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Call of Duty: Black Ops II

by Lazyfire

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Original Thread: Chose Your Own CoD Adventure in Black Ops II

If you liked this LP, you might also like Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor by Lazyfire, Tomb Raider (2013) by Lazyfire and Battlefield 3 by Lazyfire

Introduction


YouTube Playlist

What Is This Game?
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the 2012 sequel to developer Treyarch’s 2010 First Person Shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops. It currently holds the record for the largest one day media sales (beating out Modern Warfare 3, which beat Black Ops, which Beat Modern Warfare 2…). This is Treyarch’s fourth CoD game, and the second to leave World War II behind. Instead this game focuses on two different eras tied up in covert wars. Treyarch may have been out of their element when they tried to pull this game off. It was supposed to provide a wide view of a new Cold War between the US and China, provide commentary on the use of drones and address the issue of rare earth elements all while telling a revenge story surrounding Raul Menendez, the main villain of this game who seeks to hurt the US and China by playing them against each other. All of this was supposed to be wrapped in a branching storyline with multiple endings.

Very little of that made it into the final game the way Treyarch was pitching it. Rare Earth Elements are mentioned, but are essentially reduced to a single Unobtanium style material. The New Cold War is handled almost exclusively through Strike Force Missions, which are not very good. The branching storylines are limited to a couple player choices on who lives and dies and the multiple endings are really just shades of one ending depending on choices and if some requirements are met.

Still, despite the reneged promises of the developers, the game is solid, if not spotty at times, and playing through seeing where the game DOES succeed at innovating the CoD formula is interesting.

If you’ve never played Black Ops, don’t worry, the story is mostly self-contained. Characters return from the first game, but are 20 years removed from the events of Black Ops. There is some continuation, but I’ll explain that through screen shots and posts.

Multiple endings? Which one are you going for?
I don't know, you tell me.

Interaction
This game has some pretty big player choices all loaded towards the ending of the game. Some of the choices are...questionable. At times you'll be thrust into a choice and if you make the wrong one you'll end up completely screwing your chance for the best or even a good ending, or should I say "my chance?" The second post contains some cryptic choices that I need your help on. Post your votes in the thread and I'll keep a running tally. Whichever choice has the most votes by the time the decision point comes up wins and I'll follow through on the action you think I should take.

Additionally; this game, unlike other CoD single player campaigns, offers a loadout screen before every mission. At the time of this posting I've played through the first three missions and first two Strike Force missions because the loadouts are pretty limited before that. For each level I’m going to post the default loadout, my preferences and the list of available weapons, perks and equipment. Readers can vote on the first two, make up their own or vote for other people’s suggestions.The first to five votes wins. If two options get to five in the same minute (as in the fifth votes for option 1 and option 2 are posted within seconds) the next vote for either of these will win. I’m letting everyone set a rule here: should the person who suggested a loadout be able to vote for their own suggestion? First to five wins.

Episodes

Episode 1: Father of the Year
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Episode 2: Rescue
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Episode 3: Welcome to the Future
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Episode 4: US WINS WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
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Strike Force Mission 1
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Episode 5: RAUL SMASH!
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Episode 6: All Weapons Mode
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Strike Force Mission 2
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Episode 7: I Get Wet
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Strike Force Mission 3
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Episode 8: Shootout at the Imma Try it Out OK Corral
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Episode 9: PANAMA!
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Strike Force Mission 4
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Episode 10: Secret Agent Man
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Episode 11: Thanks A Lot (USS) Obama!
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Episode 12: Bad Day LA
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Episode 13: AMERICA WINS AGAIN
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Playthrough Two

Strike Force: Commander Mode = Worst Mode
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Strike Force Mission: Second Chance
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Second Time Around
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Characters

Alex Mason

In the original Black Ops Alex Mason was a CIA agent captured during the Bay of Pigs and placed in a Russian Gulag where he was brainwashed twice, once by Dragovich, Kravchenko and Steiner and once by Victor Reznov. The latter sought to counter the former and turn Mason into Reznov's hand of justice against the other three for what they had done to Reznov years earlier. Mason returned to field work once he escaped from the gulag, eventually meeting back up with Reznov in Vietnam. Mason seemingly lost his only two friend, Bookman and Woods in an attempt to track down Kravchenko. Escaping 'Nam Mason and Reznov went after Steiner on Rebirth Island where it was revealed that Reznov was in Mason's head the entire time. Head cleared Mason and his handler Hudson then stopped the doomsday Nova 6 gas attack on the US that Dragovich had been planning. At the start of this game Solid Snake Alex is enjoying his retirement in Alaska from a lifetime of killing people. That changes when his former CIA handler and Oliver North himself show up to persuade him to return to field work despite the fact he's now in his mid fifties. Not only did Mason's friend Woods survive the explosion that supposedly took him and Kravchenko out, he escaped the POW camp he was placed in and was doing field work for the CIA.

In the 2025 storyline Mason has been dead for a number of years, supposedly at the hands of a random drifter. This is one of the larger leaps of logic the game asks us to take, the idea that one man killing machine Alex Mason could have his quest to control the world's supply of PTSD ended by a homeless guy with a penchant for street justice is a little too out there. Alex holds the world record for Kill Death Ratio in a Call of Duty game, going 30923324 to 1.

