Zero Punctuation: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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Therumancer:

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.

I think the majority of people who bought this needed to know the meaning of Black Ops. I see way too many complaints on lack of stealthy gameplay.

Also, the America needs to be wiped out comments need to stop. To have a major country collapse would have serious ripple effects. The world is too connected to say mess like that lightly.

Croshaw:
Oh, I guess this browser won't self-destruct then.

Guess not.

Frederf:
Yahtzee just said "disorientated" didn't he?

No. He said "This orient ate Ted."

The American simile/metaphor was an unfortunate addition to another mediocre review.

and then north korea went and riddled south korea with artillery shells, yatzee is the
new official ESCAPIST PROPHET OF DOOM!

Well many things ring pretty true - the confusing plot, the friendly/enemy identification issues, TURN ON THE POWER FIRST, and the guy who you tortured joining your side...

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.

Just using the first mission as an example, you sit in a bar, watch some dudes kill some guys, you shoot maybe one, then go outside. You run from the cops, bringing your kills to around 5. You jump in a car and drive, scoring no more kills. Loading happens. Cutscene. Loading. Cutscene. Zipline, follow your guys, follow your guys, follow your guys. Shoot some more guys. Kill "Castro". Shoot a few more guys. Follow your guys, follow your guys, follow your guys. You get in an airplane. Shoot maybe 10-15 guys and some aircraft guns. Take out some vehicles. Cutscene, Cutscene, loading, Done.
All that is done with about 300 explosions, some fire, 300 million bullets and lots of swearing.
Schizophrenic, yet really really boring. There's no context, no stealth, no freedom. There's barely any skill. The only "difficulty" found in call of duty anymore is just finding a spot where the random bullets won't kill you instantly. Your health isn't tied so much to an enemy shooting you as it is just dying from sunlight. Bullets come from everywhere, yet no individual enemy is ever accurate enough to hit you. There's nowhere to go, few if any extras to find, and honestly the story takes such a backseat it's in the trunk. Even the NPC's don't understand what's going on. I remember distinctly that the interrogators asked how the hell you got into the white house or got approved for another mission after escaping a gulag, and as far as I know it's never explained. Even if it was, I certainly imagine how. This is supposedly the Cold War, where you trust no one. Here, there's some guy who got captured and tortured, then got a russian's help to escape, and found russian contacts to get himself home. Why would the most paranoid administration we've ever had just let him walk into the top secret bunker for another mission, or clear him for one in the first place? He's not even sane at that point, I can only imagine he LOOKS like he's crazy.

Switzerland's the ref? Hehe. I have a chance of surviving, then.

True enough review. Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad and the multiplayer is a blast. I would say that this is one of those games that didn't need a single player, but the single player serves as a fun side job to the multiplayer. It's like a bonus. They even install it separately.

Stiffkittin:

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 ;)

Yeah, Napoleon won battles, but that's not what I'm saying. He waged war and ultimately lost. It's also besides the point.

I'm really a bit surprised Yahtzee didn't mention the return of bots in this game. Considering his well known hatred for online gamers, having a game that gives you the option to play arena multiplayer against bots that just do what they're supposed to -instead of scream obcenities at you and stick to the cheapest weapons- would seem to him like nothing short of a godsend, wouldn't it?

The Cheezy One:
And yes, zombies do seem to be a necessary requirement now.

Whether they actually fit or not. I'm looking at you Red Dead Redemption.

john fist! bahaha loved that. best review yahtzee's done in a long time.

radicaledward92:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Call of Duty: Black Ops

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Watch Video

You know that be a perfect way to settle disputes instead of sending people off to die so that two old farts can play a game of WAR as if soldiers were just toys.

welcome to the Escapist.

learn to get a joke.

Man, disorientating is not a real word. It's disorienting, and no just because everyone uses it now doesn't make it correct. Otherwise I liked the video.... the virgin metaphor was really creepy. Keep it up!

very funny this week :)
John fist made me lol, so did the mention of the "tips" during the loading screens. Those things really are ridiculously stupid.

dear... i havent laughed so hard at a review of ZP since the "Duke Nukem Forever" review

I'm not aware of one, but is there a way to suggest a game for review? Or just post about it in the comments of the latest review? I'd love to see a review of Vanquish because it's quite fun but there are parts where you want to kill yourself which seems like it would be a great target.

