Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Megacherv

Kinect Development Sucks...
Sep 24, 2008
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I'm genuinely confused. Is it opposite day?

The story was better and at least more interestng than MW2's (Let's make it 6 hours long, annoying as hell, then kill the character as part of the story anyway), had some fantastic vehicle-based action scenes (especially the boat one I mentioned previously), and I don't even know why the graphics are being insulted, they've all been the same since CoD4.

EDIT: This got 2 stars, MW2 got 4

Now, I've never criticised any of the Escapists' reviews except for the R&C: A Crack in Time because Jordan's closing statement made no sense, but this seems totally off.
 

Tsaba

reconnoiter
Oct 6, 2009
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Deofuta said:
Odd, I thought BO's storyline was much better than MW2. But it just goes to show that opinions differ, and some enjoy different games more than others. Some people should probably realize this, and think that because they did not enjoy the game, that their opinion is somehow better than those who did, and that those who liked the game are idiots.
I don't remember it being a comparison of the last, he just said the stories crap and that it isn't the best Call of Duty to date. As for opinions in games, hey, what ever floats your boat, personally I'm waiting for Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Battlefield 3, and Homefront.
 

Netrigan

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Sep 29, 2010
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GoGo_Boy said:
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.
That one bit turned Black Ops from a maybe to a definitely not in my books. The unskippable cutscenes in CoD3 were bad enough, but they were thankfully pretty brief. This, however, is beyond the pale. This is Final Fantasy/Metal Gear Solid territory and lord knows those games get the proverbial piss taken out of them by just about everyone for keeping the player out of the action for so long.
 

spartan1077

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Aug 24, 2010
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With the long cutscenes and little to none action it's a MGS4 rip-off?

I jest but seriously I've been trying to get through camaign on my brother's copy(because I will not spend hard earned cash on crap) and I'm really glad he made me stop. I played for maybe one hour, and in that hour I had small little gunfights in which every enemy was hidden perfectly behind something while I couldn't hide or shoot without being fully exposed.

EDIT: I have tried out the multiplayer and it's pretty much MW2 with some different guns and such. There is still no balance and annoying kids singing.

Only fun part I've played? Zombies! Co-op zombies, because they couldn't make a coop campaign although that was WAY more fun than the actual WaW capaign when I played that.
 

Deofuta

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Nov 10, 2009
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Tsaba said:
Deofuta said:
Odd, I thought BO's storyline was much better than MW2. But it just goes to show that opinions differ, and some enjoy different games more than others. Some people should probably realize this, and think that because they did not enjoy the game, that their opinion is somehow better than those who did, and that those who liked the game are idiots.
I don't remember it being a comparison of the last, he just said the stories crap and that it isn't the best Call of Duty to date. As for opinions in games, hey, what ever floats your boat, personally I'm waiting for Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Battlefield 3, and Homefront.
I didn't mean to insinuate that he was comparing it to MW2, I was simply inferring that I myself found it a more interesting and enjoyable experience than the one I had with MW2.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Sep 6, 2008
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Wow, that was really fucking harsh, Russ.

I thought the Graphics looked great. What the fuck were you playing it on, the Wii? Well probably yhe Xbox. Guess thats what you get for playing an FPS on a console, my graphics were great on the PC.

I thought Blackops had a good story, as well. Not Shakespeare by any means, but a million times better then MW2. Or MW. This was a great game, and with the Multiplayer I feel it was worth my 60 Quid, unlike say ENSLAVED, which had a piss aweful ending no multiplayer and 0 replay value to go with an experiance that just didn't go as afar as it could have.

I mean i'm glad to see this game not getting a perfect score for once, but it's still a quality peice of work. What about the quality of the voice acting? What about the dialogue writing? Not once was the dialogue filtered through military jargon BS like in MW or MoH. I could understand what they were saying.
 

TrogzTheTroll

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Aug 11, 2009
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Susan Arendt said:
Korten12 said:
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.
What he was trying to say: There are user reviews but people seem to look at this one and say, "Whelp this guy, 'Who is a professional,'says it's not so fly... guess I won't buy it then." This of course being said after that they read alot of higher reviews everywhere else. Escapist guy reviews game, escapist beleives him more than other people. That's his problem and I agree. If I saw the review before I got the game I would have also thought about not picking it up... but then I got it for free by trading virtual hats in TF2 and I myself think it's a decent game. Not breaking the mold but worth 3-4 stars at the least. I just think less people should jump on the DONT BUY THIS GAME bandwagon because Russ is driving it.
 

