Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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IDK, I rarely trust reviews if they are too positive about a game, and if their too negative as well. Well, already pre-ordered it, now just waiting for it to get here. Plus, I played through MW2 campaign, nothing can be worse than that...

I like it enough, it's more like a playable movie really. I am mainly in it to play MP.

THAT was what I (A PC gamer) was waiting on.

Now, I am just waiting on a fix so it plays properly.

@Infernal_Me A-Freakin-Men!

GoGo_Boy:

Again. Let's take the Pentagon cutscene as an example. After you finally meet Kennedy, you're given your mission and sent to a loading screen. By the time the next level opens, more than 10 minutes have passed since you last had control over your actions in the game and, although you are now able to move your character, you're still not playing the game. You follow your partner, Woods, to a nearby hilltop where he hands you a pair of binoculars and tells you to watch the scene unfolding below. At this point the game takes control again, another cutscene plays out, and then you follow Woods down the hills. Then you stop, unable to move or act, as helicopters fly overhead. Then you walk over to some guards, the game puts a knife in your hand. You use it. You dress as a guard (custscene), then follow Woods again, where you bluff some Russians into thinking you're one of them (Woods does the bluffing), then crouch (behind Woods) while two more of your buddies get to actually kill people while you watch. Then you're moving again, following Woods to a building where, after you wait around and listen to your friends killing some guards, you watch Woods kick open the door and THEN you finally get to fire your gun and play the game. Total elapsed time: over 20 minutes.

If it's seriously like this, and I have no reason to doubt that, then WHY THE HACK does this game get fantastic reviews all over the place.

Those damn super-strictly scripted games... which are less of a game and more of a bad movie -.-
Exactly what most people want it seems, lawl. But yeah it got guns too, and that really is what 95% of the gamers want.

it gets awesome reviews because its CALL OF DUTY!, thus no-one pays any attention to single-player, instead skipping to multi-player.

sadly, I did the same.

I tried to play single player, but the game was so fucking boring I almost wanted to play Fable III......almost. When I play a FPS, I want to, you know, SHOOT things?

if it wasn't for the multi-player, I would of skipped this entirely. When a game is only able to be held up on single/multi-player alone, that is something a developer should be ashamed of.

instantbenz:
No mention of the tie in of the previous story. No glimpse of the multiplayer. Well done. Good thing I go off of this guy's reviews for all of my game purchases.

Really the story is told more interestingly than most. The multiplayer is more customizable than most shooters.

The game isn't bad.

Obviously, you didn't read properly because the multiplayer review is still forthcoming.

Lucky for me, I only got the game for it's multiplayer. I haven't been disappointed thus far. I'm having a blast, and it's great that there are always friends on it willing to play.

Other than the woefully vague objectives at some points (would not have got the napalm barrels if Woods hadn't kicked one of them for me...), I enjoyed the story. A little cliché, perhaps, with the big twist being somewhat predictable, but good fun to play through, and a lot less nonsensical than MW2... Sure, it's not the original Modern Warfare, but it does some interesting things with its semi-episodic nature (for once, a campaign that doesn't force me to play the whole thing in one go!), and it's interesting to see the Cold War through the eyes of someone who isn't James Bond.
Also, the little easter eggs like 'dead ops arcade' were great fun!

I'll save my multiplayer comments for tomorrow.

I was disappointed by Modern Warfare 2. I'm definitely not buying this game.

Korten12:
It's sad, I love the escapist, but people take these reviews as if they're only right. I think their shouldn't be perfessonal reviews anymore for any game, only user reviews.

No offense, but seriously, people read this and then say "well this guy says it sucks, so it must suck." Without ever even trying it. People should try games for themselves, not just going off the opinion of others.

I am not saying this review is right or wrong, its someones opinion and I don't want to change that, I just hate when reviewer's opinions are taken above anyone elses.

