The lights are on
Shortly before Christmas, I finally got my hands on a Wii U deluxe set. It's been a fun time playing games like NintendoLand, New Super Mario and Batman Arkham City, but it was about time I try a newer, possibly more "hardcore" game experience on the new system--you know, just to see how it is. I went with Black Ops II because even though I'm not the biggest Call of Duty fan, I was itching to give the game a try on Wii U. I used some built-up game credit and $23 later I was ready to be possibly disappointed.
It's a good thing I kept my expectations low because I'm very impressed by the Wii U edition.
The game can be controlled in many ways; with the GamePad, Pro Controller, the Classic Controller Pro, even just the Wii remote and nunchuck. While I don't have a Pro Controller yet and I can't see myself playing this with standard Wii controls, I can safely say that the GamePad isn't as clumsy or bulky of a controller as you think it is--anyone who owns a Wii U can vouch for how light those GamePads are.
It feels comfortable in the hands and never are you frantically searching for what button to press. Unless you have a Pro Controller your GamePad's the safest bet for gameplay. The Classic Controller Pro is handy too, but since the analog sticks don't depress there are specific combinations you gotta press for certain gestures such as equipping traps and mines.
Enough about how the game handles though, let's move on to the game itself. I'll go ahead and assume the reader knows what Call of Duty is all about, especially Black Ops. The full Black Ops II campaign is here, along with a new, fully fleshed-out Zombie mode (see what I did there?) and the always-robust suite of multiplayer options. Zombie mode is plenty to keep yourself and some friends very busy.
Speaking of multiplayer, this is also my first Wii U game with a robust range of online options. Since it's still technically launch period, not everyone in the world is playing Black Ops II Wii U style at the moment, so some MP modes didn't even have any players participating. Of course this was at around 9PM on a Sunday night though. I believe Dan pointed this out in his review, but it's worth bringing up again because that might annoy hardcore Call of Duty fans looking forward to consecutive online matches.
As I said before, Black Ops II is a Wii U launch title, so there are some inevitable launch game issues such as frame rate bogs and the like. However, the framerate drops never outstay their welcome and are usually relegated to portions of the game where LOTS of stuff is happening. From the time I've spent playing though, this has never been an issue to the point where I had to stop playing.
And with the framerate and low user count issues aside, Black Ops II is a brilliant shooter on a brilliant new console. It may not be exclusive to Wii U, and there is absolutely no incentive to buy it again if you own it on another platform, but for Wii U early adopters this game is essential. For Wii U owners that want a "hardcore" game to show off to their friends, look no further.
Hate to sound cliché, but Black Ops II truly is explosive.