I have now been playing the campaign in Black Ops 2 for a couple of hours and my first impressions of the game are that it is fantastic. I have never enjoyed a Call of Duty campaign this much before. I have done a few missions, got a grip on the story and have now done my first Strikeforce mission. My conclusion?
Strikeforce is the best thing to happen to Call of Duty since Infinity Ward (though it kills me to compliment them) revamped its multiplayer with Modern Warfare.
Strikeforce sees you take control of a unit, mine was two groups of four men, two turrets and a Claw, which is a sort of walking tank/bear thing and is seriously cool. After a blissfully brief and easy tutorial you are tossed into the mission. There are four points to defend and if they fall then the main objective is opened up. You have to defend the base for ten minutes against waves of enemies which include troops, land drones, Claw's and even flying quad drones like the one you get in the limited edition of Black Ops 2.
Strikeforce missions let you control all of your men tactically and also let you assume control of any of them whenever you want, they are fast paced, tense, challenging and above all they are a blast to play, they also really matter because failure is an option and it impacts the outcome of the game. For example if I lost my base India would have been open to invasion from a slightly mad Chinese general. This is obviously not good.
Call of Duty's campaign, at its heart, remains similar to previous entries in the series but the awesome story, which includes multiple endings, as well as the Strikeforce missions make it the best Call of Duty campaign to date because for the first time ever it matters. It is deep, evocative, entertaining and highly replay-able and the fact that Treyarch managed to achieve that with Call of Duty is simply astounding.
My review for the game should be up on the blog on Tuesday morning so check back then to hear my verdict on the entire game.