Call of Duty: Black Ops developed by Treyarch and published by Activision continues the Call of Duty series with a different location but the familiar first person gaming.
Graphics & Audio: 22/25,
Call of Duty Black Ops: starts a new chapter for the Call of Duty series with a move backward in time for the series but a move forward in creative gameplay and storytelling. Black Ops highlights the special forces missions from the 1960’s in a flashback type story that works very well, except for the flashing lights.
Black Ops starts you out as a captured CIA operative/special ops soldier being interrogated and tries to not tell all, but they seem to know most of what he is not telling. His questioners are asking about prior missions and when the facts start coming out you flash back to the action of the moment.
This flashback style works well and you get a different story but the graphics during some of this cut scene story telling has very bright flashes of colored lights in a psychedelic visual storm. The levels you play for each story is a Call of Duty classic that are frantic and tough for the most part with action that is well paced and varied.
The single player campaign has you fighting in Cuba, Russia, Vietnam and some other locations close to these in the typical 60’s combat areas with the weapons of those times. The action is very well paced with some parts of levels just so fast and frantic like real combat must be and others are just fast action.
You get the typical Vietnam action of hundreds of NVA attacking your base and you with a hand full of fellow troops have to repel the invasion. This scene is very hectic but then you get one scene that is equally great but not quite as fast paced, a roof top retreat across corrugated steel topped scaffolding while troops shoot at you from adjacent buildings.
Other missions are a bit different as well and I think the game has mixed things up very well even though the actual combat is pretty standard. The AI does do a good job of keeping you at bay and giving you a challenge even on normal difficulty but the dodging and enemies moving from cover to cover and ducking well is great.
The action is great and you do get the feel for combat in each area, the story is well crafted and fits the action sequences so you understand why you’re in each area. Graphics and audio are also well done but cut scenes and especially those flashing lights are annoying and may be a problem for some gamers.
Graphics in cut scenes are typical but the effects and all the things like textures in the gaming is great and well crafted, colors are nice and effects look realistic. Graphics work out well and audio is also great and you do get the feel you’re in the middle of combat.
The single player campaign is a fantastic action packed gaming moment but still it does have its small drawbacks, the levels are very linear and you do have moments of a bit over the top drama. The multiplayer area is almost as good but again you get the feeling that the gameplay has been cookie cutter fit from the previous Call of Duty games.
Multiplayer is very familiar if you have played previous Call of Duty multiplayer games with the same game types as the previous edition but different maps and weapons. They also changed the kill streak bonuses to tone down some of the perks but to give other awards more punch.
No more Nukes, good, but dogs being loosed to attack any enemy is still there, you also have the small RC car with attached C4 to annoy the crud out of your opponents. The whine of that little car will have you dancing in circles looking for it and trying to climb on anything to get you above the area of impact when it does go off.
The kill streaks work well and you do get some other things like the weapons of the sixties instead of modern ones of the Call of Duty staple of prior games in World War II. I do have a few wishes that would be nice for multiplayer gaming, I wish you could have servers that would allow certain streaks to not be used like no spy planes.
While the kill streaks are fun it would be fun to play some rounds without them at all for a different, tougher, game style, just a thought. Multiplayer is fun and you do have the unlocks and having to purchase those unlocks instead of automatically getting them.
You have to buy your unlocks when they become available using Call of Duty or CoD points that you earn in games, there are even wager games you can bet for those points if you want. The weapons, equipment and tools you get to buy are great and varied and the game does a great job of giving you things in a metered way.
Multiplayer is fun but again it is pretty much like the previous Call of Duty games so there really is not all that much that is different, small tweaks to the same larger staple game. Call of Duty: Special Ops is a worthwhile game and well made with good single player and multiplayer sections that add up to a lot of fun.
I did not see really any differences in the PC versus the PlayStation 3 version and the only real difference for me was the controls. Until the next big game, or smaller add on such as Battlefield Bad Company 2’s new DLC pack Vietnam, this is a great game to tide you over for that first person shooter fix.
Call of Duty: Blacks Ops is a great game and depending on your preference in console or PC version the game is well worth a purchase.