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221 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REVIEW FOR NON-ONLINE PLAYERS
Ok, let me begin this review by saying I love shooters and have been playing them ever since I was a kid and Wolfenstien was on PC. That evolved to Goldeneye on Nintendo 64. That all changed when Metal Gear Solid came out for PS1 and I now wanted a good story to go along with my gameplay. I have always kind of liked the COD world war series, but never got into it. When...
Published on November 24, 2010 by J. Loftus

versus
98 of 135 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed...updated 11/17/2010
I bought this yesterday for the PS3. After playing for about three hours, I say this game is mediocre at best, for now. So far I've played the Campaign mode for about five minutes, Zombie mode for 15, and the rest has been devoted to Online Multiplayer.

Let's start of with what's good (and remember, I spent most of my playing time Online Multiplayer)...
Published on November 10, 2010 by MF


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221 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REVIEW FOR NON-ONLINE PLAYERS, November 24, 2010
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Ok, let me begin this review by saying I love shooters and have been playing them ever since I was a kid and Wolfenstien was on PC. That evolved to Goldeneye on Nintendo 64. That all changed when Metal Gear Solid came out for PS1 and I now wanted a good story to go along with my gameplay. I have always kind of liked the COD world war series, but never got into it. When MW1 came out I was blown away, I loved the game and it had a good story to tell. My only complaint with MW2 was that the story was not only lacking, but down right stupid. I never got into multiplayer because I don't have the time to train myself to compete with a bunch of 5th graders who spend 40 hours a week playing the game.

This all leads me to Black Ops, as with all 1st person shooters the campaign is short, yet good. The action is intense and the overall gaming is fun. What made the campaign even more fun was that I felt fully drawn into the game due to the compelling story. I actually wanted to check out zombies but I could not draw myself away from the campaign in order to check it out. The story was that good; I wanted to find out what happens. I'm not going into detail what the story is about because you probably already read that somewhere else. As far as the graphics, I thought they looked sharp. The scenery was not as sharp as MW2 because their seemed to be a haze in the air everywhere I went but it was still looking good. My favorite part was in Vietnam they started playing rock music from the time of the Vietnam War, which made it fill even more authentic.

As far as zombies go, it's fun to shoot zombies every now and then when I have a few free minutes so it's a nice add-on bonus.

Bottom line, if you are a lone wolf player like me, this is definitely the game for you. If you are a strictly on-line player, read someone else's review.
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186 of 249 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The First Person Shooter Evolves...Finally ***UPDATE***, November 10, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
***UPDATE*** After having spent substantial time with Black Ops, I stand by my initial impressions. The overall balancing has proven to be exceptional as there is no single "money" class to exploit or be forced to use in tough games. The maps are fun, weapons and upgrade system a blast and all of the customization available makes the game really enjoyable.

There is a big negative. As mentioned in my original review - connection is a serious issue. Lag, framerate drops, freezes...pretty much any connection problem you can think of applies. Patch 1.04 is on the way from Treyarch to address some of these issues, but connection certainly mars what is an otherwise great online experience.

***END UPDATE***

I'm about 42 hours into the game. I would consider myself a hardcore-console gamer (if there is such thing). I logged 25+ days on MW2 and have spent time with BFBC2, Killzone2 and pretty much every other game that involves shooting other people in the face - online. The review is aimed at people who may have been turned off after MW2.

Campaign mode - I wouldn't know cause I don't play it. I hear it takes 6 hours, so probably just a rental if that's all you're interested in.

Online

* The fixes - noob toobing, commando, stoping power, one man army, boosting, tactical insertions, stacking killstreaks, explosive radius nerfed - ALL GONE. If that means anything to you, then you already love this game.

*The Mechanics - best in the console market. Period. The guns are NOT all the same. No more UMP45 across the map kills. It also requires more hits to get a kill. This is good and bad - see connections below.

*Graphics/Sound - The maps look phenominal, but the player models are mediocre. The music ambient sound effects are great, but I'm not impressed with the sounds of the guns.

