Zero Punctuation: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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I can't believe I'm reading comments seriously saying we need another world war. For that matter, anybody who thinks that the U.S' obsession with shooting games has anything to do with a desire for a real war or will be quelled by one is stupid. That's like saying everyone should go farm some crops and raise some livestock to get off their obsession with Farmville. The fact is that FPS' are great massive and competetive multiplayer hosts....that's it. Noboby invade us please.

Dun dah dun dah dun dah dun dah dun dun
Inspector Gadget
Dun dah dun dah dun dah dun dah dun dun
Wahoooo~

Kinda funny when people start posting that korea is the real war hungry country when the US have massacred a gazillion innocent people over the past 50 years.

Astonishing really.

Personally, I'm quite effin' tired and annoyed of Duty calling every 6 months to a year. Can we have a Call of Duty where America is destroyed? Really. We need a good ass whupping because we're getting to be like that annoying, obnoxious sports jock, trust-fund baby that just doesn't have a bit of class to tell him when to STFU anymore.

Couldn't agree more Yahtzee, but we need two more years then America will have another guy in power who thinks the American army shits out rainbows and can take on the world all on their own... *basking in the near ecstacy of a world with America getting broken into many different nations*

Political commentary:
The US needs some perspective, fast. War will probably be the only thing strong and far-reaching enough to do it. And it shouldn't happen in the Sahara... It should happen on US soil. Countries that have had the frontlines of World War drawn in their soil have their collective psyches changed forever. They don't romanticize war and really see it for what it is. In turn, they tend to avoid romanticizing and over-dramatizing other aspects of themselves. They tend to see it for what it is.

Though, I'd probably defect to whichever nation sneak attacks DC, with all our *cough* representatives and staff there, and turns it into a parking lot. Any nation that fixes the aggravating half of our problems in a afternoon has my support.

Game Commentary:
I have to side with Yahtzee on this one. The game is like trying to read some bad fan-fiction in all caps. There's not much there and it's so annoying it hurts.

All I have to say is:

I think Yahtzee was simply mentioning that the game just lacks pacing. Since everything is just going from one fire fight to the next there isn't a contrast to make it feel dangerous, fast paced, or exhilarating. In COD4 (the one that had the best single player of all of them)you had several sneaky missions including crawling on your belly through hostile territory to assassinate a bad guy, then was a mission where you where a gunner of a AC130 escorting a platoon of soldiers, then there was fire fights in between. Its a good example of contrast of gameplay to make you feel danger for different reasons other then being shot at.

From what it seems (although I haven't played black ops personally) its just random gunfight, to the next random gunfight in a different place. Same thing was wrong with MW2's champaign. It felt all the same cause there wasn't anything too radically different between missions.

At least I know that Marvel vs Capcom 3 will have a retarded story no one will care about, but still be the best game of 2011. So calling it out on that is kinda like calling out a retarded kid for a double dribble, you just gotta let it slide. I am so hyped for this game; liquid hype bursts from my pores!

Yesterday North Korea starts talking smack. Today YZ says that we Americans need to go to war.

Hmm...

With the situation on the Korean Peninsula, that war fantasy may be fulfilled.

Well Yahtzee, I'm still mad at you for disliking Modern Warfare 2, because it seemed to me like you criticised that story unfairly because it confused you and you had to rush through it to get your review out. But we agree on Black Ops. It had a shitty, disjointed story handwaved by a poorly done interrogation/brainwashing framing device, and it certainly wasn't what I was expecting going in.
From the various trailers I assumed the piloting the Gunship level would be the Crowning Monent of Awesome for the game, coming after a good deal of sneaking around like the SAS "cockney weasels" in COD4.
The pity is some of the stealth sections were pretty cool: like the bit where you snatch the guy from underwater (though I think the throat slitting was a bit unnecessarily graphic), and the pit where... uh. Well that was it really, wasn't it?

The zipline window breach was pretty cool.

But other than that it really was just 6 hours of stuff blowing up. There was no point where I really felt engaged by the story or the characters. Almost everything in this game has been done better in previous games, with the exception of the aforementioned gunship mission and the part where you're spotting for a team on the ground from the Blackbird... which was a monumental anti-climax. You sit through a cutscene much like the doomed astonaut in MW2, climb into a plane, and then play a strategy minigame where you point some troops in a direction.
There's an achievement for guiding them safely, except it tells you what button you need to press to, for example "dig in and hide" about 2 seconds after it would have been useful to do so - which is another in a long line of broken directives the game gives you - late warning on QTEs, misplaced checkpoints, unclear objectives and objective markers.

The poor story is only the terrible icing on this half-baked cake. I frankly preferred World at War to this mess.

Sneaklemming:

This is only an interactive movie...

Wow, you mean an easy tutorial mission where the allied NPCs do most of the work? Hey, you know how that guy walks forward, takes cover when he gets hit? That's called playing the game.

I dislike Black Ops, but this is the stupidest way to bash something ever. Most games these days ARE interactive movies. What you're forgetting is that shooting, walking, jumping, climbing, grenading, scavenging for ammo and loot, building an empire and blowing up the galaxy are all forms of interaction games allow us to do.

