Sunday, November 21st, 2010 by Nick Maunders
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the latest instalment in the Call of Duty Series. Developed by the same team who made World at War, many discussions went on about whether the game could be better than Modern Warfare II. The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no, so lets break the game down into stages.
We’ll begin with the story, or single player mode as it is otherwise known. Having played through all seven of the main games in the series I have no trouble saying this is the best storyline to date, it is however also one of the darkest. Based around the Vietnam War, starting with the assassination of Fidel Castro, stealth is your greatest asset in this game. During the course of the campaign you are submitted to many unique features that have not been seen before in the series: Piloting an aircraft whilst maintaining control of the weapons for example is one rather enjoyable feature. New to the game are the Valkyrie Rockets. Think of them like a predator missile but in three dimensions. You can go up, down, left, right and even choose when to detonate.
Another new feature in the story mode is the Nova 6 Gas. The majority of the campaign is based around this deadly gas which can kill you in seconds. Therefore as you’d expect in one mission you are subjected to it. In a normal mission when you get hit by a bullet you can simply hide and wait for yourself to “regenerate” as it were. This however is not possible in a certain mission. You’re required to wear a full hazard suit complete with mask and so every time you get shot a little part of the your mask cracks: Get hit too much and its game over which encourages you to perform a much more stealth approach rather than the basic run and gun.
Next we move on to a game mode which in comparison is much better than Modern Warfare 2’s poor effort Spec Ops. Zombies, which was originally a fun unlockable in World at War, has become one of the most successful extras of the game. So much in fact that Treyarch have included it again in Black Ops, but this time with three new maps! If you thought that the first four maps were difficult then wait until you play these ones: The Zombie AI has been upgraded to make them much smarter. Remember how you could keep a zombie at a window by repairing the boards next to it? Not anymore! Now the zombies will reach out towards you from the other side even if you not directly in front of it. The new maps also include other unique zombie types as well as the odd zombie boss as well.
Now we come to Multiplayer mode. All the other additions are good but let’s face it, when it comes to an online FPS the multiplayer mode is what makes or breaks the game, and this Is where it gets difficult to say how good the game is. All the blocks are there to make multiplayer a brilliant mode, but it’s not quite complete yet. Some of the new features online are absolutely brilliant. Customising your weapon has really been taken to the max with the opportunity to add your emblem, clan tag as well as other exciting additions.
One thing that has been drastically changed is a bit like Marmite. You’re either going to love it or hate it. This game features an in-game currency system where you receive cash based on how well you do in games. What can you spend this cash on you ask? Well just about anything and everything. Killstreaks, weapons, attachments, cameo, you name it, it cost’s money. This adds a new perspective to things in the multiplayer mode. Don’t think that this means everything is available at the start. You unlock certain guns at certain times like usual but basically this time you have to pay for it before you can use it.
This also brings about the new gameplay mode online known as … the Wager match. There are four types of wager matches and each of them involves 6 players. As you can expect from the name you “wager” your hard earned cash with the chance of making more money or losing it all. One of the games is known as “One in the Chamber”. In this game you get a pistol and one bullet to start off with. Every time you kill someone you get your bullet back. However miss and … well you get the idea. This is a rather amusing game because you often see two people running around trying to knife each other as they have both missed with their pistols!
Now for the bad news, the matchmaking sucks. It’s difficult to play a couple of games without the game ending due to a failed attempt of host migration. Sometimes the game runs perfectly sometimes every single game you play ends due to bad connection. Of course we have to remember that the game has only been out for a couple of weeks and this is quite a common issue with a new game (Modern Warfare 2 anyone?).
Overall a brilliant game, but with a couple of rather large problems with online mode at the moment. As soon as these are fixed possibly the best game in the series so far. 9.5/10