Review by dbcification
"Treyarch's newest addition to the Call of Duty franchise impresses and cranks the fun up to eleven."
When I got my Wii four years ago, I didn't know it could do half of the things I've seen it do. If you had told me that I was going to be playing Call of Duty on the Wii, I probably would have called you a liar. But it's true, and I would like to think I know a little something about it, having been with the Wii series from World at War onwards. But Black Ops is probably the single greatest game I've ever played, especially on my Wii.
Now, Call of Duty on the Wii is a very fun and immersive experience in and of itself, but Black Ops takes this fun and cranks it up to eleven. With absolutely no lagshooting required, and the Wii's superior motion controls, it is THE best Call of Duty: Black Ops experience gameplay-wise on a console. In Black Ops, it is harder to kill people and harder to die compared to Modern Warfare Reflex. This is good, because it means it actually rewards skill now. The Campaign is brutally difficult and unforgiving on Veteran, and is challenging on Regular. As for the controls, there is something for everyone here. You have the Wii's signature motion controls, which do provide a much better experience and better controls than dual analog stick controllers, but you also have the Classic Controller Pro. The Classic Controller Pro is meant for those who like dual analog sticks and want to play the Wii version. It seems to work very well, but the the level of aim assist given by the game is a bit cheap when you have no lag. The sheer level of multiplayer game modes and lobbies and options is staggering, and lends itself to always-fresh gameplay experiences every time you turn it on. I give gameplay a ten out of ten. Now though, let's go on to the Campaign.
The Campaign is simply mind-blowing. If you aren't that observant, you will NEVER see what will happen to you coming. Each mission is about twenty minutes long, and through fifteen different missions, you'll find about five hours of solid Campaign gameplay... If you don't screw up too much. There don't seem to be an abundance of overly hard spots, but if you try to rush through it, you WILL be killed many times. In particular, there is one mission where for part of it you have to avoid being hit at all, lest your HAZMAT mask be broken and you die. There are a good number of cinematic moments, and like any Call of Duty, the story is more or less scripted out completely. However, there are certain spots where your choice of action, and yours alone, determines what happens next. The storyline will always continue onward, regardless of your choice, but you can make things easier or harder for yourself by attracting the attention of enemies. Also, if you see a KS-23 in earlier levels, pick it up. It is absolutely insane on enemy NPCs. I give the Campaign a nine of ten, simply because I wish it were a tad bit longer. Still though, I love it a lot. But, let's keep moving.
The graphics in Black Ops Wii are not nearly as polished as its HD brothers, but all of the essentials are there. If you take away high-res bump mapping, HD textures, and kept the base model for the 360's graphics in Alpha, you get the Wii version. As far as the sounds go, guns sound incredibly realistic. In fact, you can easily identify what kind of gun is being fired, by the report from each shot, and the sound of the slide ejecting a round. The only thing about sound I wish was different would be a reduction in ambient noise, since you can't hear footsteps at all anymore, unless you go in One in the Chamber. I give graphics a seven out of ten, and sound a nine out of ten. Now, I want to talk briefly about the bad things in this game.
Yeah, every version has bad stuff. I want to be clear that this in no way detracts from the overall experience, but nonetheless it is stuff that the Wii didn't get. The Wii version is missing three killstreaks, the Gunship, the Chopper Gunner, and the Valkyrie Rockets. This is due to a rendering impossibility for the Wii's inferior hardware, since there would have to be an extreme amount of lag going on to render the entire map in any sort of recognizable detail, much less to the extent where you could see enemy players. The flamethrower weapon attachment is out, and this is solely at the feet of Treyarch. The two Zombies games, Five (Pentagon Zombies) and Dead Ops Arcade are both not included. As far as customization goes, Clan Tags are not included, since we can change our online names in a flash on the Wii. Facepaints are also not included, due to the amount of RAM that would use. Emblems are not included because Nintendo is paranoid about people making "inappropriate" emblems. Red Dot Sight Lens Colors are out because they would use up too much RAM that is already too dedicated. Killcams and Final Killcams are out, due to the huge amount of RAM needed. Splitscreen, both on- and off-line, is out, due to the rendering issues of displaying two different views with limited hardware. Finally, Theater Mode is out because of RAM limitations, and internal memory limitations. However, there is a new shining light in the Wii Call of Duty World.
That light is the inclusion of DLC. The inclusion of DLC means that we can almost expect to see Five and the Flamethrower return to the Wii, since the Wii team didn't have enough people or time to put it in before release. The Wii will also get all future maps packs, patches, title updates, and all the other fun downloadable stuff the other consoles get. So don't worry about the missing stuff too much. Just enjoy what we have, since it is the most complete Call of Duty on the Wii ever.
Since it's Call of Duty, you can never really "complete" the game, but in my experience it takes five hours to beat Campaign, roughly a day per Prestige, and as long as you can stand to go in Zombies. Because of all the customization, each match will always be different, so the replay value is at least one hundred, but definitely over nine thousand. The Campaign itself is worth at least two or three playthroughs on Regular, and at least one on Veteran. I give replayability a ten out of ten.
One thing I do want to address before the close is the server issues that have been plaguing this game. At the time of writing, a patch was in quality testing, but had not been applied yet to fix the servers. It does detract from the game, but I'm not reviewing the problems. You may not have problems, or you may; it depends on your ability to combat the common errors. First, use Wifi. LAN Adaptors will freeze the game a lot, so don't do that. Next, be sure to port forward your Wii. For more information on that, visit portforward.com. Finally, in a lobby, if you can vote and see your vote change the counter on a particular map, you will be able to play a match. If it doesn't, back out.
Finally, the question you probably came here to have answered: "Is this game worth buying?" My answer is 100% yes. This game is an incredible ride and experience on the Wii, and won't stop giving out fun for at least two years to come. The server issues will most likely be fixed by the end of this month (November), and then you'll see why I said what I said in this review. If you know someone who likes First Person Shooters on the Wii, get them this for Christmas if they don't have it already. You may not see them for about five hours, but they will thank you for it later.
Now for the final, overall rating.
Overall Rating: 9
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/10
Game Release: Call of Duty: Black Ops (US, 11/09/10)
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