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258 of 351 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The COD gravy train of hype churns on, but I'm glad to be along for the ride
Ah, another year, another Call of Duty game. It seems like the annual release of the next installment in the iconic first-person shooter series should be a national holiday, given how many people attend the midnight launches for the game and no doubt skipped work or school the next day (myself included). Having hit the apex of popularity with Modern Warfare 2, the big...
Published on November 9, 2010 by Ben Rowland

versus
645 of 849 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars COD Must Evolve
Great production value does not make a great game.
I'll start with the good things. COD:Black Ops graphics are on-par with any top-shelf title and it has an incredibly smooth feel. The game is reported to run at 60 frames per second and it feels very high def. The voice acting is good, and clearly the production value and marketing budgets are both very high...
Published on November 10, 2010 by 3V0LVE


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645 of 849 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars COD Must Evolve, November 10, 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Great production value does not make a great game.
I'll start with the good things. COD:Black Ops graphics are on-par with any top-shelf title and it has an incredibly smooth feel. The game is reported to run at 60 frames per second and it feels very high def. The voice acting is good, and clearly the production value and marketing budgets are both very high. However, graphics, and hype do not make a good game. Gameplay and immersion do. Here's why COD:Black Ops Fails utterly.

1 AI is stupid. These shortcomings remind you constantly that your playing a game, and a poorly scripted one at that.
- Enemy recognition: I've seen the AI sit 2 feet away from an enemy and not shoot at them. When they finally do, they shoot it out for 10-15 seconds to score a kill on the enemy. This is ridiculous. Your allies in the field are supposed to be top-notch soldiers just like you. Why can't they do some of the heavy lifting? Why can't they do ANY lifting?
- AI Movement: Once again you are expected to lead the way no matter what. AI will lead you from one battle to another with annoying "follow me you jackass" type comments (I mean you're supposedly the "very best" soldier in the US's arsenal and your squad pampers you along like you're the greenest rookie in the armed forces, but I'll hit on this later) but once you get from one battle sequence to the next, they sit and shoot in the general direction of the enemy, but do nothing, generally, to progress the situation.
I want to ask the developers, "Have you played ANY other modern games with AI in them?" Because they do have a worthwhile influence on the outcome. Try playing Halo:Reach on legendary without the help of your squad mates you are FAR worse off. In that game, your squad shoots and accurately, and infinitely and eliminates enemies... For the really tough enemies you can time your shots with your AI squad mates to take down difficult targets with efficacy. This is entirely missing in BO.

2. Scripted non-sense battles: Once again the feel of a real battle is completely removed here. You can not move naturally through a level, but instead must figure out through countless, monotonous trial and error sessions what the best, and arguable only, (especially when playing on hardened/veteran difficulty) way through a section is. The fact that the story won't proceed to the next sequence until you trip the magic tripwire in the game is on par with 10-15yr old video games. Have the developers played anything but their own garbage in the last decade? I'm guessing no.
- Nothing is worse in battles than seeing your buddies standing in the open taking zero fire, while you are ducked behind cover, and somehow getting magically lit up by enemies invisible to you. While I understand that perhaps some finger or toe might be sticking out of cover, why in all reasonableness would the enemy concentrate the entirety of their base of fire on such an impossible target when there are readily available targets standing entirely in the open? The fact that every enemy on the field seems to ignore all targets but you is very hard to get over. It's counter intuitive. If you see your friends moving with impunity, its natural to think, "I can go with them and NOT get shot at by multiple enemies, since they are in the open and not getting shot at by multiple enemies." Treyarch rewards this logic with untimely, inexplicable death, over and over again. = totally annoying

3. Infinitely spawning enemies
- There are times when this is sensible, and there are times when it isn't. The fact that Treyarch rewards you for getting into a tactically superior position and eliminating enemies with unending waves of reinforcements is ridiculous. It's once again, counter-intuitive. While I understand the need to move, you are murdered over and over for sticking a toe out of cover, yet you are rewarded for being in cover with unending oppression. There needs to be a balance struck here where, IF you decide to take cover and use tactics to weaken the enemy force, you will get your chance to move. Maybe its simply the timing of the waves of enemies, but its seems that once you eliminate one enemy they are immediately replaced. This makes it pointless to eliminate enemies, and turns the game into a measured, Run-from-cover-to-cover type of battle where you simply hope to survive the onslaught and recover while in safety, only to do it again. Smoke grenades are the great balancer here, but they are in limited supply and that doesn't excuse how counter-intuitive it is to play a battle game without actually rewarding the player's skill and use of tactics with the ability to advance and succeed in a battlefield environment.

