No Call of Duty review would be complete without mentioning the online side of things, right? While I can’t testify as to how stable the servers were seeing as we were playing in a controlled environment with the other folk doing reviews, but it’s all you’d expect and then a whole load more. Everything we said previously is still valid so rather than me going over old ground check out all you need to know, plus videos, right here
Above: It's always nice to dig around in new deathmatch maps. Y'know, before everyone knows all the camp spots.
Also, Nazi zombies are back, which you can play from the off but there's a new zombie mode too where you play as one of Fidel Castro, JFK, Richard Nixon or Robert McNamara to defend against the invasion inside the Pentagon. You unlock this mode once you've completed the campaign and the one-line quips, as they dole out death, are a great touch and add a nice dose of personality to proceedings. There's also a thoroughly entertaining Smash TV inspired 2D, top-down, co-op mode featuring a space gorilla. I shit you not.
Above: Ahhh, I love the smell of Killstreak napalm attacks in the morning. And any time of day really.
So Black Ops is quite the package, and Treyarch can finally begin to create a Modern Warfare-esque franchise of their own, built on this sturdy foundation. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that they try to stamp their own ideas on future iterations rather than depending on safe bets from the one series they should be trying to overtake.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?: No. It may tell a story better than Infinity Ward's epic but Black Ops uses a lot of the key features from MW2 rather than delivering original ideas. As a result it feels more like a homage to Modern Warfare 2 than a full-blown sequel.
Battlefield Bad Company 2?: Yes. But only just. I really like Battlefield: BC2 as a whole but the campaign left me feeling cold. What Black Ops does well is thrust you into a believable environment throughout while constantly changing your areas of conflicts. Bad Company 2 - for me - didn't.
Call of Duty: World at War?: Yes. This is certainly Treyarch's finest moment in the Call of Duty series, not just because they can use modern weapons but because it all feels much more seamless than their previous game(s).
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