Review by EliteChozo

"Average games are average."

Call of Duty on the Wii has been a major success for Treyarch believe it or not. Missing out on only one game 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. It's now 2010, Call of Duty Black Ops is pass the horizon, but can this surpass it's predecessors and compete with it's HD brethren?

Black Ops story is nothing to brag about. Alex Mason is questioned for countless hours being mentally and physically tortured to remember these "numbers" to an unknown character, and if he doesn't remember soon, the world will be in great danger. Unfolding each significant even that leads up to present day the storyline in Black Ops can be suspenseful yet slightly appealing. Throughout the single player you'll see a few familiar faces from Treyarch's World at War: Reznov and Petrov.

Unfortunately, 4 years later the graphics haven't changed a smidgen. You'll still see choppy animations, poor explosions, lacking textures, and so on and so forth. Miscellaneous things throughout the entire game online or off, like windows and debris are missing. This ultimately dumbs down the overall experience. The voice acting is intact and the level design is good (nothing great) which really captures the average campaign feel Call of Duty has been giving us since 2004. One level in particular where you literally fly a helicopter (sounds awesome right?), has the utmost clunky controls in the game. Maneuvering your helicopter to simple do a hundred and eighty degree turn is a hassle, especially when your enemy is always behind you depleting your life. This and the unfixed random grenade throws that don't really give you any indication of where they're by you other than pretty much saying "look out its there somewhere" symbol that shows up in that said situation. Going through the 8+ hour campaign can be a task as it loses it's shine the further you proceed. Around the fifth mission Black Ops hits a dramatic climax that soon crumbles by the ending. Choosing between Wii remote plus Nunchuck, Wii zapper controls, and the new and most recommended control scheme, Classic Controller Pro, provides a much welcomed variety. You can customize any of these control schemes as you wish. Classic Controller Pro has less settings than the Wii remote and Nunchuck. The audio is lacking to say the least. The music is forgettable, explosions sound as cheesy as they look, the in-game voice acting can get annoying after awhile, and some things sound better than others which is disappointing. I want to hear screaming, crying, and moaning from the field of battle. Not trying to be sadistic but on the lines of realistic. Truly disappointing on their part (as this applies to all versions of this game).

No one buys Call of Duty for the offline; rather everyone buys it for the online regardless of the system. Improving playability and overall experience in every new installment, Black Ops doesn't stand far from the crowd. The Wii doesn't have a Gamer Tag or PlayStation account like it's HD counterparts, rather the Wii's Call of Duty title's 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, Free For All, Search and Destroy, and Headquarters. Of course you have to reach a certain level to play on all of these. Depending on what category you select depends on what type of game modes you can choose. For example selecting "Hardcore" provides you with Hardcore Team Death Match, Hardcore Free For All, etc. What's the difference? It's easier to die making it more challenging. Along with Hardcore there's Barebones and Prestige mode. Ground War is absent in the Wii version of Black Ops due to the minimal player count.

Create A Class returns with old and new perks, guns, and attachments. You can equip almost anything in this feature. Perk related options are included in Black Ops labeled Lethal, Tactical, and Equipment. Lethal includes frag grenades, Semtex, and tomahawks. Tactical includes weaponry like flashbang and Novas Gas while Equipment includes claymores, motion sensors, and C4.

Player Card is a new feature that allows you to access leader boards, your Combat Record, and challenges that you can complete for experience to help level you up. Contracts are the side quests of Call of Duty. Doing contracts you can not only receive money but experience as well, depending. With this earned money (a.k.a CoD points), you have the option to purchase unlocked guns, attachments, killstreaks, perks, yet the list goes on. Few new killstreaks are up for grabs that sway away from the traditional UAV, Airtstrike, and Helicopter/Attack Dogs this time around. Unfortunately the Wii version of Black Ops lacks the Valkyrie Rocket, Chopper Gunner, and Gunship as killstreaks. Wager Matches is a whole new unique way to make CoD points. In order to access any of these game modes you have to spend a sheer amount of money. You have to spend money to make money right? Failing wager matches and contracts go on your combat record at the same time costs you CoD points. Along with Wager Matches, Combat Training is an optional game mode that provides something anyone can play at anytime. Unlocking a new item and unsure of it's compatibility, try it out in Combat Training so it doesn't effect your kill/death ratio.

Getting into 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 it's predecessor's, 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 more if your unlucky enough. Sometimes you will even spawn seconds after your teammates and enemies rather than all at once. Along with that you'll eventually notice that voice chat is finally implemented and its safe to say it works great too. Thanks to PDP's headbanger headset, it's now easier than ever to put 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. Ten player count returns from Reflex along with the lack of killcams, both of which don't bother me in the least. Like certain killstreaks, the flamethrower weapon is missing. The Camera Spike is a piece of equipment that is also absent from the Wii version. Theater Mode is a very fun feature where you can record and edit your recent games though this is missing in the Wii version. 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. Only one compared to the 4+ maps on the HD consoles.

Black Ops on Wii improves Reflex's online friends feature. It 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 god awful tradition of both of you typing in each others code.

Call of Duty Black Ops on Wii does provide a close multi-platform experience while improving on things Reflex couldn't do. Unfortunately this installment feels like a Modern Warfare 2.5 rather than a whole new game and the Wii Team at Treyarch could have done a lot better in terms of quality. The graphics system could have gotten an 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. It could have held most (not all of it but most) of what is missing. This game is proof for Xbox 360 and PS3 fanboys that need a good example of average multi-platform games on Wii. If you only own a Wii, and liked Reflex/World at War or want to play another first person shooter get this. Otherwise if you own a Xbox 360, PS3, or PC stick with that version. It'll settle better.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/11, Updated 02/01/11

Game Release: Call of Duty: Black Ops (US, 11/09/10)


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