[CR] Call of Duty: Black Ops

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CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS (XBOX 360)


Badass-ed-ness? Check.

You play, for the most part, a kick ass Black Ops soldier, fighting for America, during the Cold War. You are awesome. Truly, truly awesome. You cheat death, you eat Russians for breakfast, and you breathe fire. No, wait. One of those is a lie.

Anyway, my point is that you are the American equivalent of what would happen if you combined Soap, Gaz/Ghost, ANZAC, and an old Chinese voodoo lady with a very, very bad temper. Yes, in short, you are a deadly and lethal death machine of death. And doom.

I'll divide this review into three sections (you can skip to whichever part you're interested in) -- Singleplayer, Multiplayer, and Scoring (where I assign arbitrary numbers to various categories). A review of Zombies may come at a later time.

SINGLEPLAYER
Remember MewTwo's woefully (and, frankly, insultingly) short and underwhelming campaign? Well, you'll be pleased to know that Black Ops is the opposite.

The story takes place partly in the same location as the main menu. It's a pretty bleak, grim introduction -- without giving too much away, you're being interrogated by an unknown party who wants to know what you and your team were doing during the Cold War.

The game is played in flashbacks -- your interrogator brings up topics that bring back memories in the character you play (Alex Mason). Occasionally, you'll play flashbacks to other characters (who, for the sake of spoilers, will not be named). And, there's an entire section that takes place in World War II -- including some great throwback references to World at War.

Yes, Black Ops campaign truly throws some great twists and turns at you. People and characters you don't expect show up. To be honest, it feels like the campaign took the best parts of Modern Warfare 2 and World at War, and used them as inspiration for an epic singleplayer experience.

Get to da choppa!

There's some new mechanics -- you'll operate a camera and guide a squad of Spec Ops soldiers, who are moving through a zero-visibility blizzard in Russia, from a Blackbird recon plane (and you'll occasionally switch to one of these ground troops in order to play out some action sequences). You'll rappel down walls and smash through doors and windows. You'll have some great stealth-action sequences where you get to play stabby-stabby with your combat knife. Oh, and did I mention you get to blow stuff up with rockets? Yeah, there's quite a bit of stuff to blow up. It's a lot of fun.

The story truly is one of the best campaigns in the history of the Call of Duty franchise. It's cinematic, it's thrilling, and it's intense. That's not to say it's without flaws -- a lot of things are never really explained: how on earth do you get from one location to another, and what's with the game leaping forward, missing out months or years? There are so many enemies, you might feel like there should be an 'assume fetal position' button on the controller. Oh, but that shouldn't be a problem because, for once, a Call of Duty game arms you to the teeth with 50,000,000 bullets at the start of each level. Another thing I noticed, which I thought was kind of cool, is that some combat sequences almost feel reminiscent of 007: NightFire -- that might have just been me, though.

MULTIPLAYER:
As with any CoD game, there are some balancing issues. But for those who were worried about a Modern Warfare 2 rehash, fret not!

Treyarch has clearly worked their asses off. All but one or two of the maps are a lot of fun to play on, and they're a lot better designed and a lot more balanced than those found in this year's installment of the Halo franchise. For the most part, weapons and killstreaks are pretty well balanced. And even the perks are pretty sweet.

This guy knows how to accessorize.

Black Ops has an insane customization scheme that really lets you play -- for better or for worse -- how you want to play.

You can 'carve' your clan tag into the side of your weapon, you can create your own personal emblem (similar to MewTwo's emblems, only better) which can then be emblazoned onto the side of your weapon. You can go straight to buying red dots, ACOGs, or whatever else you want to stick on the end of your gun -- no more unlocking attachments: if you have the money, you can buy it.

Weapons work similarly -- you unlock them when you reach a certain rank, but you don't get them for free. You have to 'buy them' using points that you win by killing enemies and destroying killstreak rewards, winning matches, completing challenges, and just generally being awesome.

There are 'wager matches' -- where you bet your 'money' against other players in a Free-for-All match -- and the top three players split the pot, er, winnings. There are also 'contracts' -- you buy a contract for a set amount of money, and you have to complete the goal of that contract in 40 minutes of game time (yes, that's time you spend in game, so it doesn't count down while you're in menus). If you complete the contract, you get double your money; if you fail the contract, you lose the money -- these contracts can range from anything from "Win a Match" to "Get 3 Kills Without Dying" to weapons-specific challenges, like "Get 25 Headshots With an M16" or "Kill 3 Players with a Ballistic Knife."

Needless to say, there are a few issues.

Sadly, awesome tattoos are not part of multiplayer customization.

Nuketown is one of the worst maps in Call of Duty history. You're pretty much guaranteed to get spawn-killed at least five times in the first minute of the game.

