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CoD BlOps (what a silly name),
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
It's hard not to recommend a new Call of Duty game, what with the continually high standard of gameplay, the ever addictive multiplayer, now with a revamped upgrade system, and new modes and the fan favourite zombies mode which is a frustrating endeavour alone but becomes a fun divulgence with friends.
If you wanna be where the multiplayer community is at you'll want this game, new maps, more customisation, perks and a theatre mode sweeten the deal as do more absurd zombie scenarios, but if you don't have an internet connection or just don't like that scene it may be harder to stomach.
In addition to the campaign two player local zombies, four player multiplayer, with bots through a free update, the text adventure Zork and a new arcade top down shooter called dead ops arcade all come on one disk, the last of these could easily be a XBLA, PSN or steam download alone.
The campaign has you as Alex Mason, a mentally unstable CIA black op operative that wakes to find himself being tortured for information regarding some numbers, information he all to readily divulges in my opinion. The ludicrous story then takes you through a series of flashback levels starting in Cuba, moving through Russia and Vietnam and ending in Blowfeld's latest bachelor pad. It's all very silly and takes more than just a little inspiration from general cold war conspiracies, the Deer Hunter and even Fight Club. World at War characters Reznov and Petrenko return for a cameo that is actually surprisingly effective as a narrative tool and the new characters feel distinct and appropriately cool.
The campaign will last somewhere in the region of 8 hours on a medium difficulty and is pretty entertaining all round it just suffers from its over cinematic-ness (if I can use that as a word). A couple of levels are nothing but cutscene, occasionally taking you out of the action into a third person perspective to show us a neat angle, an act that breaks flow a bit. The set pieces within levels that break gameplay are a bit too abundant and often though they attempt to include you will proceed eventually regardless of user input. My real issue with it all is the linearity. It's a series of tight straight paths with little exploration of individual's choice available. The waypoint system is irritating, guiding you by the hand even when not needed (appearing at the bottom of some stairs and then at the top ... where else was I gonna go?). the blackbird and helicopter sections are not as fun as they would appear to be but over all the games still pretty decent. It's silly and fun and has some stand out moments, some well delivered revelations and cool levels like fleeing across the rooftops of Kowloon or walking through poison in a gas suit that's non repairable damage acts as a health bar.
The Final Word: Strong but silly entry by Treyarch, fun and challenging but starting to show signs of the established model fatiguing. For variety without coherence modern warfare 2 still reigns supreme.