Call of Duty: Black Ops Review
Kid Safe: Very Low Game Quality: High
Genre: First Person Shooter
- These game are characterized by the viewpoint and weapons used in the title. In a first person shooter, you are looking down the barrel of a gun as though you yourself are holding the weapon. Likewise, as the term "shooter" implies, the game specifically uses guns and firearms.
Internet Requirements: High
- This game features has a high internet requirement. While the title has a solid single player story as well as an offline mode called “Zombies” that players may play alone; the true meat of this title is in its online play with other players. Players have a highly customizable multiplayer option that allow them to use a multitude of weapons and different play modes that feature different rules and, thus, alter the game.
Story Summary: In Call of Duty: Black Ops, you primarily take the role of Alex Mason, a Tier 1 Black
Operations agent that is being interrogated by an unidentified organization. Through their torture and questioning, you are forced to relive combat missions that have taken place over the last 7 years; taking place in Cuba, Russia, and even Vietnam. Their hope is to find the information necessary to stop an international warlord, Dragovich, who is out to destroy the United States with a power biological agent and you are the single remaining person who knows how to stop it.
Kid Safe: Very Low
- Foul Language: Very High – Not recommended for Children
o Call of Duty: Black Ops contains a very high amount of Foul Language and is absolutely not recommended for younger audiences. Some of the observed language includes s*it, b*tch, a*s, and f*ck; especially f*ck. This word is used extensively and from just about everyone over and over and over. Aside from that, any engagement with individuals on the internet should also be closely watched as it has been observed that many people have a large tendency towards the use of foul language while playing with each other online.
- Violence and Gore: Very High – Not recommended for Children
o Call of Duty: Black Ops contains an extremely high amount of gratuitous violence and gore and it cannot be stressed how much we do not recommend this title for children. To begin, this title is a first person shooter that lends towards realism; players will be shooting other human beings which elicits a spray of viscera from the victim and causes them to drop down dead very realistically; a perfect example being where an individual is shot in the head and their entire body goes limp and they simply crumple to the floor. Likewise, players can use melee attacks when next to an enemy that will cause them to slash or stab enemies with a knife. This will occur in both regular and multiplayer modes.
o Aside from the “standard” violence, Call of Duty: Black Ops has a massive amount of scenes that seem generally unnecessary and overly gruesome. While we observed quite a few, several specific scenes stood out as particularly disturbing. The first scene is where one man quite literally tears out a hostage’s eye with his bare hand. Another scene that stood out is where you the player choke and drown a man to death with your bare hands, using a sequence of button pressing to murder him. Yet another scene is where you the player are interrogating a scientist and, with another man holding him, put glass in his mouth and repeatedly punch him in the face, eliciting a spray of blood from his mouth. While we like to aim for being as in depth as possible, listing all of the scenes to this game would take up a great deal of space.
- Sexually-Related Content: Low
o Call of Duty: Black Ops contains a low amount of sexual content. There is a singular instance of sexually-related content in which Fidel Castro is in his bedroom with a young woman wearing a very skimpy negligee when the Black Ops team busts into the room.
- Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Low
o Call of Duty: Black Ops contains a low amount of drug and alcohol usage. This usage takes place in the form of cigarette smoking which takes place throughout the entirety of the game…more than several rooms are laden with cigarette smoke and several characters can be seen actively smoking.
Game Quality: High
- Graphics / Visuals: Very High
o The graphics and visuals for Call of Duty: Black Ops are, without a doubt, absolutely stunning and easily gain a rating of very high. This title aims to make every scene in the game a work of art and they pull it off quite well, displaying some of the best graphics seen to date for any other game out there. Whether you are standing in the sweltering desert outside of a missile launch silo, crawling through a “rat hole” tunnel in Vietnam, looking down from space, scuba diving, wandering the frozen arctic circle, etc…everything is a visual treat and the environments look and feel incredibly realistic. Characters look as close to real humans as most all games have come and, disturbingly, the injuries look just as realistic as well; a perfect example being the truly gruesome site of stabbing someone in the throat and ripping it out. Helicopters, planes, vehicles, almost everything looks and moves perfectly and I don’t believe I can provide high enough praises to the graphics of this game; they are simply beautiful and very well done.
