Call of Duty: Black Ops Review
PC (launch version).
Black Ops is the seventh installment in the very successful Call of Duty franchise. It continues with the theme that Modern Warfare started by moving away from WWII into a more modern setting. Black Ops steps back in time a bit by taking place during the height of the Cold War in the 1960s.
You play the part of an elite special operations commando, and you and your team travel to various hot-spots during this period (Vietnam, Cuba, Russia, Hong Kong, and similar). You also get to play more than one character during the campaign, and one of the main characters from Call of Duty 5 returns in this game.
Considering it’s an “arcade” shooter, Black Ops actually makes a very decent attempt to craft an interesting story. The plot centers on a project involving a deadly chemical agent, and you are interrogated about it by two mysterious persons whose identities are later revealed.
The story progresses through a combination of hallucinations, flash-backs, cut-scenes, and playing through missions. You are actually strapped in a chair for most of the game, and the flashbacks caused by your interrogation “cause” you to replay missions in your past. There’s a bit of a twist at the end, but I could see it coming. I also correctly guessed the identity of one of the interrogators.
Gameplay & Mission Design
The level design follows the entrenched Call of Duty paradigm: linear in design with furious combat, supported by heavy scripting and over the top action sequences. There are also some engine rendered slow-motion sequences that show off the action for extra cinematic effect (e.g. if you kill an important enemy with a head-shot), similar to Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway.
The levels generally have a competent (but not exceptional) design, though the Pentagon section is very nicely done. You will fight in jungle, desert, snow, industrial and urban areas. Each area also has hidden intelligence items in the form of tape recorders, and you can access the documents they unlock from the main menu.
As you progress through the levels, you generally have at least one squad-mate helping you out. These individuals are generally likable and also offer reasonable levels of assistance in combat, without doing all the work for you.
Some parts of the levels have a fixed amount of enemies while others have infinite respawning. In these areas you need to keep pressing forward and once you pass a certain point, the respawning will stop. If you’re having trouble moving forward, try to move to one of the edges of the map and employ flanking to attack enemies from the side. If you’ve played any of the Brothers in Arms games, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
There is no quick-saving/quick-loading, and instead the game saves based on check-points. You can also replay any past mission from the main menu if you like.
Haha, I was thinking of getting this for christmas. Great post!
I hate that the p90 is missing from the latest COD. does anyone know if the new one will?
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