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Playstation 3 Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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Call of Duty: Black Ops, the newest game in the very popular Call of Duty line, offers hours of exciting game play. Different modes of enjoyment include the main campaign, Nazi Zombies, and both online and local multiplayer games. A player could spend hours involved in a single mode, without looking at any other mode, and still be completely satisfied.

The Call of Duty series has been a mainstay of the gaming scene since the first edition, set during World War II, was released in 2003. Since then there have been four WWII era games and three Modern Warfare editions that introduced modern warfare technology into the games. Black Ops is the first game set during the Cold War era. This game is my first venture into the world of Call of Duty. I needn’t have worried about getting a feel for it, as the controls are fairly easy to get accustomed to.

The single-player campaign mode tells the story of a special forces operative named Alex Mason. Captured in 1968, the game opens with Mason being interrogated by mysterious enemies. Jumping back to 1961, the game tells Mason’s story through a series of elaborate flashbacks. The player controls a number of characters throughout the campaign, though primarily you play as Alex Mason. The plot is rather intricate, focusing on a new Russian chemical weapon. There are a number of real historical figures incorporated into the story, including Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy with whom Mason crosses paths. The extremely action-packed campaign mode takes the player through a series of operations carried out in dangerous enemy territories.

The online multi-player combat is perhaps the most exciting aspect to the game. In both the online and local multi-player there are several settings for combat. Some of these include a dilapidated rocket launch pad, a jungle, and a nuclear test site. These all provide various levels of difficulty. For example in the jungle setting it was much harder to find familiar landmarks to try to locate opponents. Multi-player gives the option of playing in teams, working together against an enemy, or “an every man for himself” death match. I spent the most time in the death match mode. For the uninitiated, the online playing takes a lot of practice, but is a lot of fun no matter how well you do. By earning COD Points during multi-player modes, players can customize almost every aspect of their character. This allows for a very involving personalized form of game play. Weapons can be added to your arsenal and upgraded in terms of appearance and style. Your character’s attire can be customized as well.

I have played the zombie mode both as a solo player and a local multi-player with one other person. There are four stages to the zombie mode, but so far I have only tried the first one. The zombie mode is very entertaining, but it can be frustrating. At one point I found myself wandering around with no ammo, ten points shy of buying another weapon, and no way out of the old theater the first stage is set in. There was only one zombie chasing me, so he was easy to avoid, but I was stuck wandering aimlessly until I exited the game.

I found the graphics to be excellent. I have yet to run into any glitches. The imagery in each of the multi-player settings is excellent, with impressive detail. The nuclear test site is set up like the old 50s fake neighborhoods used in testing. There are multi-level houses, mannequins, and pleasant looking gardens. The jungle has burning huts, abandoned buildings, and even a few land mines. Another setting is the launch pad for spacecraft, which I found out the hard way not to be standing under when the rocket blasts off. Overall this game looks great.

If you’re looking for exciting game play, zombies, and hours of multi-player fun, then Call of Duty: Black Ops is a can’t miss. The game play is quite intuitive, even for someone new to this type of game. The action is fast, furious, and compelling. The voice acting by big names actors like Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, and Ice Cube is believable. The whole experience might leave you a little shell shocked, in fact, if you (like me) don’t have extensive experience with first person shooter games.

About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.