Call of Duty: Black Ops Review

Here at Yatta, we love video games and we know that most of you all love video games as well. So, what better way to kick off our first game review of the blog with a game that has so many different views. Released only a month ago, ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ is now one of the biggest selling games of the year. We called in partner Jamie to give us the load down on the game. This is more due to none of the Yatta team really liking ‘Call of Duty’ so it only seems right to get a fair view on it. Take it away Jamie.

You guys ever heard of this game called Call of Duty? It’s a pretty obscure series, very rarely sells much but they keep chugging out sequels!

No, you’ve heard of Call of Duty. You probably own several instalments of the franchise, and you may have already bought Black Ops. Or you may be on the fence about this new one. After all it’s by Treyarch, master of disappointing Call of Duty games. I’m looking at you Call of Duty 3.

Well, fear not. Black Ops is not disappointing in the slightest. In fact, they seem to have used the recent trouble at Infinity Ward as a stepping stone onto greatest, as Black Ops is quite easily the best Call of Duty game I’ve played.

Now with COD, multiplayer is the main draw for a lot of people. However, I’ve always been a guy for the singleplayer experiences, which is why recent COD games have left me in the lurch a bit. While Black Ops has no large and length campaign (Took me about 5 hours), the story is varied enough and exciting enough to fully justify it’s existence. The plot follows the events prior to a failed assassination attempt on Fidel Castro, and is narratively told in flashbacks while the main character is interrogated on his past exploits. This makes for some cool transitions, as you’ll be playing the game, and then the screen will wash white before fading back to the interrogation room, where you’ll soon drift back into another time period.

Speaking of time periods, the game is set during the Cold War, a first for the series. Taking a brave step outside of WW2 and Modern Times, the game focuses on an American Ops unit who are trying to take down the communist threat. There is no actual war going on apart from a few Vietnam levels, meaning the missions feel more personal to your team. You’ll be sneaking into heavily guarded facilities, having car chases through cuba, and many more memorable scenes. The game also boasts several vehicle segments and, quite strangely for a current day shooter, each of them control quite well and don’t seem like they were rushed in for some variety. In fact, I daresay the highlight of the game for me was when I was watching a cutscene, and all of a sudden I realised it wasn’t a cutscene- I was driving this motorcycle while shotgunning Cubans in the face. Brilliant. Touching briefly on the plot again, there some twists and turns that elevate it from the standard “this is a war you’re in it” COD-Plot to a more James Bondsian “Wacky but played straight” affair. Cracking stuff.

But I’m a minority here, aren’t I? No-one cares about the singleplayer, right? You all want to hear about the online play, don’t you? Well fine, heres your stinkin’ online review.

Multiplayer on Call of Duty Black Ops is bloody fantastic. After several titles of tweaking the mechanics, the multiplayer gets better with every instalment, and it’s no different here. It’s classic COD multiplayer, with some things fixed from previous titles, and some added modes. You also get the ability to bet in-game money on matches which you then use to buy upgrades for your weapons, which is pretty neat. The game is just as skill based as it’s always been as well, with my Level-1 Kitted character taking out people who somehow already reached level 50. There’s not much to say here, which is odd considering multiplayer is such a large part of the COD experience. All I can really say is that if you’re already a COD Addict, then you’ll love this because it’s pretty damn similar and has fixed a lot of things (no quick-scoping, hooray!).

One last thing I’d like to touch on is the zombie mode, returning from World at War. This mode is a bloody good time, giving you an endless swarm of zombies to fight off with weaponry from the cold war. It’s a round-based survival affair, not unlike Left4Deads survival mode, but you are also given a clear goal to activate a teleporter and some bloody massive maps to play in. Activating a teleporter is no easy task though, as you will have to buy access to other areas to get to the power systems. How do you get money to buy access? Killing zombies of course! Some good fun to be had here, and is a fun addition to the series, and one I think Infinity Ward should adopt (Or maybe have a fun little thing of there own. Modern Werewolves, where you fight werewolves. Get on it IW).

Right, final thoughts. Now, I’ve just heaped a whole lotta praise on this game, so heres the twist of the review: I haven’t liked a Call of Duty game since 4, and even then I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I’ve always held Call of Duty 2 as the best in the series, and everything after that a slight disappointment (3 being one of the most disappointing titles I’ve ever played). So for me to hold Black Ops in such high esteem, it must be doing something right.

For more reviews like this, check out Jamie at his blog here!


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