Now before anyone runs away from this review because it's coming from a teenager, I must remind everyone that I have one of the highest (and the most detailed) review on this game's predecessor "Modern Warfare 3". The votes on it are: "Helped me decide (52) | Had useful details (51) | Read my mind (43)". So now that's out of the way, I'll begin.
TreyArch has a reputation in the Call of Duty franchise for making amazing games and threatens to outdo Infinity Ward's original dominance of the series. This is their third installment in the franchise including "World at War" (Call of Duty 5) and "Black Ops (One)" (Call of Duty 7). TreyArch is also known for following their customer's very closely and giving the, what they want. They hit the nail on the head when it came to this installment. Not only did they reconstruct the multiplayer to give it a new feel that old fans have been waiting for since the 4th installment, they also created a great campaign, something Call of Duty is not known for, and a greatly entertaining zombie section of the game.
When it comes to the campaign though, TreyArch also has a history of creating the most brutal ones. I get the bad part out first. The Black Ops II campaign is like any other TreyArch one. Ridiculously brutal. When reviewing Modern Warfare 3, I mentioned that it belongs in the lower section of the M rating, saying it barely met the requirements for it. Black Ops II on the other hand fits into the M rating quite comfortable. I'm not saying it's inching towards the AO (Adults Only) range at all, but it is definitely where it belongs. Not only is the violence and profanity rather high, but the emotion and choices that TreyArch put in (and forces you to make) can add onto the intensity. But like I said earlier, this is the bad part. TreyArch also understands its "less-than-bloodthirsty" crowd is part of its sales, so they added a way to turn off the gore and profanity. One settings switch and your suddenly very close to having yourself a T-rated game. Players will still have to witness civilian deaths (as they happen, while in Modern Warfare 3 98% of civilian deaths were off screen). You do get to kill these murders shortly after the firing begins though. All in all keep in mind that the Black Ops II can be toned down, but is still barely worthy of that M-rating.
When it comes to multiplayer, Call of Duty is nothing short of famous (at least to the gamer world). After eight years of perfecting its technique, the series has been able to go under yet another transformation that makes it the game it is today. TreyArch listened to consumers and created a game based mostly on their complaints about previous games. The multiplayer in Black Ops II is nothing short of awesome (again), although it still has some issues that no programmer can rid of yet. This is the rather illiterate (and young) community that has revolved around this series. The result is little twelve year olds cussing each other out. Don't worry though. In game and post/pre game settings allows you to mute anyone you're playing with. The main child anyone should be facing is the shear amount of pros that will be on this game that could easily rip them apart in any game mode. TreyArch saves us again however with combat training, which lets you play easier (and progressively harder bots if you wish) in multiplayer simulated matches with real objectives. The newly installed league play also groups newbies with newbies and pros with pros, ensuring fair and exciting play every game.
Now onto the last aspect of Black Ops II that no one could have expected four years ago. The zombies mode was introduced into World at War as a little bonus for beating the game. The response to the game mode was so powerful and positive that Black Ops (One) expanded on the mode and Black Ops II has now made it a full blown new game mode with dozens of additions that I couldn't possibly name. When it comes to the part parents are concerned about, you are killing any people in this game, but you kill zombies that look like people...sort of. The main issue is that blood is rampant throughout the game (your killing hundreds and even thousands of infected zombies with unbelievable firepower). While this could be a great team building game for friends (its now up to 8 players), online play proposes the same problems as multiplayer. Just mute those people if needed. The zombies mode is purely for entertainment, and I must say, it is EXTREMELY entertaining.
What people should know is that TreyArch know how to sell to a wide audience. They know parents won't buy games that are super violent, so they gave options to tone it waaaay down, and nearly every disturbing instance can be covered. The only reality of the game that you can't change is that it's people shooting other people (although that's not even true either in zombies.) Another note is that I didn't mark drugs since the amount of drug use seen in this game is seen in every day life.
Thanks for reading!