by Andrew Hallam
previewed on PC
War Is Hell (cntd)
While the leveling system is still there it no longer automatically provides the player with a certain weapon at a certain rank; instead, it yields Call of Duty points. With each rank you will unlock various weapons, perks and so on which then have to be bought with the Call of Duty points you earn in multiplayer. This provides for a much more customizable multiplayer experience, with players choosing weapons and perks to suit their playing style whenever they want rather than having to level up to rank 65 just to get their favorite weapon.
Along with the currency system comes gambling. Wager matches are Treyarch’s way of putting a little risk into multiplayer. Wager matches play out much the same as normal matches, with games taking place in one of the 14 maps on an even larger selection of game modes than MW 2, but with wager matches comes an added twist. Come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd and you win a chunk of all the other players Call of Duty points. End the game in 4th place or lower and you’ll find that your special Call of Duty wallet is a little lighter. Wager matches also come with new game types, such as ‘One in the Chamber’ in which players are armed with a pistol, knife and a single bullet. Killing enemies gains you an extra bullet while dieing puts you out for the whole round. There’s no respawning in this game type as the last man standing wins. Its easy to see that Treyarch has borrowed concepts from community made game types from other games too, such as the popular Counter Strike game type ‘Gun Game’ in which players all start with the same low level pistol and gain more powerful weapons with every kill while being dropped down to a worse weapon with every death caused by a melee attack. The wager matches are a much-welcomed feature for anyone looking for a little extra risk to their multiplayer experience.
You Put On One Hell Of A Show
Customization is a massive part of modern gaming, letting players put a little bit of themselves into their characters and with Black Ops Treyarch has improved immensely on what Infinity Ward started with MW 2. In Black Ops players can customize just about any aspect of their multiplayer experience, from the attachments, color and even crosshairs of the weapons they take into battle, to the characters themselves, choosing their specific look as well as being able to add things such as face paint and more to truly set themselves apart from other players.
Another new and particularly exciting feature to be introduced to Black Ops is the Theatre Mode popularized within the FPS world by games such as Halo 3. Theatre mode means that every game you play within Black Ops will automatically be recorded and available for you to watch whenever you like. Not only does this give machinima makers an amazing platform with which to film their shorts but it gives players the ability to go back and find out just how ‘B1G_0LD_N00B29’ killed them or capture that game winning shot to show the world just how bad ass they are. It is uncertain whether campaign games will be captured for theatre mode but multiplayer games certainly will.
With all these new features, though, return some old favorites. Nazi Zombies is making a return in Black Ops. With no official info released on the subject its safe to assume that it’ll be more Communist Zombies than Nazis, with the reanimated Jerries being replaced with shambling VC and Soviet Russian soldiers. The 4-player survival game mode will no doubt contain new maps based on the campaign as well as weapons you won’t find in any other game mode.
Smells Like Victory
With the continued success of the Call of Duty series it is hard to see how this latest installment could fail to please die hard fans of the series as well as pulling in even more players who may have been reluctant to jump onto the Call of Duty bandwagon. From what I can see, things are only going to get better with Black Ops providing a much needed reality check on Modern Warfare 2’s over the top campaign. Hopefully there’ll be something for everyone in Black Ops, as it seems to be able to not only cater to the hardcore multiplayer fans but also provide an interesting perspective on the Vietnam War with its 13 level campaign mode. With the new Medal of Honor on the horizon, it is hard to tell for sure which game will come out on top but one thing is for sure: Black Ops is shaping up to be one hell of a game.
Black Ops is coming out on November 9th for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii and DS.