*The Maps - my first impression is that they are amazing...BUT... and this is one big but - they are not sniper friendly. I'm not a sniper, so I don't care, but I have some friends that already hate the game becuase the wide open lanes in MW2 are non-existant. There are varied levels, tunnels, etc. - but camping just seems much more difficult.

*Connection - still P2P, no dedicated servers, and that sucks. Ultimately, regardless of skill level, connection will be the deciding factor in your enjoyment of the online game (also why I give it four stars)

*Wager Games - also known as online crack. Being able to wager your money (which is required to purchase the items you've unlocked and their attachements - it's not automatic anymore) is like playing poker online. There are multiple game types, all very new and add a whole seperate dimesnion to online shooters. Definately the best innovation for FPS's in a long time.

*Split Screen - for all online modes is awesome. I have 2 PS3's in the house and can accomodate 4 players with them in an online match. It's about time that option was available.

Overall, this is a must buy if you are a COD fan. If you were turned off by MW2 - which many were, and rightfully so, at least give it a try. The Zombie mode, Training mode and wager matches are a blast and give everyone a shot at having a good time - not just experts and 12yr old, foul mouthed racists.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great release, some setbacks, but worth getting, November 15, 2010
By 
P. Killion (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
It seems interesting how much Call of Duty has grown from the original, yet at the same time, some of the mechanics that had made the series so popular are still alive in their latest release from Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops. I'm moreso of a casual gamer, and since I'm certain most of the reviews are by outright gamers whom always get the latest FPS (first person shooter) games, I hope I can provide a different perspective.

First, I can say I've played most of the Call of Duty series, but wasn't really "hooked" until Modern Warfare came out. I loved the current yet slightly futuristic gameplay of it; the storyline was, for a FPS, amazing. The game mechanics were great. But, I can say I didn't really try out the multiplayer aspect of the series until Modern Warfare 2, which I purchased for the PS3 on release. MW2 was notably geared towards its multiplayer, offering a decent but incredibly short single-player, so I decided to suck it up and play multiplayer, and let me say, I was hooked. There were so many failed aspects to MW2 multiplayer, yet for me, it didn't compete with the absolute wins of multiplayer. It was fun, and it was visually amazing. That being said, its biggest setbacks for me were lag/glitching (peer-to-peer gaming I still don't think is the way to go for FPS), and cheap hacks that never fixed (so, the biggest setback was the lack of support by Infinity Ward).

Developer Treyarch seems to have listened to the gaming community, and has made an excellent effort to bring an excellent gaming experience. Here's my personal veiwpoints:

*Graphics: Overall, the graphics are still a stunning next-gen presentation, but as many have noted, they lack slightly compared to the polish of MW2. Namely, there is jaggedness in much of the visuals, although I think the scenery settings are more robust than MW2, which was purposely scarce of scenery objects overall. Online is also slightly worse, but after playing for a few hours, its not really even noticeable. Not knowing the specifics, the engine seems to be far more similar to BFBC2 than MW2, I actually think a lot of Black Ops is really an in-between of those two games (saying this will probably get me flak from both communities, but it's just my opinion).

*Sound: I thought the sound was overall very good in Black Ops, I love that it asks for your sound setup type. I thought MW2 had "better" sound, but it was more theatrical. The reality is, most of the SMGs sound like firecrackers in the game, but its also somewhat more realistic than the roaring "boom boom boom" every gun would make in MW2.

*Single-player: I don't believe the storyline to be as great as MW, but it's certainly an interesting take, and I applaud them for the effort. The gameplay is good, but you'll find the AI to be lacking, particularly on the enemy side, making it slightly less-than-believable.

*Zombies: A welcome addition; essentially worth it on its own, and for being included in the game makes it a great bonus.

