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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Treyarch

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

November 9, 2010

 

 

- Fantastic campaign
- Fun multiplayer modes and excellent new additions
- Great presentation
- Zombies Mode returns
- Incredible amount of content

 

 

- Campaign is on the short side
- Spec Ops mode is missing
- Game ending bugs in the single player
- Voices sound terrific, with the exception of Sam Robertson
- Teammates AI is lackluster

 

 

Review: Medal of Honor (360)

Review: Call of Duty: World at War (360)

Review: MAG (PS3)

 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

call of duty black ops          call of duty black ops

 

Treyarch has always played second fiddle to Infinity Wardís Call of Duty titles. All of Treyarchís previous efforts have seen the series play out in various World War II theatres, but Black Ops is a change of scenery and is easily the best Call of Duty title to date.

The game takes place during the Cold War period of the 1960ís. The game spans various locales including the Vietnam, Russia and Cuba. You play a character named Alex Mason who is being interrogated by an unknown party who is bent on mining information about Masonís military past. The story actually is told through a series of flashbacks as Mason tries to recount his past covert operations. As you

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journey back through Masonís previous endeavours youíll come across famous figures from history including Castro, Kennedy and McNamara as well as some familiar characters from Call of Duty: World at War.

At the beginning of the game, the story feels confusing and overwhelming. As you play further into the gameís campaign, the story becomes more clear, though there are still twists and turns.

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I truly enjoyed the storyline as itís evident that Treyarch put a lot of time and effort into creating an engaging and exciting single player experience. My only real complaint about the campaign is length, which ranges from 6-10 hours depending on what difficulty you are playing on.

While the campaign is easily the best of the series, there were several issues I came across. There were some game ending bugs I experienced while playing through the campaign. The game would usually freeze in between cut scenes and other times my character would get stuck in objects in the environments. In these situations, the checkpoints did not activate and I was forced to restart the level from the beginning. (I imagine that patches have been released since I played through the campaign to address this issue.) The enemy AI is pretty smart and they use cover well, but your teammates AI is downright bad. Your teammates rarely kill any enemies and often run right past enemy soldiers.

One of the best parts of Modern Warfare 2 was the Spec Ops mode which was a cooperative campaign, separate from the single player, whereby you and another human player would fight through waves of enemies to achieve an objective. This mode is sadly missing from Black Ops. Instead Black Ops brings back Zombies Mode, which first made an appearance in Call of Duty World at War. The Zombies mode can be played offline and online and is extremely enjoyable, although I would have preferred to have had Spec Ops mode return as well.


The online multiplayer plays pretty similarly to last years game, but Treyarch has made quite a few changes to the outer shell of the online play. In previous years games youíd unlock weapons, attachments and perks by simply ranking up. Black Ops gives you more freedom as you now earn CODpoints, which can be used to purchase weapons, perks and attachments. The new system works extremely well and allows you more freedom to customize your character. The game also has a new take on the free for all mode by offering wager matches. Wager matches are a free for all mode where you can place bets and earn CODpoints more quickly compared to other modes.

 

call of duty black ops           call of duty black ops


Combat Training is a new mode, which allows players to play deathmatch and team deathmatch against AI controlled bots in the gameís various multiplayer maps. Combat training is an enjoyable mode and is great for those who are new to the multiplayer component of the series. Also new to Black Ops is the online theatre system which allows you to record your kills and post them online for other players to see. This isnít a revolutionary change as Halo Reach introduced this earlier this year, but itís still a nice addition.

Visually, Black Ops is stunning. The game runs at an amazing 60 frames per second and the gameís presentation seems reminiscent of a Michael Bay movie. There are a ridiculous number of explosions and the violence is far more graphic than previous Call of Duty titles.

The game features a star-studded cast including Gary Oldman, Ed Harris (a personal favorite) and Sam Worthington who plays Alex Mason. Sam Worthington is originally Australian and he plays an American in the game. There are numerous moments in the game where his Australian accent creep into Masonís dialogue and it feels awkward and strange. It reminds me of the voice acting from Heavy Rain where all the actors were European, but they were portraying Americans. Apart from Worthingtonís odd moments, the voice acting is top notch. There is also music reminiscent of the 60ís including the Rolling Stones and Creedance Clearwater Revival. These songs are set during the set piece moments in the game and are perfectly scripted.

Black Ops doesnít drastically change the formula that has made the series so popular. Instead, Treyarch has made numerous cosmetic changes and added a layer of polish around the gameís campaign mode. Black Ops is a must have for any fan of first person shooters.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(December 17, 2010)

 

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