Call of Duty: Black Ops review
The Call of Duty series is no stranger to those of you who have owned PC's since 2005 and prior will know that up until Call of Duty 3, the game was solely based on historic wars like World War I, World War II and the other wars.
In 2007 Modern Warfare was where the game took a turn for the better, Activision decided to do something unorthodox and gave players modern weaponary in the wars of today. Rather then players using Gwehr 43's and MP40's players were able to use modern weapons like the Javelin, RPD, M16 etc. It accumulated a whooping 7 million sales which was pretty big that time.
In 2008, a year after Modern Warfare Activision went back to their roots and released World at War which was based on World War II, although it did bring a rather unique game mode to the table (Nazi Zombies) it was a pretty decent sale with over 3 million games.
In 2009, the Modern Warfare series got its sequel and BOY was this game a hit, with a record sale of 20 Million games this was the most sold game in the UK and the 2nd highest sold game in the US.
Now in 2010 we have a new Call of Duty game, and this one looks VERY promising.
At first I was very excited about getting my hands on the game, and I still am. There are absolutely NO WORDS to describe how much better this game is in comparison to Modern Warfare 2, albeit the game was leaked on the XBOX 360 and the PC very early to their release dates I waited patiently for the PS3 version and the reward for patience is indeed awesome.
During the course of the game you can control vehicles which could never be controlled before, you can control PT boats and on 2 missions you will control a MI-26 Hind and boy do those missions ROCK. And for a short duration you control the back of a MG truck.
What good would a CoD game be without a sneaky mission? You know those mission where you have to avoid being detected by enemies? well these missions are definitely better because you have the help of a crossbow on both times along with matching silenced weapons. The game on veteran mode isn't as hard as other CoD games especially World at War and Modern Warfare 2, the only really difficult stages were the early stages while the rest are cake on veteran with only 2-3 deaths happening.
The AI is definitely more improved both enemy AI and friendly AI, although this is one problem I found with the game, my Ally's wiped out most of my enemies on veteran before I could I was both shocked and sad that I missed out on those kills it's a rare occurrence that the friendly AI will make you tick at certain stages in the game otherwise the rest of the game your team will be sharp as nails.
So far the game is spectacular and very fast paced there is HARDLY a dull moment in this game and the fun never ends. If I had to compare the story mode of Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops I would DEFINITELY say Black Ops is better. The ending is DEFINITELY the most unique ending I have EVER seen in a CoD game for sure. truly no other CoD game has ever reached such awesome levels of plot twists, when you get to the final stages of the game you slowly start thinking that something is a miss and at the end of the game the truth will hit you like a bullet, believe me this games ending is WAY better than Modern Warfare 2's ending by a mile it was action packed, well told and kept you guessing on WTF is going on in the game.
Although the game takes a step back from the Modern Warfare series it is DEFINITELY worth it, the stages are a mix. Some will take you as little as 10 minutes to complete others will take you more given that you are new to the game and are clueless on what to do next at certain parts of the game.
The story takes you back to 1968. Your name is Alexander Mason and occasionally you will revisit old memories your earliest memory being 1961 where you have to kill Cuba's dictator Fidel Castro during the campaign you will cover the cold war, Vietnam war and even a World War II stage by revisiting Mason's memories. The game sort of reminds me of Assassins Creed, during the game you will find Mason strapped on a chair and forced to revisit old memories of his past missions. You not only play as Mason but you also play as his handler James Hudson, and at one point you even play as an important character from one of the earlier CoD games, I won't spoil it for you so I won't mention his name.
There is a bio weapon codenamed "Nova 6" which the Russians (who else could be so evil?) are planning on using on the whole world, Mason is the only one who knows how to stop but the problem is he is having a hard time remember how to stop it, so his interrogators force him to revisit his mission which link him to the numbers so that they can help find a way to stop world war 3 being started against Russia, the story is BRILLIANT and has lots of twists and turns. It does take a page from LOST though because the key to stopping the threat lies in a series of numbers which only Mason can decipher.
Game Play and Game modes:
The game uses an enhanced engine used by World at War which makes the game run PERFECTLY on native 1080p resolution, so far I have not experienced slow downs or screen tearing during game play, the best part is that this time around your missions are BETTER then before, you will do incredible feats like kill Fidel Castro and even destroying a ICBM with a valkyrie rocket. stuff which you couldn't do in Modern Warfare 2 aside from more unique mission the game gives you some brand new weapons which have been used before in any CoD game.
