Okay, everyone put down your guns for 5 seconds & take a breath!.. I fear that during the "Yes it's Great" & the "No it's terrible" conflict, the game isn't able to get a fair chance. I think this is because some people are comparing Black-Ops to the Modern Warfare series. That's probably not the best thing to do as this is made by Treyarch not Infinity Ward. Therefore it's going to be more like World At War than anything else: Seeing as this was Treyarch too. I actually love this game, but then I loved World At War, which is also in my collection. Unlike Infinity Ward, Treyarch games are quite brutal. They're dark & brooding, focusing heavilly on the death, real war produces. Grenades remove limbs & big guns splatter blood all over. Hell, even the way the chemical weapons kill people sees you almost feel sorry for enemies caught in it. I think they're like Modern Warfare's vampire goth, horror movie obsessed older sister or something!
Gameplay & Storyline:
It's been said that Black-Ops lacks originality. Okay, maybe in some ways yes, but in others I think they've added a few variations here & there. During the campaign missions it's not just full on warzone as one minute your in Cuba on an assasination mission, next your trying to escape a Russian gulag & then trying to take a hill in Vietnam. The Campaign is driven by a pretty good storyline - (if maybe a little convoluted here & there) - where your character Alex Mason is being forced to relive memories about top secret missions during an elaborate interogation, trying to uncover the truth about these mysterious numbers stuck in Mason's head. The guns and the environments are all unique to the time period & help create that: "Cuban Missile Crisis" era perfectly. Also, if you feel that there's a lack of Vietnam games on the PS3, Black-Op's can give you a smidgin of satisfaction here & there. I will say that during the campaign, sometimes it's not always made clear what your trying to achieve. Often I have failed after apparently abandoning my squad because I didn't know you had to follow them on a specific route. The Russian gulag while firing the harpoon at the helicopter is a prime example of this. It says wait for the perfect moment to fire, but nothing let's you know when that is. But then again maybe I'm just dense!
Graphics & Sound:
The graphics on Black-Ops are very good. The faces of the characters show wrinkles, stubble, glints of sweat & even go someway to express genuine emotion. Obviously not exactly, your brain still tells you it's not real, but then sometimes you find yourself wondering. The environments are excellent! I was knocked back by simple things, like churned up mud at a Marine camp in Vietnam; how the water gathered in the tire tracks & footprints, looked almost real. On one mission during the campaign your sprayed by a chemical weapon which sees your character put on a Hazmat suit. During this battle your suit takes damage instead of your body, so you really have to use cover as when your hit, it doesn't regenerate. As cracks in the glass appear you really begin to worry, seeing as your surrounded by this thick orange gas that kills instantly. All this really drags your senses into the game. Sound wise, the voice acting is stellar! Gary Oldman's back as Sgt Reznov (World At War) as well as actors like Ice Cube, Ed Harris & Sam Worthington delivering superb dialogue just as it should be. It's clear a lot of effort was put into creating realistic environments.
Yes, they're back & better than ever. The Zombie Nazi's games on World At War were great. So much so that even people who didn't like the main game, bought it for these extra games. I will simply say, if you loved Nazi Zombies you'll love these new versions just as much!
Hey, it's Call Of Duty! You know what it's all about. Just more of the same great online action. Would you really want them to change it too much? Currently the map packs are still quite pricey.
My Final Thought:
Black Ops to me is a beleaguered contender. Fighting the COD fight with all the rest but always being victimised for it. "Same Old Same Old!" they say. Well, good job! I love COD games & all that familiarity is what makes them great. If like me, your a big fan of World At War, then you'll love Black-Ops. If you prefer Modern Warfare then try before you buy. However, if your one of those people who wants something totally different?... Then go purchase from a different franchise altogether!