Exliam

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Sep 22, 2010
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To Whoever said that user reviews were better...think about that for a second. You're letting the 12 year olds, trolls, and frantic fanboys of the world decide what you should play instead of professional reviewers who have played games for years and do this as their job?

Well, I suppose some people just like being masochists. Or perhaps you're a troll. Doesn't matter. On the internet you can tell people whatever you want. Just remember that they can ignore you, like I intend to do once I hit the Post button.
 

Yureina

Who are you?
May 6, 2010
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Wow.... that's one of the harshest game reviews I have ever read.

I guess I know I'm not buying this game. Wasn't planning on doing so anyway. :eek:
 

aztjazcab

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Mar 7, 2010
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well if you look at it, the new MOH game got about 6/10 everywhere and it has sold more than beer and tight german dresses combined on October-fest-day. So COD.BO will do just fine. The point is: There will always be fans so dedicated to a game/series of games, that they will spend money on it, no matter the "flack" it gets from respected reviewers as the ones at escapist. And hell, i'll end up spending money on Black Ups event though i litteraly cried over my last investment (COD:MW2). Thats just the way it goes. :)
 

TerranReaper

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Mar 28, 2009
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I love it when I hear "Don't follow professional reviews, they're crap", and yet people are still listening to Russ. Russ's opinions are valid, but it seems like people only listen to "professional reviewers" when they like hearing what they want.

Anyways, each to their own, I personally thought the Singleplayer was a step up from Modern Warfare 2's shitfest. It tries something different at least and has some kind of continuity nod towards World at War. Overall, Black Ops itself is a huge step up from Modern Warfare 2.
 

firemark

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Sep 8, 2009
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Okay, I have two issues with this review. The review of Goldeneye for the Wii didn't bring up graphics at all, it even bragged saying that the game looked like a modern day shooter. I say: "It is a modern day shooter!". I agree with the story being awful. In my mind all of the Modern Warfare stories have been just worthless, especially the most recent entries in the series. The second issue is that of the cutscenes. Have you played MGS4?! Talk about waiting to play! It took me 20 hours to beat the thing and I swear half of it was cutscenes, yet no one harps on it because that's what's expected of the Metal Gear series. Overall, this was enlightening and it confirmed my feelings on the game, but I would like to see some consistency in the reviews.
 

Enemy Of The State

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May 31, 2010
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Korten12 said:
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.
Exactly. People, play the game for yourselves, not just dislike it because someone else does.
 

duchaked

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Dec 25, 2008
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eh well I'd only be playing for the single player, so it'd just be a rental (or maybe even borrow it from a friend when he's able to let the game go for a bit playing its multiplayer which I may only touch a bit)
 

Sephychu

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Dec 13, 2009
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Egh, I'm finding this campaign pretty good. Miles better than that of it's predecessor, that pile of flith.
 

Bek359

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Feb 23, 2010
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From what I saw of the graphics, they're the same as other CoD games. However, one thing that might have made the graphcs seem worse is that there are many instances in which you are in a cutscene speaking with someone face-to-face, and to me, the facial animations were rather subpar. That's probably part of it.
 

mjc0961

YOU'RE a pie chart.
Nov 30, 2009
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Huh. Reminds me of Burnout Paradise, never letting you play. Always taking control away to how you this or show you that and all you want it to do is fuck off so you can PLAY.
 

TrogzTheTroll

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Aug 11, 2009
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Susan Arendt said:
Korten12 said:
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.
One more thing I forgot, a little experiment to see if the User Review = Russ' Review.

Go to a forums (Not this one of course) that has a large user base and a decent amont of people that know/play/have played CoD games. Condense the review and throw in a few spelling errors. Post it in a thread and wait. One of two things will happen:

1. People who love CoD will say curses and damn your name for tarnishing their favorite game. They will give you multiple reasons why Black Ops will be GOTY because itz teh best evr.

