Call of Duty: Black Ops Review
Information At A Glance
Call of Duty: Black Ops is a Xbox 360 game in the FPS genre. The game was published by Activision and developed by Treyarch. The game has an ESRB Rating of M (Mature 17+) and was released on 2010-11-09. The game's official site can be found at www.callofduty.com/blackops.
|Overall Game Ratings|
An above average shooter that doesn't live up to the hype
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the latest installment in the popular Call of Duty franchise. This installment was developed by Treyarch. For the past several years, development duties for the series have bounced between Infinity Ward (the original creators of the series) and Treyarch – with Infinity Ward's entries generally receiving higher critical acclaim. Well, Infinity Ward is no more so Call of Duty fans now have to rely solely on Treyarch for all of their world war first person shooter action from now on.
The production values, as always for the Call of Duty franchise, are excellent. The graphics, while not the best available for the system, are certainly more than capable. The shadows, lens flares, and other special effects are all great – as is the sounds and sound effects. The story this time around focuses on the Cold War – and, as expected, tracking down the “bad guys” and taking them out before its too late. The game is about the same length as other installments – if you play on recruit you can rush through it under five hours, while playing on veteran will require about 15 hours of your time. If you are into achievements, the majority are obtained during the single player campaign. Nearly each mission has certain sub-objectives that you can perform which will net you the corresponding achievement.
The gameplay itself, unfortunately, has taken a major step back from Modern Warfare 2 – which was the last game developed by Infinity Ward. For some reason, Treyarch decided to go back to the infinitely spawning enemies of past installments. Luckily, they did away with the infinite grenades and quarterback accuracy of the enemies from World at War (the previous Call of Duty game developed by Treyarch). I really find having infinite enemies to be a sign of bad artificial intelligence and just downright lazy programming by the developers. There are two main points in the campaign where it stood out and required multiple “trial and error” attempts to get through on veteran – the final corridor on Executive Order and going down the hill on S.O.G. Where you have to stab the barrels. This objective on S.O.G. Is another example of a poor design decision by Treyarach – all the game tells you is basically - “Mason, improvise” - and they somehow expect you to know that one, you should run up to some barrels, and two, that you are able to stab them and roll them towards the enemy. Not only is the A.I. Of the enemies poor, the A.I. Of your teammates is even worse. I can't count the number of times that my allies just stood there while I was being shot or even worse, while they were being shot.
Also, I found the checkpoint system rather poor as well. While playing the game you will get checkpoints (as is typical). One would assume that these checkpoints are actually saving your progress. Well, you would be wrong. I was making my way towards the final objective in the game and my game froze. I thought, oh well, it doesn't matter I'll just restart my system and load my checkpoint which I got 1 minute earlier. Well, I go to resume the game and I'm placed at the start of the level !!!. It appears as though the only way the game actually saves your checkpoint is if you pause the game and choose “save and quit”. Obviously, this doesn't help when the game freezes and is not intuitive at all. Other than freezing glitches, there were also some definite clipping issues with enemies shooting through walls, my character passing through barrels, spotting plants half way through the floor, etc.. Obviously, these glitches aren't so bad that they take away considerably from the experience – but for the budget and marketing power behind this game they should not have existed at all.
I know it sounds like I have slammed the game, and for the most part I have. But, overall, this is still an above average shooter with a great multiplayer mode (plus, zombie mode has returned). Hopefully, Treyarch will improve their skills and someday reach Infinity Wards levels of excellence.
Review Posted By AllYourBaseBelongToMe On 2011-03-05 At 02:09:23