True, but this guy makes excellent points. My friends told me the game was good. My friends (though I love them so) are idiots. They actually liked Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer. When they say this game is good, and russ pitts (who plays lots of games and reviews them for a living) affirms my vague suspicions that the game will be crap, I'm going to side with Russ Pitts. See, I liked Call of Duty 4. I did not like anything in Modern Warfare 2. If developers are going to keep making Call of Duty games like this, I'm going to stop buying them. I won't even so much as rent them. When they stop making money off games like this, they'll stop making games like this. Hopefully, they'll spend their time and money more wisely. It's like how everyone got sick of WWII games, and they made CoD4. Now, there are less WWII games and a million Modern Warfare 2 knockoffs. When people stop buying those, we can get something better. Maybe Call of Duty: Space Marines, like this website previously hinted at.

I'm not sure if this is a joke or he just hasn't played the vehicle sections yet (like the chopper scene, and the boat scene with Sympathy for the Devil playing in the background.)

I haven't played the campaign (only watched my friend play through it), but it looks far superior to MW2.

Well, that's what they get for releasing the same game every year.

GoGo_Boy:

Again. Let's take the Pentagon cutscene as an example. After you finally meet Kennedy, you're given your mission and sent to a loading screen. By the time the next level opens, more than 10 minutes have passed since you last had control over your actions in the game and, although you are now able to move your character, you're still not playing the game. You follow your partner, Woods, to a nearby hilltop where he hands you a pair of binoculars and tells you to watch the scene unfolding below. At this point the game takes control again, another cutscene plays out, and then you follow Woods down the hills. Then you stop, unable to move or act, as helicopters fly overhead. Then you walk over to some guards, the game puts a knife in your hand. You use it. You dress as a guard (custscene), then follow Woods again, where you bluff some Russians into thinking you're one of them (Woods does the bluffing), then crouch (behind Woods) while two more of your buddies get to actually kill people while you watch. Then you're moving again, following Woods to a building where, after you wait around and listen to your friends killing some guards, you watch Woods kick open the door and THEN you finally get to fire your gun and play the game. Total elapsed time: over 20 minutes.

If it's seriously like this, and I have no reason to doubt that, then WHY THE HACK does this game get fantastic reviews all over the place.

Those damn super-strictly scripted games... which are less of a game and more of a bad movie -.-
Exactly what most people want it seems, lawl. But yeah it got guns too, and that really is what 95% of the gamers want.

AAA titles get insanely high scores because they do something which I feel should be illegal, they introduce heavy bias into reviewers. Reviewers should be free to publish their opinion without any backlash, but if you give this a 6/10 (Score I'd have given this thing, it's like they just gave up, it even looks worse than CoD4!), they aren't gonna invite you back for previews and such. Sites which provide reviews can't really afford to be behind on flagship titles, at all, so they'll comply.

Also if your review is out of line with everyone else's, people will start to question your ability to assess games.

On top of that, the preview things are not representative of actual gameplay. Black ops reviewers were given a great hotel room a lag-free environment an insane 3DTV and this is simply unrealistic. Shouldn't we review it in the same environment as your average consumer?

It's unfair and ridiculous if you ask me.

I disagree, hell I liked this COD game more than all the rest but hey that is how opinions work breda.

holy shit

Call of Duty Black Ops...

got a bad review?

HORY SHET

though I somewhat agree, I havent played all the game, but the fair bits I played were actually pretty stupid =P

Woah, that sure is low. Most likely going to be the one review to stick out in Metacritic in fact haha.

This is what happen when Infinity Ward gets booted out of Activision. I respect Treyarch for how they handled the multiplayer in CoD: WaW, but the single player was a pain to play through. I was replaying the modern warfare 2 campaign today: going through every encounter slowly, the pacing was great, I was enjoying each skirmish, but I couldn't say the same for how WaW SP was, the way the enemies respawn, and the amount of things exploding that would cause my screen to shake more than well ... a shakey shakey thing. IW actually pushed the boundary, going to a modern day setting ain't something that a lot of companies would have thought of when they could still cash in on WW2 games.

