Review by Truegamer9

"For Black Ops, I can tell you what my numbers mean."

Call of Duty: Black Ops is one of the most anticipated games for the year and the most recent of the franchise. Black Ops takes place in the 1960's featuring many top secret classified missions in Vietnam. With the return of zombies coupled with explosive multiplayer action, what could possibly be wrong with Black Ops?

Unlike most Call of Duty campaigns where your character is a silent and mysterious operative. Black Ops gives you the role of Special Forces operative, Alex Mason. As Mason, you play through a series of flashbacks until you reach the grand finale.

Campaign itself however, isn't very long. Featuring 15 missions, one could finish the campaign on normal or recruit in a day or two. What Black Ops lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Black Ops brings you deep into Mason's character. Where you can't believe everything you see. Jammed packed with intense firefights and gripping cut scenes. Campaign is something you definitely can't miss. Slow-motion breaches are still the same but some of the other things emphasized in Black Ops are assassinations and the use of vehicles. As a Special Forces operative, stealth is essential. Instead of just waving the knife and have a plain old kill like you usually do. There are certain on screen prompts and commands that give you a slow-motion assassination sequence. With vehicles, you are given the opportunity to actually fly and drive them. Some of the missions in Black Ops allow you to fly helicopters and drive boats. These are just some of the new features given to you by campaign.

However the storyline of campaign can be quite confusing for some. The flashbacks require you to pay attention otherwise you will miss out on some important details. Despite some of the changes, the main aspect of campaign still remains

Another little extra thrown in are the unforgettable zombies and the retro Dead Ops arcade and Zork. Zombies are very well the same, with the addition of "Five" which will bound to give you a laugh or two. Dead Ops arcade is a retro shoot em up as well as Zork.

The graphics are very similar to Modern Warfare 2's but there are some moments where the textures are blurred. This applies to some of the weapons in the game but overall as well. The sprites in Create-a-Class could use a bit of a touch up as well, but those features are purely cosmetic. Overall the graphics shown in Black Ops is quite astounding.

One of the major problems I seem to find in Black Ops is the sound. There are too many times where the music would cut out in campaign and multiplayer, leaving you with a dull silence. The gunfire from each gun are no different from any other Call of Duty along with explosions. The voices could be improved upon but it doesn't hinder your experience whatsoever except for multiplayer. Occasionally in multiplayer you can hear your character yell "Reloading!" and that usually gives away your position to nearby enemies, this is just a minor issue that doesn't have any major impact whatsoever as well. The sound for many of the sequences are well composed ranging from the rock guitar of an action sequence to the dim beat of a infiltration.

Multiplayer is one of the main aspects of Call of Duty. Black Ops goes through a great deal of effort to provide a balanced and even experience for all. Unlike its predecessors where many players like to "Run and Gun". The maps in Black Ops alleviate that strategy. Game play is more defensive and that inevitably leads to the flaw of increased camping. Guns are no longer unlocked but a new "points" system takes its place. Players are now given the choice on which weapons they wish to purchase and use. With this system comes customization and personalization. There are many new features in Create-A-Class such as changing the colors of your sights and engraving your emblem and clan tag onto your weapon. Emblem personalization is another key feature as well. You can purchase different designs and outlines for your emblem. As well as resizing and changing its color.
With Prestige, like any other of the Call of Duty series, gives multi-player infinite re-playability. With every prestige you unlock some of the classified material giving you something new to look forward to every time.

Online game play however, is a different story. Like the it's predecessors, Black Ops features perks. Most of these perks can range from controlling explosive RC car to flying a helicopter. Sniping in Black Ops has taken a different turn. As your scope suffers some sway, sniping is relatively harder. Even with all the effort in making the game as balanced as possible, one thing throws off this equilibrium that they established. The Spawning. What good is having balanced weapons, perks and killstreaks when you cannot step 2 feet away from your spawn without being killed again? Many too often a time where I have spawned near an enemy, or beside an enemy or in front of him. These scenarios usually end in your quick demise. If it weren't for this minor problem, Black Ops would've played out exceptionally well.

Final Recommendation: 7/10
Black Ops is a unique installment yet has its one flaws as well. I would recommend buying the game if you can put up with the spawns in multiplayer otherwise rent it and see for yourself.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/24/10

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

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