Awful
Game mechanics that are 10 - 15 yrs old, completely stale, and showing a complete inability to evolve
Completely lackluster AI
No rewards for player skill in a combat game

Good
Smooth, good-looking graphics
Talented voice acting

NOTE: Multiplayer is what it is, you either hate it or love it. I think its quick and addictive fun but I also greatly prefer the realism of other recent releases (MOH)
Zombies is great fun, but hardly worth a 60 pricetag.
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139 of 188 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Unfortunate Step Back, November 11, 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I had never been a fan of the franchise, preferring to do my shooting in the more Arcady Half-Life engine, Halo, Fear etc...

Then I played Modern Warfare, and loved it. You felt free to act. On veteran, the game was challenging. The worlds were large, and the enemies didn't re-spawn to infinity. This allowed you to actually be creative in your strategy, instead of tunneling. You could fall back, flank, snipe, or rush. Level design facilitated all strategies and the AI responded. Some levels set up better for different strategies, but the important thing is that it felt organic. When players died, they felt they could do something different--that they had control.

A majority of the positive reviews for this game focus on its numerous improvements over other Treyarch offerings, and hey are right to do so. The graphics, story, voice acting, and music are a step up (from COD:WaW), as well as the addition of some "cool moments," and extras like Zombies. However, there are serious problems that get brushed over. I feel like multi-player issues have been covered. So this review will tackle single player.

While game-play seems fluid on easier difficulties,fundamental problems express themselves at the more difficult settings. My play through on Veteran got boring fast largely due to the fact that Treyarch uses infinite enemy spawns to compensate for poor, predictable level design and unacceptably bad AI. Eventually you realize that besides a few "cool" roller-coaster moments type moments--fun but there's only one track, most of the game consists of a long corridor or an enclosed "box" with predictably placed pieces of cover. Even though there are things going on outside the "box" and the graphics seemingly connect them (see the trenches in the Vietnam level), you cannot interact with them. Visually its a large world; in practice it's claustrophobic. Enemies advance mindlessly in single file from the most distant cover to your position, eventually charging recklessly from the last piece of cover. To "kill" them you need to toss smoke grenades, sprint past some imaginary line, and hunker down. If you get unlucky and the RNG pops off a couple head shots, prepare to live the last 5 minutes of your life over and over again.

Lets be frank--in the early versions of COD, this was a necessity because of inherent technical limitations. The "box" existed because large interactive environments weren't possible. The endless spawns were needed because AI was terrible. It was necessary to have smoke grenades because these other compensations made certain configurations of enemies and cover frustrating. Purists might say "This is Call of Duty," but how many other games get a free pass when refusing to innovate from their predecessors?

Halo got a lot of crap for repeated area designs, but at least there were multiple ways to attack each situation. As Bungie put it, it was the same "moment of fun" over and over again. Black Ops is the same moment of predictable annoyance over and over. Instead of forcing you to critically think, death in Black-Ops feels like you just got unlucky playing the exact same interaction over and over again in the only way possible to play it. Theres nothing to do differently--just rush ahead and cross your fingers again. You are bound to get unlucky and die--even doing the right thing. When you do, unpredictable load points reward you with the with the same set of identical interactions and identical solutions. And then suddenly, when things work out, the gratification isn't there. You did nothing different. If the definition of madness is "doing the same thing and expecting a different result," then I guess I was mad the whole time I played.

Aiming is also problematic. I understand that real guns kick, but when you have an enemy completely filing my sights and the recoil from the last shot makes you miss anyway, you don't feel a sense of reward for aiming and you certainly don't feel a sense of realism; you feel a developer trying to compensate for poor difficulty balancing.

