Zombies + JFK + Fidel Castro = A Call of Duty: Black Ops review

Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer Rating

Multiplayer - 95 / 100

From tundra to tunnels, no two environments are the same in the campaign.

Multiplayer has changed, but only slightly. As you level up and gain experience you also gain points of which to choose your weapon unlocks. You can get access to many of your favorites a lot sooner this way and ignore a lot of the garbage you had to go through along the way in Modern Warfare 2. There are a plethora of new and interesting modes for the basic game, such as One in the Chamber, which gives everyone one shot and if you miss, you are forced to knife people until you get a kill and take their bullet. Redundancy brings the game down overall, but the new modes and Zombies keep it afloat.

Note that the PC version is now running dedicated servers as opposed to Modern Warfare 2’s iw.net system, but there are still a plethora of bugs and issues. Buyer beware, issues like the stuttering frame rate can be quite frustrating until Black Ops is patched up.


Value - 65 / 100

I can’t help but feel that Black OPs could have been done as an expansion to Modern Warfare 2. The graphical differences are amazingly slight, the campaign rather short (7-10 hours), and the multiplayer rebalance and reimagining amounts to little more than what a downloadable patch might contain. There are a lot of cool additions, but none that warrant an entirely new game. You absolutely must enjoy this multiplayer to warrant a purchase, as the campaign is not worth near the $60 price tag, not to mention that playing Zombies alone is quite frustrating and even boring.

Lasting Appeal - 50 / 100

Each of the previous Call of Duty games did something different that set it apart from its predecessors. Zombies, the prestige and perk systems… Black Ops offers nothing new. This is not to say that Black Ops isn’t fun, because it is. But the moment the next game in the series comes out, Black Ops will be completely forgotten except for the occasional new Zombies match. So this game basically has a timed lifespan, both to the hardcore (who have to move on), and to the casual (who have nothing to stick around for).

Pros and Cons


- Zombies returns with a vengeance!

- One of the more unique storytelling methods/plots actually makes you want to watch the cutscenes.

- The game-of-the-year winning multiplayer returns with many things fine-tuned and slightly upgraded.


- Why the hell am I getting choppy frame rates on a PS3? Let me try this on PC…. Oh God, it’s worse.

- Wonder how many map packs we’ll have to pay for this time?

- Terrible scripting/nonsense moments in single player from time to time.


Call of Duty: Black Ops is exactly what everyone expected it to be—Modern Warfare 2.5. Actually, let’s call it Modern Warfare 2: Vietnam, to reflect the new setting. This is what the previous owners want and love, so those of you who love it probably already own the game and are fragging every night. For those of you who avoided the craze and didn’t like it to begin with, stay far away. So long as this game keeps selling 10 million copies, the formula isn’t going to change much, as Black Ops proves.

Overall 68/100 - Okay


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