Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
#13: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Now that the honeymoon phase is over and the dust has finally settled many will advocate that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the better game with its Michael-Bay-esque storyline and constant injection of action, but this is simply untrue. What is true is that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was more highly anticipated than its predecessor as many believed Black Ops was merely a stop-gap title to bide time before Modern Warfare 3′s release. In any case, Black Ops was something special in the genre of first-person shooters, especially after Modern Warfare 2 and World at War. Its emphasis on story and character development is what drove this near-perfect blend of action, drama, and tension.
Black Ops takes place at the height of the Cold War (indeed the title “black ops” refers to the secret missions conducted during that era with many operational dossiers “blacked-out” with heavy ink). In the game’s opening our protagonist is strapped to a chair and tortured by two silhouetted G-men for the location of a hidden numbers station. As such the majority of the main campaign is told through flashbacks of SAD/SOG operative Alex Mason between the years 1961 and 1968. This game is very much a period piece, an aspect which is under-appreciated by modern audiences especially after the release of games like Red Dead Redemption and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. One minute you’re meeting John F. Kennedy face to face at the Pentagon, the next minute you’re in Vietnam riding along the riverbanks to Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”.
This game oozes nostalgia from every pore, from its soundtrack to its locales. If its single-player campaign is exceptional then its online multiplayer is what ultimately raised the bar for first-person shooters (with the addition of split-screen multiplayer, new maps, and a refurbished progression system). The voice-acting is some of the most compelling in years with stellar performances from Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, and Gary Oldman. Indeed Black Ops is one of those games that under-promised and over-delivered.
After six weeks of release Activision reported the game earned $1 billion in sales and it’s no secret why. If you’re one of those naysayers that merely dismissed Black Ops without actually playing it you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Do yourself a favor and pick up this title as soon as possible.