Fidelias:

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.

If Black Ops ends up being anything like MW2 for me (and it will) then I'd be getting more than my money's worth on just the multiplayer. The COD series multiplayer is something that provided me with hundreds of hours of entertainment. Definitely worth the 60 bucks.

If america really wants to go to war then they can have another civil war. Then the UK can come over and claim whats rightfullly their's during the confusion.

Sturmdolch:
True enough review. Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad and the multiplayer is a blast. I would say that this is one of those games that didn't need a single player, but the single player serves as a fun side job to the multiplayer. It's like a bonus. They even install it separately.

Yeah but if your gonna pay 60 dollars for a game it should be able to be fun on single player. Personally I think its rubbish that you have to buy the game then they give you a "now pay every month for internet and/or (depending) Live or you cant really play it" kinda deal. Guess that's just an opinion though.

Nile McMorrow:
If america really wants to go to war then they can have another civil war. Then the UK can come over and claim whats rightfullly their's during the confusion.

It's not rightfully theirs anymore than Australia is.

the sighing shoe:

Yeah but if your gonna pay 60 dollars for a game it should be able to be fun on single player. Personally I think its rubbish that you have to buy the game then they give you a "now pay every month for internet and/or (depending) Live or you cant really play it" kinda deal. Guess that's just an opinion though.

The thing is, there are so many games out there that have a purely exclusive single player experience, or some with tacked on multiplayer. Yet you never hear much about those.

I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, because that doesn't really make sense. But why can't there be multiplayer focused games when there are so many singleplayer focused games? If we can judge Black Ops based solely on its singleplayer, is it not also reasonable to judge, say, Bioshock 2 entirely on its multiplayer? I don't watch Titanic and then complain the comedy wasn't on par with Shaun of the Dead.

Nile McMorrow:
If america really wants to go to war then they can have another civil war. Then the UK can come over and claim whats rightfullly their's during the confusion.

So this is what an obvious troll looks like. Haven't seen one on the Escapist in a while.

Sturmdolch:

the sighing shoe:

Yeah but if your gonna pay 60 dollars for a game it should be able to be fun on single player. Personally I think its rubbish that you have to buy the game then they give you a "now pay every month for internet and/or (depending) Live or you cant really play it" kinda deal. Guess that's just an opinion though.

The thing is, there are so many games out there that have a purely exclusive single player experience, or some with tacked on multiplayer. Yet you never hear much about those.

I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, because that doesn't really make sense. But why can't there be multiplayer focused games when there are so many singleplayer focused games? If we can judge Black Ops based solely on its singleplayer, is it not also reasonable to judge, say, Bioshock 2 entirely on its multiplayer? I don't watch Titanic and then complain the comedy wasn't on par with Shaun of the Dead.

Its true you never do hear about them and that's what kinda bugs me. Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy the time I get out of multi player but I'm a collage student first so my budget means sometimes I go without Live or Internet and during those times I would like to have a somewhat... I cant really say decent cause that's not the right word... more lengthy campaign. You have a point with bioshock but generally when I play an FPS bio just doesn't fill that nich im looking for like the CoD or Modern Warfare games do and thats what bugs me about it. Im not saying there are no games that stand on single player anymore im just kinda mad they fly so far under the radar no one knows about them. That and if a games main selling point is multiplayer something you have to pay for anyway dont sell it for such a high price.

shurryy:
I'm gonna give other shooters a chance instead of playing the same old thing over and over again.

Can't wait for Battlefield 3 to be released... As long as it goes along with the style of battlefield 2.

Wow... I mean wow. When CoD doesn't change it sucks but when Battlefield stays the same it rocks? Whatever.

Anyway, I don't understand how the story of Black Ops is supposedly this confusing mess. I found it quite easy to understand and found that everything fit together nicely, quite a bit better than lot of other shooters and even some story driven RPGs.

