43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Same old same old.
, 7 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3) (Video Game)
Call Of Duty is a series that has always been arguably the best shooter series out there but its only been since its debut to the next gen consoles that its really cemented its place in the history books. World At War was a fantastic game that really captured the highs and lows of World War 2 (which has been done to death in shooters) and the Modern Warfare games breathed a different kind of life into the series.
After the success of the 2 Modern Warfare games and World At War, Treyarch announced that a new title focusing on Black Op missions in the Cold War would be released much to mixed opinions. Fortunately, Black Ops delivers.
The new setting is a welcome change from the same old same old and on the whole the game captures the setting perfectly with a wide range of story missions ranging from the Vietnam jungles to barren wastelands in the space race. Each setting is unique with different weapons and tactics ranging from stealth to all out attack which helps to make the different levels feel fresh and exciting.
The story follows Alex Mason, a special forces operative as he relives his memories whilst being interrogated by unknown men. Without ruining the story too much, anyone familiar with World At War will recognise Victor Reznov who makes a return in this game. The story isn't anything special and after the first play-through its very unlikely you will want to run through it again except to grab the trophies you missed first time around. This is a shame as with such a unique and different setting its frustrating that Treyarch didn't produce a more memorable story and a better plotline. Victor Reznov is the only real star here and that's due to the fact that fans will remember him from a previous instalment of Call Of Duty.
The graphics are stunning but to be completely honest there isn't much of a jump in detail from Modern Warfare 2 which is a bit of a let down as with all the hype, it would have been nice to see a prettier game. Although it is understandable as Treyarch didn't produce Modern Warfare 2, its understandable why some fans are disappointed with the graphics on show here which, if I'm honest, are still very very good but just not on par with expectations.
All the usual gameplay elements are on show here with the traditional controls from the series thrown in so fans can just jump straight into the action. The enemy AI is very good throughout the campaign with some truly tough parts on Veteran difficulty with the biggest problem with the gameplay is the infinite spawning enemies. For a game of this magnitude its shocking that unless you storm a room, the enemies just continue to pour into the room. This is especially frustrating during veteran difficulty where being given the option to snipe enemies from a safe distance is snubbed in place of firing blindly from cover and running into an area with the hope that your squad will move forwards.
Another area of criticism is the lack of intelligence from squad mates. It's all well and good having a "highly trained" force of operatives at your side but if they will only move forwards when you do, something is seriously wrong and with some of the tough levels later on, it would have been nice to see the computer AI slightly more intelligent and using some aggression by storming a room while you shoot from a safe distance.
The story also lacks a sense of pace with action, although spectacular, hitting you from every angle and within 3 levels you're involved in a motorcycle chase, gunning down enemies from a plane and escaping from a prison. At times it would have been nice to see a slightly more character driven area that didn't revolve around huge explosions but with the emphasis being solely on action and big set pieces, the plot and character progression takes a backseat.
The sound is brilliant though with explosions and the sound of guns really packing a punch and the atmospheric, ambient music adds to this brilliantly. The voice acting isn't anything special with the only highlight being Victor Reznov over the wooden cast.
The real meat of Call Of Duty is the online element and with tiny tweaks here and there from the previous instalments, the online game holds up as strong as ever with the, although gimmicky, brilliant wager matches which give off the illusion of a brand new game mode in which you bet in-game money. The zombie mode is also brilliant with the joy being in playing as a big team of four people and each frantically trying to help one another out. The rest of the online plays and feels exactly like the Modern Warfare games with the only disappointment being in the slightly long loading times and the constant disconnecting which has become more frequent recently.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops had a lot of promise and in some ways it doesn't live up to the massive hype and the lack of anything remotely new and exciting doesn't help its cause. This Call Of Duty is a mixed bag with on the one hand a brilliant new setting and a big emphasis on action pleasing fans and newcomers alike with something fresh and brand new. On the other hand, this just feels like an add-on to Modern Warfare with almost no difference to interface design, a slightly inferior online element and lack of imaginative flair.
There are more than 200 different shooters out there in the UK today but Black Ops will still continue to sell due to its name and the brand new setting. However, I'd recommend renting this game first to see what its like before making the plunge to buy this one. So to conclude, Black Ops is definately a huge game but the lack of imagination might put some people off which is a real shame.
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