The only reason I might get Black Ops, is because it has bots, and I want to see for myself if Treyarch 'fixed' the 'broken' MP of MW2.

wow, thanks for the detailed single player review russ, really, i have never cared for the multiplayer in the CoD series outside lan games (but then again i could play anything at LAN and it would still be fun) but i have always enjoyed and at times even loved the single player, and since most other reviews base it entirely on the multiplayer i really needed this review.

i know i wont be buying it, so they will have to settle with only selling 50 million copies instead of 50 million and 1, yay for making a difference -.-.

I don't get it. MW2's story was a plot hole sandwich that was,admittedly, a blast but didn't really make much sense and it gets heaps of praise. Yet when Black Ops tries something new and interesting with a Lost and Flash Forward like story about trying to decipher numbers, Russ here takes it out to the street and curb stomps it American History X style. I don't think that I am exaggerating with that statement; that is what it felt like he was doing to the game as I watched the review.

So this is going to be how the Escapist will forever score Black Ops huh? A 2 out of 5? Really? I'm having flash backs to this site's review of Resistance 2. Same shit, different game. I never cared about reviews because if I like it, then I like it, but what is going on here? I don't know man...just, wow.

Black Ops uses the same graphical engine as Modern Warfare 2. I don't see why people keep saying it's graphics are bad, when they also claimed that MW2's were fine.

Perhaps it's the heavy focus on cut-scenes?

The one and only thing about this game that made me even consider buying it was the Zombie mode with JFK, Nixon and Castro. Other than that, a CoD game is a CoD game.

Tdc2182:
Really? Cause it uh, seemed fine to me.

Nothing completely spectacular, but as far as single player FPS's go, its not bad.

Have to agree with this. I'm having fun with Black Ops single player so far. I really don't get where he says the graphics are bad, though. They're nothing exceptional, mind you, but neither are they terrible. Really, I know this is your opinion Russ, and I respect it, I usually find you on the ball, but this seemed more like bashing for the sake of bashing.

i love how most of the people who read this blindly follow it to the word, trust me this game is much better than MW2, and the multiplayer isn't nearly as frustrating

It's good to see at least one review taking the hardline on a popular series. Call of Duty now has Halo syndrome, in that each iteration, despite being almost indistinguishable from the last, gets near-perfect scores across the board.

I was never going to get this. Was leaning more towards the next Battlefield and Homefront.

just finished this on veteran. and i wouldnt say anything was worse, or better with the campaign than previous games. it's as mainstream as anything can get.

2 major flaws in single player though.
- the AI is programmed badly, so the way they increase difficulty is to set their aiming skills unreasonably high, compared to how little it takes to kill the player
- i didnt recieve my achievement for completing the game. possibly cause i skipped the credits. i'd gladly report the bug, but their forum is down for maintenance.

looking forward to multiplayer, which looks way better and more balanced than mw2 used to be.

I totally agree about the single player, it was so fucking boring that after my first session, I've had no desire to go back. He's not exaggerating that cutscene part either.

Another thing that nobody's mentioned yet is that the controls don't feel as smooth as that broken POS Modern Warfare 2. Moving around and using the guns just doesn't flow as smoothly as IW's games, and the animations when your bullets hit make no sense - MW2's animations in contrast were, to its credit, fantastic.

It's been something I've found about Treyarch's games. None of CoD 3, W@W, and now Black Ops "felt" that great to play, the controls all feel jagged. Pop in MW2, and it's smooth sailing in comparison.

Zainlong:
Strangely enough I quite enjoyed the story.
Then again Im one of the odd people who likes piecing odd crap like that together.

It's definately not perfect, I'll agree with that.
I guess it's just my cup of tea.

I personally, for the love of GOD listen personally. I loved the game I'm not going to discuss the plot but I thought the game was exciting I found absolutely no problems with the voice acting. The story was great(even if confusing at first), and also I do not have xbox live. So my enjoyment isn't effected by the multiplayer.
I don't beileve a word Mr. Pitts said was accurate but thats just me, please no flame.