The MP5K is a rape-machine and, at close to medium range, is pretty much guaranteed to win against anything (except maybe a rocket launcher).

Additionally, even though "Commando" was removed as a perk, it honestly feels like everyone inherently has it. There are quite a few cheap knife kills -- some of it probably down to lag, but also partly due to the fact that everybody's knives work like Halo's Energy Sword.

Finally, there is the FAMAS. It has a ridiculous amount of kick, but it's really too powerful compared to other weapons.

As for killstreaks, well thankfully there is no longer a "Tactical Nuke." In fact, as I said earlier, most of the perks are pretty good. Chopper Gunner is quite hard to get, which is good, and Attack Helicopters are fairly easy to avoid (they now hover in one place, as opposed to flying around the entire map). One of the few cheap killstreak rewards is the "RC-XD" -- a little remote control car that moves too quickly to shoot, and can kill you with ease.

As with the weapons attachments, you can get any killstreak at any time. But you do have to buy them with your in-game points. The low-kill rewards range from 1,000 to 1,600 points -- but if you want something good (like Dogs or Chopper Gunner) then you'd better start saving up: they can cost anywhere from 2,400 to 4,000 points.

Overall, multiplayer is a lot better experience than Modern Warfare 2. If you had a bitter taste in your mouth from the broken gameplay of MW2, then you'll be pleased to know that Black Ops is a lot cleaner, better paced, and a lot, lot less broken.

SCORING:
Story: 8/10 (Epic, cinematic, and beautifully written)
Voice Acting: 7/10 (Mason could have been better, other characters well voiced)
Sound Design: 8/10 (MP5K sounds like airsoft gun; so does M14 reloading)
Soundtrack: 9.5/10 (Sean Murray delivers compelling soundtrack coupling rock and orchestra; clearly influenced by Balfe's MW2 score but with throwbacks to WaW)
Replay Value: 9/10 (Even if you get sick of online multiplayer, Zombies and Dead Ops Arcade will keep you coming back)

FINAL VERDICT: 87/100 - GREAT

(NOTE: final score is not an average)

CLOSING COMMENTS: It's nice to see a serious game tackling the Cold War. Vietnam, especially, is a sore point in American history -- while not a huge part of the game takes place there, Treyarch did a good job of (from what I've learned about the Vietnam War) making you feel badass (as a Spec Ops guy should) while making you feel vulnerable. They make you wonder if you're going to die when you turn that next corner... and as a gamer, it's great to be kept on the edge of your seat with intense action scenes.

Nice to see the singleplayer isn't too badly done. It's all I have really cared about in the CoD series anyways so if I ever picked this up it would only be for that, never multiplayer.

In another thread, a poster wrote: no zombies, no buying the game: that simple.

About the same for me. I'm very excited about the zombies. Glad the single player campaign is fun too.

Huh. Might actually get it! Good review, maybe a bit too pro-game, but if its that good, what can you do but compliment it?

I would buy Call of Duty just for the ridiculously written single player campaign. I would. I'd even play around with the multiplayer a bit. Even though I'm now opposed to anything associated with Bob Kotick I would buy it - but for one thing.

It's 130 fucking dollars here.

Some games are worth that. Some games I'd pay that for. The yearly edition of the Call of Duty franchise is certainly not worth that to me and I'm surprised its worth that for so many others.

(Granted NZ game prices are FUCKING RETARDED - as are Aussie ones - but I won't go into that now.)

Good review, but can you comment as to the length of the single player? I found MW2, like you said, to be insultingly short.

Also, it's good to hear the killstreaks don't break the MP in this game, but how are the levels designed? Are they for the most part a claustrophobic-cluster-fuck? Or, can you get some breathing room? Does it feel as frenetic as MP in CoD4/MW2 felt (You might not have felt that so you might not be able to answer this one)? Finally are there any bolt-action weapons that don't require a scope to aim? (I ask cause the KAR .98 was my favorite weapon from the CoD1-3 series, but when played smartly with was so much more fun to play with - it was deadly at close and long range).

Marowit:
Good review, but can you comment as to the length of the single player? I found MW2, like you said, to be insultingly short.

As with any game, it's all about pacing. If you wanted to, you could probably breeze through the campaign on Easy in about 3 hours.

I played on Normal difficulty: the story's actually quite long. I can't really give you an exact time range, because I interspersed my campaign with playing online with friends. There are some parts of the game where, even on normal difficulty, you really have to slow down to avoid getting killed by crazy RPK-wielding Vietcong.

Honestly, though, if you try to rush through this game, you'll get torn to pieces. It forces you to be a lot more tactical and a lot more careful than MW2, where you could clear entire cities with an M4 on Veteran without dying.