"Throw smoke and run into it" seems like a poor mechanic after a while. In the Infinity Ward games you throw smoke to get a tactical advantage, get away, or provide temporary cover to move to a new position. In Treyarch games, you do it because its the best way to stop infinite spawns. The former feels immersive, the latter feels like band-aid for poor game design.

It seems like Treyarch, in a misguided attempt to differentiate themselves from Infinity Ward and to give long time COD fans exactly what they've played over and over, actually refuses to let the series mature into a dynamic, creative, and frankly more fun experience.

Yes, it is challenging on veteran with high infinite spawn rates. It's challenging that the only solution is to press forward into oncoming fire. But it was also boring and I'd like my money back.

The bottom line is: if you want to romp through the game one lower difficulties or like the Multi-player, give it a shot. It looks good, and is entertaining. I enjoyed the voice acting and the story. If, however, you play through shooters at max difficulty and prefer to get your multi-player in MW2 or the new Halo offering, rent it or wait for better pricing.
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258 of 351 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The COD gravy train of hype churns on, but I'm glad to be along for the ride, November 9, 2010
By 
Ben Rowland (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Ah, another year, another Call of Duty game. It seems like the annual release of the next installment in the iconic first-person shooter series should be a national holiday, given how many people attend the midnight launches for the game and no doubt skipped work or school the next day (myself included). Having hit the apex of popularity with Modern Warfare 2, the big question is how Black Ops will compare. I don't live and die by COD games as some people do, but I can say that Black Ops is one of the most satisfying and intense shooters I've ever played, with the best campaign out of all the games in the series and a multiplayer aspect that I can finally enjoy.

Perhaps I'm the odd one, but I mainly buy these games for the single-player campaign as I am not the best at online shooters. The campaign in Black Ops is easily the best out of the series, with more cohesive storytelling and a more satisfying conclusion than the previous entries. Set in the Cold War era (early to late 1960's), you fight your way through diverse terrain in Russia, Cuba, and Vietnam, among other locations. As with other games in the series, you play as two main characters and you go back and forth between their missions. Without giving too much away, the story is pretty stock, but the manner in which it's told and presented is a big step forward for the COD series, which has lately felt like a batch of multiplayer games with a brief single-player campaign tacked on. Black Ops gives players a better experience in this regard, and despite being brief (7 hours roughly), it doesn't feel too short or seem to end as abruptly as the Modern Warfare games. The difficulty settings are standard for the series, and for achievement/trophy hunters, the biggest rewards come when playing on "Veteran" difficulty.

The style of gameplay, the weapons and the linear design is all par for the course, but Treyarch has done a wonderful job at bringing this era and the surroundings to life. The cinematic quality that made Modern Warfare 2 such a hit is still intact here, and the graphics and sound are as amazing as you would expect. What I've always enjoyed about the COD games are the tight controls, and Black Ops will fit like a glove for any FPS fan. The multiplayer, undoubtedly the biggest day of Black Ops, is surprisingly accessible for people like me who typically get owned when going online. The focus is on class creating and experience points, and while I've only played a couple of hours, everything seems to run smoothly and without lag. My only fear is that the usual frustrations, such as campers and rude teenagers acting like idiots, will eventually creep in, but I'll be optimistic and see how things play out.

I don't believe in gushing over games and hailing them as the "Best Game EVAR!", so I'll avoid hyperbole and simply say that Black Ops one of the better FPS games that I've played. If I have any negative feedback, it surrounds some of the difficulty spikes and the dumb-as-bricks AI of your teammates (and some enemies), but that was the same case with Modern Warfare 2 and especially World at War. Black Ops is not a perfect game graphically and it doesn't reinvent the wheel for FPS games, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying experience that I don't regret investing the time or money into.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Fun Game!!!, April 10, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
This game is lots of fun. I will cover the different modes of the game in their respective sections below.

