and birthplace to so many theories and ideas that got the community invested and while most of them ended up being just baseless rumors it kept us gripped at the possibilities the whole time the easter egg and bo2 maps all have two different sides to the quest with slightly altered steps depending on which path you choose you can either choose to surf maxis and power the pylons in his favor using the nav card table which that as a concept on its own was quite cool or serve richthofen and do the same with the tables either way jimmy z maps and the easter eggs on them have such weird steps that not all of them are good id argue but theyre all so different to say something positive and transit did so much more than just be a bad map yes it was scuffed but it was beautiful because there was nothing quite like it at the time and thats what scares me a little bit about a transit remaster potentially i think theyd have to clean up a lot of the broken elements of what made transit special and it may not have the same interesting aura that original transit always had and i remember quite vividly that at the time mostly everyone hated transit for the obvious flaws still unaware that they would look back on the map very fondly later on as time would pass because they had such good times with their buddies people missed the good times not the map i assure you black ops 2 wasnt setting the year off with the best foot exactly and that trend would continue with diorise so die rise is also a complicated discussion basically has the same core design and therefore core weaknesses and strength transit had die rise opted for instead of a large flat open world a more vertical and multi-floor based design which pretty much captured the same feel id argue and the revive test thing i was talking about earlier still applies here there are some impossible to reach spots in time if you get unlucky to a point where they even developed an entire perk to mitigate this problem whos who is essentially is what allowed you to spawn a vulnerable ghost version of yourself that you can you know revive yourself in a pinch and thats really all it does again on paper the perk is useful but it actually ends up being realistically more of a liability than anything else die rises layout is absolutely horrendous and i i wont even hold back on that its its like bafflingly bad not to mention theres a massive amount of wasted areas in space that realistically dont even need to be there the easter egg is some of the most weird and random steps ive ever seen in a quest and to this day i still couldnt explain to you exactly how the mahjong tile step works in this map 10 years later diorise also still features some buildables albeit way less than what was available in transit and has one of the most famous treyarch trolls of all time the phd flopper machine which you know ironically would be insanely useful on this map to mitigate fall damage is actually not attainable on die rise even though everyone thought there was some way to acquire this though and tried tirelessly to make it happen similar to transit it had all of the theory crafting and mysterious aura around its unanswered questions as well there are some tvs that you have to interact with again in a super specific way so that you can get its message and it adds to the creepy and unsettling vibe of diaries Music in druid hills georgia prior to the destruction of our headquarters our research found evidence that contaminants are now infecting the very air we breathe as such exposure of some sort appears inevitable for all survivors the slick of fire wonder weapon was also great for the dyris sandbox formula basically a broken slip n slide that can kill zombies and affect movement and cause them to stumble around which while on tall buildings you can see how that was intended to be a hazard interestingly similar to how town exists in relation to transit as a small survival map dyris originally was going to have a streets level survival map alongside it too this never got past early development though for unknown reasons uh but still this would have been super interesting to at least see theres a few ways die rise i think could be dramatically improved in its gameplay and am i suggesting these fixes for a potential remaster uh no but ill lay them out anyways first of all make the elevators still move on their own but also work on a manual call button you know like kind of like how a real elevator works i i know theres a key item in die rise that does this but its a one-time use and its not nearly enough also rework whos who to have the ghost have increased health and revive speed so you can pick yourself up also clean up the fall damage areas to make them feel a bit more consistent and also make it so one player can carry more than just one buildable part at a time and finally tighten up some of the areas that dont get used to optimize the more important ones there just a few suggestions that can make the map less painful but still keeping most of what made it fun and memorable diorise has some really neat ideas dont get me wrong i really like how if you kill all the jumping jacks without missing a bullet or you use melee or traps only you get a free perk alongside a max ammo each time i like how this particular armored zombie model has a little bit more health on round one so its not a one knife its got completely unnecessary detail but it makes sense i like how there are some skill jumps and a perfect timing to consider when going down some elevators i like the general atmosphere of the map as well and it certainly has a unique flavor to it but as ive stated it has many pain points within the gameplay but just like transit people hated this map initially it was a big 02 for treyarch so far but now some people still look back on it very fondly but black ops 2 was about to make some massive changes to its direction in the form of a new director creatively for their maps but before we go there i want to take a quick detour to some of the things that made black ops 2s gameplay very special besides just its maps some of these only apply to jimmys maps but perma perks are one of my favorite concepts ever basically these are small bonuses that you can get in game by doing certain actions for example rebuilding enough barriers in a short amount of time grants you the metal barriers bonus which takes zombies way longer to pull down or dying with quick revive and reviving a certain number of times grants you the perma tombstone perk i.e you keep all of your perks except quick revive after you go down this is massively helpful the game does not explain to you how these work at all which i think is a good thing all you get is a