Call of Duty: Black Ops

Review

posted 12/1/2010 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
If there’s one thing I hate is game-stopping bugs and I ran into a few while playing the single player. On the SR-71 Blackbird mission, I had my cameras become unresponsive when trying to move my squad to an area in the RTS view. There was nothing I could do as any buttons pressed failed to produce any response so I was forced to reload the level. Another level saw my game hard lock and I was forced to restart it from the beginning rather than a checkpoint, which was odd. On the very last mission, I took down a Hind too quickly I guess, as I could activate the next scripted sequence for me to land my helicopter on a ship. I had to reload the checkpoint, wait for a message that the Hind was attacking me, and then take it down to allow for the activation of the scripted sequence to land the chopper. So, there were a few instances of game stopping bugs that marred an otherwise fun single player experience.

Oh yes, the single player campaign can be finished in under six hours, but at least I enjoyed most of the six hours here. It never got too monotonous and the story probably would’ve dragged on if it was any longer. I know there will be people that want more time in the single player campaign though and to those folks, you’ll be sorely disappointed.


On the PC, the game looked pretty good running at 1920x1080. The textures and colors used looked great and there are some very good designs and environments modeled. Lighting effects are used really well in highlighting or hiding various elements and levels in the game. Now, I think the people in the game still look a little too plastic and artificial, but that’s just me. What was really well done though was the facial animations. It’s one of the few times where the characters don’t look like emotionless zombies and offer up some real looking facial animations in the game. You can really tell in the eyes and the area around it along with the rest of the face where the movements are pretty damn realistic.

For audio, Treyarch did a great job at making each and every weapon sound impressive. Explosions from grenades sound like they have some real power to them. The voice acting from top notch actors are also great. The use of music is also done well and I really got into the boat mission when the Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" started playing. Watching the many helicopters fly overhead while "Fortunate Son" played really helped draw me into that scene of the game. It also helped that the amount of things happening in that scene was pretty impressive, but the music really pushed it to the next level.


Single player is just half of the Call of Duty equation though as Treyarch offers up two multiplayer modes. First up, the zombie mode from World at War make a return in a nice way. While Modern Warfare 2 had Special Ops for the co-op mode, here you and up to three other friends can take on zombies in a horde mode. Points are used to open new areas or purchase weapons and ammo and you earn points by taking down zombies and fortifying openings that they can come through.

There are some objectives that are thrown in such as turning on power. As you move to other areas of the map, more openings are exposed for zombies to come at you but you’ll also have access to better weapons to purchase. You really need to work together to last the rounds and communication is also key to let others know what’s going on as zombies can sneak up on you quickly later on. All it takes is a few hits to bring you down, but at least your friends can revive you to help continue the fight. If all four are taken down, the game ends.
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