Call of Duty: Black Ops Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Call of Duty: Black Ops box art
System: X360, PS3, PC
Dev: Treyarch
Pub: Activision
Release: November 9, 2010
Players: 1-18
Screen Resolution: 480p - 1080p Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Lastly, the Sharpshooter matches are slightly akin to Gun Game in that you will be using another assorted arsenal, but that's where the similarities end. The distinctness lies with players getting the same randomly selected weapon, plus attachments, that change every forty-five seconds. Consecutive kills can earn you perks and score multiplier bonuses, but if you die you have to earn them all over again. This mode can lead to some pretty funny moments if you end up in a standoff with someone at close range. If you happen to switch to RPGs or another highly explosive weapon, you can be left with a very tough decision to make. It's scenarios like this that will usually end up on your blooper reel.

Call of Duty: Black Ops screenshot

Black Ops now features a new Theater Mode that will give players the ability to study their own gameplay film. Every multiplayer match you play is stored on the Call of Duty servers (which has a pretty lengthy file history, by the way) for your viewing enjoyment. Clans will have a great opportunity to study their opponent's strategy, or you can just edit some best-of clips to share with the online community. You can even capture footage from the new Combat Training mode, which helps you improve in a more controlled multiplayer environment.

This new Combat Training simulator lets you practice Free-For-All or Team Deathmatch modes against AI opponents. This is a great way for new players to work their way into an online multiplayer setting at their own pace, and will be a perfect way for clans to map out and plan new attack strategies. If that wasn't enough, Treyarch even included an in-depth Combat Record to give a detailed look at how your multiplayer stats break down. It includes everything from kill/death ratio graphs, individual weapon stats, to heat maps that show the main spots of activity. The training mode can even be played cooperatively online or locally with split-screen through all fourteen multiplayer maps at your disposal.

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Although the campaign doesn't support co-op play, the now-famous zombie mode certainly does. Even though fighting off the walking dead can be fun alone, it's even better with up to four players and is as frantic as ever. There is even a random zombie surprise that appears after the credits roll once you finish the campaign. Most of this information has already leaked by now, but I'm not one to give out spoilers, so I'll just leave it at that.

Call of Duty: Black Ops screenshot

Call of Duty: Black Ops is certainly not without its faults. The game has some decent looking graphics but is hindered by poorly rendered two-dimensional textures. This becomes even more apparent when you play the game in stereoscopic 3D, which is fully supported if your TV is also capable of this functionality. The 3D aspect obviously grants a better depth of field, but feels more like an attached gimmick than anything else. Fast camera movements become easily blurred, and the overall presentation gets a huge downgrade when it's turned on.

There was also a quirky instance during the campaign that left me without a weapon in my hands. There was a mission where a dog briefly attacks the main character, and after executing the appropriate button prompt to dispatch him, I was left to play the remainder of the scene without any guns. It was definitely a rare occurrence, considering there weren't any signs of notable glitches or bugs present elsewhere. However, there were a few other semi-halting moments in the single-player setting. A few distinct portions of the campaign gave hardly any indication on how to progress. It's almost been a calling card of sorts for the franchise to have sections of never-ending enemy spawns, and your typical options during these moments are to die constantly, give up, or find a way to run through to the next area. Luckily, I usually choose the latter.

Screenshots / Images
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