green flash for a second and you have to consider the last interaction you just had and try to determine what perma-perk you got and what it does and these can also be lost as well via certain methods so you have to be mindful of what perma perks are currently in effect or not its so fun and honestly i like a system like this far better than choosing perks out of a menu like in b04 or just upgrading them once and never thinking about him again like like in cold war also the leaderboard system is so simple yet somehow treyarch has failed time and again to have anything any leaderboards this intuitive its so easy to see highest rounds most kills and it even divides them by number of players its very well organized and we cant talk about the leaderboards without also discussing the ranking system bo2 zombies ranks are infamous for not being well understood in fact theres a perma perk that you that requires you to buy the same m14 wall buy or olympia a certain number of times uh granting you a ray gun eventually and that is only possible within the first two rankings of b02 if youre a one bone or a crossbone rank only then theres the skull which is like i guess middle of the pack you have knife which are above average players and then shotguns for the elite video gamers and blue eyes on all of these skull icons to indicate consecutive days played this system wasnt perfect but it did give you a general indication of how good players in your lobby were and this was important because i also think bo2 was the last zombies game to have true public matches in black ops 3 onward in in my opinion it was far more common to play with an organized party or just go solo than it was to play with randoms and theres reasons for that that i dont have time to get into but it still was the case so even besides just the maps there were so many special elements bo2 already had going for it not to mention modes like 4v4 grief mode and turned that let you play as the zombie but all that stuff considered uh there were also some cut content apparently that would have probably came to the game had jimmy zielinski stayed in charge some wooled out war remasters were planned for black ops 2 namely things like dye rise and perhaps even nocturne toten that were probably prototyped for bo2 but never actually saw a release and i think the reason primarily is because they shifted direction and really the course of zombies forever with dlc 2 mob of the dead so here we go mob of the dead this map would not just only change the course of black ops 2 zombies but call of duty zombies as a whole forever this was the first introduction into what were gonna call the blundell era of maps since jimmy z was no longer the main creative direction for this project that went to jason blundell now honestly i i dont know much about why exactly midway through black ops 2 treyarch changed directors for zombies maps but if i had to take a guess it was probably because of the relatively poor reception of both transit and dyris at the time bo2 zombies was in dire straits and mob of the dead represented a new way of doing things not only is the setting and premise of mob unbelievably cool but its gameplay would also hard shift direction from the jimmy z formula of maps as well taking almost the exact opposite approach when it comes to gameplay structure but lets talk about the setting first this was the first map in black ops 2 to have a celebrity cast and to not be the generic crew or the transit crew weve been playing in the story so far the story essentially is that there are these four mobsters stuck on the real alcatraz island while in an infinite loop in purgatory to atone for their sins only by breaking the cycle may they be set free it was also such a hard shift in story up to this point where weve been following the victus crew and you know their dealings with richthofen through transit and die rise and mob of the dead comes along and were honestly not even sure if these even take place in the same universe however if you listen to the dialogue carefully you discover that they reference people like nikolai and others indicating that this is still somehow related to the things weve been weve been playing already up to us to put together the clues about that i give mob of the dead an a-plus for setting uh an atmosphere and story alone but its gameplay is also something i find exceptional as well jimmy z maps up to this point for all intents and purposes have been giant sandboxes with no real clear direction or goal other than just survive sure they have their main easter egg but theyre basically just survival maps theyre wide open in terms of structure and how the player can interact with it mob of the dead on the other hand is very expertly crafted in a single direction right off the bat you spawn an afterlife telling the player two things number one this is a new mechanic to get used to and number two there are some things only accessible using this mode with a double points door that can be unlocked if youre clever enough and paying attention within the first five seconds of a match the player is already given information without them even knowing second the literal pictures on the wall uh the dialogue of the characters and even the hud all indicate that you need to find and gather plane parts to escape from the roof first minute of the gameplay and you already have an objective first two minutes of gameplay you open doors and discover a dog on the wall that literally eats zombies so naturally feed it until it disappears no reward is given to the player at this point though prompting the player to look for more of these and five minutes into gameplay youve stumbled across the plane parts and youve used afterlife mechanics to obtain them i wont go any further but you get the point the game is like right away hey go grab this thing and use it over here on this other thing and use it over here and youll get rewarded its like this very intentional pathway for player progression which is like the complete opposite approach to jimmy and mostly everyone responded positively to this new take on zombies gameplay the easter egg also has a proper ending as opposed to the other b02 maps before it as the very last step of the main quest you go to the rooftop and battle it out with a friend and you turn on each other and depending on whos playing as albert arlington or the weasel will determine whether the cycle continues or is broken mob of the dead also is one of the best maps in my opinion at giving the player ample choices to progress further but not punishing you if you dont so what does that mean exactly well for starters you can craft the acid gap kit for the wonder weapon but dont