Review by Leuie12

"Who would have thought that this could rival Modern warfare?"

When Treyarch announced that it would make the next COD (Call of Duty) game I admit that I and many of my friends were initially sceptical that Treyarch could create a game that at least came close to what Infinity Ward was capable of with its Modern warfare series. Than the trailers were released showing awesome combat scenes, fun sounding multiplayer and an improved zombies and it was called : Call of Duty: Black Ops. My hopes were raising that Treyarch really could pull it off but, I remained sceptical as like many games of 2010 trailers meant nothing to how the actual game performed, (CnC 4 anyone?). But come the release date and I as I sat down to play the game I found the trailers kept to their promises...

Single Player 8/10
COD: Waw (Treyarch's last attempt at a Call of duty game.) Flopped in the campaign sections. Sure there was some great moments like crushing a German armour division supported by an army of soldiers and a military base with one piddily Russian tank (where in real life it struggled to shrug off grenades let alone a group of Panzer, tiger and king tiger tank's cannons. Or perhaps decimating the imperial air force with one aeroplane but alas most of it was endless brutality and executions with repetitive combat. Not to mention the insane difficulty of Veteran (Veteran difficulty is meant to be hard but that game was a whole new level).

Black Ops brings to campaign: a slightly toned down veteran difficulty, forward planning, actual stealth and awesome, DRIVABLE/PILOTABLE vehicles. With an intricate storyline that features old friends, loss of friends, executing enemies, interactive torture scenes and the darker and more violent side of the Cold War (Hotter side?). Seriously it's fun and enjoyable with a few levels that are harder than most to keep the hardcore players happy. The only real problem was the ability for players with shaper eyes, ears and observational skills to guess what would happen with the story, in other words the story is a little predictable.

Multiplayer 9/10
WOW!!!!!!!!!! Black Ops has taken a whole new angle to multiplayer. Every thing has to be purchased, from guns to perks and everything in between. Perks, killstreaks are all unlocked and you only have to buy them to use them, no more moving up levels to unlock killstreak points so you can buy one killstreak. Perks can just be bought. All equpiment, secondary an primary grenades are available immediately for purchase and guns are unlocked as you move levels soy you can buy them once you unlock them, all the attachments are immediatley available for purchase after you buy the gun meaning no more completing challenges to unlock one attachment than having to use that attachment in a certain way (which can earn you the ire of many, many players) like in CoD 6.

Of course I'm missing the part on how to buy all of this; CoD points. How do you earn CoD Points? By playing games! The better you perform, the more you get! it is just so simple and easy!

In the perks section, it gets better. Scavenger no longer restocks noob tubes (grenade launchers) and launchers meaning that those talentless individuals who can only use those weapons will run out of ammo quickly allowing you to eventually put the noob out of its misery. Quick scoping is gone (Hooray!) the perk that provides the fast Aim down sights manoeuvre no longer affects sniper rifles. The commando perk has been removed and the cold blooded (Ghost in Black Ops) and light weight are in the same tier which means no more annoying sniper classes or knifing classes (there can still be knifing classes just not as effective). One final note is that stopping power has been removed further harming the snipers of the game (excellent).

Gameplay has been designed to be faster and more stream lined in Black Ops with slightly smaller maps and players that die with less bullets. One of the best features is the removal of shotguns as secondary weapons further hampering the sniper class but removing the ability to destroy anyone who uses a knifing class ingame. Also there are wager matches and combat training. Wager matches are all about paying a deposit of CoD Points. If you finish "in the money" you the money back and some of the other players money. The wager matches are fun minigames like guns that switch every 45 seconds, getting new guns every time you kill someone or a gun with one round and it's insta-kill... Fun. Combat training on the other hand is playing against NPCs to hone your skills for the real world (Online Multiplayer metaphorically speaking). Another feature are contracts, you pay a smaller amount of Cod Points and if you complete the contract (usually get a certain number of kills with a certain gun but there are others) you receive more CoD Points and in some cases experience points to helpove up the levels.

All in all the multiplayer easily outclasses CoD 6. The only thing that irks me about the whole thing is that there are more challenges for perks to complete to upgrade to the pro version. Once you unlock the pro version you then have to pay for the pro version and a pro version costs 3000 CoD Points (very expensive).

Zombies 7/10
As a great fan of the Nazi Zombies game in Cod WaW I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with what was promised to be an improved version of Zombies. I'll start with the improvements: Firstly you always spawn near the quick revive perk machine, useless you say? Well in single player it is unaffected by power so it can be bought from the start it its price has been reduced to 500 points, still useless you? In single player it now functions as an auto revive and can only be used 3 time. In muliplayer it functions as it normally does with the usual price of 1500 points. Secondly, the mystery box is well and truly moving, remember in the three expansion pack zombie maps how the mystery box was guaranteed to be initially in that one place and when you got the teddy bear it would move? Now the mystery box has the ability to spawn wherever a mystery box spawn point is... including the starting room. Thirdly is that all the weapons on the maps are the guns you can use in campaign and multiplayer and they look significantly cooler.

What's wrong with the improved Nazi Zombies? My biggest problem with it and I'm going to spoil it for you is the presence of a new Zombie... the gas zombie. As soon as you turn the power on they begin to appear with the appearance of a skinless monkey crawling on the ground. What's worse is that they have the same damage values as the normal zombies so they deal the exact same amount of damage, combining this with the fact it's difficult to notice them and when you kill them the leave a cloud of gas behind make for a complete screw-up by Treyarch.

The next problem is the replacement of the Wunderwaffle with the Thunder Gun. The thunder gun is a gun which shoots huge gusts of wind at zombies, killing some but mostly just annoying other zombies. Pack-a-punching the gun improves it considerably but not to the degree of a pack-a-punched Wunderwaffle which had the power to fry 24 zombies simultaneously with one shot and to make Treyarch and the thunder gun sit in the corner and think about what they've done to Nazi Zombies which kind of brings me to my next problem, the pack a punch machine. With the hefty price tag of 5000 points, it doesn't do much to improve weapons with most guns gaining minor damage and multiplier upgrades which, when facing Zombies that are harder to kill then in the CoD WaW versions doesn't really satisfy the 5000 points cost of the upgrade. Compare this to the WaW version of Pack-a-punch were the Kar98K a bolt action pea-shooter was turned into something that could be one hit kill up to round sixteen and you know that Black Ops falls short in that department. Finally, the butchering of the Ray Gun. Remember way back in CoD WaW when the ray gun was a one hit wonder all the way to round 45? When the Ray Gun was PaP it was still a one hit kill beyond round 60? It can't instakill beyond round 20 now and when PaP it gains a doubled damage... multiplier, which sucks... way to screw up an awesome gun Treyarch.

All in all Zombies is still fun to play, however it just doesn't compete with the CoD WaW version of Zombies.

Graphics 9/10
Not too much to say here. Treyarch has upgraded the looks, details and textures of pretty much everything in the game.

Music 10/10
Music only really features in the single player aspect of Black Ops and Treyarch has really struck out on this one. The music heightens the mood and keeps you excited about playing the campaign. Combine this with some songs from the era like "Sympathy for the Devil" by the rolling stones and you get an awesome musical suite.

Over all 9/10
Black Ops is a fun and challenging game and if you're a fan of the CoD franchise or this is the first game of CoD franchise your interested in then buy it, it's worth it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/12/11

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

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