Has the multiplayer, which has become the foundation of the Call of Duty franchise, in Black Ops lived up to the much anticipated hype or have we expected to much?
If you’re reading this then I probably don’t have to go into some deep analysis of playing on-line in Call of Duty. It can be hours of bliss filled gaming mixed with an equal amount of time wanting to throw your controller through the T.V. But has Black Ops captured this roller coaster ride of emotions that we are used to feeling? Let’s take a look at the good and the ugly to discover the truth.
- Many of the things that made us rage with Modern Warfare 2 have been fixed. The dreaded One Man Army/Danger Close grenade launcher combo is gone. MW2 became less of a FPS and more of playing dodge-ball where you had to dodge the ball by 100 feet to not get tagged. It was frustrating and game-breaking at times. Commando has went bye-bye as well. Gone are the days of watching as a victim waves his magical knifewand and teleports through your barrage of bullets only to shank you in the moneymaker. Killstreaks no longer add to the next killstreak making the game less about them and more about good old fashioned gun slinging.
- The leveling up system has improved. Leveling up works on a system in which you must earn COD points that you use to purchase upgrades. This is great because if you are not a sniper you don’t need to waste your time getting the gear to do it successfully. You can concentrate on buying the perks, weapons, attachments, etc that fit your playstyle. And by accepting contracts to complete while you are playing your preferred game mode you are adding a variety to the game that keeps it from become same old same old.
- Stopping power has been removed. I actually thought this would annoy me but it has had the opposite effect. Guns still do the job quick enough but now I’m not handcuffed into that perk and can enjoy the others that are offered. In MW2 you almost had to use it because 90% of people did and they would hand you your breakfast.
- Combat Training. A mode that lets you experience the multiplayer aspect of the game while playing against computer controlled bots. This mode gives you a chance to practice with some new items, learn the maps, and whatever else you would like before entering the competitive arena of human players. It also gives your wife or little brother a place to play so they don’t obliterate your hard earned KDR. All and all it’s very fun and I was surprised at how well the A.I. moved throughout the game. If you didn’t know better you would think you were actually playing real opponents.
- Theater Mode. I don’t get into using this much but I can see where many wannabe elite COD YouTubers can find this useful. It’s a mode where your past games are saved and you can go through and re-watch them or upload them to become the next YouTube sensation.
- Getting into the game with a party of friends can become time consuming and can flat out make you pop in something else. The most frustrating part is a lot of times you will finally get into a match only to see you’ve lost a few of your friends on the way. This leads to backing out, picking them up again, and once again awaiting to hit the lottery and finding a game.
- Hit detection seems a bit off. Now this may do with lag issues but it’s not something I’ve encountered in past games. I’ve got hit markers on people that were not in the same zip code of my crosshairs. In turn I’ve been on the receiving end of the same scenario quite often.
- The sounds on this game are a step back. Footsteps, when you actually can hear them, sound like someone stepping on a wet sponge. The guns and killstreak choppers just don’t have that intense impact sound we’ve become accustomed to hearing.
- The nerfing of all things that go boom. One of MW2’s biggest flaws was the power of explosives. Its seems as Black Ops has over compensated trying to relieve us of this by greatly reducing the impact of explosives. I think they did a good job of limiting your access to explosives on one given life and the nerf on damage is a fine idea, but it needs to be somewhere in the middle of what is was and what it is now.
So a week after the release what is the verdict? Well there’s enough added material to make the game feel fresh and fun while abiding by the proven successful formula that is the core of the Call of Duty multiplayer experience. The cons are nothing so game-breaking that would make the game unworthy of enjoying. The party system is something that definitely needs addressed in a patch but with Treyarch’s track record I’m not worried about them correcting this problem. Bottom line however is that the multiplayer proves to be a worthwhile experience.