Campaign:

In my opinion, the campaign of BO is one of the best I have played and is very well written! I won't spoil it for you, but this is the basic story. It is set in the 1970's. You start as Alex Mason, an American soldier being interrogated about information concerning the location of a numbers station. You play through flashbacks of what happened to Mason and other members of his squad during the Cold War and Vietnam War leading up to when he was being interrogated. You play through many different enviornments such as jungles in Vietnam, military outposts in the snowy Ural Mountains, and even in a Soviet cosmodrome. The game loosely follows real history, including dates of events, famous political figures, and battles. It is very entertaining, providing many hours of gameplay. The campaign on Veteran difficulty is not too hard, but brutally hard on some points of the game. There are lots of vehicles to drive or fly, and many cool sequences. There are also intel items to find during the game, and each piece of intel reveals a cool feature in the menu. The game has very talented voice actors, such as Ice Cube, Gary Oldman, and Sam Worthington.

Multiplayer/Combat Training:

The multiplayer of this game is very fun. There are 50 levels to progress through, and there is a different system of how you unlock different weapons. In Black Ops, you use a currency called Call of Duty Points, and they can be used to purchase Weapons, Attachments, Perks, Emblems, Titles, and Equipment. After every game that you play, you earn a specific number of Call of Duty Points, varying on how well you did or if you completed a Contract (challenges that reward you with XP and CODPoints). I personally like this system better then the ragular system because when I unlock a weapon, I can get whatever Attachment I want for it right away instead of having to use it for a long time before I can. You can also buy Lethal and Tactical Grenades, Equipment, and Perks whenever you want, as long as you have enough money. CODPoints can also be used to buy different symbols for customizable emblems and titles for your online profile. Unfortunately, CODPoints cannot be shared with friends, so if you're low on cash, you'll just have to earn it. Another great feature is Wager Matches, where you gamble CODPoints with other players. There are many game modes, such as the Gun Game, where if you get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place, you earn some of the winnings from the bets. It is a very fun way to earn CODPoints if you do well. Another feature is called Combat Training, where you fight offline against AI enemies either alone or with friends. It's just like regular multiplayer, except you can play with AI players on your team and on the enemy team. You also rank up in Combat Training, but it's a different rank then in Multiplayer. It's very fun because you can choose what map and what gametype you play. You can even choose the difficulty of the AI, so you can play against terrible Recruits or lethal Veterans. It also very useful for sampling different perks, guns, and attachments so you're not wasting your money in real Multiplayer.

Zombies:

Zombies mode is back, and it's bigger and better. If you're not familiar, Zombies mode is where you fend off endless waves of zombies, which progressively get harder. Up to 4 people can play via Xbox LIVE or Split-Sceen. You earn points for each Zombie killed and each barricade fixed. You use those points to open doors and buy Perks and Weapons. If a player gets killed by the zombies, his teammates can revive him to get him back up, or if he dies, he respawns the next round. Zombies mode is very addicting and I recommend you get the map packs for Zombie maps.

Overview:

I would definitely recommend this game to a friend because it has a great Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies mode.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ehhh, January 18, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Sorta fun game. Zombies, Sticks and Stones, and Hardcore modes are fun. Normal mode is a joke (as usual). The story line is just stupid for a few resons
First, half the story is in audio played at such a low volume ya gotta crank the volume up on your TV just to hear what he is saying. After the segment ends it blast you back to normal volume. very anoying
Second, some of the missions are fun but most of them are just rebranded from older games. I will admit there is a chopper battle thats fun however if you leave without killing all the tanks ya just get blown up for no reason. Nothing hits ya, just blow up...

Not a very good game saddly :(
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Zombies, It's Disappointing., January 7, 2011
By 
tvtv3 "tvtv3" (St. Louis Metro East Area) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The overall storyline in CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS focus upon Alex Mason, a member of the CIA's Studies and Observation Group (SOG) or Black Ops for short. The game opens with Mason tied to a medical chair, surrounded with monitors with a non-descriptive disembodied voice asking him questions. At the same time Mason keeps hearing and seeing a list of numbers. It's unclear until about halfway through the game whether Mason has been captured and is being interrogated by an unknown enemy or if he is being questioned by a friendly force trying to extract life-saving data from him. The game progresses through a series of flashbacks that show what Mason has been through and how he came to be in the chair he is in. The flashbacks take the gamer from Cuba and the Bay of Pigs to Vietnam to a frozen wasteland near Russia and to beneath the ocean. The climax of the game leads up a climatic battle that loosely ties to actual history.

