Currently Playing: Call of Duty Black Ops

I’ve played a lot of Call of Duty games, and I’m curious with how Treyarch will handle the series after Infinity Ward lost most of the staff. Treyarch always fell a tad behind the popular game developer. Infinity Ward always worked on the original series and started the Modern Warfare series, while Treyarch did the ones inbetween to fill in the gaps inbetween developments of the games. This gave Activision the opportunity to release a game for almost every year because they had 2 developers working on a single franchise. Black Ops is the first game that Treyarch removed itself from the World War 2 scenario.

This game developers have shifted their focus from World War 2 to the Vietnam war and the Cuban missile crisis. This gave the developers an opportunity to try all their skills in a new light, forcing them to give themselves a chance to make a new refreshing story of their own. Anyway, the World War 2 games are really getting tiring. It was a good thing when Saving Private Ryan came out, but it has been milked to the bone. Most gamers are tired and we need a fresh new game. This is why Modern Combat got so popular, it’s because Infinity Ward put all their refined skills to the fullest to put into a different scenario where the images are more familiar with what we see today. It’s great that Treyarch used the Vietnam war because it’s one war that the series hasn’t tackled yet and it is more refreshing than imitating Modern Warfare.

The graphics is pretty good, it does follow the same quality as all the Call of Duty games. It has great frame rate, amazing visuals, cinematic timing. This game didn’t skimp out on quality. From start to finish, the villages, the forest, the industrial areas, all are in great detail. I suppose the obvious thing that stood out is the forest areas because of the detail of all the trees, leaves moving with the wind while the river water is full of fish, snakes and whatever living creature that could be down there.

If Modern Warfare 2 was controversial, this might be playing it on the safe side, but don’t get me wrong, this is pretty violent too. Attacking in close quarters can get a little too visual and could be a little too close for some people. Treyarch did what they did to make it as real as possible in terms of graphics, and I assure you that it showed the gritty, dirty and gory details of war. It’s bloody, violent and it’s not pretty. Although as geeks as we are in terms of graphics, the “not pretty” part can only give us “WOW”.

I enjoyed that Treyarch made a story of their own. You get into the shoes of one particular character which you will follow most of the time. I like the idea that you get into his mind most of the time. This is not like like Modern Warfare where you only feel like you are experiencing the lives of several people but you are only a spectator. This character on the other hand thinks for himself and you see his experiences based on his recollection of the events. You also control 3 other characters, but it doesn’t feel as personal as the main one.

You also get to experience different styles of gameplay which is a trademark of Call of Duty. Other than being a first person shooter, you get to pilot a missile, use a machine gun mounted on a vehicle, you get to fly a hind, pilot a stealth bomber and more. Even with a good time I played with the game, it still feels that the game could have used more of the elements it used. The part I didn’t get to enjoy much was the when the person from the stealth bomber was trying to command people on the ground. It felt like a strategy game, which I enjoyed a lot, and it switches to a different character on the ground to do the attack on your own. It’s a nice experience, but it felt like it wasn’t used to the fullest.

The music is great, the soundtrack itself was good, but it’s the music from the 60’s that sold it. It made it feel like you are in that period. They don’t play music on most levels, but it does stand out when you get to Vietnam. It reminded me a lot of the Vietnam war movies from the 80s. The only thing off for me is the song at the end credits, because it’s Eminem. I know he’s a popular singer and all, and he’s great, but I don’t feel he fits the game. Well, at least his song is in the end credits, so it doesn’t affect the game overall.

I also liked that there is a secret that’s pretty much accessible from the main menu. Press L2 and R2 (PS3) repetitively and you should be able to break free from your binds (your supposed to be bound in a interrogation chair inside a closed room). From there you can look for a computer, and access a various amount of files and information. The nice addon, is Zork, which is a classic adventure game. It’s so old that graphics was non existent. You can play it with your control pad, but I wouldn’t suggest it. Get a keyboard and hook it up, and enjoy the complicated way of playing games in the 80s. This is a full game, so, you can really take your time to enjoy it if you like.

I won’t tackle the online component for the game since I’m really not into the competitive type of gamer. But I know that this game online component that if you are into multiplayer, this is one game that you should consider getting.

Anyway, overall (even without the multiplayer), the game is fully satisfying. Treyarch proved itself that they can stand on their own without Infinity Ward. The visuals are amazing from start to finish, the music is great, controls are fitting, the bonus stuff is also an amazing add on. No question that this is worth your cash. It will take you a few days to finish it, and you’d be highly satisfied at the end of the game.

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