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Game Review: Call Of Duty: Black Ops
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Call of Duty: Black Ops
PLATFORMS: PS3/Xbox 360/Wii/PC
DEVELOPER: Treyarch
PUBLISHER: Activision
RELEASE DATE: November 9, 2010

When reviewing a game like Call of Duty: Black Ops, one would assume the reviewer has probably played other Call of Duty games into the ground, but this is not the case at all.

I entered Black Ops as a complete noob, really. I’ve toyed around with previous installments — mostly playing with family in co-op modes — and even have Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare waiting for me to finally try it out. But technically, I’ve never really taken one of these games head-on.

This, I would have to say, was a good thing. I entered the game knowing what to expect but not exactly how well I would do or progress — especially when it comes to online multiplayer matches, which I’ve always been undeniably bad at and wanted to see if with enough practice and virtual death, this humble gamer could eventually hang with the big boys.

We’ll start with the game itself, which is a decent campaign, spanning about 7-8 hours long if you’re not playing on the easiest difficulty setting. It takes place during the Cold War in the late ’60s — you play as Alex Mason (voiced by Sam Worthington), an operative who right at the start of the game has been restrained and is being subjected to interrogation methods by some mystery men behind clouded glass.

Their mission is to get answers out of you regarding a strange broadcast of various numbers, a dangerous Russian General named Dragovich, and eventually the diabolical chemical weapon he wants to get his hands on, known as Nova 6. The mysterious men also question you often on your friend and ally, a defector of Russia’s Red Army named Viktor Reznov (voiced by Gary Oldman), who also played a pivotal role in Treyarch’s last title, Call of Duty: World At War.

A lot of military games such as this have issues with story. These game’s have a lot of complicated mission/strategy speak which sounds like gibberish to regular folk’s ears, and put most of their eggs in the action basket. That usually works, but it’s also a little difficult to fall in love with a game you enjoyed but have no idea what happened in it.

Thankfully, Black Ops does a great job of constructing a strong story to go along with the intense action. And when I say intense, I say it at the highest level of the word’s meaning. I’ve played a lot of video games in my day, but never have I had bullets whizzing by my head quite as ferociously as I did playing this game. The hell that is war is well-executed here, and though we all know it’s nothing like the real thing, you will find yourself clenching your controller with gusto on many occasions.

The game also does a great job of shaking things up; many of the levels involve the first-person action we’re used to, but there’s an appreciated amount of missions that see you taking out enemies via helicopter or guiding a team through dangerous territory using eyes in the sky. You can go into Call of Duty: Black Ops assured of the fact that you will never ever be bored, and that, my friends, is worth a few brownie points.

As for my attempt to play around in the sandbox we know as online mutliplayer matches, things are going, well…not too bad. As hoped, with more and more play, I’ve gotten a little better at not getting shot dead 35 times in a row, and this is progress! Records and statistics are still nothing to brag about on my end, but I can surely see how this phenomenon has gotten so popular. I didn’t want to buy into it at first, but can safely admit that it can be pretty gosh darn addictive.

As someone who’s new to games of this genre, it can be said that those of you who have never quite gotten into it should absolutely give Black Ops a try. It’s a fast and furious war epic that should deliver many hours of chaotic gameplay. Fans of the series have likely already devoted a week or so of their life, so they don’t need me to guide their choice.

The Modern Warfare titles in the Call of Duty franchise has done great things in the realms of video games, but personally, I’ve always preferred the games set in the past. Whether it be World War II or Vietnam or another historical conflict, there’s something so enthralling about games set in times we were too young or weren’t even alive to know.

Adding to that, Black Ops features a few very real historical figures, which only adds to the appeal. And when you play this game — and you should, immediately — don’t get antsy and skip the credits. Be sure to tough it out and take part in some intense undead action involving said historical figures. The one-liners alone are worth the cost.

Trailer

6 Comments »

  1. You must be a noob if you think this is a great game. The single player game is way too sort, leaves no room for diverting from the set path and has a totally unsatisfying ending. The multiplayer is even worse if you’re on a PC. Bugs, crashes and LAG, LAG, LAG even after the patch is applied.