*Multiplayer: The meat of the game resides here in multiplayer. First thing to note is the small-scale of the maps. Teryarch seemed to want less of a "campers" paradise, although there are plenty of spots to take cover in, you won't be running for a minute only to be sniped and have to do it all over again. I think the many places for cover are well suited, and even without hardened perk, bullets can go through much of cover, an aspect I enjoy for being more realistic. I would say people are a little too difficult to kill sometimes, but as usual the "hardcore" mode provides a much more realistic representation.

Some of my favorite aspects have been the removal of commando and danger close perks, the "weakening" of quick-scoping (sniper rifles can still be used quite successfully, even in close combat, but requires more skill in Black Ops), and fun maps (although it'd be great to see more, and some larger maps would be great additions as well).

There are several issues I will point out about the game. First and most importantly, while there was much hype about the end of glitches and lag, it still runs rampant in the game (in my experience, the first two days were great, and has gone downhill since). This means its anybody's guess if you will actually hit the person you're shooting at, providing random advantages to different users; some games I can easily skate to a 20+/2 K/D ratio, many of my kills even I'll admit were less than fair, while others I'll be unable to kill anyone, despite shooting point-blank. I haven't had too many issues with disconnections/host migration, but I'd say it's close to as frequent as MW2. Knifing is currently somewhat of a guess/luck as well, as many times I'll see others or myself go flying by the person they're knifing, essentially knifing the air even though the guy hasn't moved, only to wind up being knifed yourself. While there is no "commando" in the game, having the ballistic knife out significantly improves the speed and ability to melee somebody.

The largest thing I can do is have a "wait and see" attitude; I've heard Treyarch is more responsive to the community and patching, so hopefully they will improve gameplay (I don't expect perfect, but sometimes it can be ridiculous how off it is).

*Multiplayer Training/Practice: Wow, I wish MW2 had this! Seriously, to me this is such a welcome addition, I just wish I had been able to use something like it in the past. When I first made the multiplayer leap in MW2, I went with trepidation that I would be slaughtered, and screamed at for being a n00b. Well, all those things happened. Multiplayer, for the first time you try it, is very different from an idiotic AI in single-player campaign modes (don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of idiots). The goals are very different, and thus playing is ultimately very different. Well, if you were hesitant to make that jump into multiplayer, Black Ops provides the ability to practice against AI of varying difficulty, some of which I found to be even better AI than in campaign mode (still stupid, but it does the trick, starting off very stupid at beginner difficulty, great for learning).

*Overall: The game is excellent, albeit with its shortcomings. I hope they patch the flaws, that will really prove to the lifespan of the game for me. If you are on the fence, new to Call of Duty or online gameplay, this one is truly the one to get, since it has most of the best aspects of the series, and many improvements.

I really would give this something along the lines of 4.4/5.0 or 8.9/10 if I could.

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments section, I will try to check back, and even update if patches resolve the issues. I purchased this pre-order here on Amazon, and it was, as usual, a great experience.
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53 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carl on Duty: Black Cops, November 10, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I'm one mission in on the campaign mode, played 1 game of slaughtering zombies, and have ranked up to about 15 on multi-player so far. So understand I have some, but not extensive, hands-on with the game at this point, so I can only say so much and will update my review as time, and my progress, goes by.

I've played the first 3 CoD games on 360, and the last 4 on PS3. I didn't much care for WaW, not because it was WWII era, but there was something about it I didn't like that I just couldn't put my finger on. I still don't know what it is.

Campaign mode: I've just scratched the surface, but so far it's fun. The audio is pretty sweet, the voice overs are good (Ice Cube could tone back the "I'm so hard and awesome" voice just a bit, though), and the story is alright so far. Only one mission in, I haven't really run into any bugs or complaints. I'm playing on Hardened difficulty. I usually beat campaign mode before I ever touch online, but with all of the online features (which I'll get into further down) I had to try it out on Day 1.

Zombies: I didn't care much for the zombie mode in WaW and was really tired of hearing almost everybody rave about how excited they are for zombies again. I gave it a shot last night and I really seem to have enjoyed it. Some of my favorite Spec Ops missions in MW2 were the wave defense games, and this reminds me of that and I think it's the main reason why I enjoy it, just not necessarily for the zombies.

