Summary: Seven years on and deeming the latest in the annual Call of Duty franchise to be the most innovative instalment to date seems incredulous. However, by dispelling of the pomposity of its contemporary warfare brethren and finally putting to rest the exhausted landscape of WWII, Black Ops is one of the freshest first-person shooters in years.
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.
Summary: If you’ve gotten tired of the Call of Duty games, we know the feeling. That’s exactly why developer Treyarch tweaked the formula so much this time around, and the results are largely successful. Though it’s not a perfect game, it’s one that FPS fans certainly won’t want to miss.
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: Here it is, the game you’ve all been pining after/patiently awaiting/inherently ignoring is finally here, and doesn’t it all look so very exciting/samey/vomit-inducing? Set once more against the backdrop of the cold war, COD9:BO2 takes the FPS to places you never thought possible… like Cambodia and maybe even Russia! Imagine that.
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: 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.
Summary: Those with itchy trigger fingers or tingly grenade-lobbing arms need not apply. At the end of the day, Call of Duty fanatics can’t go wrong with Black Ops—assuming, of course, that they haven’t grown tired of the series’ aging formula. However, if heeding the call previously left you feeling decidedly “meh,” then Black Ops certainly won’t change your mind.
Pros: Addictive, near-perfect multiplayer; interesting story concept.
Cons: Nothing particularly new or groundbreaking; levels overly linear.