Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Wii U Review

Kevin Mitchell on November 27, 2012

Releasing less than a week after the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game, Treyach delivers the same quality experience for the Nintendo Wii U. Our main Call of Duty: Black Ops II review already covered all the branching options to the campaign, the highly customizable multiplayer and the improved zombies mode. Here, I’ll be focusing on the key differences that make the Nintendo Wii U version of Black Ops II stand out from the rest.

Not only does the Wii U version offer almost the same experience as you can find on other platforms, it includes features that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. With the main three portions of the game – Campaign, Zombies, Multiplayer – virtually identical, it comes down to what it does differently that sets it apart.

COD Casting – livestreaming – that was being touted as a major advancement for the series is nowhere to be found on the Wii U, but Treyarch won’t leave Nintendo fans empty handed, as they have developed unique features that can only be utilized using the Wii U GamePad. During multiplayer matches the screen on the GamePad will display the minimap and allow you to change classes without accessing the start menu. Scorestreaks can be used by touching icons located on the touchscreen – I found using the D-Pad to be a more efficient. Utilizing a TV and the GamePad screen, split-screen multiplayer takes on a whole new meaning. It’s a much better option than having both players split the real estate of the same Television screen – although the option is still available if desired.

The biggest benefit to playing Black Ops II on the Wii U is allowing you to play the entire game just using the GamePad. It’s worth mentioning that you aren’t able to access the Wii U Home screen to check any messages, the Miiverse or your Friends List when playing off the Wii U GamePad. The notification light will still flash, teasing you. At first I thought this was due to being in the middle of a multiplayer match, but even sitting at the main menu screen for both the campaign and multiplayer I wasn’t able to access it. The only way to return to the Wii U system menu was to restart the entire system.

If you are interested in the multiplayer portion of Black Ops II – and who isn’t – the Wii U servers have drastically less people than you would find on the Xbox 360 for example, but I never had a hard time finding a Team Deathmatch game to join. If you are looking to play one of the other game types however, you may have to wait as the majority of them currently have 0 players in them.


Visually, the Wii U version of Black Ops II is on par with the Xbox 360 with both of those versions looking cleaner and sharper than the PS3 offering. Multiple control schemes allow you to use the GamePad, the Wii U Pro controller or a Wii Remote and Nunchuck to play the game as you see fit. With a package that closely resembles what can be found on other platforms, Black Ops II is a great offering for those looking for a first-person shooter to pick up with their new console.

Note: The Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Wii U review was written based on the Wii U version of the game provided by the publisher.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Wii U 8.5
The Pick 10 system is a great start at evolving the multiplayer formula
Split-screen utilizing a television and the Wii U GamePad
The AI during the Strike Force Missions is atrocious
Home button can't be used when playing the game on the GamePad