have to and its a solid shotgun on its own you also you can get the golden spork from the bathtub that can one knife zombies into like round 34 but you also dont have to if you dont want to you can upgrade the tomahawk or the hells retriever into the redeemer version but you absolutely dont have to do that as well and its kind of paint so i wouldnt recommend it but these are just fun side things to go for as well so that the experience of mob doesnt have to feel the same every time because that can happen as much as the structured experience is good it does have a downside often the early game of these maps and the setup feels basically the same every single time but it doesnt hurt mob too much in my eyes also remember how i said earlier that transit was restricted due to the hardware limitations at the time well so was mob originally treyarch wanted to do basically the whole of alcatraz island and prison but it was just simply too much and so this is where the real genius of mob is in my eyes they just straight up cut out anything that didnt need to be there and basically the restrictions made them tighten up all the areas they kept in theres pretty much no wasted space on mob and they had to cut out all the unnecessary fat of the map they optimized mob because of the limitations instead of making huge sacrifices to try to make it work like is the case of transit again mob is no perfect map either in fact in terms of substance i think the main quest is a little on the thin side but thats just me its not a deal breaker but it is something ive noticed its however chock full of plenty of cool side easter eggs that arent even needed but they add a little something special to the map not this time i find myself still playing mob even to this day and enjoy it as much as i did when it first came out high rounds are incredibly fun the easter egg is very enjoyable to replay in and do over again and its just an outstanding map and an excellent piece that saved black ops 2 zombies at that point in time and that would lead into dlc3 that would be jimmy zelinskis last map buried so this brings us to our boy buried this map would famously be jimmy zs final zombies map at treyarch and in my opinion is the only map in bo2 that really nailed the sandbox gameplay that i think he was going for and as far as settings go this is located in an old western town shifted under the tectonic plates of the earth to end up somewhere in angola africa and just the atmosphere and like the setting alone is worth talking about being an old rundown western town probably by itself would have been enough but shove that all underground and you have the setup for a super unique setting buried also has one of the more interesting spawn rooms as well you have this upper railing with a skilled jump lsat wall by that you can only get if you dont screw up the jump otherwise it throws you right into the map and you need to jump down that pit anyways to get to the actual buried part of the town now again because this is a jimmy map theres little to no structure at all in terms of how the player approaches things youre basically free to explore any way you want up to a certain point in which you realize there are some barricades that cant be opened by traditional means instead eventually you encounter leroy in his cell or arthur or whatever and then you open his cage and realize you can give him booze and he will break down these barricades for you give him candy and he can build traps for you lock down the mystery box for the entire game hold a crawler and so much more but the game doesnt tell you this stuff the game only lets you know what hes capable of through experimentation he alone adds so much flair and personality to the map like what even are you my guy youre like nine feet tall still keep a fresh cut despite being alone in jail its so interesting man and its just another one of those iconic and memorable pieces of black ops 2. the amount of buildable items alone is impressive and the main easter egg actually feels somewhat coherent for a jimmy z map in buried there are still some steps that just genuinely make no sense like the colored levers for example a lot of people think the order of them and the way you must hit them is indicated by the color on the candy jars but this is just completely untrue but many people bought a lot of these urban legends and myths associated with buried because they were kind of hard to disprove in any case buried also introduced a large number of some of the most broken weapons ever in caught zombies namely in the form of the paralyzer wonder weapon with infinite ammo and the ability to fly and glide around the map with it also the raygun mark ii was added with this dlc and it was retroactively added to the box of all maps before it as well the witchs house that is required to get through to obtain pack-a-punch is responsible for some of the most iconic imagery and buried and these actually have a basis in real life lore as well which i wont get into but its extremely fascinating buried is really the only map that nailed it in my opinion for having that fun sandbox gameplay without being terrible it also housed the first ever zombies super easter egg so if you had done all the easter eggs prior for a specific person either maxis or richthofen before it all players in your party could activate this box and listen to an ending take place depending on which side you gave power to also new and unique bonuses would be applied to the players game after activating this such as the ability to carry four wonder weapons or a permanent fire sale stuff like that above all else buried is one of the most charming maps out there and is aged well and playable even to this day i do take some issues with buried but most of them come from the fact that all of the gameplay is so loose and unstructured but theyre minor in comparison and not even really worth discussing all in all solid zombies map and an absolute icon in its own right and as previously stated this would be jimmys final map with treyarch but black ops 2 still had one map to go and that was the monumental groundbreaking map that was origins so origins would be the final installment in the black ops 2 zombies offering and did it ever end with a bang you know in my eyes the only dlc4 treyarch maps that have ever really nailed it it are moon and origins everything else kind of fell flat or was just sort of mid on its own compared to the maps that came before it origins at the time of its release was earth shattering we had never seen anything quite like it this also reintroduced to us the new version of our original zombies crew which a lot of the community were missing you know after