Online Multi-player: I've really enjoyed myself so far. The upgrades and customizations are a really neat addition. I know some people are upset because it's "copy and paste of MW2", but it's still a CoD game, what do you expect? They've taken what's good with MW2 and made it even better. Friend invites are still annoying, but not as much as MW2. I wish they would bring back the same invite system they had on CoD4. I hate having to "leave" the game in order to look at/accept an invite. In this game, you hit Triangle to pull up your friends list, highlight the friend you want to invite, hit "Select" and it automatically sends an invite. But to accept one while staying in the game as much as possible, you pull up your friends list, hit Triangle again to pull up your current invites, and accept it through the typical PS3 messaging style message. CoD4 had the best invite system, I was hoping it'd be back in Black Ops, but at least it's better than MW2's setup which makes you "leave" the game in order to send and accept invites.

Online seems to have an almost constantly slower frame rate. The response time is fine, but the game could run a bit smoother. I'm hoping this is something that can be easily patched, as it's my biggest complaint for the entire game thus far.

Knifing: No more knifing from 10 feet away. It was horrible in MW2, you could be 10 feet away from someone and when they hit R3 to stab you, they instantly turn into The Flash, dart across and stab you, and having the Commando perk just made it worse. They've fixed this in Black Ops, you have to be right up on somebody in order to stab them.

I don't believe I've hit all the maps yet, but so far I really like the ones I have, especially Nuketown. It's a medium size map in comparison to other CoD game maps, but small compared to most of the other BlOps maps I've played. Most maps seemed to be laid out more realistically than previous maps. There are some long range views possible in them, but not to the point where the snipers can post up and basically shoot fish in a barrel ("Creek", anyone?).

Speaking of maps, there are no longer votes to skip maps. Instead, you're given the choice between two maps, represented by their name and a small screen shot of that map. You can see the number of votes for each map. There's also a choice for "Random Map". I'm not sure what happens if Random Map wins the vote, I've never seen it happen. So I don't know if it picks one of the 2 maps available for voting or just randomly picks from the list of all maps.

Wager Matches: I was super pumped when I first heard of this mode, mainly because of "One in the Chamber". I was a huge G3 fan in CoD4 and a huge FAL fan in MW2, I love semi-auto weapons, so I figured I'd love One in the Chamber where you can't just spray and pray. So far, I haven't been let down. It's super fun, teaches you ammo reservation and patience, plus it's just down right fun. 6 players with 3 lives, 1 handgun, 1 round, and 1 knife. Kill someone with a round, you regain that 1 round of ammo. Knife someone and you gain an extra round. Much less intense than playing a free-for-all with guns being constantly shot and grenades constantly exploding, but the added suspense is what makes really enjoyable. There are different buy-in levels, starting small with $10 as the lowest level, $1000 as medium, and I never checked, but I'm sure the third and highest level is $10,000 (but I could be wrong). Even then, you're able to Double Down and change the buy-in to $20 once you've joined the lobby, but everyone else has to agree by selecting "Double Down" as well. I'm yet to try any of the other wager matches.

Contracts: These are a neat little addition to the game as well. I'm still not sure how they determine which contracts to offer yet, but I've completed several and try to have the maximum of 3 going all at once. The more difficult the contract, the higher price to buy it, but the bigger the reward. Some pay out in Black Ops currency, some pay out in XP, some pay out in both. You're given a certain amount of time to complete each contract. For example, winning 3 team deathmatch rounds within a 40 minute window.

Weapons: They shoot, feel, and sound more like BFBC weapons than they do previous CoD weapons. They're not exact copies of BFBC, they're just more realistic and less arcadish than previous CoD games.

Graphics: I was reading reviews yesterday at work and it made me really nervous to come home and play the game for the first time, since it's been so hyped up and I've bought into all that hype. But so far I can't complain about the graphics, I think they look really good. I'm not sure I'd say they're a step back from MW2 because they're more "cartoonish" like everybody's been crying about, I think they're right on par with MW2... which they should be using the same engine. I'm playing through HDMI on a 1080p HDTV, though I'm not sure if the game is truly playing in 1080p or not, yet.