The overall graphics in the game are spectacular. There are many times that you look around and get the impression that you are playing a movie and not a video game. At certain points in the game, the images are extremely lifelike. The voice acting is strong and the music does an excellent job of accompanying what is happening during the story.

I usually don't play multi-player levels, but BLACK OPS has a special multi-player/co-op mode where you can fight a zombie horde. The "Zombies" mode is exciting and addictive. I just wish there was an end point somewhere; the zombie hordes never stop invading.

With that said, CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS is a disappointment. The overall storyline is short and the "reveal" at the end is disappointing. I mean, do we really need another Manchurian Candidate scenario?

The way the game operates is frustrating, too. BLACK OPS has been marketed as though it offers a more expansive and innovative gameplay, but that's just not the case. You have to complete each objective a certain way, otherwise the game doesn't progress and you are killed. The A.I. buddies that fight along your side don't do anything during actual combat and the blunt of the enemies attacks are always at your character. If you try to hide and peak a shoulder or a toe out, you're dead in a few seconds. There's no thinking outside of the box and if you try, you die. During battle sequences, if you stay in one spot it doesn't matter how good of a shot you are or how many enemies you kill because they just keep coming and coming and coming. The men at the Alamo had better odds than you do if you attempt to stay undercover and fight it out without advancing.

Beyond that, I was also disappointed by how little you actually get to play in certain environments. BLACK OPS was marketed as being a Cold War video game. For example, despite the historical negative connotations of the actual historical war, the prospect of fighting in Vietnam as a secret covert agent is exciting. You imagine all the possibilities of fighting and surviving in a jungle and think of a video-game version of Rambo. Instead, you are given a few sequences that have to be accomplished in a certain way and only about 25% of the game being spent fighting in Vietnam. It's like playing a game in the American Civil War only to find out that for over half of the game you're neither going to be a Yank or Reb but will be playing a Native American in a completely different conflict between two warring tribes out in Montana.

Overall, the graphics and voice acting are superb, but the storyline is weak and the gameplay is frustrating and non-innovative. BLACK OPS looks fun from the outside, but when it sees the light of day, it's a disappointment. The best thing about the game is the Zombie mode. Kids will probably enjoy it, but those over 16 or anyone who is a more experienced gamer will probably be disappointed by it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Familiar but still fun..., November 9, 2010
By 
Jason Bean (Iowa City, IA) - 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 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Being an FPS fan I've of course been following the Call of Duty games since they first appeared on PC. While they haven't been consistantly good, Call of Duty 4 is still one of my favorite all time video games. Now comes the seventh entry in the series (after World at War and Modern Warfare 2). Call of Duty: Black Ops is a very exciting game that excells in story-telling but is weighed down by familiar gameplay mechanics.

While the plot's of the Call of Duty games have never been all that impressive, filled with forgetable heroes and villians Black Ops has very well-written characters that bring a very personal feeling to the game's story. No it's not movie worthy (and I'm sure everyone guessed the final twists at the end) but the fact that I actually found myself engrossed in the events of the overall story and the fully voiced player-characters puts this one a notch above the previous Call of Duty games. The voice acting is also terrific with Sam Worthington, Ice Cube, Gary Oldman, and Ed Harris giving real weight to their characters. The music is also very exciting with some great period tracks setting the overall tone of the game.

While the story-telling is rock-solid, the actual level designs and basic gameplay of Call of Duty: Black Ops are typical and not very engaging with the exception of a cool prison break level and one where you're swimming around in Vietnam. Don't get me wrong, no other FPS has quite captured the excitement of the Prypiat, Ukraine missions of Call of Duty 4, but considering this game's called 'Black Ops' you sure do cause a LOT of explosions and get into a lot of gunfights. The basic gameplay is also exactly the same as it was in Call of Duty 4 and even with the 1960's time period the game feels a bit worn-out. Black Ops DOES manage to incorporate some vehicle mechanics into it's gameplay, but even these feel more like arcade shooting moments than actual engrossing experiences (that and they're WAAAAY too brief). The zombie mode is back from World at War and the White House mission is a lot of fun in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but is otherwise identical.

