Reviews// Call of Duty: Black Ops

Posted 29 Nov 2010 16:04 by
As a series, Call of Duty felt dead to me. I was tired of both single player and multi-player forms of the game and the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops just didn't excite me. I felt as though I had done as much as my thumbs had wanted to do within it's war-torn grasp.

I enjoyed the multiplayer games of the past but after a while the online community broke me down a little with its screaming teenagers and their 'win at any cost' mentality, and I found that I just wasn't having fun any more.

The single-player game, which was always worth a punt, had seemed to grow a little tired. Despite new settings, the basic mechanics never really progressed from the landmark CoD 4. It felt that Treyarch's World at War was trying to live up to the legendary Modern Warfare, and that the developers feared to change anything too much in case of a backlash. Modern Warfare 2, although good, felt as though it had to stay faithful to the series.

What we were left with were three excellent games in their own right, but titles that were far too similar to get you excited for a fourth. So, it was safe to say that Black Ops didn't quite have the same buzz about it amongst the hardcore gaming community, no matter what the mass-media press would have liked you to believe.

I almost gave this one a complete miss. I'm glad I didn't.

Magnified Action
I decided to play through the campaign first. I suppose I was a little too scared to log into a multi-player match. I'd been playing a lot of Halo Reach before this, so I didn't want the first time I threw a grenade against a wall by accident to be in front of a group of people. I wanted to save those moments for just me. I didn't want anyone to know how much of a n00b I had become.

As it so happens, CoD Blops doesn't give you any sort of chance to familiarise yourself with the controls. Unlike the games before it, there is no tutorial. No assault course to run around, no potato grenade to chuck at a bottle. You are dropped head first into battle. This was either an arrogant swagger, or the first in many decisions made to steer the series away from the template it had become.

Either way it was an eye opener. Within moments of the game loading, I was firing a harpoon gun at a helicopter in order to to bring it down. It felt like the start of a brainless action movie. One that had a shit-ton of money that it wasn't afraid of spending. Little was I to know that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Black Ops never lets up. There is no room for controlled storyline build up, not when there are cars to blow up. Your journey through the game feels like all of Arnold Schwarzenegger's films edited together, after deleting any scene without and explosion. Well, maybe with the exception of Jingle All The Way.

As brainless and straightforward as the constant violence and set peices are, I found the whole experience to be thrilling. I never felt bored of shooting, nor did I care that the enemy had the AI capabilities of Katie Price at a chess match. With the amount of action going on around me, I soon realised that Black Ops understood what made the CoD games good.

It wasn't the tactical puzzles, or even the skill involved in shooting. It was the spectacle being played out before your eyes. It took that one element of the past games and turned it up to 11 and, by doing this, it's created one of the most intensely satisfying single-player shooters for a long time.

CoD-By-Numbers
I had some minor gripes but in a way it pains me to tell you them. The odd level seems to be a little under par from the rest of the game. Some felt a little bit too much like CoD-By-Numbers. But every 'weaker' level is followed up by an enthralling one, usually set in Vietnam.

Treyarch also decided to go back to the infuriating technique of infinitely spawning enemies. A frustrating decision that takes a minor step back for the series and seems completely unnecessary.

Still, these gripes only entered my head for a moment. Before I had the chance to get irritated by them I was screaming, ?Oh look its a plane flying so low that it might take my head off!?
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Comments

config 29 Nov 2010 19:07
1/15
On reflection, I'd say I was pretty disappointed by the campaign.

At the time it seemed great because it's *way* better than MW2, but MW2's was so poor that doesn't really say much for Blops. My biggest gripe would be how short it was - I'd finished it easily within a week, and that includes the days I had to sit around waiting for 1.03 patch because the f**king game kept crashing after the Hong Kong level.

The streams of spawning enemy is utter turd. With some sections having a measured enemy count and others infinite, you never known if hanging back to "clear the room" or running and gunning is to right approach. Inconsistent and cock.
The AI of your cohort is also complete knob. The bastard(s) just runs past the enemy to take up a position beyond them - try playing on Veteran, which is more like playing against the bullet bending bastards from Wanted, and the you'll see them trot past them very enemy that you're trying to pick off, one ill-aimed pot shot at a time.

Multiplayer is, however, the mutts - that I'll agree. Shame I'm mostly a waste of space at MP, but it's a testament to the compelling nature of the game that I want to keep playing, even it I don't know the lay of the level or how to use all the care package s**t.

Lastly, why the f**k isn't there co-op? All those car/boat/gunship japes would be so much more fun if I could just concentrate on the shooting while someone else takes car of navigation and evasion, or vice versa.

I'd give it a healthy 85%
Pezais 29 Nov 2010 22:08
2/15
The only reason I bought this game was for its multiplayer. I thought the campaign in MW2 was a bit crap to.
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hgfyyghh 30 Nov 2010 00:18
3/15
LOL @ "...arguably the best war-based game to date...". You obviously have never tried playing Battlefield Bad Company 2. Now that's the best of the best. But I don't blame you, it's always easier to run aroynd like headless chicken, than use your brain to develop real tactics and do some serious team work. Does anyone older than 12 even play Cod/MW anymore?!
Gary The Owl 30 Nov 2010 01:29
4/15
COD 4 will always be the daddy though, nothing before or after even comes close
Sputnik 30 Nov 2010 01:41
5/15
Multiplayer is s**t with not having a super fast connect im finding that i have to embed a whole mag. into a player from them to die. im now having to shoot before they get into my sight for the bullets to count and when i get killed its on 2 or 3 shots from them. also find if im behind a wall and jump out and shoot then jump back in to hide on there kill cam i dont move and i die a few metres from the location i died on my xbox.