How the game forces you to slow down, though... it's nice pacing. Remember pre-MW2 where enemies would respawn ad infinitum until you reached certain checkpoints or objectives? Well, Black Ops keeps the MW2 system, but there are select locations where the infinite enemy respawning system is put back in place. But it works in those few situations.

I want to say that, depending on how you move through the game (and if you watch all of the really well-made and interesting cutscenes), it can be a good 8-10 hour experience. And that's just playing on Normal. Then you have the final cutscene after the credits, along with some good old fashioned zombie-shooting fun: that can chew up some time (depending on how good you are at taking down zombies).

Marowit:
Also, it's good to hear the killstreaks don't break the MP in this game, but how are the levels designed? Are they for the most part a claustrophobic-cluster-fuck? Or, can you get some breathing room?

The maps, for the most part, are really well designed. Aside from maybe three maps, the others (around 10, I believe) are all really nicely sized.

Sniping is pretty hard in this game, none of the maps are large enough or have enough vantage points to effectively utilize the sniper rifles. However, the M14 is back as an assault rifle: buy a red dot or an ACOG and you effectively have a sniper rifle without the hassle of trying to use a scope.

Marowit:
Does it feel as frenetic as MP in CoD4/MW2 felt (You might not have felt that so you might not be able to answer this one)?

It feels pretty nicely paced. Because of the design of the maps, there's a lovely combination of people hanging back and fighting from distances and intense twitch-reflex firefights in close quarters.

I'm not sure if you played World at War back when it first came out? Because the pacing of Black Ops sits nicely between WaW and MW2. (I can't comment with regards to COD4 because I didn't get Xbox Live until everyone else already had access to the best weapons.)

Marowit:
Finally are there any bolt-action weapons that don't require a scope to aim? (I ask cause the KAR .98 was my favorite weapon from the CoD1-3 series, but when played smartly with was so much more fun to play with - it was deadly at close and long range).

While there are no bolt-action rifles, per se, the M14 should satisfy your Karabiner craving. It's semi-auto, almost has the stopping power of the sniper rifles, but can hold its own against other assault rifles in medium-range combat.

Unfortunately, the only true bolt-actions are the snipers. (With the exception of the PSG-1, which is semi-auto and kicks ass.)

I hope that answered your questions adequately -- if you have any more, feel free to ask me and I'll do my best to answer them.

Superior Mind:
I would buy Call of Duty just for the ridiculously written single player campaign. I would. I'd even play around with the multiplayer a bit. Even though I'm now opposed to anything associated with Bob Kotick I would buy it - but for one thing.

It's 130 fucking dollars here.

Some games are worth that. Some games I'd pay that for. The yearly edition of the Call of Duty franchise is certainly not worth that to me and I'm surprised its worth that for so many others.

(Granted NZ game prices are FUCKING RETARDED - as are Aussie ones - but I won't go into that now.)

What the-
130 DOLLARS?
Where do you live, on the surface of mars?

The Cheezy One:
Huh. Might actually get it! Good review, maybe a bit too pro-game, but if its that good, what can you do but compliment it?

Hmm, a bit too pro-game, I might agree with you on that. But after Modern Warfare 2, this is really refreshing and well-made.

I feel like Treyarch has seriously been underappreciated for their work, and I think Black Ops is, unlike CoD's installment last year, actually worthy of every bit of praise I gave it.

Hopefully, Treyarch won't get cocky like Infinity Ward did. Most of the balancing issues here should be fairly easy to patch: there are plenty of comments on what needs to be rebalanced so if Treyarch pays attention to the community, as they said they would, then I think the game could actually be fixed quite quickly.

chemicalreaper:
*snip*
I hope that answered your questions adequately

Very much so, Thank you for taking that time!

I am intrigued by this game to be honest - I really enjoyed W@W, and CoD3. CoD4 was extremely fun for 1 play through (I'm not a big multiple-playthrough person), and I had some fun with the MP. As modern weapons became the focus, automatic weapons, it really started to turn me off from the series mulitplayer experience - it just seemed like kills were too easy (both getting kills and being killed).

But, MW2 is where the franchise just burst into flames and blew apart mid-air for me. There were choke-points (read: cheap deaths) in certain single-player levels that made me want to snap my controller in half -- the favellas in particular --, halfhearted attempts at feeling epic, and the story seemed to be written as an afterthought (it just seemed like string of "cool" locals they had to knit together). The multiplayer was a non-starter for me when I got nuked in 3 consecutive matches...

So, like I said you definitely piqued my interest, but I am wary of handing my money over after the awful taste the installment of the franchise left in my mouth.