    Comment by Bruizer — November 30, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  2. then don’t play on PC, MW2 campain was only 5 hours, so don’t whine

    Comment by alex — November 30, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  3. I may be a noob to these particular games, but I familiar enough with games in general to know it’s common knowledge that the campaigns are typically short.

    I have no problem with that, to be honest. These aren’t games I would want to play for 20 hours. Black Ops and others work best as short, action packed games. And I personally played on PS3 and didn’t have lag issues. This is why I don’t play PC games.

    My job is to look at all aspects of something and share my opinions on them. Then you can take it for what it is. I’m not going to bash a game I had a lot of fun playing just because it’s short, that would be silly.

    As I always say, I think we could use MORE of these 5 to 10-hour short games that feel like movies we can control. Shorter titles should probably only run us about $39.99 instead of full price (unless they offer a good online multiplayer experience), and they’re a refreshing change of pace from the 50, 70, 100+ hour games, if you ask me.

    Comment by The Movie God — November 30, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  4. Its a great game but the fact is that half of the weapons didn’t even exist at that time period (61-68). That’s like including an M16 in one of their WW2 games. I mean, I understand that the CIA would have a few “advanced” gadgets or prototype weapons, but not something from 30+ years in the future! Come on! the Viet Cong are carrying laser scoped AK’s that weren’t available until the 1990’s. I know COD campaigns aren’t based on total reality but at least they had these fictional stories take place during actual conflicts, using ACTUAL era weapons.

    Besides this, the only other problem is the lack of any emulation of REAL Vietnamese Gorilla combat. Just like all the other COD’s the enemy fights the same way. How would this game be if the Cong acted like the Cong (not knowing who is shooting at you and then suddenly they dissipate and come back at you from your flank) Where’s the booby traps and tree whips?

    And this is why I will be getting Battlefield Vietnam. Anyone interested in an accurate depiction of the Vietnamese war will not find it in COD. Don’t get me wrong its a fun game, just not monumental.

    Comment by Rob — December 1, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  5. The story is solid and is the most dramatic out of all COD games. I can buy into you being a sort of “Manchurian candidate” who was programed to kill Kennedy. A nova-6 biological weapon created by ex-Nazi scientists is very believable and true. Project “paper-clip” was a true American operation to scurry for all the Nazi chemists before the Soviets got them. When it comes to the Kennedy assassination, we all know that is complete bull (he was killed by his own CIA) but I can use suspension of disbelief to enjoy the overall theme. The ending is terrible and very anti-climactic ( You rise from the water to be greeted by cheesy rock music?) The game never addresses the Whereabouts of the sleeper cells that were the ones to release the Nova-6. The game just ends and there is no search for these Russian agents. Game could of been made much longer if they worked in this part of the story.

    There also should of been an effort to expand the story beyond 1968 into the conflicts of the 70’s and 80’s, making an EPIC campaign of an additional 5-6 hours. It would be very interesting to take part as a CIA operative during Afghanistan/Soviet conflict and would educate a lot of kids who believe that the Afghans were ALWAYS our enemy. We helped the Mujahideen Resistance against the Soviets, later these freedom fighters became the Taliban.

    Who knows there are many stories to explore when it comes to the CIA. Tons of conspiracy theories they could of made levels into. Something tells me that this COD involved a JFK assassination level but was taken out for obvious reasons. How about an exploration into the CIA’s development of the AIDS virus? (tongue firmly in cheek).

    Even though the campaign is fun, fast and furious, its one of those where you look back and realize it was kind of weak and confined.

    Comment by Rob — December 1, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  6. Sorry to tell you this, but the AK-47 started use in 1949, though I agree that I don’t think that the Viet Cong had LASER SIGHTED AK-47S.

    I actually do think that most of the weapons did exist during that time (AK-47, Famas, M60, etc.), but some of them did not exist during the time as you said.

    Comment by Gijoe55 — August 3, 2011 @ 12:55 am

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