One of the biggest problems with Black Ops though, is the juxtaposition problem Yahtzee brought up. I find that it does have juxtaposition from the normal gameplay (The RTS bit, the two stealth bits, the WWII level, the pure story levels, the Helicopter level etc) but when it does this it holds your hands and doesn't really let go. The AC-130 level in MW put you in a gunners seat and pretty much gave you complete freedom. You still needed to do particular things to complete the level, but these weren't that different from the rest of the game. Black Ops on the other hand gives you the RTS bit and this is pretty much just clicking on white circles. I feel like the RTS bit could have been expended much more and almost be a whole level on their own. Same goes for the stealth parts which could have been made into their own level. Instead Black Ops will hold your hand and control what you do, which is great game design.

However I still love every part of Black Ops, including the campaign, and I feel that Treyarch have improved more than any other developer still in existence and should be commended for that.

Sneaklemming:

This is only an interactive movie...

You know, that reminds me of WaW, one of my favorite games of all time. One difference: you actually had to try and survive in WaW.

Anyway, good review, I'm glad we agree on something, which happens so rarely you should probably get a raise.

ProjectTrinity:

Nile McMorrow:
If america really wants to go to war then they can have another civil war. Then the UK can come over and claim whats rightfullly their's during the confusion.

So this is what an obvious troll looks like. Haven't seen one on the Escapist in a while.

serious? this thread alone...cheesus.

Hahahah, I loved the America similie.

i loved the review thought it was funny.

but i owuld like to thank the posters for stereotyping all us americans as war mongering gun toting rednecks thanks for that.

guess i will start taking all those euro stereotypes seriously to now, good to know.

We thought about doing "Rwandan Special Forces: Chop Chop Fury", but it didn't test well with audiences.

Wow, Yahtzee sure is riding high on that America hate.

Stiffkittin:
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 ;)

The French fighting soldier is one of the best in the world (as compared to the Norwegian suntanning soldier in particular), and quite capable of world conquest just so long as he (or she) is not led by an actual Frenchman.

Seriously though, Yahtzee seems to be quite fond of the "war-mongering American" stereotype. So much so that it felt like it dominated the review to me. I wonder why he feels this way. Come to think of it, quite a few of his reviews seem to hold quite a negative view of the US. And not good-natured jabs, but arrogant, self-righteous attacks. I wonder what we did to make him feel like this. Then again, hating America is the hip thing to do these days isn't it? So what is it, Yahtzee? Bigot or conformist?

Calbeck:

Stiffkittin:
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 ;)

The French fighting soldier is one of the best in the world (as compared to the Norwegian suntanning soldier in particular), and quite capable of world conquest just so long as he (or she) is not led by an actual Frenchman.

Haha, it's ok if he's Corsican though I suppose.

EPIC IVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOW ABOUT THAT WAR.

maybe MI5 has some nukes lying around that could just be 'beloning' to North Korea :)

ProjectTrinity:

Nile McMorrow:
If america really wants to go to war then they can have another civil war. Then the UK can come over and claim whats rightfullly their's during the confusion.

So this is what an obvious troll looks like. Haven't seen one on the Escapist in a while.

Im not being a troll Im just pointing out a historical fact. Back when America was being settled, a majority of the settlers came from the UK which was under the rule of a king George (not sure if this was the correct king or not and can't remember which number) when a large number of the settlers decided they wanted the America colonies to be independant from the rule of the monarchy and so decided to start a civil war with the settlers that were loyal to the British monarchy. The loyal settlers were defeated, probably due to the difficulty of fighting an over-ocean battle against a large group of settlers who were already there, and the American settlers declared America to be an independant country from the UK's rule. Although, some people will say that America belongs to the native people who already lived there which is true but the American settlers drove them from their lands after being declared independant and whos to say if the settlers had decided to stay under control of the monarchy that they may have then not driven them from their land. Just want to say that Indian during Pre-Ghandi times, when it was ruled by the British, is an example of what may have happened.

I also want to state that Im not a historian and am only recalling these facts off the top of my head so feel free to correct me where Im wrong.

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