Thanks again for the response to my original post

Anybody have any comments on the zombie mode?

dbmountain:
Anybody have any comments on the zombie mode?

Currently, there are only two maps ("Kino der Toten" and "Five").

KdT is pretty reminiscent of "Der Riese" and takes place inside a rundown theatre. You play as the four characters from the first game (Dempsey, Nikolai, Richtofen, and that Japanese guy) It's a pretty large map, for the most part there's plenty of room to move around. There are a couple of rooms that work as really good chokepoints, but to counter that are some very narrow corridors where zombies can jump down from above you. KdT also introduces a new crawler-type zombie (similar to the ones in Left 4 Dead and the Undead Nightmare expansion for Red Dead Redemption) -- these zombies move quickly on all fours, so they should be your first priority. When you kill crawlers, they explode and emit a green gas (similar to the Tabon gas from World at War) that can kill you.

Five is my favourite map. It takes place inside the Pentagon and you play as JFK, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, and Robert McNamara (US Secretary of Defense). The zombies are a combination of US soldiers / military police and Defense Department workers. There are a couple of different levels, which are accessed through an elevator (which costs 250 points per use) that works similarly to the teleporters in Der Riese. You can (incorrectly) raise the DEFCON level from 1 to 5 (in real life, it should be raising from 5 to 1): when you reach DEFCON 5, a secret armory opens up, giving you access to some pretty sweet weaponry. There is also the "Pentagon Thief" who runs by occasionally -- he's not a zombie, he's actually unarmed, but he'll run up to you and steal your weapon. This is frustrating in later levels, of course, so you'll want to kill him before he gets to you (which shouldn't be too hard, I mean, you're pretty much shooting at anything that moves anyway).

Finally, there's "Dead Ops Arcade" (which is unlocked by escaping the chair in the main menu and then typing "DOA" into the computer at the back of the room (after you unlock it from the computer, it appears under the "Zombies" menu). It's a really fun top-down arcade shooter with pretty simple controls -- left analog stick controls movement, right analog stick fires your weapon in whatever direction you point it. Left trigger drops a nuke on top of you (doesn't harm you, but it kills any zombies near you) and the right trigger makes you do kind of a Sonic speed-run attack, sprinting through (and subsequently killing) zombies. These two items can be replenished (look for the bomb symbol from "Zombies" to replenish nukes, and a lightning bolt to replenish the speed attack). Additionally, you can pick up other weapons (RPGs, flamethrowers, shotguns, etc.) that have limited ammo. Finally, there are some special things you can pick up. Teddy bears create a forcefield around you that turns any zombies that get near you into diamonds; two barrels spin around you taking down any zombie it hits; three electrodes spin around you and, once they hit a zombie, will spread Wonderwaffe style killing any and all nearby zombies with an electric jolt. There are other ones I'm missing, such as a tank pick-up that actually turns your player model into a tank. Oh yeah.

Finally, if you bought the Hardened or Prestige editions of the game, you'll have access to the four maps from Nazi Zombies ("Nacht der Untoten," "Zombie Asylum," "Shi no Numa," and "Der Riese").

It will suffice to say that Zombies is really fun in this game... it's so much fun to take down zombies with modern weapons (especially the M14, which is amazing for popping off headshots).

chemicalreaper:

It will suffice to say that Zombies is really fun in this game... it's so much fun to take down zombies with modern weapons (especially the M14, which is amazing for popping off headshots).

Thank you, this is all good news! Does KdT still take place during WW2? DOA sounds a lot like an improved version of the Indie Game (on XBL) called "I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1", which is certainly a good thing. That game is a blast and I'm sure my friends and I will have lots of fun with it

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on the campaign. The actual action is... alright, but there are far fewer "Oh shi-" moments in the game, which is really what the CoD single-player has always been about, at least for me. For example, MW2 has the second mission (I think?) where you're climbing up the frozen mountainside, the double betrayal; one from Makarov and one from Price (I think that's his name; whoever the general was who shot Roach and Ghost).

But Black Ops...? Eh,

dbmountain:
Thank you, this is all good news! Does KdT still take place during WW2?

It technically takes place during WW2 -- you're still fighting Nazi Zombies -- but all of the weapons are Cold War-era, which is a huge anachronism, but still fun. (Well, I guess the M1911 is technically still a WW2 weapon.) I believe the MP40 also appears in KdT, but I'm not entirely sure.

dbmountain:
DOA sounds a lot like an improved version of the Indie Game (on XBL) called "I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1", which is certainly a good thing. That game is a blast and I'm sure my friends and I will have lots of fun with it

It is, it's a lot of fun. Just beware the "Cosmic Silverback," though. I'll let you figure out who that is hehehe.