Dumbest set-up for a campaign since Assassin's Creed. At least Creed gave you a reason to be set in past memories: you weren't reliving the main character's OWN LIFE.

Kalezian:
I tried to play single player, but the game was so fucking boring I almost wanted to play Fable III......almost. When I play a FPS, I want to, you know, SHOOT things?

Holy God, you're comparing it negatively to Fable 3?

I wasn't going to buy it anyway, but Christ, that is bad!

I enjoyed the story a lot more when I didn't take it seriously. It was interesting, but it was so over the top in some ways that it almost seemed like a parody. The one thing I loved most about the story though was the throwbacks to WaW. It was awesome to see Reznov and Petrenko again.

It was like Forest Gump got together with a Bond villain and some communists to make some plan. Seriously, what was the villain's motivation again? Did he want to destroy America or spread communism or make himself rich?

It's a pretty good game. It's not enough to make me want to play the campaign again, but the multiplayer is what I mostly play it for.

I kind of find it hard to take a review seriously when it quite literally ignores about half of the entire game (and I'm not talking about single player, he really just ignored about half of the single player levels).

I think you've been pretty hard on it. It's not that bad. There is so much content in there it's unreal. It's nothing revolutionary but it's nothing terrible. It's a decent enough game.

Here are my reasons why I don't like this review. The voice acting is very good. . . way above typical video game fare.
The single player is not the best, kind of hard to follow but with an imagination to help you fill in the gaps where the story just gives some hints.

Overall this review reads like it was written by one of those people who hates anything that gets popular. (which is actually more the way I normally lean, the masses are stupid)

Huge point against the review? obvious lack of time spent in game and turning a blind eye to the multiplayer. I can accept 2 stars for the single player but if your reviewing a game you'd better review the whole damn game.

I never got MW2 because I am a hardcore PC gamer and I love mods. . .
I know a lot of people don't like COD type MP but those people don't have to play the game.

Side note: Reviewers should enjoy the kind of games they are reviewing if they don't the can't write a fair review for many reasons.

I have finished the single player in Black Ops and i have to agree.
I was halfway the game when someone interrupted me and asked me how i liked it. My only response i could give was that i was currently in dude-stan , killing some dudes, the same thing i was doing since the start, but i had no idea why i was killing said dudes. But this mission, i was killing world war one dudes instead of vietcong dudes.

I didn't really get the feeling with any of the characters involved and only by the end of the game was i able to tell the different characters apart.

I did however liked the boating section. It had a really good feel to it. The music was perfect at most of the points during the whole game. Correct pacing, stuff goes boom , music in the background , perfect.

The problem was that the game felt a bit too much scripted. I'm used to running infront of the NPC's in games and Black Ops seemed to hate me for it. A fine example of how this game is scripted a bit too much is the stealth level. After the chopper passes , you'll sneak past a cluster of guards and be faced with a single guard , standing in lights, with his back turned to you. So i jolly walk up to him and introduce him to ambassador Ice Axe. He promptly dies and then suddenly i get faced by a small army who have been alerted by ambassador Ice Axe's work. So i die , i restart the level and try again. Same outcome. This repeats a few times with me trying to find an alternative route. The solution ? Sit in a corner in the shadows and wait for my GM-npc to kill the baddie for me. Because the NPC obviously has special powers i didn't have.

The flikkering in between the different levels game a small headache. Its a nice touch to signal transition , but it was just painfull.

The plot twist (if you can call it a plot twist) was really obvious. Maybe i am spoiled in this , but they smeared it on a bit too much.

The escape scene from the gulag was nicely done. I actually liked that moment in the game and it did feel correctly paced and somewhat desperate.

A problem i had throughout the game was that alot of the scenes just reminded me of the other COD games. The mini RTS reminded me of the mission where you are given command of a gunship and cover the teams approach. The final scenes with the terrain shifts brought me back to the opening scenes of MW1. Shooting Castro (spoiler warning) reminded me of the end of MW. the many moments where you almost fall off something or get knocked off your feet were also done before.