Customization: Just about everything is customizable, even the color of your clan tag can be determined. You unlock new weapons, attachments, upgrades, perks, equipment, kill streaks, playercard emblems, backgrounds, etc etc etc through the currency system. Pretty neat concept. I hated getting promoted in previous CoD games only to unlock a sniper rifle that I'll never, ever use. Now I can unlock the stuff that I want and need.

Player speak/gamespeak/whatever you want to call it: Not sure what they did, but all voices come through Lima Charlie. Really excited about this, I hate always having to say "what?.... what?... you're breaking up, what?".

So far, it's looking like I'll enjoy this just as much as, but probably more (possibly much more) than, I did MW2. If/when they correct the frame rate issue with online, I will come back and rank this game 5 stars (it should stand as 4 1/2 if we had the 1/2 option). So far it's lived up to expectations. I am not disappointed one bit.

I'll update information as I play, but if you have any questions on something I didn't/couldn't/forgot to mention, please comment and ask away. I should respond fairly quickly.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Carl Winslow rules!
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39 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good game. Not sure if it's a great game., November 13, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I have had this game since the midnight release Tuesday morning. (Monday night? Whatever.) I jumped straight online and started playing as soon as I got home. The first thing I noticed was how jerky the gameplay seemed. Not smooth and flowing like MW2, for instance. I played later and my gameplay was perfectly smooth. I am not sure if this laggy gameplay is a consequence of me being host, or just being in a crap lobby. In any case, the online needs some tweaking/updates. I have adjusted to the jerky gameplay, but I do not like it. I hope that Treyarch can release some updates to help this. Sometimes, however, I have that perfectly smooth, flowing online match reminiscent of MW2.

The weapons seem balanced, unlike MW2. It takes more skill to kill and stay alive. If you run out in the open foolishly, you will die. It doesn't take much. In my opinion, it feels much more realistic than MW2. Yet, I am still inclined to say that MW2's gameplay was better, noty taking into account all of the crap that made so many throw controllers across the room (noob tubes anyone?).

Another thing I do not like about this game are the sound effects. The guns and grenades sound downright comical compared to MW2. Yes, I am constantly comparing this game to MW2, and with good reason. In many ways, MW2 is the holy grail of FPSs. So don't tell me I'm some MW2 fanboy who can't get over it. I'm not. MW2 is just a good comparison base.

The maps are really fun to me, and look great too. The wide open spaces do seem to be missing here. As I read in another review, this does seem to make sniping difficult. I snipe occasionally, but have been unable to do it successfully in this game. And forget about quick scoping. It has been gimped. Takes too long to zoom in.

The currency system is awesome. I can unlock what I want instead of a million things I don't care about.

Wager matches are amazing and addictive. One of the best ideas I've seen in FPSs. Gamble your points against others in these creative battles. Just look online for Sticks and Stones or One in the Chamber. Really fun.

I haven't completed the campaign, but I have several hours in it. It is fun to me, but nothing amazing. Pretty much your typical shoot em up campaign. I personally enjoyed the campaign of MoH a lot as it seemed very realistic. This one is very out there, but may be realistic. Hey, they are "black ops" after all.

Anyway, it's a good game, not perfect. If you are a die-hard MW2 junkie, don't buy it. It is not the same. If all you want it MW2, keep playing MW2. If you want something new that is overall pretty awesome (with some flaws) buy this game.
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98 of 135 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed...updated 11/17/2010, November 10, 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I bought this yesterday for the PS3. After playing for about three hours, I say this game is mediocre at best, for now. So far I've played the Campaign mode for about five minutes, Zombie mode for 15, and the rest has been devoted to Online Multiplayer.

Let's start of with what's good (and remember, I spent most of my playing time Online Multiplayer)...
Pros:
-No lag. Or very little of it. I didn't notice the entire time I was playing online.
-The new credit system.
-Wager match.

