Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Wii U) Review
Since we’ve already written a review for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on the other systems, and the Wii U version is the exact same in terms of content, this review will zero in on what makes the Wii U version different. From GamePad enhancements (or lack thereof), performance, and online play, we look at it all.
What I Liked
You Can Play On The GamePad
Like some of the other Wii U launch titles, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 can be played entirely on the GamePad. There is a clear graphical and lighting decrease when you switch over to it, though I did find myself really enjoying it. Whether it was going through the campaign, killing some zombies, playing multiplayer with a friend so they can have the TV, or shooting some people online, I used the GamePad for everything because it gives a closer look on the action.
It Looks Good
I ran both the Xbox 360 and Wii U versions of the game against each other and I really couldn’t tell the difference. You could easily take this as a negative (the Wii U is ‘next-gen’ after all), but I was expecting this version to actually look worse, so this proved my fears wrong.
What I Didn’t Like
The Gamepad Is Underutilized
Aside from off-TV play, the GamePad is essentially forgotten. During campaign missions where you aren’t playing Black Ops 2 on the GamePad, it will only tell you the current objective. This is opposed to showing you your remaining ammo, your primary and secondary weapon, a radar, or something completely different.
I understand that they likely didn’t have a lot of time to work on exclusive Wii U features, but the lack of effort pretty much means they just want you to use the Wii U Pro Controller (which then turns the GamePad into a useful device for information).
The Number 502
The very first time I jumped into the Black Ops 2 multiplayer, there were 502 people playing online matchmaking, with 344 of them in Team Deathmatch and 82 of them in Domination. For a game that relies so heavily on the online community, you really can only play about 10% of the available playlists because every other one is empty.
As for Zombies, I found that there were no more than one or two hundred people playing at a time, though finding a game was surprisingly quite easy.
It Doesn’t Run Perfectly
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for Wii U may look good as the Xbox 360 versions, but it performs much worse. Even with the low amount of people playing online, there were numerous times where people would lag very far behind the action. In the campaign, when everything became a little hectic, the game would really begin to chug, causing some very noticeable framerate drops. If you’re looking for a smooth ride for all your first person shooting, this game isn’t right for you.
I can’t really recommend the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to people with an Xbox 360, PS3, or PC. Those other systems run a lot better and actually have people playing online. If you must get a Wii U copy, just be prepared for some choppy gameplay and limited access to any online playlists aside from Team Deathmatch and Domination.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was reviewed with a copy rented through GameAccess.ca.