Frank Woods


Long-time Alex Mason companion and CIA agent Frank Woods was the breakout character of Black Ops. It probably helped that he had more personality than Ghost, the previous CoD game's door opener character. Woods seemingly died attempting to kill Kravchenko near the end of the first Black Ops, but survived and ended up in the Vietnamese prison system where he took advantage of the rehabilitation program and got his Masters in Fine Arts. No, just kidding, he violently murdered everyone and escaped back to the US after seven years. In Black Ops 2 he's the last surviving member of the original cast, wheelchair bound and caustic as ever. He provides David Mason the information on Raul Menendez that helps piece together the next step in the terrorist's plan.

Jason Hudson


First thing you'll notice about Hudson is that he has a different voice actor. Ed Harris has been replaced with Michael Keaton in a game written by Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer who also wrote the most recent Ghost Rider movie starring Nick Cage, who was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High with Forest Whitaker who was in The Air I Breathe with Kevin Bacon. Hudson and Mason had some sort of falling out between the first game and this one, but while Mason fucked off to Alaska Hudson stayed with the CIA and now runs Woods. Hudson is key to getting Mason back into the CIA at the start of the game and accompanies Woods and Mason on most of their missions. Hudson was also a controllable character in the first game and had some of my favorite missions there. Sadly, he's not playable this time around, but at least the other characters treat him a bit better.

Raul Menendez


Raul Menendez has a bad encounter with Alex Mason in the 80's (Then again, most people don't have "good" encounters with Mason) that led to him being shot in the eye. This in particular didn't set him down the warpath with the US, but it sure didn't help. Menendez is a Nicaraguan gun runner and cartel boss who has become the biggest threat to the security of two super powers by 2025. Through his 2 billion followers on the Cordis Die network he's created he is one of the most popular voices of the people out there. By the start of the 2025 action he's killed the head of the FBI and leaked/forged documents showing the US trying to fuck with China. Much of David's time is spent trying to track or thwart Menendez in 2025, and much of the elder Mason's time is spent attempting to end his cartel and gun running operations. At the opening of the game Menendez has visited an infirmed Woods to announce his intentions to do something major in the coming days.

David Mason

The son of Alex Mason and an unnamed mother, David has some issues with his past that manifest after he speaks to “uncle” Frank Woods about Raul Menendez. David is depicted both as a seven year old child living with his father in Alaska and as a 46 year old US Navy Seal assigned to the USS Obama (no, seriously, more on that in a bit). David (or Section) and his squad are tasked with tracking down Raul Menendez due to some sort of threat he had made towards the US before the start of the game (that is never fully explained). David is our playable character in 2025, outside of a single sequence, but he handles exactly the same as his dad, outside his reliance on high tech devices to get things done. On missions Mason is generally accompanied by:

Harper and Salazar


The two “faced” companion characters (the third, Crosby, hardly gets any lines off and is behind a mask the entire time) for David Mason’s missions Harper and Salazar are fellow Navy SEALS and pretty good about opening doors or telling Mason when to use equipment. There isn’t a ton to say about these characters. Salazar “grew up in Nicaragua during (Menendez’s) rise to power” and is pumped for information about Raul in the dumbest way possible. Harper is set up to be a Woods like character, but lacks a lot of Wood’s psycho charm. Like Woods and Hudson they are invincible and yell things out for you to do. Harper is probably the more personable of the two as Salazar is less seen and sticks mostly with Crosby while Harper seems to be assigned as your personal bodyguard.

Admiral Briggs

Replacing Idris Elba who replaced Ice Cube, who replaced Keith David who replaced no one because forces segregation in WWII that replaced Griggs (voiced by an IW employee) Tony Todd takes on the role of the only black guy in the yearly Call of Duty game, cocksuckers. This cocksucker is the commanding officer on the USS Obama, a cocksucker which is named such either because Treyarch is a bit racist or because they were trying to be topical cocksuckers. Obama is widely criticized for expanding the drone war and this game focuses on military drones for one of the sub-plots so it makes sense from that angle, but still. Briggs seems to use the word “cocksucker” the way some people use commas and it is infectious as a cocksucker. Tony Todd made a very interesting choice with his portrayal of this cocksucker. Half his lines are whispered so low you can’t hear him or are just audible over all the noise made by the other cocksuckers in the game. Also, Tony Todd was in the 5th Element with fellow cocksucker/Black Ops actor Gary Oldman. Maybe that cocksucker Bruce Willis will be in the next one?

Choices: In Order of Appearance

1) Do we complete the remaining Strike Force Missions (not so cryptic, but I need an answer)?

2) The enemy of your enemy is being kidnapped while you are under heavy assault. Do you stay back and try to survive or risk everything to stop the kidnapping?

3) Your worst enemy is in your sights. Do you go for the easy kill or make him suffer first?

4)You are a deep cover agent. Do you do everything you can to keep that cover or do you risk exposure to end things right away?

5) The avatar of all you hate is defenseless in front of you. They have never wronged you personally, however. Do you spare them or act on just hate?

6)Do you want answers or just revenge?

Don't spoil what these choices are, please don't give out any clues to what these are or their effect if you have played
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