Excerpt: As another year passes Activision’s flagship franchise has it’s unsurprising new entry born into the world. This year it is Treyarch’s turn to not only prove that they can match Infinity Ward’s best, but also display a quality that cements their place in charge of the franchise for the foreseeable future. Can the studio manage to break the impression of inferiority that has dogged them since Call of Duty 3?
Conclusion: Unfortunately, that doesn’t justify the ridiculous price-tag attached to the game, since you’ll have to pay at least thirty quid for a copy of the game. Buy Black Ops by all means, but don’t expect it to be a worthwhile purchase that will give you a brand new lease on life. It’s just another war game like the last six.
Excerpt: Everyone loves to roll their eyes a t the thought of a “new” Call of Duty game; after all, we’ve played games from this franchise a half-dozen times now, and the bloom is off the rose. But don’t be so quick to judge, because the newest installment of Call of Duty is the freshest version of an old favorite that we’ve played since Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Pros: Campaign has multiple endings; great changes to multiplayer; zombie mode is good.
Cons: Slo-mo explosions are overdone; RTS missions are broken and annoying.
Excerpt: Do golfers love sniping or do snipers love golf? I don't know, but Treyarch definitely suspects some kind of direct correlation between the two. I don't have any bold answers for this perplexing brain teaser, but I can say it is frankly ridiculous the amount of times I've had to leap for cover underneath a golf buggy to escape a devastating volley of enemy PSG-1 rounds.
Excerpt: Call of Duty is obsessed with fear. But while Modern Warfare and its sequel exist as a paean to America's current socio-political nightmares, Black Ops chooses to tap into the nation's Sixties terrors: Cuba, the Vietnam War and, primarily, the ever-looming threat of Soviet conflict. Part of Treyarch's current problem, then, is the format's inherent need for escalation.
Excerpt: Treyarch has hit back at detractors with a comprehensive take on the Call of Duty mantra.
Pros: Dedicated servers, albeit managed, are better than peer-based matchmaking. Modding potential is good. The array of multiplayer options is impressive, and the Nazi Zombies make a welcome comeback.
Cons: Too many bugs for a full retail release, and no real confirmation that they will be resolved. The campaign is uninspired and completely lacking in innovation. No NZ servers. No ranked Wager servers. Only three new Zombie maps.
Excerpt: Those of you waiting with bated breath for Activision’s fragile, sequelitis-ridden empire to come crumbling down, know this: It won’t be happening this year. Call of Duty: Black Ops is another solid entry in the publisher’s absurdly popular war-shooter franchise. And yet, for all that it is, it could’ve been so much more. Black Ops’ single-player, especially, falls short of its lofty ambitions, leaving us to sigh and ponder what could have been.
Pros: Addictive, near-perfect multiplayer; interesting story concept.
Cons: Nothing particularly new or groundbreaking; levels overly linear.
Excerpt: For gamers, there is something magical about the Call of Duty franchise. It’s had its fair share of ups and downs, and has taken us through World War II and the modern day. After the fiasco with Call of Duty star developer Infinity Ward, the franchise was effectively put in the hands of developer Treyarch, which has for years been the secondary, the afterthought development team. Black Ops is Treyarch’s breakthrough, and Call of Duty’s finest hour.
Pros: Excellent single-player campaign and multiplayer. Plenty of fun extras. The best Call of Duty yet.
Cons: Some scripted gameplay. Plot remains convoluted for too long.