When Call of Duty: Black Ops released the world expected it to fail. After the firing of Jason West and Vince Zampella, founders of Infinity Ward, by Activision and the departure of 40 other developers who helped create the blockbusters Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 people expected Call of Duty: Black Ops to be a trainwreck. No one in the video game industry expected Treyarch to come to the rescue and produce a game on the level of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Treyarch created something special in Black Ops.
One of the aspects of Call of Duty: Black Ops that Treyarch brought something to the table no other Call of Duty game, to this point in the franchise. Treyarch brought a solid story into the game and side characters you can’t help but care about by the end of the game. The Call of Duty Franchise has never been great at telling a good story in their games. They succeed at wowing the player with insanity around every corner but never telling a story. In Call of Duty: Black Ops there isn’t as many wow moments of playing but instead they succeeded at telling a stronger story. This ended up being a double edged sword for me because I love the wow factor and I love telling strong stories. The campaign takes around 7 hours to play through and for the majority of it you spend your time running and gunning like the majority of all Call of Duty games.
As a campaign Call of Duty: Black Ops captures the brutality of war. Yours, and your enemies, bullets rip through bodies shattering limbs and pulling the flesh from the bone. The look and feel of Vietnam that history has captured in pictures and memories of American heroes is brought to the video screen for Black Ops. Treyarch may have crossed the line in some of the sequences of violence that appeared to be violence for the sake of violence. Please be aware, Call of Duty: Black Ops is a very violent game. It earned a mature rating from the ESRB, because of the level of violence and how realistic the characters look and feel. When you pull the trigger it looks like you are shooting a real person. Treyarch was not trying to take the moral high ground in Black Ops but have opened up the door wider of what is allowed my major retailers on their shelves. 15 years ago, Black Ops would not have been sold on the majority of store shelves.
Some how, the vivid violence of the campaign did not carry into the multiplayer experience. With the fast pace of the matches the player ends up forming a detachment from the violence on the screen. Each kill goes by so quickly that you loose track of what happened 5 seconds ago. In that Treyarch created a excellent multiplayer game. The maps vary from each other and end up being impressive no matter which is played. The perk system is fine tuned compared to Modern Warfare and allows for greater variations of classes. After playing both Modern Warfare and Black Ops, some how I felt that Black Ops offered more classes with the 1960s weapons then Modern Warfare did. Having the ability to unlock new perks in the order you decide is huge in giving you this feeling and was a excellent bonus to the game.
With Call of Duty: Black Ops is hard to complain about. The work Treyarch put into the game. Treyarch took the franchise and molded a solid campaign with excellent story with a creative multiple player system. Together will provide the gamers hours of play time that will not leave them bored or wanting more.