Not firing bullets doesn't count as not playing the game. If he could put the controller down and the game could still justifiably get him to the end of the level and complete the objective without him touching a god damn thing, then you could criticise the game. But this is not the case.

Praise God Yahtzee didn't review the PC version of this game or 2012 would've come early.

thatstheguy:
I find it funny that Yahtzee's review complains about the game being to spastic while the Escapist review complains about it being to uneventful. Just kinda something I noticed.

I noticied that too, thinking about how they said it lacks the "wow" factor. I was getting blown away by this game, it was craziness.

Btw, I'm down, let's do some world war III

Sneaklemming:

Wow. That's really quite something. It's hilariously ridiculous.

Why do people wet themselves with excitement for every Call of Duty game? There is nothing to get excited about. Take away the fact that you've seen it all before and it's still bad.

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade and say that you shouldn't enjoy Call of Duty I'm just wondering why you would.

When it comes to US bashing I think it's just that other nations don't like the reminders involved, both in a current sense (who is the dominant world power), and of things we did in the past to get there.

Truthfully, I rarely if ever hear any major complaints when someone decides to do a Napoleanic or medieval war game where all of the countries are european because the USA doesn't exist, or isn't powerful enough to be a factor.

That said I think Yahtzee needs to understand the differance between "Espionage" and "Black Ops.". Espionage is when you send in the shadowy spies and do quiet, sneaky stuff. Black Ops. are off the books military operations. One country violating another's national sovreignty to kill people and break things while maintaining denial that you did any such thing.

Typically Black Ops. are conducted in such a way that stuff just gets destroyed and lots of people die, but there is no one around to tell you who did it.... if they go right. If they fail then typically they try and kill themselves, or give false information about who they actually work for.

Black Ops. being conducted during peacetime when one country wants to do something to another country but an overall war is not seen as being appropriate, the primary concern being the reaction of the rest of the world (third party nations).

The "Cold War" was an unusual event with the US and USSR both involved in fighting for position and to curtail each other in various parts of the world, to see who could come out on top. Neither side wanting a direct, all-out war because both sides knew that if it went beyond these kinds of operations and getting position that way, then everyone on both sides would die, and the rest of the world would line up in the Grim Reaper's queue as a result of the crossfire.

I mean I get it, Yahtzee was expecting some kind of spy game, that isn't what this is about.

Typically the spies go in and gather the information so then the black ops. guys can come in and stomp the crud out of everything. That base the spy hero infiltrated, and confirmed that yes there are weapons there? Well the purpose of doing that was not just for after-dinner conversation, it was so it could be destroyed.

Think of it this way as well, how does a country complain about having a secret military base they weren't supposed to have due to treaties or whatever (or which was threatening another country) destroyed? What are they going to say? These guys were more ruthless and underhanded than we were?

Torture during a time of conflict is a hot button issue here, and I'm not going to open that can of worms again. The point being made there was probably that in real war there are no "heroes" or "good guys" despire how the winners spin the propaganda about themselves. Simply put whoever the bigger bastards are, are the ones that win. We did plenty of bad things in World War II as well in order to win, not to mention how decades were spent hunting down Nazi remnants. The Nazi party was not entirely military, and it didn't just go from a huge international movement, lead by an internationally praised man of the year, to a fringe movement due to someone waving a magical wand of conveinence. If you look in the right places you'll find the US and allies left behind their own share of body piles and mass graves.

Great, now I have the Inspector Gadget theme stuck in my head.

And yes, these constant firefight war FPS's NEED TO FUCKING STOP. They're the bland sludge of the game industry. Even Vanquish had pacing with quieter sections like the sniping section and escort mission. Someone really needs to do a deconstruction of the whole war FPS genre, though that might be above a lot of the games industry

never fear, ass creed brotherhood will be next in line i reckon, I did play the zombie missions in black Ops, and the red dead redemption undead nightmare looks like a lot of laughs. I think these games are supposed to be there to vent our frustrations so we don't incur another war. But i do agree with Yahtzee that that seems to be the only output we are seeing these days.

Love the review Yahtzee. Will always watch your show, always alot of laughs and absolute comic genius ^_^

never fear, ass creed brotherhood will be next in line i reckon, I did play the zombie missions in black Ops, and the red dead redemption undead nightmare looks like a lot of laughs. I think these games are supposed to be there to vent our frustrations so we don't incur another war. But i do agree with Yahtzee that that seems to be the only output we are seeing these days.

Love the review Yahtzee. Will always watch your show, always alot of laughs and absolute comic genius ^_^

Wow, So basically it sucks, and is the same as every other Call of Duty.

Just like I've been saying since about 3 months before it came out!

does seem to be sad the only games that sure fire make a return are war FPS games, will be very sad if it just makes more angry people.

but i gotto say the multi player was pretty invigorating. but really id rather go back to battle tetris ^_^

Yes... these games don't sell eleventeen cocktillion copies world wide. It's just the US buying them...

