Take it away Justin...
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Rather than a fully featured review, I thought I might write my impressions of the multiplayer aspect of the game so far. I know personally I was getting sick of all the bullshit that came along with Modern Warfare 2, and that a lot of people who were looking for a more skillful experience may pass up Black Ops. Regardless, I bought the game, and here's what I think of it so far:
Loved Less bloated: This was my number one complaint about Modern Warfare 2, it was just too over the top. There's nothing wrong with a game that has a lot of content, but it was claustrophobic. Black Ops on the other hand delivers on the content, but scales back to what feels more focused, more streamlined and less messy. There have been too many tweaks to the gameplay to list, but things like the commando perk being gone, the removal of quick scoping snipers, and some of the more advantageous perks/weapons are just what we needed all along.
There's some skill involved now: MW2 was a severely unfair game, which tended to punish those who played honestly. You could get by doing nothing more than exploiting the game's ridiculous balance issues. I proved this to myself once by coming first in a free for all match without firing a single bullet. It was stupidly easy to do so: marathon, lightweight and commando perks with a tactical knife was all it took. Then on top of this even was the one hit kill auto aim euthanasia device - the Intervention... among many other things (claymorons, noob tubers, ‘nade spammers...) I'm harping on about the previous game, but I can round all this off by simply stating that Black Ops has fixed all these issues. It's no longer a game about who can setup the most insane class, but rather the twitchy, reflex based combat that made the series so famous to begin with. It makes up for everything MW2 did wrong, and that's saying a lot.
Cold war era: I was admittedly disappointed when I heard that Black Ops wasn't a Vietnam epic, but a more general "Cold War era" game. After playing it, now I think they couldn't have picked a better setting. The CoD series has always been gun porn, and Black Ops is set during the late 1960s: a time when the technology was advanced even by today’s standards, and was evolving at an amazing rate. Everything is so well integrated here, and it's fascinating that most if not all of the guns featured in Black Ops are still in use in the real world. It wasn’t such a “cold” war after all.
Nothing but respect for Treyarch: a few years ago, Treyarch were living in Infinity Ward's shadow. Now they've quietly surpassed them. I think firstly that they're hugely talented developers who have been repressed by Activision into making the same old WWII shooters over and over. Now they've been given a bit of creative freedom they're beginning to stand out. Secondly, they've managed to put the series back into perspective, scaling back all the ridiculousness of Modern Warfare 2 and creating a more focused, skillful game.
Hated Besides the fact that I wasted so much time playing Modern Warfare 2, there isn't much I don't like about Black Ops. What we've got here is a more focused game, not just a repeat of the bloated abomination that MW2 was. It's the direction the series should have headed, and personally I'm going to be playing it for a very long time, perhaps even after next year's inevitable Modern Warfare 3. We’ll see what happens, but for now you should be living and breathing Black Ops.
Agree? Disagree? How have you guys been finding Black Ops multiplayer so far?