Treyarch's Blockbuster On Wii U Is Mostly Unchanged - Call of Duty Black Ops II - Wii U -
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Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Treyarch's Blockbuster On Wii U Is Mostly Unchanged

A week after its launch on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, the Wii U version of Black Ops II has made its way to the office. Considering that it’s mostly the same experience, I’ll direct you towards my main review for notes on the campaign structure, new multiplayer loadout system, and zombie mode. Here, I’ll focus on the elements that make the version on Nintendo’s new console differ from the others.

How developers utilize the GamePad should prove to be the defining difference for Wii U versions of multiplatform games. Treyarch uses it in a few smart ways with Black Ops II, but nothing that changes the game at its core. During single-player, you’ll be able to see mission objectives and change controller settings on the GamePad. If you’d rather see the action in full, it’s possible to shift the entire campaign presentation to the screen in your hands. Everything looks sharp, and I didn’t notice any drastic change in visual quality.

Multiplayer offers a few new uses for the GamePad, including the ability to change your classes on the fly. If you’re playing with the action on the television, the GamePad displays a full overhead map of the area, as well as options in the interface to deploy your scorestreaks. It’s nice to be able to see enemy locations at any time, and it’s not confined to the tiny area shown by the standard minimap. 

Taking the fight online (or locally with Zombie mode) is great with two players, as each receives a dedicated screen. This was the only time we saw a real change in visual quality, however; with the Wii U hardware having to send out two separate screens, it appears to struggle a bit on the TV side of things. GamePad visuals are smooth, but the player on the TV usually suffers from a slight framerate drop. Despite this, the responsiveness of the controls doesn’t seem to be affected much.

One of the main complaints about the Black Ops II experience on Wii U is something that Treyarch can’t do much about. A look at the overall online players list usually reveals somewhere between 300 and 500 players on the servers. Because of this, most modes are completely barren and impossible to play. It’s launch week, and the only modes that have any players in them as of this writing are team deathmatch, free for all, and domination. Fans of modes like kill confirmed, demolition, capture the flag, or several others will be disappointed to learn that they won’t be playing them anytime soon if this keeps up.

Most of the positive elements of Black Ops II make their way to Nintendo’s console unchanged. Visuals are sharp, the campaign offers great branching paths, and multiplayer is deep. No amount of multiplayer depth matters if people aren’t playing, however, so this version of the game lands just a little shy of the mark set by its brothers on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

User Reviews:

  • 5.00
    It's just rehashing the same basic formula over and over. I may be a good game, but after SOO many installments of this series, it's completely lost it's touch. I'd either like to see CoD take a break or drastically change things up. Seriously, it's every year with a new release and...
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  • 8.50
    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...
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  • 8.00
    The Call of Duty series with Treyarch in the developer’s seat has always been hit or miss, and it would be tough to call any of them “revolutionary” in the same manner that Infinity Ward changed the industry with the original and Modern Warfare. Recently, Treyarch has been hard at work...
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  • 9.25
    My first WiiU game purchase turned out to be Black Op's 2 and boy was it a pleasant surprise. I won't talk much about the campaign because if you play through CoD campaign's then you already know what to expect here. I encourage people to give it a shot because it is another summer blockbuster...
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