All of these moments were new , innovating or important plot points in the other COD games. They were signaled with new and innovating game aspects. The first time you got the gunship command , you might have hated it , but it was something new.

in black ops on the other hand , they were just tossed in there, without really bothering to expand on it. The game really lacked "Oh My God" moments i'm used to the series. No matter how bad the previous few titles were , they dared to try new things or think big. I just didn't have that same feeling in this singleplayer.
This gives the whole singleplayer a very safe feeling. No thinking out the box , no playing a character dying form radiation poisoning , no shooting innocents in an airport, just very very safe shooting action against an really safe bad guy (a communist nazi-lover, if only he was a zombie , he would have been the safest bad guy out there.)

Korten12:

Susan Arendt:

Korten12:
It's sad, I love the escapist, but people take these reviews as if they're only right. I think their shouldn't be perfessonal reviews anymore for any game, only user reviews.

No offense, but seriously, people read this and then say "well this guy says it sucks, so it must suck." Without ever even trying it. People should try games for themselves, not just going off the opinion of others.

I am not saying this review is right or wrong, its someones opinion and I don't want to change that, I just hate when reviewer's opinions are taken above anyone elses.

And user reviews would be different...how, exactly? Assuming, of course, people paid any attention to them, which is all folks are doing here. They're reading the review, and deciding for themselves whether or not they still want to get the game. Paying attention to a professional reviewer and paying attention to an amateur one is no different.

maybe they woudn't be any better. It's hard to say, but Reviewers unlike User Reviewers are much more well known. So likely less to be heard, which obvious would then it would take in consideration whether or not their would be need for any reviews.

I just think that, people take review's and I myself am guilty of this sometimes, that I take a reviewers opinion for truth and that if they say a game sucks it must suck. I do this often with certain types of games. Though lately I have been trying to form my own opinions.

Now the main reason why I get angry at sometimes reviews, is not becuase of what their opinion is, if they hate a game or like it, thats their opinion (well duh. XD), but sometimes people don't form their own opinions. They look at these and agree with it just becuase they wish to agree with it instead of trying out it for them selves.

a review could say "well this game is really bad" but then the player decides to go out and try it for themselves and discoveres that they like it. I think more people should do that. I write my own reviews at times aswell, I plan to write one for Black Ops and possibly Arcania: Gothic 4. Though even reviewing these, I hope people learn more about the game and then try it for themselves.

And User Reviews would be no different than any of the issues you're laying out. You seem to be assuming that people would be less likely to take a User Review at face value, and would work harder to form their own opinion, simply because that person is an amateur. But that's not necessarily true. People tend to find reviewers that they trust - which is to say those who by and large hold the same opinions as them - and follow them. Doesn't matter if that reviewer is a professional or not. A User Review has as much potential to cause the sort of "blind faith" you take issue with as a professional review.

You're also overlooking the positive side of things - I've had many people tell me "I never would've played that game if it weren't for your review". (Usually referring to The Path or Persona 4.) Someone taking a reviewer at his word can be a good thing, too.

All of that aside, it's ultimately up to the player to decide what he or she likes and wants to try. Some folks are happy just listening to one trusted source, others want as much information as they can get. Both approaches are equally valid.

Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread any further, but I'm happy to carry on via PM, if you like.

Sterling|D-Reaver:
Here are my reasons why I don't like this review. The voice acting is very good. . . way above typical video game fare.
The single player is not the best, kind of hard to follow but with an imagination to help you fill in the gaps where the story just gives some hints.

Overall this review reads like it was written by one of those people who hates anything that gets popular. (which is actually more the way I normally lean, the masses are stupid)

Huge point against the review? obvious lack of time spent in game and turning a blind eye to the multiplayer. I can accept 2 stars for the single player but if your reviewing a game you'd better review the whole damn game.

The review points out pretty clearly that it covers the single-player only, and that we'll be posting a separate review of the multiplayer.

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