Call of Duty: Black Ops
At long last it has arrived. The brand new Call of Duty: Blacks-Ops is here ladies and gentlemen, after what has felt like forever. The wait has been well worth it, with the campaign having an amazing background storyline filled with surprises and deep plot twists around every corner and the multiplayer has gotten a complete makeover from Modern Warfare 2.
Lets start with the single player mode: Treyarch really did it this time. COD:BD features a phenomenal single player that leaves you breathless by the end of it. The music is perfect and really gets the player into the game and feeling more competent and excited. With a twist and a new enemy around every corner you’re left never knowing what to expect next. It was more than just your average shoot’em up with all the emotion pulling and deep military action that you would expect from being a deep cover secret operative. Missions where stealth was the only option weaving through dark tunnels while your heart is racing and your fingers jittering on the keyboard awaiting to scratch another kill on your trusty knife. Can you crack the code, what do the numbers mean? Why are they in my head?! Is Victor Reznov truly your ally? You’re left with questions and panicked to find more answers. Even having such high expectations for this game from the start I was still blown away by all of it.
After discussing the game with friends and other players online very little that I have spoken to are even slightly displeased with either single or multiplayer. The new mechanics, graphics and story line are sharp and well up to standards and seem to have millions of players everywhere hooked on the action and unable to get enough. Whether you’re playing for fun or competitively there is more than enough for everyone to enjoy the game play and get in on the action and kill streaks.
Treyarch listens! For the PC version they re-implemented dedicated servers. Something PC gamers screamed about in the last COD game. This means that you can now play on servers close to home and have very low ping and always enjoy your game play. The huge complaint from PC Modern Warfare 2 players, including myself, was how terrible the lag problems were. It seemed that you would always get thrown into games with a host from across the world and you could have a tea party between loading frames, only to find out you’re dead because of the one or two players not lagging. Since the dedicated servers have been put back in with the new game I have yet to lose a single frame ONCE, or even the have the slightest bit of lag in two full prestiges.
New with Black-Ops, there is now a leaning system. Every competitive players dream addition that is now here. You can now quickly snap shoot around corners or do head checks to see what’s going on ahead if you’re unsure. It allows players to be more stealthy and have a more competitive play style and have a one up one those not taking advantage of the mechanic. Also you have the ability while springing, if you go prone you will jump and do a head first dive in the direction you are currently headed. It’s best used when trying to get from out in the open to behind your cover but it can be useful in other combat situations as well, how you use it is your call.
The new multi-player customization system is to say the least extremely personal. You asked for it, you got it! You want to make this game your own? The new customization system allows you to do just that, now no two players will ever be the same. You can create your own emblems for your character panel and can choose from 17 pages of backgrounds. The emblems can be created and even mix and matched. You want a emblem with a horse with machine guns for hooves? Go nuts, be yourself, be creative! Face paint was also added, for most a very cool addition to making your character your own and to an MLG, a way to gain a deeper stealth advantage and camouflage better with the environment, with a face paint for every occasion and situation. Tons of brand new gun camouflages were added as well, one for every occasion or just to look neat and stand out from the rest. You can also attach your created emblem to your gun and engrave your clan tag into it! Red dots/Reflex sights also got a deeper customization. You can change everything and anything about it, quite literally. You can choose a different lens colour, different sight colour(ie: the dot in your red dot being blue), and what the sight looks like. With endless choices to make there’s plenty to suit everyone’s fancy.
They took things a step farther this time with the creativity of the perks and weapons. No longer do you just gain the weapon , perk or what have you by just achieving a specific level or unlock attachments by completing tasks, you use currency earned by partaking on online matches. Just like real life, spend your money wisely and only on what you need, as if you don’t it will come back to bite later on when you desperately want that freshly available new toy for your combat experience.
Noob tubes (grenade launchers) gone! Well, not really, but kind of. I’m not positive on this for xbox 360 or playstation 3 but in PC it seems that the idea of using noob tubes has been completely eliminated. It’s as if someone went door to door and stabbed all of the people that made so many people rip their hair out from being blown up on a high kill streak. In the two prestieges I’ve played, I have only been hit by a noob tube a total of maybe 3-4 times. For those fellows gamers who have broken a controller or a keyboard over a lost kill streak to a random noob tube, fear not for it is just about obsolete.
The multi-player itself feels like Treyarch took Counter-Strike blended it with World at War but took only the good parts and then added a ton more. Thanks to this the game now has a sense of teamwork when completing objectives that so many other games lack. In multi-player you are now forced to play the objective, move around and put forth an effort in aiding your team to victory, not camp. A good player can no longer carry a bad team and it’s up to all of you to put forth a hard effort for victory. Also the level cap has been changed from 70, down to 50. There are now 15 prestieges instead of 10 and it also feels harder to level, which set up was better? You be the judge, its your gaming experience, make the fullest of it.
Enjoy the single player story and when you’re done, fire up the Black-Ops multiplayer. You are your own player, you create your own image. Put a bit of effort into it, stand out above the rest, become the best operative you can. Fight the good fight, fight hard, fight strong alongside your teammates and lead them to victory.
Hope to see you in combat!
Editor: Thankfully Treyarch has released a few patches for the game that fixed many of the performance issues experienced by players when the game first launched. The game reviewed was running on the latest patch. iRampage has a fast machine, we found on our dual core Intel E8200 the game was a bit choppy even with medium graphics settings. On the same machine with an Intel i7 930 the laggyness went away. Those of you with older dual core machines might want to take that into account before buying the game.
The game also includes a single or co-op Zombie game which we’ll hopefully get a separate review up for soon. It’s a lot of fun, quite different from the main game and I think it deserves it’s own page.
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