- Audio: High
o The audio quality of Call of Duty: Black Ops is of a generally high quality. Where the game really stands out is in its audio options, its voice acting, and in its ambient sounds and music. To begin, I must say that I was very impressed by the game including the option to modify your sound quality based on whether you will be playing it in a loud or quiet environment as well what type of sound system you will be using. Aside from that, the voice acting is truly Grade A. Acting legend Gary Oldman frontlines this title as your partner Reznov and is joined by equally reputable actors Ed Harris, James C. Burn, and Andrew Divoff. Next, the soft ambient noise of a chandelier swinging nearby comes through so crystal clear and so realistically that I had thought the noise was coming from the room and not the game. Finally, the music played during several of the intense scenes really gets your blood pumping and gets you truly excited; matching the perfect tempo to the action on screen.
o For it’s ups, Call of Duty: Black Ops also has it’s downs. The gunshots and explosions sound extremely hollow and sound more like fire crackers in a can than real firearms. It seems strange that the team decided to pursue such intense realism in every aspect except the sound quality in this department; however, this is simply a minor complaint. Secondly, the team has shown a masterful use and display of music for certain intense scenes; and yet this is not used to its fullest possibility. Only four scenes feature strong background music which, in comparison, leaves a great deal of the game feeling flat and uninteresting.
- Gameplay / Playability: High
o Call of Duty features a generally high value of gameplay and playability. To begin, the controls stick perfectly to the gold standard of first-person shooter controls and, therefore, if you have played Halo, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, or almost any other shooter, you will be able to play easily without any issue. However, the game does also feature a walkthrough for all of the controls throughout the game and therefore is helpful to any new players, as well. Controls aside, Call of Duty: Blacks Op also features multiple sections that break from the standard run-and-shoot feeling of the game. Players are able to pilot helicopters, motorcycles, cars, use scuba gear and even use mounted machine guns and rocketry. Players will also experience scenes where they are simply walking and talking to people in the pentagon and interrogating hostages.
o Call of Duty: Black Ops suffers from two major problems with its playability. First, while it’s commendable that this title added the extensive usage of vehicles, most of these vehicles seem to suffer from overly simplistic controls that make any extensive maneuvering impossible. Second, there are situations in the game that suffer from poor programming; where enemies will endlessly attack you, quite literally for hours, until you cross an invisible line that tells the game to stop sending enemies at you. Earlier Call of Duty games suffered from this problem and it was fixed, making for a much more enjoyable game; and yet here it is again.
- Dollar-Value: High
o Call of Duty really does have a high dollar value, but this is specifically due to internet usage. While the storyline for Call of Duty: Black Ops is good, it suffers from the same problem as many shooters do these days in the fact that it is simply too short; harnessing only about 6 to 8 hours of gameplay under its belt for the average player. Players can make up for this deficiency by playing “Zombies” mode which, based on the skill and interest of the player, can add a good deal more play time. However, the major dollar value comes from the internet usage where players are able to engage in several dozen possible modes of gameplay with others players from around the world. And, should players not wish to play competitively, they are welcome to play cooperatively in “Zombies” mode online as well.
- Previous recommendations for shooters still stand. Halo: Reach or any other of the Halo series would be an excellent choice for a first person shooter featuring reduced amounts of graphic violence. Likewise, if your player is a larger fan of the realistic military shooter; I would recommend Battlefield: Bad Company, Call of Duty 2 and 3, or Medal of Honor: Frontline or European Assault. While these games do feature violence against soldiers, they do not feature graphic depiction of blood and gore.
Finally, as always, if you have any questions or recommendations, I encourage you to contact us at the below listing link. Thank you.