Flying-Emu:
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on the campaign.

That's okay with me. So I'm guessing you're somewhere in the middle between my review and Russ Pitts' review?

Flying-Emu:
The actual action is... alright, but there are far fewer "Oh shi-" moments in the game, which is really what the CoD single-player has always been about, at least for me. For example, MW2 has the second mission (I think?) where you're climbing up the frozen mountainside, the double betrayal; one from Makarov and one from Price (I think that's his name; whoever the general was who shot Roach and Ghost).

The first three CoD games never really had "Oh shi-" moments, per se, it was just cool to be (somewhat inaccurately) replaying some of the biggest battles from World War 2. So, in that sense, the game as a whole was "Oh shi-".

Modern Warfare 2 seemed to think that "Oh shi-" moments just meant "Kill every major character." Arguably, falling off of the roof in the Favela and running weaponless from the Militia -- that was pretty intense. But after the second betrayal/shooting/execution/etc. the game became pretty lame and the "Oh shi-" moments just became cheesy.

I guess that's one of my biggest gripes about MW2's campaign -- it seemed the only way Infinity Ward could think of advancing the story was by killing people.

As for General Shepherd, well I could tell right from the beginning of the game that he would end up being the main villain. Hell, I even shot at him in the training level XD

This is sort of off-topic and has nothing to do with either post, but I'll put it here anyway. It's kind of how the two companies (IW and Treyarch) thought about their storylines.

Infinity Ward - 2004 (Call of Duty 2)
"There's an American who kills lots of Germans. And there's a British dude with a sweet mustache, and he's fighting down in Egypt with a bunch of people in silly khaki shorts and really long socks. They're blowing up German tanks and shit, and they're pretty good at it. There's also a Russian guy killing Fascists in Russia. And lots of people die on both sides."

Treyarch - 2004 (Call of Duty 2: Big Red One)
"There's an American soldier fighting in World War II. In the first level he is shot and his allies are trying to revive him. They're under fire the whole time and as he lays there, his World War 2 military career flashes before his eyes. He remembers fighting through France and Italy, partaking in Operation Overlord, kicking ass and taking names. He knows his brother, a bomber, is striking down factories and buildings crucial to the German war machine. At the end of the game, this guy dies -- a solemn tribute to all who gave their lives fighting for their respective countries in World War 2."

Infinity Ward - 2006 (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
"There's a leader in Afghanistan a generic Middle Eastern country, hunting down a guy with a sweet beard who appears on a lot of TV sets. Oh, and meanwhile, the SAS is hunting a dude -- he's Russian, of course -- who may or may not have nuclear weapons. Oh yeah, he totally has nuclear weapons."

Treyarch - 2007 (Call of Duty: World at War)
"So America is now in the Pacific, because that's never been done before. You're captured in the first level, being tortured, and an ally of yours is killed. Then, the rest of your squad turns up and takes out the enemy soldiers standing guard outside the base. Then you fight through Okinawa and Iwo Jima to slowly take land away from the Japanese Army and the Imperial Navy. Meanwhile, a Russian soldier defies death and meets with a sniper who lost his finger during the attack. The two move carefully in order to take out a general in the German Army. Then, they join their fellow Russians in pushing back the Germans out of Russia. Finally, they push into the heart of Berlin and burn the Reichstag."

Infinity Ward - 2008 (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
"Russia invades America. Duh. Meanwhile the SAS are f*cking around in Brazil and Russia trying to find some people they didn't kill last time. Lots of people you play as... die. Because that's epic. Oh, and there's an EMP and the Russians take over the White House. The American General kills the coolest member of Task Force [insert three numbers here], and then there's a big confrontation with a fist-fight."

Treyarch - 2009 (Call of Duty: Black Ops)

When you look it at like that, Treyarch - in my opinion, at least - puts a lot more thought into their storylines (the exception, of course, being Call of Duty 3, which I can forgive them for... after all, they were developing another game to be released alongside Call of Duty 2).

dbmountain:

chemicalreaper:

It will suffice to say that Zombies is really fun in this game... it's so much fun to take down zombies with modern weapons (especially the M14, which is amazing for popping off headshots).

Thank you, this is all good news! Does KdT still take place during WW2? DOA sounds a lot like an improved version of the Indie Game (on XBL) called "I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1", which is certainly a good thing. That game is a blast and I'm sure my friends and I will have lots of fun with it

The teleporter, made them go forward in time to 1950, where guns sort of evolved but some still used WW2 weaponry.

Great review mate, i thoroughly enjoyed Black Ops, Single Player, Multiplayer the only thing that disapointed me was that there was no Co-Op on the campaign, comment on that?

