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Call of Duty Black ops XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: Activision
Review Date:
November 2010
Edwin Millheim


Call of Duty Black ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops hits the gaming scene with no apologies and a lot to live up to, its rich pedigree. The seventh installment of the Call of Duty series based on a not so Cold War era, more like lukewarm to a soft boil because there are plenty of rounds fired and gut wrenching action here.

The action spans over lot’s of diverse scenery, enough to make it interesting South East Asia, snow environments, urban and ground and air combat. The mix of areas and combat comes varied enough to keep the experience above many of the other games out there. Throw in some expected multiplayer to this short run single player experience and you have another standard action shooter with a powerful story and stellar voice acting. The total package saves it from being oh just another action shooter. Oh yes, then there are the zombies. I will relay my thoughts overall on the Zombie mode thing a bit later.

The game created with the input of actual Black Ops soldiers’ thrusts players in the world of shadow ops and an intense experience. Even with some of its flaws, it is a satisfying game experience. With an engaging single player story and a surprisingly satisfying conclusion, it is sad indeed that Call of Duty: Black Ops is yet again following the trend in being such a short single player experience. Prolong the experience and notch up the difficulty level. Playing as two main characters and bouncing back and forth through the shifting story in flash backs and remembering missions and events that took place, makes this a great step forward in the series style of presentation.

Action is big and like some of the biggest Hollywood over top action affairs has its share of jaw dropping moments. The story cut scenes and the game play big screen action is of a cinematic quality that stays strong throughout the adventure. This is just a part of what makes electronic games a true art form. It marries story telling, artwork, music and sound creating an interactive experience like no other medium, because you as the player are part of it all. The next few lines seems like I am shooting this game down, but in truth I also want to advise why the game did not get a higher score than it could have. Now, please note, even with these flaws, I enjoy the heck out of this game.

Any negatives aside from the short game play, would have to be the AI. If I am standing in one spot and my teammate steps in front of my gun fire….well come on, that is just plain stupid. One can argue it comes down to muzzle control of the player who is supposed to be this elite soldier. However, one cannot explain away a teammate and an enemy being a few feet from each other and blazing away at other targets but ignoring each other. Some times with teammates in the open and the player behind some cover, it still feels like every enemy is deciding the player is the choice target. It just feels like that sometimes.

Cover is again king here, cover, fire from cover, pop up, move, and fire. Even though there is heavy, scripted events in the game and some parts of the game will not advance until the player trips the hidden trigger point of the game. Advancing to one over the top mission to another is a real heart thumper of an experience, the visuals and sounds mix together to bring home a satisfying cinematic gaming experience. Many of the images can be disturbing and brutal; it is not a game for the feint of heart or kids for the matter of that.

The multiplayer is yet again one of the big draws for the game series, sporting the standard affair. However, just how many basic multiplayer games can you play before it becomes too cliché?

Now, about the zombie mode: prior to this, it had no place in the series. I must admit, however, that this time around the presentation is far better than past versions. Before the zombie mode seemed so far out of place, a throw away cop out to the zombie craze in general. Maybe I was just bitten, but it grows on you here.

Treyarch really brought their “A” game here with Call of Duty: Black Ops. Some annoying AI cannot drown out the fast past action that come hot and heavy in each mission. Story telling makes sure you understand why you are in each mission. A good jump forward in gaming.

Have fun, play games.
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor
Impulse Gamer


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