Call of Duty: Black Ops Review

Finally the time has come for the now expected annual Call of Duty release. Black Ops kicks off this week and I am fucking pumped. This is my very first Call of Duty review and I am ready to let you guys know the goods, the bads and everything in between. We are going to cover single player, multiplayer, and finally my favorite mode of all, ZOMBIES!!! Enough of this bullshit lets play some fucking COD.

Let’s begin by talking about some nice, relaxing, single…BOOM!!! Oh wait, I’m sorry. Did my sentence just explode in your face? Yes it did, because this campaign is not only explosive but it is amazing. I have been waiting 2 years for a good COD campaign. MW2 was alright, but the replay value wasn’t there for me. The second I was done watching the credits, I wanted to start playing the campaign again. Possibly my biggest gripe with MW2 campaign was the length. 4-5 hours in my book, just doesn’t cut the proverbial mustard. Black Ops on the other hand should take about 8-10 hours for the first play through on normal, and even more hours of awesomeness on the higher difficulties.

Another thing I love about the campaign is the way the whole story plays out. I honestly thought the days of good writing in an FPS were long gone, with the recent onslaught of dumbed down games with that are filled with a ton of explosions and repetitive door kicking sequences. Basically the main character you play is named Alex Mason. He is an ex Black Ops soldier who has been involved in almost every conflict from the Bay of Pigs until present day. In the opening story sequence you learn that Alex is having a bad day and is now strapped to a barbers chair and being asked about numbers (ummm…sort of reminds me of LOST). The rest of the game plays out with you reliving certain key memories that stick out in the head of Mr. Mason. Overall though the campaign has some memorable moments, great action sequences and all the while managed to do it in an original and fresh way.

Alex Mason doesn't take any SHIT!!!

Now that you have all had your appetizer, let’s talk main course. Multiplayer is the reason that almost everyone gets this game. First off I would to congratulate Treyarch on this accomplishment. They not only managed to make the best COD multiplayer experience I have ever had, but in the process they even eliminated the little 8 year old bastards that littered the lobbies of the MW2 and made that game an absolute dread to play. Long gone folks are the days of quick scope, no scope, and noob-tubing, little pieces of shit. Say hello to a COD multiplayer that focuses on one thing and one thing only…balance. Such a nice word, balance, try saying it with me….balance. Wasn’t that nice? Treyarch has put into play so many different little tweaks and adjustments that may pass by the casual gamer unnoticed, but under the hood you can tell that a lot of work has been done in effort to thwart, noob-gameplay, unfair advantages, and boosting.

Some of the new additions to the COD multiplayer experience include the use of a new theater mode and some interesting adjustments to the game types. The theater mode is on par with what we have seen in the past from Bungie. The setup is in fact almost the same and it works perfectly. You can watch not only your recent games, but the games of anyone on the game. You can navigate the leader boards and go up to the number 1 person and watch any of their previous 10 or so matches and sees what makes them so good. Or if you worked for Treyarch you can use this to monitor the top of the leader boards for boosters wink wink.

The game modes are typically what you would expect from a COD title. The only new additions are the Barebones modes. In my opinion the PURE mode in barebones is the way an online FPS is meant to be played. No perks, attachments, equipment, or kill streaks. It’s just you and your gun, that’s it. Soldier vs. Soldier, who’s the boy now? I honestly do love these new barebones play lists and everyone who has ever been pissed off by the use of kill streaks or anything else in the game, should check these out.

bops1 Call of Duty: Black Ops Review

Ready to pwn?

Besides the changes I have mentioned, Black Ops feels generally like any other COD title. With the edition of some new guns and maps, this should feel familiar to the veterans of the series. I think most people will find the level design in Black Ops is very good. There is a lot of interesting ways to navigate the maps. Some maps allow you to transition yourself between the spawns using multiple routes not only on the same plane, but you often can find an alternate route above or below ground. This aspect really is great for those who play objective based games and make a point to learn the maps. CTF is a joy on most maps and the same could be said of any of the bomb modes.

Now that you are nice and full, how about some desert? Everyone always has room for some desert or in this case some ZOMBIES!!! Turn out the lights, turn up the mother fucking volume and get ready to slay some undead Zom-Bags. After World at War, the biggest impression made on me by Treyarch was the inclusion of the co-op phenomenon that is Zombie Mode. Simple in design but addictive in its gameplay you can be assured you will spend a metric shit ton of hours slaying the undead over this years holiday season.

Unlike the one map that shipped with WAW, Black Ops comes with 2 new maps and an additional mode known as Dead Ops Arcade. First you start out with only 1 map, the others have to be unlocked, but I’ll talk about that later. First map you get is called Kino der Toten. Der Toten is a Nazi Zombie map, with the undead SS soldiers of yesteryear making a comeback in one last map. The level is set inside a theatre, kind of like the theatre from the film Inglorious Basterds. At least that’s what it reminded me of. The gameplay is the same as before, so if you enjoyed Zombies before, you will be satisfied with the simple fact that this is just another setting to feed your appetite of killing zombies. Other than the fact that it is a new map, the only noticeable addition was the replacement of the famed Wunderwaffe DG-2 with the new and very much improved Thunder Gun, which emit’s a massive white pulse that will kill not only the zombie in front of you but all the other zombies standing behind it.

Ready to eat some Presidential Lead Zombies?

The other standard zombie map you get is called FIVE. You can unlock this 1 of 2 ways. The first is by simply completing the single player campaign on any difficulty. However, if you can’t wait that long, follow these simple instructions to access it straight away. When on the games main menu, not the press start screen, but the one when you can actually look around and select your game type. On this screen simple start hitting LT + RT at the same time repeatedly until you stand up and can move about the room. Then walk forward past the televisions and go to your left where you will find an accessible computer on the wall. Walk up to the computer, and follow the on screen prompt to Hold X for access. Once on the CPU just type in 3ARC UNLOCK, then hit enter and it will unlock. You can than go to Zombies and play the new unlocked map, FIVE and go slay some zombies inside the Pentagon, and play as JFK, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, or former Secretary of State Robert McNamara.

The other mode you are able to unlock on the same CPU is Dead Ops Arcade. To do so simply type in the letters DOA and hit enter on the computer and there you have it. Dead Ops Arcade is a completely new thing to the Call of Duty gaming experience. DOA is basically like the standard zombie mode, except you get a top-down camera angle and the game plays a lot like a traditional twin-stick shooter. Imagine “I Made a Game with Zombies In It”, except with and HD kick in the ass. If you never played that game, get your ass to the indie games section and give it a go, only 80msp and you get a great game.

Free Arcade Game? Yes Please!

I think by reading this review you can basically surmise that I have enjoyed myself thoroughly. I have absolutely no problem recommending this game to pretty much anyone, as long as you are mature and behave so while playing it. At $60 or 40 pound, this game is a deal. You are getting more content than you will in any other game you will see until the next Call of Duty comes out sometime next year. Fantastic single player, deep and engrossing multiplayer, an exciting and fun co-op gameplay plus the addition of basically a free arcade game, you would be a fool to not pick up Black Ops. Well done Treyarch, all hail the new kings of the FPS.


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