Black Ops 2: The Best Scorestreaks & How They Change COD

David Scarborough


We get hands-on with Treyarch's overhauled Killstreak system, and give you a full breakdown on which are the best.

Published on Aug 14, 2012

After Infinity Ward revamped the Killstreak system in Modern Warfare 3 last year, Treyarch has followed suit and completely redesigned the system for Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.

What Are Black Ops 2's Score Streaks All About?

Similar to how the Assault Strike Package functioned in last year’s Call of Duty, Scorestreaks not only reward players for killing enemies, but awards points for assisting teammates and performing actions that benefit the entire team.

We’re shown a great example during a standard match of Capture The Flag: the player is running across the map and nabs the enemy flag for 100 points, then on route back to base kills the enemy flag carrier for 200 points.

Here because the enemy was a high value target, the player is awarded double the points. Finally, returning the flag to base, he received another 150 points and unlocks two Score Streaks in the process.

Various actions have different values and during the haste of a match it’s hard to gauge at this point which actions constitute the big points.

However, the core difference is how it will affect objective-based game types, encouraging teamwork, rather than lone wolf rampages for maximum Kill Streak potential.

The maps are already looking keenly designed.

How Scorescreaks Are Accessible And Balanced

Most importantly the system appears exceptionally balanced. It gives newcomers a stronger foothold into the Call of Duty template, while rewarding veteran players tremendously for skill, patience and method.

But the biggest concern for many gamers will be whether or not this will produce a more cluttered air space above the battlefield. Suffice to say,  our play time yielded zero complaints when it came down to air traffic, with new streaks hitting at a comfortable frequency.

One issue we did have was how the interface supports this new system. While the Points Streak is a step in the right direction for the Kill Streaks system, it’s currently difficult to judge how many points you need until your next streak unlock.

UI issues notwithstanding, the streaks themselves are without a doubt the most inventive the series has introduced to date. Utilising the potential of the future setting of 2025, there’s plenty of high-tech military hardware on offer that packs a devastating punch.

Hope your favourite colour is brown.

Black Ops 2's Scorestreaks Provide Freedom Of Choice

Black Ops 2’s Scorestreaks have quite a novel way of interacting with the player that offers a bit more choice and freedom when it comes to the ebb of warfare.

As the setting transports players into the near future, multiple devices can be controlled either manually or be left for the AI to guide.

Players can switch between these two viewpoints at a whim. So you can unleash a MQ-27 quad rotor droid and control it manually to rain death from above and then quickly switch back to your man on the ground to check the area for enemies while your drone continues to fight autonomously.

It’s a neat idea and one that’s certain to alleviate that all-too familiar frustration of deploying a user-controlled Killstreak only to return afterwards to a corpse in a corner.

Death from above will likely be the biggest pain.

But What Are The Best Score Streaks?

While we’ll get to the full list of Score Streaks in a moment, it’s worth pointing out the most ingenious and enjoyable featured in Black Ops 2.

First off is the aforementioned MQ-27 that can be deployed above the battlefield. While it feels a little unwieldy at first (not unlike the first time you steer an RC-XD), this little ‘copter can cause a massive amount of damage and cover a huge distance.

It’s also interesting to note that when it’s AI controller, it relays kill information audibly back to the player.

The Hellstorm Missile is likely to be a divisive new entry. It can either be manually guided to a target for a sizeable impact or be detonated in the air to release a cluster of bombs. It’s a risk/reward scenario, but either way it proved quite deadly and stands as a rather early unlock.

We’ve already seen the lumbering AGR (Autonomous Ground Robot) in early Black Ops 2 footage, but the sentry drone is a force to be reckoned with on the front line. “It’s not bullshit – this thing is a complete beast,” says David Vonderhaar, game design director on Black Ops 2. 

There’s also the Guardian, which emits a suppressive sonic wave that shocks opponents. Getting caught in one of these seriously distorts your vision and using one is a great way to block off pathways.

Elsewhere there’s the Lightning Strike, which enables players to choose three precise target areas to bombard with an aerial assault. However, the highest value streak is Swarm, which sends out a devastating attack that destroys enemies and enemy equipment across the entire map.

Here’s the list in full:

  • RC-XD – 325 Points
  • UAV – 375 Points
  • Hunter Killer – 400 Points
  • Care Package – 450 Points
  • Counter-UAV – 475 Points
  • Guardian – 500 Points
  • Hellstorm Missile – 525 Points
  • Lightning Strike – 550 Points
  • Death Machine – 600 Points
  • Sentry Gun – 650 Points
  • War Machine – 700 Points
  • Dragon Fire – 725 Points
  • A.G.R – 800 Points
  • Stealth Chopper – 850 Points
  • Orbital USAT – 900 Points
  • Escort Drone – 1000 Points
  • Warthog – 1025 Points
  • EMP Systems – 1050 Points
  • Lodestar – 1150 Points
  • UTOC Warship – 1200 Points
  • K9 Unit – 1275 Points
  • Swarm – 1400 Points



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