Call of Duty: Black Ops.
by Nagflar

Basic Information:
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
North American Release Date: 11/9/2010
European Release Date: 11/9/2010
Trophies: 35 14 1 1


Call of Duty: Black Ops is the next installment in the critically aclaimed (and disliked) franchise by Activision, this time being developed by Treyarch. It features Singleplayer, Multiplayer and the lovely and entertaining Zombie modes.


The gameplay is the same thing you already played in past CoDs, meaning you should have no problems with it. It has exactly the same default button lay-out of previous titles and tries to be realistic (like getting tired after sprinting for a while, moving slower when being prone, etc).

It has the already famous and very popular reticula health system, which allows one to take cover, pop out and spray bullets like crazy, then take cover again to wait for one's health to regenerate, and then repeat the process all over again until there aren't many enemies and you are able to advance.

Now, the real problem here is the AI. Your teammates are practically blind and never should have gotten past Target Practice, while sometimes your enemies are Superman and have X-ray vision, which makes some parts of the Campaign very problematic (I'm looking at you, Executive Order). While I am someone who enjoys having a hard time with his games, this sometimes is beyond ridiculous and prompted me to waste all of my bullets trying to get rid of my idiotic teammates.


As someone who disliked MW2's campaign, I was skeptical about this game's Campaign and was careful to not being hyped, so I was gladly surprised by how Treyarch pulled this one of. This campaign's story is certainly one of the best I've played in a while, and although it has a very patriotic "America, fuck yeah!" point of view, it still worked pretty well.

One of the main characters from the campaign.

The player takes control of an American soldier named Alex Mason during the Cold War, who is being held prisoner and interrogated by a mysterious person who wants information regarding numbers. Mason doesn't seem to remember what his interrogator is searching for, so Mason begins to experience flashbacks of previous missions, which take him to Cuba, Russia (then the USSR) and Vietnam.

What follows are a lot of conspiracies, covert operation missions and a couple of plot twists that make this plot a fitting one for the Cold War.


The multiplayer is, in a sense, the same as the previous CoD's, and the one before that one, and the one before that one, and the one before that one. Some of the newest features is the introduction of a form of currency (denominated CoD points), which you'll have to spend regularilly if you want to get new weapons, perks, equipment, killstreak and to customize your character with camos, between other things (you can even customize your emblem ). This is certainly the biggest change to the multiplayer and one of the most interesting aspects of it.

Aside from that, the multiaplyer contains all your beloved and classic modes (Team Deathmatch, Domination, Free For All, Demolition, Sabotage, Headquarters, etc.), their Hardcore counterparts, as well as more original and interesting modes in the form of Wager matches (which have special rules) in which you gamble your CoD points with other players in orther to get more and be able to get more stuff.

There is also something named 'Combat Training', where you start from scratch and have the opportunity of getting to know the maps and weapons you use against a number of players controlled by the AI in any of 4 difficulties (the same ones featured in the Singleplayer). It'd be even better if you could choose other game modes besides 'Free For All' and 'Team Deathmatch', but at least it helps players new to the franchise get to know the ins and outs of the game.

Unlike MW2's multiplayer, where you could get completely overrun by your enemies' killstreak rewards in a matter of minutes (to then face your end due to a Tactical Nuke), Treyarch decided to keep in killstreaks but still make it hard to be overrun by them. This time around, there isn't as much air support and it's not really hard to take down a Helicopter or a Chopper Gunner. Also, it's harder to send Attack Dogs against the opposing team due to you needing 11 kills in a row.

An example of how a multiplayer match looks.

The game also has two Zombie modes: Dead Ops Arcade, which is a retro-looking mini-game with co-op where the player(s) takes control of a solider (or two) and kill zombies and moves from one area to another to keep fighting zombies.

The other one is the same Nazi Zombie mode from World at War, where you and 2-3 friends fight off waves of zombies that become harder to kill as waves go by, but this time, normal Zombies aren't the only thing you'll fight. You will find zombie dogs and a zombie 'thief' too. It also features two maps: 'Kino Der Toten' (which is a theatre), and 'Five' (which is the Pentagon and where you and your 3 comrades play as Robert McNamara, Fidel Castro, J.F.K. and Richard Nixon).

An example of a customized emblem (courtesy of Ramon3110).


The graphics engine is the same one used by Infinity Ward since Call of Duty 2 (IW Engine), but it seems Treyarch finally got to use it to it's fullest. The graphics are as good as they can get with the engine, and one can see that during some of the biggest maps in the campaign (mainly the Vietnam mission ones).

The voice acting (and overall, the audio quality of the whole game) is one of the best of the series, featuring the voices of Sam Worthington, Ed Harris and even Ice Cube, who actually manage to give their characters credibility during the campaign.

The game also features a couple of songs from the Vietnam war era (Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones and Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival), that one can hear while destroying stuff during one of the missions of the Campaign.


This CoD's trophies aren't as problematic as those of the other series, and many call it the easiest CoD , but some might find a little difficult playing through the campaing on Veteran. Luckily, there isn't grenade spamming like in World at War.

Others will have a tough time getting the Nazi Zombies mode trophies unless they get a good team that knows what they are doing (which is my case ).

Either way, the trophies are very straightforward and shouldn't really need any explantion (except the Zombie trophies).

Gameplay: 8/10
Same as previous CoDs, but with a very disapointing AI.
Singleplayer: 10/10
One of the best campaigns I've seen in the past year.
Multiplayer: 9/10
While it is very similar to previous CoDs, this one sure tries to stand out.
Technical: 9/10
Though it exploits the IW Engine to the max, some people have seem to experience many bugs.

Overall: 9/10

Call of Duty Black Ops is what MW2 should've been, and more. It is certainly a very good way to follow the disapointment that was the previous one and it sets the bar a little higher for the next one.