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Treyarch’s latest foray into the world of Call of Duty has clearly proved to be the most profitable thus far, but are the sales backed up by some quality content?

The single player story sees you piece together the mind of Alex Mason,  a CIA operative who finds himself under interrogation from shadowy figures with the interrogation room serving as the hub for which all the campaigns missions unfold. As you relive Mason’s fragile memories, you are taken across a vast array of environments, starting in Cuba and moving through Russia, Vietnam and Laos in between. The story itself is fast paced and the content varied enough to keep you interested and the classic run-gun-feel of the previous titles is all here as well, but it’s broken up with some vehicle sections and one very inventive mission that sees you jump from commanding a squad from the air, to then switching to the eyes of the troops down on the ground to execute your attacks which keep things interesting.


Pretty People: Woods checking his corners (left), Exotic: Getting to grips with the more unusual weapons in the campaign (right)

Visually the game runs off a variation of the IW4 engine used in Modern Warfare but the enhancements really show. There are some great set pieces and the game has some of the best looking character models to date. On the whole Black Ops looks and feels fantastic but the campaign is a little rough around the edges with glitchy animations, the occasional dodgy texture and on one play through an unusual error with spawning enemies that wrote off the checkpoint saves for that entire mission!

The multiplayer is of course where the majority of players will really want to invest their time and Black Ops has a lot to offer. As well as most of the classic game types from previous installments, Treyarch have added a slew of new modes to keep things interesting and to up the ante even further, players can now use a credits system to bet on game successes and purchase weapons and other useful upgrades. ‘One in the Chamber’ sees each player start a round with 3 lives, one bullet and a knife. For every kill with the gun the player makes, they receive an extra bullet and last player standing wins. ‘Sticks and Stones’ sees players rack up points and bankrupt other players using crossbows, ballistic knives and tomahawks. The ‘Gun Game’ has every kill result in the player receiving a more powerful class of weapon, first to make a kill on level 20 wins. With the 4th and final unique game type being Sharpshooter, weapons automatically change every 45 seconds and the highest kills wins.

Treyarch have tried hard with this installment and they’ve had a lot to live up to, but Black Ops for the most part delivers. If you can live with the short but compelling campaign, fancy a familiar multiplayer experience with some welcome new additions, and the same Zombie fun that World at War brought to your screen in the past, then Call of Duty Black Ops is definitely for you. A solid, entertaining title with a top notch multiplayer.

On the ‘Sam & Alex Pointless-O-Matic Rating Meter’…..


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