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Black Ops: TDM 30-1 - Abusing Self Promotion

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Uploaded on Mar 13, 2011

. Call of Duty is the Goliath of the video game world. The series has sold millions of copies and catapulted itself from a solid, World War II shooter to the sprawling multiplayer playground and Hollywood-style campaign that we know today. Call of Duty: Black Ops takes much of what made Modern Warfare 2 great and slightly expands and modifies it. That's not to say that there aren't mistakes to be found within Black Ops, but I think Call of Duty fans are going to be happy with Treyarch's latest effort. You begin the game as Alex Mason, a soldier being interrogated for information that he can't remember. You play through Mason's memories in search for information. Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, and Gary Oldman deliver expert performances and really nail their respective characters. There are twists, some of which work better than others, and the plot seems to get bogged down and slightly disjointed towards the middle. But unlike Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops does a wonderful job of cleaning everything up for the finale. Black Ops is not just a linear game, but sometimes feels like it's on autopilot. Just one example is when you "guide" the takeoff of an SR-71 Blackbird. I tried to not pull back on the flight stick when the game told me to, just to see if there was any other alternative to taking off, but the Blackbird lifted off on its own. The artificial intelligence of both your friendly soldiers and the enemies you face is pretty poor. Both friendly and enemy soldiers behave like fools for most of the campaign. I once watched a friendly shoot the back of an armored car that he was using for cover for a solid 20 seconds. There are also a few design flaws and annoyances, not least of all was a game-ending bug in the first level that made me restart the entire mission. No one else in the office ran into that one, but everyone who'd played Black Ops has run into a major design issue at the Battle of Khe Sanh. The mission never tells you what to actually do and even misdirects you. Despite these issues, I really enjoyed the story that the campaign presents and I think it's the best of the series. The characters are well-crafted and the plot rarely disappoints. Of course, most gamers are more interested in the multiplayer. Call of Duty: Black Ops largely succeeds, presenting a similar (but not identical) set of modes as Modern Warfare 2. Black Ops is a more focused effort, and there will inevitably be those who miss a few of the omitted modes. But you will get some of the playlists later added to Modern Warfare 2, including the Killstreak-free Barebones list. Black Ops makes its most significant departure from Modern Warfare 2 by adding CoD Points. Earning experience points and leveling up now handles macro stuff like unlocking more custom class slots, Create-A-Class, new modes to play, and the availability of certain weapons and bonuses for "purchase." Everything else (weapons, perks, killstreak bonuses, emblems, different colors for your targeting reticule) is bought with CoD Points. The system itself is overwhelming at first, especially if you're totally new to Call of Duty, but once you get your head around the CoD Points mechanic it's actually pretty cool. When you level up you're handed 1,000 CoD Points that you can spend on whatever you please. It basically allows you to sculpt your style of play however you'd like. The only catch is that once you buy a weapon, perk, or killstreak, there's no going back. In other words, you'd better be damn sure you want that sniper rifle before taking the plunge. This de-emphasizes what made Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer so much fun; the leveling itself. The new Wager Match modes are designed to highlight the importance of CoD Points and they're fun in their own right, but nothing ever reaches the level of enjoyment I had with the traditional leveling mechanic. We've talked at length about the specifics of each Wager Match mode. Just know that One in the Chamber and Gun Game are highlights. The first is a lesson in patience and accuracy and the second gives you a guided tour of 20 of Black Ops' armaments with each kill earning you a new gun. Standard modes including Team Deathmatch, Domination and Headquarters are still there and are great for leveling up and if you do hit Level 50, Prestige Mode is there with some extra challenges to make it worthwhile. I would have preferred if the new features added to the pre-existing level of fun, rather than pushing what everyone loves to the back burner, but Wager Match is definitely the focus. When a franchise consistently delivers massively popular, high-quality games, each new entry in the series comes laden with expectation. Call of Duty: Black Ops has some big shoes to fill, but it does so admirably. The engrossing campaign

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