Having already played a demo of Zombie U, I knew that the Wii U GamePad controller was comfortable enough to play a first-person shooter for a length of time. But I was curious whether an FPS was actually playable on the GamePad instead of the TV. Yes, I will freely admit that half the reason I opted to play Call of Duty: Black Ops II with the GamePad instead of the Wii U Pro Controller was because I didn't want my failure to be broadcasted to the rest of the room on the big screen TV (I suck at these kind of military FPS games), but the other half was because I was genuinely curious whether a game would be comfortably playable on the GamePad screen.
And surprisingly, it is. It's not the biggest screen, so it's kind of like playing a really large portable, but it totally works. I would glance up occasionally from my game to watch my opponent on the big screen, and the graphics were totally the same. They don't seem to be simplified at all for the GamePad screen, and if they are, it wasn't noticeable to me. While the ability to play a game on the GamePad instead of the TV is software-specific, a few titles already have this feature, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II is one of them. Of course, if you want to play on the TV, you can use the GamePad screen to view maps, and manage your loadout.
They also offer an alternative to split-screen play in local multiplayer by having one player use the GamePad and play on its screen while the other plays on the TV with the Pro Controller. That's how I played the demo. You can also play up to four players, but then you use alternative controllers, not the GamePad. And they've got you covered no matter what option you might prefer, offering control schemes for the GamePad, Pro Controller, Wii Remote and Nunchuck, and even the Classic Controller Pro.
Activision is promising the full-on Call of Duty experience in the Wii U version, complete with robust multiplayer, deeper class customization, and naturally, zombies. Because a shooting game just isn't complete without some kind of zombie mode these days! Call of Duty: Black Ops II is set to release during the Wii U launch window, which technically lasts until March, but I was told it should be out this fall for your running and gunning pleasure. (Oh, and apologies for not having screenshots for this article, but they didn't release any, and in fact, kept people from shooting the TV screens displaying the game. Not sure what they were hiding, since the game looks pretty fantastic!)