Call of Duty Black Ops is the most recent game in the multimillion pound franchise, owned by Activision. The Call of Duty franchise has to date sold over 90 million copies and with such a large number of sales, great things are expected of this game
From the second the game starts you are deeply immersed within the plot. You assume the role of ‘Alex Mason’ who is strapped to a chair in an interrogation room, where unknown captors bombard him with questions regarding a series of numbers. All the while the fate of the United States hangs in the balance. As the interrogation goes on, you flashback to the past recalling the missions you were on or knew about, re-enacting what happened. These missions all take place in the 1960’s but not necessarily in chronological order.
During the flashbacks, the playable characters are very limited, all the while focusing around ‘Alex Mason’ and what he knows about the numbers. The flashback mechanic is used well giving justification to the non-stop action of the game and allowing well placed transitions between levels and cut scenes.
The story has some predictable twists and turns in the plot and some more unpredictable twists and turns. As the game progresses, the plot slowly moves from a perverted view of history to science fiction. However, the plot never goes too far in to the science fiction.
In spite of the developer’s attempts to attach a deeply immersive story to their 4th Call of Duty game, the basic gameplay, as seen throughout the previous games, remains the same. Throughout the 15 chapters of the game you will be delivered exactly what is expected from a Call of Duty title, a series of linear intense combat based missions. Again, the combat in Call of Duty Black Ops is as expected; highly polished and relentless in giving the players a non-stop explosion filled action sequence followed by another.
The basic shooting mechanics are up to the high standards set by the previous games in the series. They are highly refined and near flawless, with extreme fluidity showing what can be done with years of practice. However this is just the silver lining on a very linear game. All the levels are extremely linear with predefined enemies popping up. If you try and break away from the predefined course of action you are often punished with a non-stop stream of enemies until you take the action determined by the developers. At times like this it is very easy to feel as if you are just there to authorise the pre-determined actions by the developer and have no real choice in how the game plays out.
In addition to the single player, Call of Duty Black Ops provides the standard multiplayer experience that can be found in any Call of Duty game to date. With the large number of available levels, upgrades, perks and weapons there is always more for you to unlock, with the added ability to purchase some of the perks with COD points. This should help to level out the playing field for the more casual gamer. With the release of ‘Call of Duty Black Ops Escalation’ even more levels have been added and some more zombie levels.
The zombie levels are a nice addition to the game as it adds another game mode to keep players coming back. These levels can be played alone or online with friends or strangers. The aim is to simply survive as long as you can, as rooms slowly open up increasing the level of difficulty.
The graphics of the game are some of the best on the market with truly impressive views, but not only are the views breath taking but the frame rate holds up too, not once on the X-Box 360 did I notice a drop in frames. However a lot of the time you are unable to appreciate the beauty that can be found in this game as the action is so fast paced and intense that you never get the time to just look. In the cut scenes however you are really able to appreciate what the developers have done with the graphics due to the levels of detail on the faces etc. This level of detail combined with life-like movements from the characters provides some truly amazing cut scenes.
These levels of graphics are well complemented with a good use of voice acting and a well thought-out soundtrack; however the soundtrack is rather predictable. The voice acting on the other hand is well done with emotion and feelings portrayed throughout.
Taking everything in to account, this is not a bad game however it is impossible to argue with the millions of players who buy and play this game. That said, for such a large backing and time we live in, to have such a linear story line is very disappointing. However the presentation of the game is wonderful, with engaging cut scenes and a reasonable plot, not to mention the multiplayer that has kept so many players stuck to their preferred platform since its release.
A well thought out story that develops nicely
Very good graphics especially the faces
The voice acting is well done and very appropriate music
Very nice gameplay that plays very smooth however, it is very linear
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.