When all's said and done Call of Duty Black Ops is more like the ODST to Modern Warfare's Halo 3 (better story, same old gameplay with lots of multiplayer options). It's not an evolution of FPS nor is it really a change to the Call of Duty series in general. Call of Duty Black Ops is a very good game and worth at least a rental (unless you're a multiplayer fan), but lets just hope the next COD takes things in a more unique direction.

(a note: I know there's a lot more to Call of Duty Black Ops than the single player campaign and I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a review on here for the multiplayer options. Unfortunatly I'm not a multiplayer gamer so this review is ONLY my opinion of the single player game.)
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?, February 1, 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I just finished playing Black Ops on Veteran, and I have to say, I was terribly, terribly disappointed. The story was lackluster, but far worse was the programming. There was so little attention paid to making the AI act in any sort of realistic way. The game rewarded luck and recklessness more than it did cautious tactics and good aim/reflexes. I realize I played the game on veteran, but it was difficult in stupid, frustrating ways instead of intelligently designed, tough AI.

At multiple points in the game, I would reach an area with enemies that had not yet been triggered, so they would be frozen halfway up a ladder or standing in the middle of a clearing. As they were not yet set to move, they could not be shot. I would unload and entire clip into them and nothing would happen until I'd move just far enough and they would activate, swiftly turn around, and shoot me in the head. That is pure carelessness.

Additionally, enemies had impeccable accuracy while blindfiring around walls and sprinting across the map. The game is programmed such that enemies who are hiding behind walls will not come out until you have let your aim down, and they will instead stick their arm out and kill you in less than a second. I found that half of the time, it would be luck determining whether I would be able to kill an enemy, as he would sometimes be 'hiding' around the wrong corner and be crouched in plain sight.

Recklessness was rewarded, as enemies were frequently programmed to run to a certain hiding place before they begin shooting, so sprinting into the middle of them and spraying everywhere usually resulted in killing all of them before they could get off a shot.

The AI was so difficult to predict because they would be jerking back and forth in plain sight half the time, and other times, never, ever coming from their hiding spots. Other enemies would stare at walls for extended periods of time before snapping forward and shooting you in the head. I felt like I was playing a poorly designed game from eight years ago.

The missions in vehicles were entirely too forgiving on veteran, usually able to be beaten in one straight shot. And certain parts of the game, your NPC friends would kill EVERYONE for you while you hid, and in others, they would rush up PAST the enemies with their backs to you, while the enemies would ignore them and shoot only at you. Sometimes your teammates would call for cover fire, but if you obeyed their command, you would be dead the second you popped your head out.

The last bit of frustrating AI is that your NPC teammates would sometimes decide they needed to go up a thin staircase that you were standing on while fighting, and they would push you right into the middle of all of the enemies, and you would be unable to run back because they would block the entrance.

This game is VERY poorly made, especially for a Call of Duty title. I had read mixed reviews, but I really didn't expect this. I suppose I'll try the multiplayer, although I've heard it has some real issues. I may update this review, but probably only if I find the multiplayer to be surprisingly good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BS and WTF moments a plenty!, May 5, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Initially, and compared to the terrible Gears Of War series, I really liked this game. It was a breath of fresh air to actually feel I had some degree of control over my on screen character, and could actually engage other players on equal terms. After playing for a while though, that illusion soon vanished. Black Ops suffers from poor hit box detection, and the usual lag issues associated with peer to peer gaming. On top of the actual issues with the game mechanics, the game suffers from a limited number of maps that soon become dull, and not sure if there is map rotation issue, but some maps seem to appear time and time again. Expect to play a lot of WMD and Array. I think it says a lot about the quality of the maps, that when presented with the two possible choices, players will always vote for a random map, anything other than the ones they have been presented with. The only maps that players do seem to vote on are Nuke Town and Firing Range. The maps are also pretty small, so the sniper class seems redundant. This is little more than a gun and run game.

