Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Black Ops Review, #2

  In case you've wondered where Will was these past few days, it's safe to say that I have had a steady helping of both CoD Black Ops and Halo: Reach.  "What!?" you cry in dismay when you see this- "How can Will desert his beloved Halo for that crappy Treyarch game?" Well, I'm here to give you a review of the game in my opinion, because I know, deep down, that you were wondering whether or not to purchase the game or not.  Read on to see my take on Treyarch and Activision's newest creation.

It's tough to organize my opinion on this matter, so I'll just throw out all of the things I like and dislike about Black Ops in one great Pros and Cons list.  I apologize for the clutter.

Things that I like about the new CoD game:

  • The campaign.   It is honestly, hands down, the best story produced in a Call of Duty game.  You are immersed into the mind of a C.I.A. operative and all of his perilous endeavors.  At points, the story mode feels like a scene straight out of a popular war/action film, but in a good way.  If you have 60$ to burn, the campaign alone is reason to buy this game, or you should at-least borrow it from a friend.  Trust me, it will have you sucked in for a long period of time.  The structure of the campaign is typical of a CoD game- huge firefights that you always come out on top, with interesting vehicle and running  scenes mixed in.  However, they fit in perfectly with the cool story.  Voice acting is superb (as Foup mentioned), and the actual shots seem amazing.  I dont want to spoil anything, but an early mission has you exiting a tent in Vietnam with the army radio playing CCR's "Fortunate Son" in the background as you step into the golden sun with numerous helicopters in the sky.  Clearly, much time has been put into detail in this department.
  • Customization. With each new CoD, player customization becomes more and more huge, and in Black Ops, the developers took it to a whole new level.  I particularly like the new "Layered" format of emblem design.  I could ramble on about all of the new features, but instead I will just show a video that does the same thing.

  • The multiplayer.  Now, I know what you're thinking, but I appreciated the multiplayer.  Point is, if you enjoyed yourself with the last CoD, you will enjoy this one, because in all honesty, it's the same.  I hadn't played MW2 in a few months, but within the first 5 minutes of Black Ops it hit me- it's the same multiplayer experience.  Quick paced, "arcade" like format, with numerous 13 year old pre-pubescent boys screaming about how you're a try-hard because you got a better KDR.  That said, I don't mind it too much.  I got to 5th prestige legit in MW2 with something like 11 days played because I ENJOYED the game.  With Black Ops, they made some minor improvements, but left some problems unfixed.  For instance, kill-streaks are now, in my opinion, "weaker" in a sense- no longer do I enter a game that's half-done and there's already an AC-130 and Pavlow raping my ass.  Now it's RC-XD cars, which can be annoying at times, but not nearly as frustrating as getting spawn killed repeatedly.  However, the glaring problem that I saw was the spawn system.  I played several games on the terrible map that is "Nuketown", and could literally sit in a corner in a backyard and go 31-0.  If I chose to run forward, I could wait 3 seconds, and see the enemy team spawning 15 feet from my back.  This happened on multiple maps, and it can really get out of hand.  Now for S&D and other objective games this is not as big a deal, but nonetheless, this is a serious problem that I feel was unfixed.
  • Recoil.  Finally, guns are harder to shoot.  No longer can an inexperienced FPS'er destroy with a full auto gun from a mile away- controlled bursts are necessary if you want to do well.  Guns now have a sort of "learning curve" and distinct feel to them, which I thoroughly enjoy.
  • Zombies. Enough said.  They brought back the only good thing in WaW, and it's just as fun.  It serves as a fun thing to do when campaign and multiplayer leave you burned out.
  • Contracts.  A new spin on the game, where you wager coin in hopes that you complete a specific challenge in a period of time, earning more money as a payout than you originally spent on the challenge.
The bad: 
  • The whole money system.  I don't like it.  It's essentially the same thing as before, but more complicated and unnecessary.  I was perfectly happy unlocking guns as I moved up the levels.  Literally everything costs credits now, from gun camos, to facepaint, to logos for the emblem.  Not necessary, and it's too easy to earn money.
  • Assault rifles.  Again, I feel that they are too overpowered.  The new fully auto Famas in my opinion rivals the best of the SMG's, but with the ability to go long range as well.  I
  • Hit detection.  It may be lag or just bad coding, but on multiple occurrences I get hitmarkers on the heads of enemys while I snipe.  If you've played for a while, you know what I am talking about.
Summary with comparison to Halo:

If you liked MW2 multiplayer, definitely buy this game. If you didn't like the multiplayer, then rent it or borrow it, just to complete the campaign.  Overall, by no means does it replace Halo: Reach, but it offers a different feel and playing experience.  It does not steal my love for Halo, but it is something I will enjoy to mix in from time to time.

Any questions or suggestions, please place a comment below (I will read and reply), or email at

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