Now to the not-so-good about the game...
-Graphics. What is this, a late PS2 game? It felt cartoonish. I wanted to pop in CoD: MW2 just so I could look up at the nice sky in "Derail" while looking for UAV's to shoot down.
-Sound. Not realistic at all and somewhat muffled.
-Maps. Most, if not all, feel so confined. Think of it as "Rust", but bigger.

I'll update again as I log in more hours, but for now, a rating of 3 out of 5.

Thank you for reading.

************************************************************************************

Update (11/17/2010):

It has now been more than a week since getting this game and so here are some updates:

*Note: I still only have played mainly the online multiplayer aspect of the game*

Pros:
-Zombie mode is actually really fun. Wave after wave of zombies come after you and your party, well to me, there's just nothing like it...except maybe "Red Dead Redemption"'s zombie dlc.
-Wager matches, particularly "One in the Chamber" and "Gun Game". There's no other multiplayer mode as fun as those two in the game.
-Balance between the guns...FAMAS still pwns.
-Still very little lag. While it is noticeable at times, it's not enough to make me ragequit *cough* MW2 *cough*

Cons:
-Still not impressed with the graphics or the sound. I blame MW2. I've gotten used to the grapchis, somewhat, but the gun sounds and explosions gets two-thumbs down from me.
-It has far become too easy for your teammates (and enemies) to take your care packages. While I don't mind them taking useless carepackages, specifically ammo, and it will help me get Hardline Pro faster (allows to switch out to a different care package once), I do want them most of the time. *imitates Chris Crocker* Leave my care package alone!!! T T
-Respawning. I've found myself being shot in the back quite often. An enemy will respawn behind you and kill you even if you're hiding in a corner and have your back against a wall *insert sarcasm here*.

Pro or Con depending on situation:
-Harder to kill enemies with a knife swipe (almost looks like a punch).
-Claymores blow up almost instantaneously.

I now rate the fun factor to 4 and the overall game rating to 3.5.

That's it for now. Thank you for reading and I'll post more updates eventually...if I could just put the controller...down...
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51 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Campaign is great; Online is great too...if you like lag and an idiotic spawn system, November 15, 2010
By 
C. Johnson (Lawrenceville, GA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Overall, I was disappointed with Modern Warfare 2 in both single player and multiplayer modes. Single player campaign was nothing more than a your typical Hollywood action flick with all action all the time. Needless to say, it got old very quick and the story was impossible to follow with your typical unbelievable ending. Multiplayer while better than single player suffered from lame perks that people abused and required no skill to use. Commando/lightweight (i.e. teleport) was possibly the cheapest perk combo in that game. The game also suffered from bullets curving around the corner a horrible spawn system that just turned this game into a camp fest. I really didn't mind the camping because I understood why people did it. I mean who wants to have someone spawn right behind and shoot them in the back every 3 seconds?

Enter Call of Duty Black Ops, a game that looked good on TV but based on my previous experience, I was not sure about the game and after having this game for about a week, I can honestly say my apprehensions about this game were valid but not in the areas I expected.

The good

Campaign mode is much improved this time around. While it seemed like it would end up just being a non-stop action fest during the first few missions, things really started getting good after getting to the Vietnam missions. The story is written better and is easier to follow for the most part, but the flashbacks can be a little distracting. But I can say for a fact that I really got addicted to the single player mode.

Online play has many improvements; first of all many of the lame and cheap perks from MW2 are GONE! This means no more commando/lightweight users, no excessive noob tube damage, and no impossible kills from all the way across the screen. In addition there is no more stacking of kill streaks, meaning any kills you get from your kill streak rewards will NOT count towards your kill streak. Because of this you can no longer sit back and let your kill streaks do all the work if you want to get your higher rewards. I was guilty of this in MW2 but I welcome this change in BO and should help to cut down on camping. This also ensures that the more powerful kill streaks rewards (11 is the highest you can get now) will be a rare occurrence which makes for good balance. The spawning system has little improvement but still people will spawn right behind you, but from what I experienced this game is not as bad as MW2. (ummm, scratch this, see my update at the end of this review)

New system for weapon upgrades. Instead of having to get 6 million headshots to get a new camo for your gun or attachment, you now have to buy your upgrades with money you earn during your matches. I love this change as in MW2 I became too caught up on completing challenges to get weapon upgrades which in turn forced me to use a particular weapon for all of my matches and it became more of a chore than anything. There are many ways to earn money, but I won't go into them here.

