When it comes to first person shooters, Activision and Treyarch have a hold with their Call of Duty series. Black Ops is a masterpiece in stoytelling, emersing you in a very interesting storyline of one man who’s been captured by an unknown group and questioned and tortured about the events of the past. During his flash-back scenes, you get to play through what he remembers. You’re thrown into many areas, including times when you’re catpured and running with a group to freedom.
Graphics – The environments are extremely well detailed, and everything, from explosions to water splashes, are accurately depicted. If you happened to get dazed by a grenade or take too many shots, the screen will give you the proper perspective.
Sound – Everything from in-game speech to gun-fire is vibrant and clean. Distortions will happen when you’re character is dazed. This means that sounds will be softened and somtimes, everything will sound like an echo. Sounds of incoming vehicles or aircraft are vibrant, and the explosions also have an accurate sounder to them.
Control – Any good first person shooter will have solid controls, and Black Ops delivers. The only complaint is that you have to pusn in the left stick and push forward on it to run, and only for a short while. If you’re used to Halo’s control scheme, be prepared to take a learning curve. With a little practice, you’ll be able to tear down enemies with ease.
Game play – Since this is a first person shooter (now refering to it as FPS), the gameplay is tried and true. The only differences that are present are the fact that you can sneak up on people and take them out without alerting anyone. Not entirely new to the genre, but it does tend to stand out, because you will be doing this quite a bit, especially in the later levels.
Other Content – Not only does the game include online multiplayer, but it also has a quirky zombies game to it. In this game, you play as a random soldier from a random country (Japanese, Russian, American, etc.). The object is to survive hordes of zombies that are breaking into the facility. There are two levels for the FPS portion, in which one of them, you actually play as President John F. Kennedy or President Richard Nixon. There’s another game that you can access with a special code that lets you play with four people in a Smash TV-like game.
The online gaming community can be unforgiving, provided you take to the Live scene and play online. This is especially true if you get killed quite a bit, known as feeding in some areas. Still, if you can hone your skills well enough, you might enjoy the online play. A word of caution: people on there can run their mouths off, so if you can’t take the insults, you’d better not play online.
All in all, Call of Duty: Black Ops should satisfy any hard-core gamer out there, but casual gamers and newcomers to FPS games might want to practice before trying to go online. As engrossing as the storyline is, the problem is that the story is too short and the replay value suffers from it if you don’t take your gaming experiences online. Other than that, the game is very solid and worth a look for anyone who loves FPS games.