Also,

Slab Bulkhead
Fridge Largemeat
Punt Speedchunk
Butch Deadlift
Bold Bigflank
Splint Chesthair
Flint Ironstag
Bolt Vanderhuge
Thick McRunfast
Blast Hardcheese
Buff Drinklots
Trunk Slamchest
Fist Rockbone
Stump Beefgnaw
Smash Lampjaw
Punch Rockgroin
Buck Plankchest
Stump Chunkman
Dirk Hardpeck
Rip Steakface
Slate Slabrock
Crud Bonemeal
Brick Hardmeat
Rip Sidecheek
Punch Sideiron
Gristle McThornBody
Slake Fistcrunch
Buff Hardback
Bob Johnson
Blast Thickneck
Crunch Buttsteak
Slab Squatthrust
Lump Beefrock
Touch Rustrod
Reef Blastbody
Big McLargeHuge
Smoke Manmuscle
Beat Punchbeef
Pack Blowfist
Roll Fizzlebeef

Thank you MST3k. There we shouldn't have to reuse hero names for a while.

Oooh nice Reservoir Dogs reference.

Electrogecko:
I can't believe I'm reading comments seriously saying we need another world war. For that matter, anybody who thinks that the U.S' obsession with shooting games has anything to do with a desire for a real war or will be quelled by one is stupid. That's like saying everyone should go farm some crops and raise some livestock to get off their obsession with Farmville. The fact is that FPS' are great massive and competetive multiplayer hosts....that's it. Noboby invade us please.

This. I find it funny that Yahtzee made that joke because he's making fun of the stereotype that Americans are nothing but violent, gun-obsessed, right wing conservatives who don't know that the Soviet Union collapsed a long time ago. And here are people agreeing with another world war and therefore are being the EXACT kinds of people Yahtzee is making fun of.

snowman6251:
I keep telling myself I won't buy the new Call of Duty games but I always do. Its the multiplayer. Its the ultimate skinner box and I can't get enough.

Speaking of multiplayer though, I know its not Yahtzee's thing but I think its a huge improvement over MW2. Everything's been nerfed and the game is much better for it. Everything feels more balanced.

Yeah, multiplayer does rule in Black Ops, but it's still not worth 60 bucks. Fortunately, I actually found the single-player kind of fun, so it's worth it to me.

America does need a good ass kicking fest.
I loved the mention of the glass punch and switzerland getting in a war

To be perfectly honest, i feel as though yahtzee was being very mellow with this game (with the exception of the fan girl metaphor). I mean i played Black Ops at a friends house, beat in in one day, and the campaign not only didn't make sense, it cut out every 5 seconds for another explosion or cut scene of other varieties. the whole cutscene thing mightnt have been so bad if you could make scene of what was going on but you just cant (and dont tell me im slow with plots cos i got all of inception on my first view).

that first minute or so about the america/virgin metaphor was a refreshing return to form
it may have been more crappy toilet humour which he's been doing since day one
but for some reason it suddenly became very funny again
whatever he's doing he's doing right

Why are you not reviewing Costume Quest, Yahtzee? Seriously, were you so utterly offended by the fact that you couldn't do Brutal Legend's stage battles that you now hate Tim Schafer and refuse to play any more of his games? Do you just hate Halloween because it's commercialized and American? Do you not even know it exists? Seriously, what is your logic in not reviewing it?

Good video.

I noticed that the part at the beginning when he said "let's just fucking go to war" and how it closely mirrors the situation in Korea right now...(not that it will happen)

The first minute is pretty bold in my opinion. Well, the whole review is, but no other of your reviews is as daring as the first minute of this one! Hard to think about it, but sounds like an interesting solution to throw every person overflowing with testosteron or something, extremists, fanatics, violators of human rights and so on into a huge arena, or the desert or whatever so they can beat the hell out of each other...

And not to forget, beware of the zombies! They are EVERYWHERE, movies, games, books... i bet it's a move of the government to prepare us, because zombies actually exist (and i don't mean the voodoo, but the aggresive brain eating type)!
->this is a sarcasm indicator, but just for the last part<-

I like how you pointed out the games flaws and all, but needless to say the storyline was confusing. I loved how they did it though. From 1939-1991 is my favorite chunk of history. i love your videos, but i want to see whats your favorite action game. Me and my son were laughing during this one, it was awesome.

i have to admit, one of the bigger draws for me was going akimbo with tricky dick in zombie mode. lots of fun.

I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed the browser didn't even pretend to explode after 5 seconds...

When i heard the title Blakc Ops i too was thinking it was gonna be more like the stealth-y missions from Call Of Duty 4. I thoght i was gonna be a nice deviation from Modern Warfare 2. I should have known better. Will probably get the game anyway though. Im actually not a hater of the Call Of Duty franchise as much as i am with Activions business strategy.

Dragonpit:
Hey Yahtzee! If you want to go to a different war not related to America, try playing Jeanne D'Arc for the PSP then. It's a (not so) faithful recreation of France's last war with Britain, the last war France actually won, played from the eyes of the character who gave her name for the title.

Last war France actually won? Funny, I'd heard of some bloke called Napoleon 400 years later who might have won the odd skirmish or two but I might be wrong there ;)

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