Combat training mode is an excellent way for you to practice multiplayer with computer controlled opponents and teammates with customizable game options like time limit and score. You can select the difficulty level and compete in either TDM or FFA on all online maps. In addition you earn upgrades, ranking promotions just like you would online except they don't carry over to online play. I didn't think this mode would be much fun, but it is and is also a good way to try out and practice all the kill streak rewards (if you stay alive long enough) without the pressure or frustration online.

The bad

With all the improvements in both single player and multiplayer mode the negatives greatly hurt the overall quality of this game.

The graphics and sound are a noticeable huge step back from MW2 and even COD4. This does not look like a current gen game, and people who both like and dislike this game all agree the graphics are not up to par with what is currently out on the next gen systems. Many times I have found myself comparing this game's visuals to the graphics of my XBOX (the first one) wondering which one was better. Sound also takes a step back from the previous COD titles, as I have said in many of my comments, all explosive devices sound exactly the same, and the guns themselves just sound a little bit underpowered. While the graphics and sound issues didn't bother me too much on single player they did distract me on online play when it was coupled with the number 1 problem with this game.....ONLINE LAG.

While MW2 had MANY problems with online play, LAG was rarely an issue I encountered, this is no longer the cause with BO. Out of all the time I had this game, I only had two or three matches that lag was minimal and this was at 2 in the morning. The rest of my many matches suffered debilitating lag so much that many times I would just quit the game in frustration because it's impossible to kill someone when they are teleporting all over the screen. Even the menu to get to online play is quirky; many times I had to press the "Playstation Network" option on the multiplayer screen multiple times JUST to get into the lobby. Then when I get there the only thing that is guaranteed is a laggy online experience. After the second day of putting up with this, I gave up online play altogether and played Combat training, because I just found online play well....unplayable. All of the great improvements to multiplayer are completely ruined by the lag which is a shame.

Single player is much improved but multi-player overall is a huge step back even with the improvements that were implemented. I am glad I rented this game, because multiplayer is what makes games like these worth the cost. But when I can't even play multi-player why would I pay full price for it? I may end up getting this game eventually, but not until the price comes down considerably because unless they find a fix for their online mode, there is no way I'm playing this game online.

My suggestion RENT before you buy.

UPDATE 11/30/2010: (Regarding the spawn system)

While I originally stated that the spawn system is slightly improved over MW2, after playing more games online (360 version, since the PS3 version is unplayable online). I can now say definitively that the spawn system is actually WORSE than MW2 and that is saying a lot. Never before have I experienced so many instant random deaths right after I kill someone due to an enemy somehow magically appearing right behind me in the area I just left 1 second earlier. It is absolutely ridiculous and frustrating. But hey, if you like mindless chaos and instant deaths, you will be right at home with this game. It got so bad in fact that I decided to try my hand and hardcore since spawns take longer, but the obvious trade off is weapons are more powerful which is good in itself, until, yep! you guessed it someone spawns behind you, or spawn camps and kills you as soon as you spawn. So while Hardcore does limit the occurrence of enemies appearing behind you, it still does not fix the obviously flawed and untested spawn system. I hear arguments that the spawn system is like this to eliminate camping, but if this is the case, then their bass ackward plan backfired, because all this does is encourage MORE CAMPING and who can really blame players for doing so? I find it hard to believe that the QA department at Treyarch (provided they even have one) honestly could look at this game and say the spawn system was fine. But I guess these days, quality takes a back seat to profits.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, December 19, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
When I first bought this game I didn't expect to like it much but it was a game the hubby wanted. After playing a couple times and adjusting to the controls I think I am the one playing the most. The Zombie killing adventure is awesome if it is just you or even if you have online access as the difficulty gets harder as the levels increase. If you have a good internet connection the multilayer online feature is really neat as well as their are different categories you can play in and you are almost always playing with different people who are at different levels as far as experience goes. If you are wanting to buy this for a younger kid I would advise turning off the graphic content as there is a lot of blood that appears after a kill.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Knee Jerk Response to Online Multiplayer, November 10, 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Look, I haven't had much time to play this game yet, and really none of us has had enough time to really "fairly" evaluate this game. At most, you've had roughly 36 hours to play around the time of this posting. I've probably logged about an hour or two of online multiplayer.