Serving UpSmiles:
Great review mate, i thoroughly enjoyed Black Ops, Single Player, Multiplayer the only thing that disapointed me was that there was no Co-Op on the campaign, comment on that?

Thank you :)

As for there being no Co-Op Campaign, I'll be completely honest, I had never even noticed that. Almost all of my friends went straight to multiplayer and the only two games I've ever really played Co-Op missions on Campaign was in the Halo series and the Timesplitters games (oh, and I guess "Spec Ops" in Modern Warfare 2).

Thanks for pointing that out, I'll add that into my review. I don't think it has a huge negative impact on the game, so I won't knock the score down, but you're right: for those who enjoy playing campaign missions with their friends, it is a bit of a disappointment. (I guess the only justification could be that it would be a bit odd to have two drugged soldiers being interrogated in the same room, for the same reason, at the same time?)

From my experience so far, a pretty accurate review.

Regarding the multiplayer, i think despite it just being a perk, the removal of stopping power warrants a mention. For me it has really opened up the perk options, a lot of them seem genuinely tempting, whereas MF2 there were only a handful of perk selections that were used.

The remote control car? I've heard a lot of calls that it is overpowered, but i just dont see that myself. Admittedly, i have it selected at the moment (and i just got a game winning double kill with it :D ) but equally i've had it roving the map trying to find an opponent for ages.

I havent actually seen any of the higher killstreaks as yet; actually i think by removing the rolling killstreaks of MF2 they will have a very low impact. Maybe in the big game 9v9 where you can camp or something?

rastlin1985:
From my experience so far, a pretty accurate review.

Thanks :) I aim to be objective and accurate. (I dunno what Russ Pitts' was smoking whilst writing his review!)

rastlin1985:
Regarding the multiplayer, i think despite it just being a perk, the removal of stopping power warrants a mention. For me it has really opened up the perk options, a lot of them seem genuinely tempting, whereas MF2 there were only a handful of perk selections that were used.

That is very true. I would agree that it's opened up the options, I've found a lot of people still using the basic ('free') perks -- I hope that as people get more in-game credits (or if they play the "Combat Training" mode) they'll start to move away from their comfort zones and start trying out different perk combinations.

rastlin1985:
The remote control car? I've heard a lot of calls that it is overpowered, but i just dont see that myself. Admittedly, i have it selected at the moment (and i just got a game winning double kill with it :D ) but equally i've had it roving the map trying to find an opponent for ages.

I think I'd revise my comment -- it's not so much that it's overpowered, perhaps the problem is more just the fact that it only requires 3 kills (2, with hardline). Thus, campers only need to get a few lucky kills to get access to a killstreak that is similar in power and efficacy (but not quite equivalent, though) to the Predator Missile from MW2.

rastlin1985:
I havent actually seen any of the higher killstreaks as yet; actually i think by removing the rolling killstreaks of MF2 they will have a very low impact. Maybe in the big game 9v9 where you can camp or something?

Occasionally you'll get good killstreak rewards just from a Care Package -- last night, I got Attack Dogs, Chopper Gunner, and Gunship all from Care Packages.

The Chopper Gunner may be a little overpowered, in fact it should just be replaced by the Gunship. Sure, Gunship has missiles in addition to the machine gun (but the MG overheats fairly quickly). Also, since you have to fly the Gunship whilst firing the weapons, it's harder to get kills with it.

Dogs are not very useful at all -- they're still pretty easy to kill (in some of the larger maps it's entirely possible to avoid them all together). They're not OP even though they can kill you in one hit.

People still seem to be using the cheap (aka lower priced) killstreaks -- Napalm Strikes (pretty good when coupled with a Spy Plane), Care Package, and Attack Helicopter. I think those are really the best killstreak rewards. Nobody bothers using the counter-spy plane, but the Spy Plane and Blackbird (essentially they do the same thing, but Blackbird shows what direction enemies are facing) are very useful.

Some of the weapons have perk/attachment combos that utterly break the multiplayer. And the Stoner63 is ridiculously broken out of the gate. Think the M60 if it fired like an assault rifle. That's the Stoner. It really needs to be fixed.

Sadly

Dhael:
Some of the weapons have perk/attachment combos that utterly break the multiplayer. And the Stoner63 is ridiculously broken out of the gate. Think the M60 if it fired like an assault rifle. That's the Stoner. It really needs to be fixed.

Sadly, that's the case with any game, though. Certainly, as more people are playing this game, we're seeing more of the cheap weapon combinations. And, the Treyarch servers (for 360, at least) seemed unable to cope with the 1.5+ million players this evening, which led to a lot of lag rage on my part (mostly, hit markers not actually being on target, being shot 30 seconds after I was actually shot, people knifing the air and killing me from 20 feet away, etc.)

