Review by JosephDigital
"Worth the call?"
Call of Duty on the Wii has been a major success for Treyarch. Missing out on only one entry in the franchise since 3, Call of Duty on Wii has not only showed up almost every year on the console, but has sold in great numbers as well. Slowly adapting to the Wi-Fi online system, and Wii remote and Nunchuck controls, Treyarch is inching itself towards an actual competitive multi-platform first person shooter on Wii.
Black Ops' offline storyline will be a hit or miss situation. If you can deal with a fairly slow beginning that slowly crawls its way to exciting, then you're in for a treat. In no way is the storyline groundbreaking, but it's fun and Treyarch really thought outside the box compared to World at War's offline catastrophe. Luckily, everything in the offline campaign has been ported over to the Wii successfully. Aside from the obvious details, you're experiencing the same story.
Black Ops' graphics engine has yet to receive an overhaul. You'll still see choppy animations, poor explosions, lacking textures, and so on, and so forth. Miscellaneous objects throughout the entire game online or off, like windows and debris, are missing.
Choosing between the Wii remote and Nunchuck combo, Wii zapper controls, and the new and most recommended control scheme, Classic Controller Pro, provides a much welcomed variety for gamers of all kinds. World at War's and Modern Warfare: Reflex's control schemes return for veterans players that don't prefer Black Ops' new button layout.
Now lets be honest: Basically everyone buys Call of Duty for the online. Improving playability and the overall experience in every new installment, Black Ops doesn't stand far from the crowd. The Wii doesn't have an online account like its HD counterparts, rather the Wii's Call of Duty titles simply allow you to have multiple accounts on your saved data. Up to four accounts can be made. After selecting your designated profile, you have access to a variety of game modes that range from Team Death Match to Search and Destroy.
Joining a match is as easy as picking up a controller. Once in a match you'll soon realize Black Ops has a different pace than its predecessors, while spawning can take forever. In multiple cases I've lost the opportunity to snatch one last kill in the last few seconds of a match because I couldn't spawn in time. It will literally leave you in a black vortex for several seconds (possibly even longer), if you're unlucky enough. Sometimes you will even spawn seconds after your teammates and enemies, rather than all at once.
Player Card allows you to access leader boards, your Combat Record, and challenges that you can complete for experience to achieve ranking up. The Combat Record is a new way to show of your stats to your public lobby. Providing in-depth records of how many kill you've gotten with a certain weapon to how many grenades you've thrown. Contracts are the side quests of Call of Duty. Completing a contract can earn you experience and even CoD points. With earned CoD points, you have the option to purchase unlocked guns, attachments, killstreaks, and perks.
Wager Matches are the casinos of Black Ops. Waging a certain amount of money, you're given the opportunity to earn CoD points via ridiculously unique games. One in the Chamber, for example, is a game mode where everyone starts out with one bullet in a pistol. When hit with the bullet, the player loses one of his three lives whereas, if you knife an enemy you gain an additional bullet.
Along with Wager Matches, Combat Training is an optional game mode that acts like a practice mode. Unlock a new gun and what to get a feel for it? Try it out in Combat Training. Need to warm up? Combat Training. Friends can join you too for an onslaught of chaos and fun.
Along with that you'll eventually notice that voice chat is finally implemented and it's safe to say it works great too. Thanks to PDP's headbanger headset, it's now easier than ever to implement voice chat into Wii games unlike the annoying and not-so-successful Wii Speak. The headbanger headset is wired, but don't let that put you off from purchasing it since it's worth it in the end.
Black Ops allows you to have a friend roster where you can send your friends invites, and text messages. Played with someone you thought was good or fun to talk to over voice chat? You can friend request them nowadays. Have a friend you want to add but haven't played with them yet? Add their friend code and it will send them a proposal prior to the godawful tradition of both of you typing in each others code.
Unfortunately, the Wii version of Black Ops lacks many aspects compared to it's HD counter parts. Such things as the Valkyrie Rocket, Chopper Gunner, and Gunship as killstreaks, the flamethrower attachment and the Camera Spike. Theater Mode is also missing due to Wii's limitations. No host migration, no custom emblems, no customizable player card, or call sign in sight. Friend codes return again to give Wii gamers another twelve number headache. Maps such as Havana are reduced in size, no offline/online splitscreen, and there's only one Zombie map to play on. One map compared to the multiple maps on the HD consoles.
Call of Duty Black Ops on Wii provides a close multi-platform experience while improving on things Reflex lacked. Unfortunately, this installment feels like a watered down port of a great game and the Wii Team at Treyarch could have done more in terms of quality. The graphics engine should have a complete overhaul, missing maps on Zombies is inexcusable, and little trims and cuts around the edges shows laziness. The Nintendo Wii isn't a weak system and it shouldn't be treated as such. It could have held most (not all of it but most), of what is missing. If you only own a Wii, and liked Modern Warfare: Reflex/World at War or are absolutely starved from the first person shooter genre, buy Black Ops. Otherwise if you own an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or PC, stick with that version. It'll settle better.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 01/22/13
Game Release: Call of Duty: Black Ops (US, 11/09/10)
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