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For a game that’s all about stalking wild animals over vast landscapes like Elmer Fudd, Cabela’s 2009 misses the target by a mile. The environments – from the South African Serengeti to the icy mountains of Canada – are unsubtly channeled, so that you never really get the chance to explore any more than the developers want you to.
A game of two halves. Now that’s a phrase that is more suited to sport rather than a First Person Shooter, but it’s exactly how I’d sum up my feelings about Call of Duty Black Ops single player campaign. The sit-rep of the review event sees me hunkered down in a hotel with twenty or so other reviewers, which means we had the ideal environment where we could share our opinions with each other over lunch, booze or while spooning each other into the night.
Once in my room, free to play alone in my pants, I played the initial half or so of Treyarch’s first non-World War 2 CoD on absolute auto-pilot. A slo-mo breach here, a Vietnam bunker run there and I’m back in familiar territory and still waiting to be blown away. The chance to finally show the world that they can make a compelling almost modern FPS was being pissed into the wind.
Devices found in Modern Warfare 1 and 2 weren’t only being replicated here but they were being done with such frequency that they’d lost all meaning. Fuck sakes, Treyarch “THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR BIG MOMENT” I shouted into the ether. But as the preamble unsubtly suggests, the second half finds its feet and suddenly Black Ops is amaze.
The year-long wait for a new Call of Duty is over. Find out if Black Ops II improves on the COD formula, or if it's just more of the same…
Wondering what to expect from Modern Warfare 3? Look no further than the opening logo. As the first letter of “MW3” dramatically flips to reveal a bright and blatant “WW3” instead, the game both promises and warns you: This won’t be realistic, this won’t make complete sense, but this will always be epic. What little restraint the first two had managed to maintain is now gone in favor of an extremely wild and, yes, occasionally wacky sendoff for the trilogy. If you’re willing to suspend disbelief and go along for that ride, however, Modern Warfare 3 is more spectacularly scripted, unapologetically over-the-top fun than ever...
If there’s one word that sums up World at War for us, it’s ‘brutal’. The latest Call of Duty, developed over the last two years by Treyarch – not series creator Infinity Ward – is a brutal slog through a WWII setting unlike any other. You may think you’ve ‘been there’ and ‘done that’ when it comes to this particular global conflict, but after five minutes in either the blood-soaked single player campaign or the frenzied multiplayer you’ll realise that this is far from your average, tired WWII shooter.
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