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Black Ops II’s End Song Bit Was Downright Embarrassing
So, I recently reviewed Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Yes, I liked it just fine, yes, I had some issues with it, and no, it’s not the worst game ever, as many rabid Battlefield fans will have you believe.
What did qualify as the worst ever, though, is the weird video shown at the end, after the game’s credits have rolled.
Now, the ending I got for Black Ops II saw Raul Menendez sneaking into Frank Wood’s nursing home and stabbing the old man in the throat in order to get back at him for the death of Menendez’s sister Josephina. After that, Raul dug up his sister’s corpse and lit himself on fire next to her body in order to put an end to his lifelong mourning. It was a fairly emotional ending, and one that felt like a great ending to a fairly deep story.
But what followed after that and the credits was this mess: (Warning: Language NSFW)
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be watching this going “Wha…what is this?!” and wondering if you just got majorly trolled.
In all seriousness, though, what bothered me is this: Black Ops II managed to tell a pretty interesting story. It did a great job of fleshing out the villain, making you understand his motives and his psychology, and especially helped you appreciate why he acted the way he did. In the end, Raul Menendez is a cold, ruthless warlord powered by grief and pain and seeking vengeance against those who took his beloved sister from him. It makes him a compelling character that you both hate and sympathize with at the same time.
And Frank Woods, although a completely generic and cliched military FPS character, even has a fairly human side attributed to him throughout the campaign of Black Ops II as well. He was tortured by Menendez and sought to hold the man responsible for the pain he caused him many years back, charging his angst and drive to find the man and kill him himself. It becomes a powerful driving force throughout all of the flashback missions throughout the campaign, and I’ll admit I was fairly interested to see how events would unfold in their inevitable face off.
So, developers go to great lengths to tell this elaborate and well written story, only to suddenly throw it away at this weird integration with Avenged Sevenfold. And I know, I know…I can see the comments already, but I don’t think I’m overreacting to this. Why? Because what they did here was completely invalidate the characters and make them into some weird re-imagining that was neither funny nor creative. And most of all, it was completely unnecessary.
I don’t mind if your game debuts some new song from a band. Really, I don’t. Movies have done this for a long, long time. The difference, though, is that you don’t see compelling characters thrown in with the band like they’re actual musicians minutes after you just witnessed their very dramatic deaths. But that’s exactly what they did here, and the results were super jarring and awkward.
And I’m sure there was some cash grab element to this that led to this weird integration of Raul Menendez as a meek guitar player and Frank Woods as a badass drummer. But still, could we not have just had a music video of the band with scenes of the game edited in instead of a rendered concert scene looking like some off-brand guitar hero background video?
Tell me I’m overreacting all you want, but my opinion still stands. It was unecessary, awkward, and an embarrassing end to an otherwise decent game.