2. People who hate CoD will join with you and call CoD lovers hurtful names and will state how X game is much better.

That wouldn't happen in this thread because no ones going to say it to Russ. Think back to March Mayhem... Not very many people were taking another persons views over Valve's/Bioware's games seriously if they happened to be commited to the other side. If they were on the same side they fully agreed though. (Not saying EVERYONE acted this way, just a majority)
 

Kermi

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Nov 7, 2007
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Wow, I thought I was harsh on this game when comparing it to COD4, [email protected] and MW2 (which I considered to be great games), but you guys take the cake.

I wanted to enjoy this game but just couldn't. It was a disjointed mess which they handwave by saying that's just the sequence Mason remembers things. The ending did a half-hearted job of salvaging it but having predicted most of the plot twist from the opening scene there was no wow factor or shock value to be had.

The inclusion of Reznov's pointless flashback mission was especially frustrating - it felt like a waste of the character I'd come to admire from [email protected], especially considering the ultimate truth about Reznov's presence - which I'd predicted long before they started dropping the really obvious hints. Then reiterated about five times to make sure all the dummies really got it.

Combine the poor storytelling with frustrating checkpointing, poor mission markers and uncooperative (sometimes frustratingly obstructive) friendly AI, and the handful of legitimately good action sequences (the zipline and rapelling window-entry room breach and clear sequences were probably the coolest parts - but lasted all of five seconds each) and Black Ops comes up well short of the par I've come to expect.

I just want Modern Warfare 3 to be done so I can dust my hands of this series.

Having spent a little more time with the multiplayer I can see how it will serve the purpose of filling the void until COD's next annual installment but there's nothing memorable here at all. I do like the combat training mode where you can play multiplayer against bots of dynamically improving difficulty (populated with names from your friendlist) because there is a LOT of attention to detail in the way people play online - camping, cheap snipers, co-ordinated nade-spam, spawn-killing, and it does a lot to prepare you for the online as long as you're playing on at least regular or hardened difficulty.

The zombie mode feels a bit uninspired, because they've just carried forward what people liked about Nazi Zombies and added new settings - playing as JFK or Castro is amusing but once again not enough to make it memorable. I understand this though, it's just the next annual installment of Call of Duty. It doesn't need to be groundbreaking, it just needs to be the next thing everyone is playing.
I won't blame it entirely on hype, but my expectations were higher.

Edit: Oh, one more thing! What was with the long breaks the game took? Not only did it interrupt you with sequences where you had to stand around and wait for a dialogue to play out (firgivable) but it also had moments where you're sitting around with your thumbs up your ass, waiting for NOTHING to happen before you're allowed to continue.

Sitting around at the end of the level where you're escorting the tank and calling in air strikes. You get to the pit and then nothing. You sit aorund for about a minute until an enemy tank shows up, then it's another minute before the game lets you call in air support (which was the only logical thing to do). Then it makes you wait a little longer before telling you we're waiting for a boat to come pick you up. It really threw off the pacing. Another part was when you're infiltrating the facility with Reznov, which was a half-decent stealth sequence... but you're hiding in some industrial elevator and nothing happens, NOTHING for about three minutes. reznov is done blabbing on about shit, there's no immediate threats, but you sit there kind of bouncing off the walls until the game arbitrarily tells you to open the door and stealth kill some guy.

Maybe I'm just impatient.

Edit 2: I'm probably going to return my copy, depending on how I feel about it after giving multiplayer another crack this weekend... but I'm also going to have to give Dead Ops Arcade a try. That was a ton of fun. I know it's just a redoing of Smash TV or even Zombie Apocalypse, but it was enjoyable. However I won't keep a $79 game just for a game which would otherwise be 800 MS points on the XBL arcade Marketplace.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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Korten12 said:
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.
But here's the thing: They didn't release a demo (on PC, anyways). So the only way I can "try it" is to pirate it. Which I will not do.

So, I look to the reviews. My favorite review site (this one) gives it TWO STARS, and that's me no longer considering it. I'm a student, I can't afford more than three or four big-budget games per year.

And this kind of game is a bad one to trust the user reviews on. 60% go in loving it before they picked it up (not trustworthy), 35% go in with a grudge against CoD and everything to do with it (hatedom), and 5% are fair. Not worth all the filtering when there's a professional reviewer I know who's tastes are similar to mine. I'd be sad if professional reviewers disappeared.

And this entire thing could have been avoided if they had just shoved out a demo.