The story mode will easily keep you entertained for 5-6 hours and if you want a challenge then you can replay the game on veteran mode for more trophies. And after you have done the singe player campaign you can either go on Multiplayer and play Online with the usual game modes and wager matches, or you can grab a friend or two and return to Zombie Nazi Mansion and take out a few undead Nazi's while staying alive.
One of the newer weapons you will notice is the Crossbow with explosive rounds, and then you will also get to use the Valkyrie rocket which is a missle guided by the analog stick which can also be used in the Multiplayer as an unlockable kill streak reward. And there are a few new shot guns and assult rifles along with the return of many classic weapons such as the SPAS 12, MP5K, M16A, AK-47 etc.
Zombie mode was first introduced by Treyarch in World at War and was unlocked after you beat the Single Player campaign, and Treyarch has brought back Nazi Zombie Mansion into Black Ops, you will use World War II weapons like the MP40 and M1 Grand to take out mutliple waves of undead followers of the Fuhrer. You can play Zombie mode on Split Screen, PSN, LAN and even SOLO if you just want to give it a go.
I have done an overview of the multiplayer mode HERE, feel free to visit it if I missed anything in this review regarding the multiplayer
As usual you will get kill streak rewards and weapons but this time with a twist, you don't have to level up to unlock weapons you can how ever buy your killstreak rewards AND weapons for COD Currency. The usual gameplay modes are back, Search and Destroy, Team Deathmatch, Free for all etc but there is an addition of Wager matches where players gamble their COD points, wager matches are Free for all game modes where certain game modes have certain conditions to be won and COD currency is only rewarded to those who place in the top 3 players the others lose money and leave empty handed.
The multiplayer is VERY customizable you can customize just about anything in the game starting from how your character looks and even what logo, words or color you want your gun to be. And we see the return of COD Badges which can be customized with Accolades and Emblems which can be unlocked by completing online challenges.
With new killstreak rewards such as Valkyrie Rockets and the RC car with C4 tied to it you will definitely want to give the MP a go.
On the PS3 & XBOX 360 version you can engage in Split Screen multiplayer, on the PS3 the second account will be a guest account while on XBOX 360 a second XBOX live Gold user can login and play from where his account is. A good thing about the game is that now players can vote between two maps to play from instead of the server following a standard cycle, this is an improvement which I really liked for sure.
NOTE: I may have left some MP details out because the details of the game are TOO numerous to mention so forgive me if I didn't mention a few MP features such as perks or max number of killstreak rewards etc
Here is a video showing the detailed explanation on wager matches:
Graphics & Sound:
As I mentioned earlier the game runs smoothly on native 1080p resolution and uses an enhanced engine which was used by World at War, so far I have not come across any problems such as screen tearing or slow downs. The graphics are DEFINITELY better compared to any other COD game I have ever played before, the voice acting and sound is very good and the characters look better, the skin textures look more smoother and give them a more real look. The effects of an ICBM taking off and explosions is much better and look very good.
Not only do the characters look amazing but even weapons look a BIT better compared to Modern Warfare 2
The game also supports 3-D so if you have a 3-D LED tv, you can enable the option on your PS3 and enjoy the game even more.
Images have been taken from PS3 and have been resized from 1920x1080 to 1440x900, click on the images to see them in 1440x900.
Call of Duty: Black Ops goes to show that CoD will always be a preferred FPS title when it comes to cross platform games, while the new Medal of Honor didn't do so well Black Ops really does steal the limelight away from EA's MoH with better mutliplayer modes, better story, better weapons and not to mention better performance on the consoles (Screen tearing and slow downs are a common thing). I would definitely give Black Ops a thumbs up, when the game was first announced I had very low expectations of this game and though it would be a fail but in the coming months I fell more in love with the game.
Black Ops will give you a solid story line, a huge Multiplayer base (Modern Warfare 2 is among the top ranked online games today on the 360 and the PS3) and even a super fun zombie mode where you shoot undead Nazi's how can you possibly NOT dish out $60 for this game? whether your buying it on Steam, PS3 or the XBOX 360 either way you are going to have a MARVELOUS experience playing this game. You can be sure that this game will definitely beat Modern Warfare 2's online record in no time.
Black Ops will definitely be one of the more memorable CoD Games ever made and until Modern Warfare 3 gets announced I am going to keep my hands tight around this game and aim to platinum this game.
Feel free to leave your comments and questions regarding the game, I may have left some MP details out because the details of the game are TOO numerous to mention so forgive me if I didn't mention a few MP features