Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 PS3 review – Ditching modern warfare for future shooter thrills

Black Ops 2 screens

This mostly makes up for a relative lack of fresh game types, with Hardpoint and Multi-Team the only two new ’uns on show. The former presents yet another spin on a base mode, but when you capture and briefly defend these objectives they stay captured, while the other new recruit pits three teams against each other to spice up team deathmatches.

Most of the maps are belters, too. Whether it’s exploring Express’ labyrinth of empty train carriages, stalking players through Plaza’s tightly wound midnight corridors or hunting out kills in the wreckage of a crashed plane on Turbine, the majority are beautifully laid-out. And when you go on an extended scorestreak in any of them and start mowing through men with a drone, Black Ops 2 is empowering like turning up to dress-down Friday in a Spidey costume.

Amazingly, the game still has a whole lot more to give – remember what I said about value? At this point, I’d like to reintroduce you to Treyarch’s loveable undead masses. Zombies are back – bigger and better than ever before. What started off as a humble mini-game in World At War has blossomed into a full-scale mode with its own separate menu from the title screen.

The two main brain-biting additions include the frantic fun of Grief – a competitive eight-player game where two teams try to out-survive each other – and Tranzit. The latter isn’t just the unquestioned star of Zombies: it’s arguably the best thing in Black Ops 2.

Unlike the old Survival mode (which is still in there), Tranzit doesn’t limit you to a single map as you fend off infinite undead forces. Instead, you and three mates are pitted against armies of ghouls in a quasi-open world, where you can travel between five large areas (from an abandoned diner to an underground bunker) in real time, thanks to a knackered-out bus that circles the world.

It expertly balances tension, item management and laughs. Haphazardly building impromptu shields from spare car parts or missing the fun bus and being munched alive by a posse of festering folk while my teammates sped away are among the best moments I’ve had on PS3 this year.

Tether the plethora of modes here together and you get a Power Rangers-style mega-force that ‘s much more than the sum of its parts, and only the overly familiar template and a lack of soul keep it from nabbing a higher score. Although it’s technically brilliant, running at a constant 60fps, it lacks the esoteric charm, ideas and personality to rank as a true classic. Black Ops 2 is the ultimate expression of what Call Of Duty has achieved on the current generation of consoles, but it’ll take PS4 to unshackle the series from its current limitations

Our Score

Score: 8