Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Still one of the best of the series!
on January 14, 2017
Infinite Warfare just came out, and while that game is great, it lacks what COD had before Ghosts came around. Ghosts started a bland era of COD games- still great shooters but lack the initial passion that we had from COD1 up until BO2. I'm not saying the studios don't work hard on them (their work shows in the fantastic control, great production values and good plots) but they feel soulless now- "get the next one out! Make it futuristic again!". Again, they're still great games but you get my point. Going back to Black Ops, it holds up extremely well almost 7 years (holy shoot...) later. Three game modes- Campagin, MP and Zombies, and each is executed in what feels like flawless execution, though this review is going to go over the campaign.
BO's campaign is still the most interesting thing about the game. You play as a Black Ops assassin named Alex Mason through a series of flashbacks during a torture-interrogation by Unknown indivuals. The interrogators are seeking out Mason's apparent knowledge of "The Numbers", which Mason cannot remember. You experience the interrogations from Mason's POV, as he's reminded of events leading up to where he is now, and these flashbacks are where the gameplay takes place.
BO has the second best story of the series, after BO2- all of the main characters stand out from each other and are all wicked likable, thanks to the great writing and superb performances by the cast, including Sam Worthington as Mason, Gary Oldman as Reznov(reprising his role from WAW) and James C. Burns as Woods. Even Ice Cube does a good job as Bowman.
As with every COD, the missions are loaded with cinematic explosive set pieces. The series has been called the Micheal Bay of video games and that's not wrong- explosions at every corner, constant gunfire and the most impossible narrow escapes. The action is balanced and well paced thanks to the cutscenes and a few quieter stealthy sections. There are some gameplay variations as you get two helicopter sections, a boat section and a short RTS style section in one mission, but most of the the time will be spent on the ground with guns in hand. Plus it's a globe trotting adventure- you'll be going from Cube to a Russian labor camp to Vietnam to the rooftops of Kowloon to Soviet Missle silos etc. Each location looks amazing and the level design stays interesting throughout. The shooting action can get mind numbing a few times but thankfully the many cutscenes, above mentioned stealth and vehicle sections as well as the varied and great level design keeps the game from getting boring.
You have a large variety of weapons from the usual AK47 and M16 to the lesser used FAL and PM63. Each gun looks and sounds fantastic plus the shooting action itself is very satisfying. The gore and violence isn't as brutal as WAW but it's still a really violent game, especially during the Vietnam missions. The soundtrack also adds a lot to the game, including a few hit songs of the time as well as good original soundtrack as the background to your gameplay.
My complaints are basically the same I have with all COD games- unskippable in game cutscenes. The interrogation scenes were done with the game engine, and sometimes skipping them doesn't work. You can always skip the pre rendered video cutscenes but before and after a mission starts, you'll get first person dialogue and actions to start off the level before you get control. Sure when you first play you'll want to see them, but when you're replaying the missions for fun or on different difficulties it's annoying having to sit there and watch. They're super well motion captured and choreographed but being forced to view them even after beating the game is annoying. My other complaint is, as mentioned above, it can get mind numbing at times. I mean that may have been the intent, but it can take you out of the game for a sec. My last complaint is the main villain, who is pretty bland and underdeveloped. He's a stereotypical rogue Russian general from countless 80s action thrillers. He's said to be a horrible person, and is said to have powerful influence but when he's on screen he doesn't really do anything memorable to live up to his title as main villain. He does horrible stuff but he seems more evil off screen. Thankfully this was fixed in BO2, which definitely has the best villain of the series.
Overall, this is still one of the best of the series after all these years. Zombies is wicked fun and the multiplayer is great, giving the game what feels like endless replay value, but the single player is what the game is most well known for. Great gameplay, graphics, performances, story, level design and variety. BO2 did improve and is the better single player experience, but BO1 still set the groundwork for it. If you just want a great single player FPS experience, get this game. If you want great multiplayer and a game full of varied game modes and tons of replayability, et this game.