Ok, so like many of the COD fans, as soon as I put this game in my PS3, I went online to give it a go. The massive replay value of the COD franchise comes from MP. I know I'm not saying anything we didn't already know, but it demands to be said. Why? Because many (most) don't buy this game for the SP campaign. It usually lasts a total of about 4-5 hours of gameplay; so, I don't think my failure to play the campaign in any way invalidates my review. If you're looking for a review of the SP campaign, you won't find it here, and you'll probably be disappointed about spending $60 for a game just on SP.

So, I fell in love with this series with COD4: Modern Warfare. I have COD 3, and I have played some COD2 on the PC, but COD4 is what took me from being a Madden/NCAA Football junkie to a FPS junkie. This is the game I buy annually because it's the game I play all year. I might swap something out from time to time, but 90% or more of my gaming time is spent on one of the COD games. Modern Warfare was an outstanding game, and even though MW2 has some goofy exploits in it, that game has held my attention with no going back to COD4.

Enter Black Ops.

Modern Warfare 2 introduced some new things when it launched. While World at War had killstreaks like artillery, dogs, etc., MW2 took it to a whole new level with harriers, chopper gunners, stealth bombers, and, of course, nukes. It was infuriating to be the victim of these killstreaks, but it was fun to use them. You'll always have people who abuse games and the design of games to their advantage, but MW2 seemed to have a real problem with it. I was hoping that Black Ops would fix some of the issues that plagued MW2 multiplayer like the killstreaks, the unrealistic melee, the no scope, etc.

Well, Black Ops has apparently fixed the knifing as commando is no longer an option, and the no scope seems to be gone, but the killstreaks are as ridiculous as ever. There's no nuke -- thank God that the YouTube kiddies won't have anything to post anymore -- but the RC car is even worse than a predator, and the chopper gunner might even be easier on Black Ops than it was on MW2.

In its place, Black Ops has given the weapons a significant downgrade. Gone is the leveling up to get weapons, but so far I don't have a gripe about that. What can't be fixed or adjusted to preference is the absence of the better weapons on MW2: ACR, SCAR-H, and M4. I understand the focus is, apparently, on the Cold War for this game, but Black Ops should be a broader scope than that. Didn't Treyarch learn its lesson from World at War? Give us the newer, better weapons. I don't want a bolt action rifle. Weapons like that FAL are great, but the M14? Come on...

Worse than the lackluster weapons, the graphics are very disappointing. They're PS2 level, IMO. I wasn't a huge World at War fan (see comments about weapons), but so far I like that game more than this one. If the graphics aren't enough to disappoint you, the apparently overloaded servers last night made the game difficult to play. I sincerely hope the glitching was a function of lag and not the game itself.

I will continue playing for a while to see if my opinion changes and will update this review accordingly, but for now, this is my stream of consciousness regarding Black Ops. I give it 3 stars to COD4's and MW2's 5 stars.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Back to Modern Warfare 2, November 29, 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
The sound and graphics are a step back when compared to Modern Warfare 2. The guns and explosives sound like a "ping" as though you're playing paint ball. The graphics are choppy and multiplayer has lag issues. Overhyped! Don't bother.
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Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3 by Activision Publishing (PlayStation 3)
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