Gun selection in this game is pretty much all eye candy, and really makes no difference at all. You can still shoot someone point blank with a shotgun any number of times and they will not go down, and firing on a person first is no sure guarantee that they will be killed. I particularly like the way as well that 50% of the time, enemy players can stroll past your claymore, which will then detonate well after you have been killed by said player. Oh, and watch out too for the poorly animated dog attacks. The blurb says a well timed knife attack can kill a dog, however, there are so few frames of animation on the dogs attacks, that one minute it is on the floor, the next it is on you! Oh, and speaking of knives, expect to be knifed by another player a few feet past them.

Whack Ops may be fun if you have come from an even poorer game, in my case, the Gears Of War series, but at the end of the day, get ready for BS and WTF moments aplenty.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want my money back, September 6, 2012
By 
Kindle Customer (Albuquerque, NM USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
My friend talked me into buying this game (used, from GameStop). If I had rented it first, I would not have bought it.

The problems with the campaign mode:
1) The AI is horribly stupid. Your allies have no concept of covering fire, except in the (very few) cases where it is written into the script. They will let enemies sneak up behind you or flank you without firing a single shot. They do, however, have helpful things to yell at you. For example, if you are getting shot up, they will yell "You're getting shot up!" Thanks for the heads-up on that one.

2) Special rules for NPCs. Your allies can stand fully upright in a fire fight and never get hit, but if you so much as try to peak around a barricade you die. It completely ruins what should be an immersive experience.

3) Instead of having an engaging narrative, the writers used a flashback wrapper technique to make the story seem interesting. Every battle you fight (except the very end) is a flashback. In one case, you play a flashback inside of a flashback. I'm not kidding! The writers were that lazy. So, every time you die, you stop and say "Wait a second! I know my guy survived because he is getting tortured in the future!"

4) Infinitely spawning waves of enemies too close together. I understand that you are supposed to feel like you are in an impossible situation, but it is just ridiculous when you can't move because the same 5 guys keep respawning, and by the time you've killed the fifth guy, the first guy is shooting you again (while your allies watch and yell at you).

5) Idiotic checkpoints. When you die (and you will die frequently), the game either starts you back 10 minutes earlier, or in the exact spot where you just died. Then, you either have to fight your way back all over again, or you get killed 15 times in a row until you figure out the exact combination of moves to get to safety right away.

6) Bugs! There are places in the game where you can get trapped. I once got my boat stuck and had to do a save+exit+resume trick to get it unstuck. Unfortunately, when I resumed my screen was completely white for 5 minutes, with only the waypoint indicator visible. I could move toward the waypoint, but the graphics did not recover until I hit the next checkpoint.

7) Bad level design. The SR71 mission is the single worst level of any game I have ever played. It is obvious the creators were trying to recreate the feeling of the AC130 mission from the first Modern Warfare game, but what they actually made was an epic fail.

8) Poor acting. I have read other reviews that praise the voice actors in this game. In my opinion, there is only one good actor in this cast. The rest are either hams or just seem to be bored with their lines (and I can't blame them, their lines are usually pretty lame).

The okay parts:
1) It is kind of neat that this game builds on part of the story from COD: World at War.

2) The only fun I had in this game was when I got to use the dragon's breath incendiary shotgun rounds.

3) With the flashback wrapper, at least you know your character isn't going to die half way through the game like they do in the Modern Warfare games.

4) The graphics are good, but nothing spectacular.

Final thoughts:
I play video games to have fun. The campaign mode in this game is simply not fun. Multiplayer may be fun, but you can get good multiplayer and a fun campaign with the Modern Warfare games. The zombie levels might be fun for some people, but I find them repetitive and overly difficult. If you want a zombie game, go buy Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising, Resident Evil, or any of the other zombie games out there.
I'm selling this one back and letting some other sucker (who didn't read my review) suffer through it. I will rent Black Ops 2 before I even think of buying it.
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Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360 by Activision Publishing (Xbox 360)
$49.99 $26.99
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