Black Ops is acceptable but far from breathtakingWritten by Mighty Wyte (Matt Feher) | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Call of Duty: Black Ops sold nearly 6 million copies on it’s November 9 release date and while it has been receiving high marks from critics, some of us who have become engrossed in the franchise feel as though they’ve been let down.
Set during The Cold War, the Black Ops title was developed by Treyarch, one half of the two-developer system Activision employed to grow the series. While Infinity Ward hit the mark with Modern Warfare 2 last year, Treyarch’s game feels more like a yearly update than an entirely different game.
Graphically, Black Ops is acceptable but far from breathtaking and game play feels a bit clunky at times. Delayed grenade releases, and a shoddy melee system can sometimes leave the online gamer frustrated.
Firearms in Black Ops are inline with the Cold War theme of the game and kill streak rewards have become more of a novelty than an effective way to deal with the opposition.
However, despite the details that can hamper online play and the lack of overall improvement in the game, Black Ops is worth not only playing, but owning.
One of the best improvements to the game is the economy-based upgrade system. In the past, COD players were rewarded for ranking up with new weapons, kill streak rewards and equipment. Now, players must earn credits by playing online games to purchase their weaponry, equipment, kill streaks and even perks. While it’s not difficult to earn gobs of credits, it feels as though deciding what to do with your ‘money’ has become the real challenge in newest addition to the franchise.
Even though Treyarch wasn’t able to improve on the graphics engine, or the visceral feel of the series, their addition of new game modes could prove to be revolutionary for the FPS (fist person shooter) genre. With the addition of ‘Bare Bones’ and ‘Wager’ matches, the monotony of the Team Death Match or Hardcore matches has been corrected.
The ‘Bare Bones’ matches are built for the hardcore player in that you’re allowed only your primary and secondary weapon and a few grenades. No longer do perks and kill streaks enter the outcome equation. This style of game play is addictive, fast paced and quite brutal. Any fan of ‘Hardcore’ matches will appreciate the dependency on skill alone in this new mode.
The other game mode that makes this game worth owning is the ‘Wager Match’ mode. Players must put up their hard-earned “COD Points” (credits) in order to play these matches, but those who come out on top are rewarded handsomely with a portion of the ‘pot’. With games that only allow a crossbow, tomahawk and ballistic knifes, to games that give you one bullet in your pistol, the wager system adds an element of tension that until now was non-existent.
While those who complain about the lack of updates and upgrades have valid complaints, there are additions and changes to the online gaming structure that make this title worth adding to your collection.