There's some stuff I've commented on the Call of Duty forums regarding balancing issues. I'll post them here as well:
- MP5K: range and power need to be nerfed. Noobs and beginners start with this gun, then because of how ridiculous it is, they never move on to other weapons.

- FAMAS: ridiculous range and accuracy. You can literally spray the other side of the map and end up 'sniping' people.

- Stoner 63: plain broken. My friend did a test with it in one match -- exactly three shots to the chest and the other player died. No lag, no bad hit markers, or anything. It's just an unbalanced weapon.

- AUG: not that many people use it (thankfully), but it's worse than the FAMAS because it has virtually no recoil.

- HS-10: the most powerful shotgun in multiplayer, it can be (unfortunately) dual-wielded... and, guess what, at close range the MP5K still trumps it.

- Knifing: oh, this is one of the things that's pissed me off so much ever since MW2 introduced Commando. Everyone can knife the air and take you out from 30 feet away. (Slicing the air so quickly, the blast kills you you? I dunno.) Sadly, head-to-head knife battles are still a roll of the die; depending on connection conditions, the second person to use the knife often magically blocks the first player's knife, then proceeds to get the kill.

- RC-XD: the choice of noobs because it is an easy kill with a ridiculously low prerequisite (1,000C and only 3 kills; 2, if using hardline).

- Sleight of Hand: coupled with certain weapons (which are usually balanced), it completely turns them out. Ever seen an AKu coupled with SoH? I have. It's stupid: the AKu is normally pretty balanced, but SoH practically turns it into a minigun.

- Spawns: this is actually one of the worst parts of the game. I hate to admit it, but even Infinity Ward had better spawns. There are so many times when you'll spawn and instantly get gunned down because the game has respawned you in the middle of half of the other team rather than, say, on the other side of the map where your team is operating.

- Connection Issues / Losing Parties: supposedly a patch is in the works for this, but as of now, there are terrible connection issues. The game rarely chooses good hosts, resulting in an unacceptable amount of lag, and 3 out of 5 times your party will "lose connection to the host."

Please note, this does not significantly (or negatively) affect my review of the game. The problems mentioned above are pretty bad, but they're not quite game-breaking. A lot of members of the community have expressed their concern on the Call of Duty forums and Treyarch has promised to fix issues as they arise.

Great review, amazing game.
The only real thing I have a problem with is that when I play splitscreen multiplayer, I'll hear an echo from anyone with a mic, and when I mute them, I still hear them.

chemicalreaper:
snip

I'd agree with most of that except for the gun balance, I think they did a pretty good job overall with it. The AK74u to me seems to be the only gun that's a little too powerful.

The knifing drives me mad... killcams where they guy runs right past you, auto lock knifes and somehow spins around then gets a knife hitmarker 3 feet behind you... complete utter bullshit

chemicalreaper:
A lot of members of the community have expressed their concern on the Call of Duty forums and Treyarch has promised to fix issues as they arise.

Well thank God...
I totally agree with your review, and your little statement on the weapons.
I started using the FAMAS recently, and I would agree that it's powerful, but it's recoil is pretty massive, often bungling kills by jumping away from target.

I wouldn't say the MP5K is overpowered, as much as it's good enough to not make people move onto other SMGs.
I mean, I use it and the MAC11 (Which totally owns), and I've only seen people using the MP5 and the AK74u. I think I saw one Uzi user once.
But I could care less, if they want to use an MP5, I won't stop them.

I agree totally with the RC-XD thoughy, very annoying.
Every five seconds "Hostile/Friendly RC-XD inbound."...
Up it to... 5-6 kills, and that would make it better.

Also,I'm totally with you on Nuke Town.

Dear Treyarch, remove this map from the game, delete it from every server/hard drive it may be on, remove all screenshots/videos of it from the Internet, and burn all said Hard Drives/Servers just to be on the safe side, and then we'll pretend it never existed.

Awesome review too. Seriously, one of the best I've seen on this website. Great layout, not too long, nice pictures and titles to split it up, and great summary at the end. Personally I'd have rated it higher, but each to his own.

I do wish they'd fix the FAMAS' gunshot noise though... no change from MW2's BB-gun clicks.

MiracleOfSound:

chemicalreaper:
snip

I'd agree with most of that except for the gun balance, I think they did a pretty good job overall with it. The AK74u to me seems to be the only gun that's a little too powerful.

The knifing drives me mad... killcams where they guy runs right past you, auto lock knifes and somehow spins around then gets a knife hitmarker 3 feet behind you... complete utter bullshit

All I need to say is AUG with double clip, scavenger, and sleight of hand. Try it and say this combo isn't broken as all hell. It turns the AUG into a machine gun that never stops and never runs out out of ammo.