other things like every 2 to 3 games the match lags out or you cant register host which is very frustrating.

overall id give it 5 out 10 its not bad but its not good either if it wasnt the fact id traded all my games in to get it id not be on it at all
Cal 30 Nov 2010 06:56
6/15
You forget to mention " the frame dropping", "the lag", "the freezing issue" and the many more issues ps3 players are suffering with, this game was released to so much hype but i work in a games sales and trade in centre and so far we have received as many back in trade in as we sold on the first day so something is wrong here and just looking around several forums it`s a big issue.
jack42 30 Nov 2010 07:32
7/15
Singuraly the worst game i have ever played.NO reality involved impossible to survive in real terms and absolutely boring, sold mine on ebay a week after buying as it was finished, no lasting gameplay took about 4 hoiurs to complete yawn.
elmo 30 Nov 2010 08:16
8/15
Hello all,

Thought I'd reply to a few of the points made in this thread.

I have indeed played (and still play) Battlefield Bad Company 2. It's a cracking game. I just personally like what Trearch have done this time around. The constant action is something that really got me addicted and it's something lacking from BC2, even though the latter game does certain things better than Black Ops.

I suppose i consider this the better game due to the full package. I feel there is more to Black Ops especially in the single player. But hey, i said it was an arguable point, and that's what it is. Some will like either of the games better.

As for the PS3 version, unfortunately i was reviewing the 360 game so i couldn't comment on the issues some are experiencing. I can only review what's in front of me and I had no problems what so ever with the 360 version.
elmo 30 Nov 2010 08:19
9/15
Oh and Jack, if this is "the worst game you have ever played" you've had a blessed gaming life.
TommyUK 30 Nov 2010 09:24
10/15
On PS3 the multiplayer freezing issues are killing the fun, not to mention the 'connection error' every thrid game. Also i'm glad its not just me who needs a whole clip to kill someone even at point blank range, watch it back in the theatre though and it will play out a completely different version of events!! So annoying.

If they could sort this cr*p out it would be a top game without doubt. Oh and im not a teenager by the way, i just act like one!
ts 30 Nov 2010 10:42
11/15
I think maybe what rly hooked you as you say, the solid bullit hitting, made by those oscilled vibrations? The X was there before, and its very useful. I d ont like vibrations but this time I felt different, I think killstreaks are less funny than mw2, but it got its own reasons.
I quite liked ur opinion about 'that noob tuber nuked me'.
Noob tuber is something ugly but epic ! :)
config 30 Nov 2010 11:01
12/15
@TommyUK Last night I had a lot of this connerr stuff - I kept clicking "PSN" and it would think about it for a while, then just come back to the same menu without any prompt or notification of a problem. Then I had one session boot me due to connerr and finally it froze at the syncing gamestate stage of joining.

I also thought that the whole clip emptying thing was down to either my pathetic FPS skills/reaction times or not being levelled-up to weapons that don't kick like mules. I never even considered lag would be the problem.
Trigger 9 Dec 2010 17:22
13/15
elmo wrote:
Hello all,

Thought I'd reply to a few of the points made in this thread.

I have indeed played (and still play) Battlefield Bad Company 2. It's a cracking game. I just personally like what Trearch have done this time around. The constant action is something that really got me addicted and it's something lacking from BC2, even though the latter game does certain things better than Black Ops.

I suppose i consider this the better game due to the full package. I feel there is more to Black Ops especially in the single player. But hey, i said it was an arguable point, and that's what it is. Some will like either of the games better.

As for the PS3 version, unfortunately i was reviewing the 360 game so i couldn't comment on the issues some are experiencing. I can only review what's in front of me and I had no problems what so ever with the 360 version.


That's a fair point about being an whole package. I like many people haven't bothered with the single player of Black Ops because lets be honest, that's always the boring bit anyway in these types of games.

I'd be interested to know how you would place Black Ops against BC2 in purely multiplayer aspects because in my opinion BC2 s**ts on Black Ops from a great height.
rainmakerrr 13 Jan 2011 22:25
14/15
i was very impressed with the storyline. but the way that the game was made to include the actual player in the action, i was quite disappointed. in certain missions if u never fired a single bullet u could pass through the mission. on the bright side the multiplayer on live is pretty fun.
ATG3192 18 Jan 2011 00:40
15/15
I haven't played the PS3 version but I have played the 360 version and I have a few comments about it.

~I started playing CoD at MW2 then CoD4 and loved everything about them. One thing that really ticks me off about Black Ops is that, like earlier mentioned, it takes a whole friggin clip to kill somebody. Also, I'll have my sights on somebody and unload at least half a clip into their torso when I see right as I die, and on the killcam, that they're flailing their gun around and the sights aren't on me for more then a split-second and it's no where vital. Also, I'm a big party player, so I like to party up with maybe three or four other friends and play multiplayer but the connection just won't work and we'll all rarely play a game because when we enter a game lobby then a few of us will not be in the game or the game will just shut down on us and it's also happened to where the game froze on me in the scoreboard and I had to turn off my Xbox and by the time I'd gotten back on I didn't have what I'd accomplished in the previous game. Honestly I'm more of a HALO shooter because I know that I won't be killed from fifty feet away with a single shotgun blast and if I get a sniper headshot then they are DEAD!!! Also because the multiplayer servers, in my opinion, are far more stable than the CoD servers because on CoD I get a whole bunch of phasing and I can almost never stay on a game even though I've never had a problem with my connection in any other games plus I can play HALO with large parties and nothing wrong will happen.
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