Oh how I waited in line on November 9th, 2010 for the glory of Call of Duty: Black Ops to be acquired in my hands to be played not even minutes later when I got home. I popped the disc into my Xbox360 waiting anticipating even the title screen. I can’t tell you how long I had stayed up that faithful night exploring the vast campaign mode and the multiplayer mode (more commonly known as playing on Live).
“As a reviewer, I try hard to avoid hyperbole, but it’s difficult not to call Black Ops the ‘best Call of Duty ever’ simply because it’s the ultimate refinement of the franchise formula” Quote from Tae K. Kim, Gamepro.com
While I cannot comment on much of anything “bad” or wrong with the game, this is indeed what I’ve found:
Campaign: This (as in all of the earlier Call of Duty titles) has succeeded once again, although is coincidentally somewhat short, but that is expected with any First Person Shooter games these days, especially in the Call of Duty franchise. Although I have only played half way through so far, I cannot tell you how glued to my television I had been playing that half.
Multiplayer Navigation: Once you get yourself ready to compete with the rest of the world, this is where you will do it. Multiplayer mode gives you PLENTY of different modes that have both been in earlier games, and ones that nobody had expected, along with the classic split-screen mode for you and your friends to enjoy. Some of the new modes in Black Ops feature Wager Matches (Betting your “CoD points” against your opponents) which branch out into smaller sub-matches such as One in the Chamber, Gun Game, and Sticks and Stones. Each with it’s on set of unique rules and weapon choice, it makes sure that the player never gets bored. Besides Wager Matches, the other types of matches you can participate in have been pretty standard from Modern Warfare 2. These include matches such as Team Deathmatch, Domination, Search and Destroy, etc that any fan of the CoD franchise would be more than familiar with.
Graphics: This is where I believe Black ops seems to fall behind it’s predecessor, Modern Warfare 2. The graphics in Black Ops, in my opinion, were a TINY bit disappointing being as it is suppose to be bigger and badder than the year before. Although the graphics I am talking about are not coming from Pong, you can see a defined difference between the definition of everything in the game, from weapons to the environment. I feel that MW2 may have taken the cake with this part if the two are compared side to side.
Weapons: Treyarch offers more than enough of everything in Black Ops. While all of the weapons are aimed towards the Cold War/Vietnam era, they pack more than enough punch for all of the power hungry players. Black Ops offers the same amount if not more weapon selections than Modern Warfare 2, including some of those weapons never before seen in any game before it, such as the crossbow that fires sticky arrows at your enemies that, if stuck, can’t get away from, and the Ballistic Knife that fires lethal knives that are just as effective. The player will find any weapon that suites their needs in this new installment. Whether it be submachine guns, light machines guns, or from your standard assault rifle selections to the newly changed from secondary to primary weapon, the shotguns. Secondary weapons include the usual launchers and pistols, and everything else you would expect.
Perks: The perks in Black Ops are both new and nothing out of the ordinary.Your avatar gets three tiers of perks while you play. The first tier consist of a newly added way to display the perk, although some of the actual effects are the same seen in MW2. The perks give your avatar a new selection of clothing to display each perk that you select. For example, one perk gives your avatar the look of a bomb squad armored soldier, while you are more protected from explosive damage. Although most of the effects that these perks give you are seen in earlier games (protection from explosive damages, not seen on the radar, sprinting faster), this does give a nice twist on the game, because it makes it visible to other players what exact perk you are using from your appearance. Tier 2 appeals more to your gun itself. These perks can affect how hard you shoot (Hardened), how fast you can reload a clip (Sleight of Hand), and even the accuracy that you can shoot from the hip (such as Steady Aim). Players have a wide selection as to how to customize their weapon even more. Tier 3 is a mix of things that adds new “abilities” to the character. Whether it be protection from the new Nova Gas grenade, or being able to sprint for slightly longer, Tier 3 probably has your poison.
Attachments: Attachments in Black Ops, as I’ve seen, are typically generic and brought from MW2 with the few exclusions such as the Suppressor, which makes your gun perfect for minimal detection when you shoot, even though your range suffers. Other attachments include your basics like the dot sight, extended mags, dual wielding, and grip are brought back for another round. There isn’t much offered here that is new, or worth being overly-hyped about.
Currency System: This has got to be one of my favorite new features. Unlike Modern Warfare 2 where you had to level up to get to a certain degree of weapons and perks, Black Ops introduces a new innovative way to do things, although this is only new to this franchise while other games such as Halo:Reach have beat them to the punch. Instead, Black Ops has you work for your money (CoD points) to purchase ANYTHING in a general section of your character (Such as perks), granted, you have the level to unlock it. So, instead of having to wait until level 35 for the newer grenade or perk, you get it right off the bat (excluding guns, which you still need specific levels for) if you got the money to spend. This new system also allows even MORE customization to your character, which I’m sure any fan will enjoy to get their own personalized look in their matches to be more unlike the crowd.
Zombies: Alas! Nazi Zombies are back, and we knew we could count on good ol’ Treyarch to make sure things ran as smooth, as in World At War. Zombies are as classical as ever in Black Ops, and just as fun (granted, I’ve only played a few times). Everyone who got Standard edition got the new standard zombie maps, unlike people who bought the Hardened Edition who got the bonus 4 maps that were revamped from the WaW zombie mode, in addition. Not too much has changed, as it shouldn’t, except for a few comical laughs when it comes to being able to play as new characters, such as JFK himself in this mode. Nothing can measure up to the enjoyability that blowing a zombie’s head off, and defending your barricades can bring.
Theater Mode: Granted, this is nothing new to be seen in video games before, but it does give this game an extra push. Theater mode presents Call of Duty with an all new perspective of how to replay. With this mode, it captures every bit of game play that you perform online. From bullet’s from the barrel, to the downing of your or your opponent’s last team mate, it’s all there for you to go bit by bit and frame by frame to make your own compilation, or even learn from your past match mistakes.
Overall, I undoubtedly enjoyed every bit of the game. Anyone who has been faithful to the franchise can sure share my feelings, or even individuals who are looking for something new in the FPS genre. This game has a little something for everyone to love and cherish for this year, and beyond.