Please Rate this Review: Black Ops
All Blopped Out
High: 60FPS I guess ?
Low: Same old Call of Duty here!
WTF: The numbers Mason !?!
Call of Duty - Black Ops or as I would like to call it -- "Blops" is the seventh installment in the Call of Duty series and the third game from Treyarch. Alex Mason a special ops operative in the Cold War in the late 60's. Captured and not knowing where he is, Alex wakes up in a chair being held for reasons he can not remember. This main section of the story is also plotted in to the main menu, which is a great but simple touch. The addition of mini games hidden in there is awesome too, no spoilers. The story for the most part, is a very new direction that the series has not explored before. As Alex you play through his memories of certain missions and experiences to try and make sense of his imprisonment. The game plays just like any other Call of Duty games, but what is different is the perspective from just mostly one person. I found that helps hold the story in place where as other COD games have you jumping around from different characters not really getting a backing story behind them. As you play as Mason you will find out more about him and the story of his epic journey.
I have a bunch of problems when it comes to Black Ops in the story department. There are time when I think this is genius, and then that basically leads to disappointment and confusion. All the conspiracy stuff is well done in some parts and others is just uncalled for and rip offs of films and other media. The whole "numbers" in his head is just such a pull from Lost, it is silly! By the time you get to the end of the story, you already know what the ending is. And on top of that they repeat it over again and again like your a complete moron. There are so many parts of the story and settings that come straight out of films, it is really not impressive. The "over use" of the licensed music tracks that you hear in these movies as you are slaughtering the enemies down by the hundreds felt cheesy. The whole "USA s the best" is in your face and especially at the end! Boats, guns, american flags and jets doing insane barrel rolls with classic american rock cranked, is too dramatic -- overkill. The one guy I swear is a Metal Gear rip off of Big Boss aka Snake with his bandanna and voice. For fans that wanted more COD action you are definitely getting that, it is up close and personal. Many times you will stabbing and slicing up the enemy in close fashioned, very graphic.
The AI in the game, both yours and the opposing forces is BRUTAL. The people you roll with have not a fucking clue what is going on half the time. Constantly either getting killed, not killing anything, or just in the way cause that is where they are scripted to be at the time. The enemy AI is a nightmare. They run around like chickens with their heads cut off. In full out warfare, they will run across the battle right up to you and not even fire or be killed. The enemies are all scripted and nothing organic is really seen here. The infinite waves of guys spawning is just not practical this far into the series, its bullshit. If you die, you retry and know exactly what the scene is -- a guy pops out this door and then two guys over here... come on. This is the problem, it is basically and on rail shooter at this point. The death animations don't feel organic and have no sense of physics what so ever. My biggest problem is no cover mechanic, why can't I lean against a wall in the heat of battle. Everyone else can ?!?! Rainbow Six Vegas did this and it worked, perfectly. All the vehicle sequence are uncalled for and over the top and not even fun to do really, seems like a wannabe movie at this point. I'm trying hard not to bash it that bad cause they're are times in the campaign that I though were excellent and well done, I love the sneaking around missions and the ones that feel more like ops missions rather then "world war" like missions.
The graphics are still up to par with some of the best out there on the consoles. Solid 60fps frame rate for most of my experience, there were couple times when it hiccuped on me when action was going on. The sound effects were awesome, guns and chatter where well done. Lots of real life actors like Ed Harris brought the characters to life. Ice Cube was one my favorites too. The guy who played Alex Mason, by the end just was annoying. Times in the game there needed to be more clarity on what the objective was. Most of the game you just follow someone who has the word "follow" over their head, this can misleading and takes away from the natural feeling of the game play. Just doesn't look right when the game is that is so pretty. The game also glitched out completely cause the AI characters didn't come to the place in the level and I could not advance. I was forced to restart the whole level. Why? There is so much to like from this single player, but it is just broken and not even worth the time in the end. It just ends up being a disappointment. I love single player campaigns to death and being sucked into a games atmosphere and story, but with so many things upside down it really blew the experience for me.
The online is no different in most from the COD games in the past, well at least the last three. You have your ranking up and your perks and kill streaks and all that jazz. It is fun, there is no denying that. But it is also frustrating. The addition to the COD points is a good touch. Now you don't have to rank up all types of stuff that you don't want to to get a certain item. You can buy the guns and equipment that you prefer with your COD points that you earn online. Wager is also great way to bet on matches and earn more COD points. The zombies mode is back too, still the same and with more to love. I never really got into it or seen the appeal to play it over and over again like some people. All the modes that you love are all still in there everything is still in tack, but its still just the same COD multiplayer. The game does not use Microsoft true skills ratings to matchmake you up with people in the same skill level as you, this is a problem. For people that seriously want to get good at this game or achieve a higher level will have to get there ass handed to them for a bit. I will take some serious dedication and learning all the maps before you can compete, that isn't fair to the average gamer. All the spawning is just ridiculous, everywhere and anywhere you just get tossed in and die in a second. It really is stupid. I needs to be set. Matchmaking also did not work that good either for a bit when I was playing it, you would lose people from you party or not even get into a game.
I honestly think that the game takes very little skill to play once you have learned the maps and details of everything. The snap-to with the left trigger just needs to go. To kill someone -- see them, hold the left trigger then hold the right trigger down. Dead. Doesn't matter where you are or what you are shooting you can just hold down that right trigger and let her fly. Try to pick people off is useless and never barely works cause you be torn apart by some guy locking on to you and spraying. They need that Rainbow Six cover in there to balance it out, or you just get running and gunning once again. You can now dive as you run, so now you have guys running around gunning and diving. It just constant spawning and dying with no real consequences. There is so much they could have done to change it up in this series and take another leap to something higher, but they didn't. You basically get another Call of Duty game and that is it. I admit it is a good game there is no denying that in the end, and if your a hardcore COD fan the chances are that you will love this one and probably already own it. To me its the same Call of Duty game all around and only a rental.
Disclosures: Rental, approx 7 hours of single player, and 20+ hours online play
Parents: M for mature. Blood and gore, intense violence, language.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The game has subtitles
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