It's a very good review. This is what I've been thinking so far, and it's given me good expectations for the rest of the game. Thanks. :)

The review doesn´t say which platform was tested on. Rather critical oversight.
I suppose that means xbox 360.

veloper:
The review doesn´t say which platform was tested on. Rather critical oversight.
I suppose that means xbox 360.

Aside from graphics and processors, I would not have thought that there would be that much of a difference across platforms.

But for all that it seems to matter to you (it doesn't matter to me -- it's a review of the gameplay, not a critique of graphics or how well it does or does not run), yes it was 'tested' on an Xbox 360 Elite.

The FAMAS has too much kick and is too powerful? WHAT?!

The FAMAS is pretty much the only gun in the game that has no recoil whatsoever (which is why its awesome), however its a lower damage dealer compared to the AK.

You sure you were talking about the right gun?

I really think this is the best CoD since WaW, the single player is fun and over the top, it has more game modes/multiplayer modes than previous entries that are really different from one another.

I dunno I'm not the biggest CoD fan in the world I only liked WaW from recent games and now black ops but I'm just seeing an increasing number of people who are just like "It's popular so I'm not playing it" which really has to be the worst reason ever to not play a game but whatever your loss.

I still think

:D

Snotnarok:
I really think this is the best CoD since WaW, the single player is fun and over the top, it has more game modes/multiplayer modes than previous entries that are really different from one another.

I dunno I'm not the biggest CoD fan in the world I only liked WaW from recent games and now black ops but I'm just seeing an increasing number of people who are just like "It's popular so I'm not playing it" which really has to be the worst reason ever to not play a game but whatever your loss.

Or they don't want to give money to activision which is also pretty stupid, they're going to get money anyway. :P

Who cares who the publisher is, just as long as you enjoy it.

Korten12:

Snotnarok:
I really think this is the best CoD since WaW, the single player is fun and over the top, it has more game modes/multiplayer modes than previous entries that are really different from one another.

I dunno I'm not the biggest CoD fan in the world I only liked WaW from recent games and now black ops but I'm just seeing an increasing number of people who are just like "It's popular so I'm not playing it" which really has to be the worst reason ever to not play a game but whatever your loss.

Or they don't want to give money to activision which is also pretty stupid, they're going to get money anyway. :P

Who cares who the publisher is, just as long as you enjoy it.

I kind of agree with that but I don't agree with companies using shitty DRM in their games like Ubisoft. I can't buy their stuff because I'm just not about to let them get the idea that fucking their customers over is a good idea.

Snotnarok:

Korten12:

Snotnarok:
I really think this is the best CoD since WaW, the single player is fun and over the top, it has more game modes/multiplayer modes than previous entries that are really different from one another.

I dunno I'm not the biggest CoD fan in the world I only liked WaW from recent games and now black ops but I'm just seeing an increasing number of people who are just like "It's popular so I'm not playing it" which really has to be the worst reason ever to not play a game but whatever your loss.

Or they don't want to give money to activision which is also pretty stupid, they're going to get money anyway. :P

Who cares who the publisher is, just as long as you enjoy it.

I kind of agree with that but I don't agree with companies using shitty DRM in their games like Ubisoft. I can't buy their stuff because I'm just not about to let them get the idea that fucking their customers over is a good idea.

Oh I agree, I hate DRM, I deal with it but at least Activision doesn't have DRMs as far as I know, unless you consider Steam a bad DRM.

I am not defending Activision, I hate Activision just as much as the next guy but atleast they don't have a DRM. Though their $15 is really annoying though, thats the only part that pisses me off...

Korten12:

Snotnarok:

Korten12:

Or they don't want to give money to activision which is also pretty stupid, they're going to get money anyway. :P

Who cares who the publisher is, just as long as you enjoy it.

I kind of agree with that but I don't agree with companies using shitty DRM in their games like Ubisoft. I can't buy their stuff because I'm just not about to let them get the idea that fucking their customers over is a good idea.

Oh I agree, I hate DRM, I deal with it but at least Activision doesn't have DRMs as far as I know, unless you consider Steam a bad DRM.

I am not defending Activision, I hate Activision just as much as the next guy but atleast they don't have a DRM. Though their $15 is really annoying though, thats the only part that pisses me off...

I wasn't suggesting you supported DRM, just stating there are good reasons to not buy products from a company. Steam is fine DRM in my mind as I've had no issues with it.

Activision does scummy things but what can you do it's not the same Activision that started making games for atari. It's simply the name on a different company ...much like Atari.

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