"Duty While You Dootie"
If you're reading this, it's likely you've held off on buying Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the off-chance that the Wii U version is worth it. I'm here to tell you that BLOPS2 is every bit the AAA shooter the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions offer. In some ways, the Wii U version actually surpasses the other two console versions, though there are a few nits to be picked.
On the down side, the Wii U has no install function thanks to its paltry 8 or 32GB of internal flash memory. While you won't notice any lag, there are occasional texture loading issues. Moreover, you will give your new console quite the workout, as the Wii U will constantly access the disc for information during play. Also, voice chat is a bit wonky, as you'll have to plug your earbuds into the GamePad and chat through its mic. No other option is available because the Pro Controller does not support gaming headsets.
Furthermore, at the time of this writing, the multiplayer community for Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Wii U is very small; only a few hundred players populate the multiplayer servers, compared to hundreds of thousands of players on the PS3 and Xbox 360. As a result, it can be difficult to readily find matches in the more obscure, objective-based modes of play. Of course, if you're apt to concentrate on popular modes such as CTF, TDM, Domination, Ground War, or Kill Confirmed, you'll have no problem hopping into games at most times of the day.
A small community also means a lack of competition. If you are a core fan of the series, you will find yourself less challenged playing against other Wii U players. However, this is not as pronounced as you might think. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of quality players there actually are. Still, compared to other platforms, COD: BLOPS2 for Wii U is less competitive.
Over time, as more gamers pick up Wii U and a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, these minor problems should cure themselves, though the disc read issue will likely never be resolved even through updates, and the Pro Controller will need to be redesigned to accomodate headsets. Thankfully, there are more points in the positives column for Black Ops 2 on Wii U then there are negatives.
For starters, that small community I referred to is quite tight-knit thanks to the wonders of Miiverse. Naturally, Wii U players have access to Theater features, but the additional instant forum functionality provided by the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Miiverse community overlay adds a significant layer of interactivity, easily letting you find clans, tips, tricks, friends, and the like.
Also, the GamePad gives players a lot of wonderful options. While playing exclusively with it is not ideal, especially in multiplayer, its still a VERY good option. Plus, being able to do so while in the john or during your family's / significant other's favorite show is massive! Really, this is a game-changer, though it is unfortunate that the signal from the Wii U console to the GamePad is a bit weak; it won't reach every corner of the house.
The best setup, particularly for multiplayer, is to use the Pro Controller in tandem with the GamePad. Doing so not only gives you access to a wonderfully designed, super light controller, you'll also be fed vital game information on the GamePad's display. In effect, the GamePad turns into a battlefield-analyzing device that fits the single-player story and will help you stand out during multiplayer and survive the onslaught of the shambling hordes in Zombies.
Graphically, the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II is on par with its console counterparts. Other than occasionally slow texture loading, the game looks great on any mode of play. In terms of audio, the impressive ambient effects and musical themes give the Campaign, Zombies, and Online modes weight. Voice acting is also very good, if not perfect.
Finally, gameplay is outstanding. The weapons, particularly, feel really good. Despite the near-future setting, the arsenal is balanced nicely with offensive punch and interesting defensive countermeasures. The Campaign, while theatrically intense, is a bit farfetched and unappealing in my opinion, though I assume such a subjective comment will not be universally upheld. Thankfully, the Campaign mode is just one portion of Black Ops 2, and I expect the excellent Online multiplayer and Zombies modes to keep you and your friends gleefully occupied for hundreds of hours.
Long story short, if you are a Wii U owner, don't hesitate to pick this one up. I personally own Call of Duty: Black Ops II on both Xbox 360 and Wii U, and I play both versions regularly depending on my mood. You really can't go wrong with the Wii U version if you're a Nintendo fan or if you're looking to get something that's just a bit different from the standard experience.
GameDynamo's Score for Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Wii U)
Cutting his gaming teeth at Aladdin's Castle and on the Commodore 64, JC entered into video game journalism in 2008. Helping run GameDynamo as its director is both a dream and a rewarding challenge.
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