Customer Review

646 of 850 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars COD Must Evolve, November 10, 2010
By 
= 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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Comments

Tracked by 13 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 89 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 11, 2010 12:53:26 PM PST
You have this exactly right.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010 2:58:33 PM PST
Jason b. says:
WOW, I was going to write a review but you said it all, every last word, I agree....great review!

Posted on Nov 11, 2010 4:56:59 PM PST
Michael says:
MOH Realism? Give me a break. I bought that game and sold it because the multiplayer was so ridiculous. Small maps with immediate respawning after death, it was a horrible experience. You must work for MOH to say it is more realistic.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2010 6:10:52 PM PST
Mark Twain says:
Yep. MoH bombed

Posted on Nov 12, 2010 7:09:44 AM PST
Dwain T. says:
Everyone keeps saying they want realistic "Go sign up for the military, will that be more realistic for you" Give me a break couch warriors. Its a game and its meant to be enjoyable.

PR2(AW,SW,PJ) Thompson. USN

Posted on Nov 12, 2010 1:51:34 PM PST
T. Malan says:
Completely agree with this assessment. I'm pretty let down by this edition of COD. I'm a huge fanboy of the other COD titles and was really looking forward to this release. I recently purchased MOH and found the graphics far superior to BO. THe online gameplay of BO is standard and you're left with the feeling that really nothing has been improved upon. I hope that the COD franchise takes things to the next level on their next title as MOH has exceeded COD in my opinion with their latest release (don't get me wrong, the online play is not as good as world at war, but the graphics are amazing, as close as any mfg has come to realistic play.)

If COD could take the graphics from MOH and upgrade the experience from world at war's online gaming, yuou'd have the best game ever!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2010 5:25:32 PM PST
Katsov says:
I couldnt agree with you more on your review of the campaign. i play every fps game i buy on the most difficult setting and this game is by far the most ridiculous (or a tie with world at war). Treyarch needs to revamp their campaign. MW2 and Halo reach were quite fun on the hardest setting, but this game makes me want to throw the controller at my tv. another disappointment for the holiday season

Posted on Nov 12, 2010 9:57:33 PM PST
I love how when COD 1 came out enemies kept coming until you advanced to a certain point. Glad to see they still do that garbage.

Posted on Nov 13, 2010 7:43:45 AM PST
Alex Johnson says:
I'm currently stuck on the third mission, and after dying for the last hour and a half, I came to the internet to see if anyone was having similar issues. Glad I'm not alone lol. Though, I'd rather not have these problems to begin with. In the last COD installment, like you said, you felt like you were a part of an elite squad that could stand on their own. Progress wasn't dependent on you making every move. But now it seems you have to lead every charge and shoot every soldier. Enemy respawn was taken out of MW2 for good reason: it sucks. If I'm playing on Veteran, and I'm the lead, the only one shooting, and constantly bombarded by swarm after endless swarm of bad guys....what should I do? LeBron James logic isn't working here.

Posted on Nov 13, 2010 8:47:51 AM PST
Jon M says:
Anyone else getting a bit sick of them having a new one out every year? Its like Madden! I'd expect all the sports nuts to have a short attention span, but everybody?
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