because we havent played them since black ops one tank richthofen nikolai and tokyo were reintroduced to us but albeit this time a little different the setting involves the three honing in on richthofen for capture on the battlefields of world war one in northern france but quickly discover that the area has been overrun by the undead the crew that we now know as premise must work together to survive thematically origins is one of my favorite and ive explained this before but i think origins visually represents what zombies is youve got the upper portion of the map being a dull dreary and depressing set of trenches to represent the monotonous part of zombies gameplay shooting zombies and you know rebuilding barriers etc then you have the crazy place that exists as a visual indicator of the secret depth of each zombies map and what those hold figuratively and literally origins is a traditional survival map with a insane hidden quest underneath the surface and just like with mob of the dead jason blundell would expand on that structured formula for origins as well this map generally guides the player along to turn on generators discover the pack-a-punch machine and by that point youll likely have discovered the gramophone to open the lower half of the excavation site at that point youre free to do technically whatever you like but the game does nudge at you and hint for you to build the stavs of the ancients origins also broke new ground at the time by introducing the concept of four unique wonder weapons for each player whereas before generally speaking there were only one to two wonder weapons available per map the stavs are all unique and have slightly different functions but are all great when you know how to use them some are for sure better than others and some are also built for offensive play while some do much better as a defensive play style but all things considered the upgraded ice staff is still by far the best one origins took massive risks in terms of how the player operates in it they also introduced a mini boss enemy the panzer sold at that is one of the most intimidating mini bosses in the entire franchise this dude will grab you from 80 feet away toast you then butter you up and call it a day with no remorse hes got a few balance issues that i would complain about but all things considered i think hes still a great fit to origins and he actually feels like he has an intimidating presence when entering the map each player flinches a little bit inside whenever this dude spawns in or hears the siren now origins is an amazing map in almost every way and its a top tier map within the series id argue but its not without its flaws as well first off to do the main easter egg each staff has to be built and upgraded in four player this is fine and actually quite straightforward and fast to do in solo though this can get tedious and its worth noting that treyarch fully intended origins and the easter egg to be only doable with four players but eventually solo players figured out a way that they can hit the button inside the robot and still use the uh the special grenade you get to break the seal and that entire system makes it possible in a small window for you to be able to solo this easter egg besides getting and upgrading all the stavs theres pretty much like two other real easter egg steps that are extremely quick and simple so its not the best solo easter egg but its doable and its still a great experience co-op and also origins doesnt have the best layout this has mostly to do with the gramophone system where theres only one active portal at a time and if you forget the gramophone you have to run all the way back to the tunnel it was at then run all the way back again to the one you actually needed to go through this could have been mitigated i think by leaving the portals active once youve activated them one time around already also i was never really a huge fan of having to go back and save the generators from the templar zombies being disabled every couple of rounds that combined with panzer spawning in it can be a little much at times and either way high rounds are extremely fun on origins the easter egg while again not great solo is still an enjoyable experience and its a ton of fun co-op and also the fact of the matter is its got tons of fun side easter eggs and interesting things to discover literally every time you play its like shadows of evil in that manner i feel like i notice something new in origins every time i play it even now even if its not anything super crazy with one of the most controversial easter egg ending cutscenes of all time its safe to say that zombies was at least back on the map for a lot of people and origins alone provides great gameplay challenges for you know casuals and hardcore players alike even to this day now you might conclude that the zombies era in black ops 2 was dominated by blundell and generally speaking i do think most people preferred his maps in this game but with that said black ops 2 would have been a lesser game with either of them having full control because of their vastly different approaches both jimmy maps and jason maps have a distinct feel and flavor to them where jimmy is chaos jason is order where jimmy zien jason is yang looking back im glad we had both of these different styles for our maps offering in black ops 2 because there was something for everybody so if you didnt like a particular style of map you could try the other bo2 would have certainly been a lesser game without these varieties that these two gentlemen provided in their design and it felt like each one of them had their own different ideas some of them were terrible yes but thats why i think black ops 2 zombies is beautiful because of its flaws black ops 2 if nothing else is truly the complete package a great single-player experience and a downright addicting multiplayer and honestly a massive variety offering in zombies and at the end of the day im a firm believer that there will never be another game like black ops 2. there were so many things and choices that you know set this game apart from the rest and for a game to age as well as this one took some real craftsmanship that was exceptionally special treyarch had a vision and while there were some bumps in the road for sure they executed it to the best of their ability i think we all got something a little different out of black ops 2 but were all unified in the sense that we have this shared experience together to look very fondly back on play elden ring early steam reddit There Will Never Be Another Game Like Call of Duty Black Ops 2i stream: a LIKE and SUBSCRIBE for more videos. 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