Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: November 2010

So readers, it’s been a while.

I can’t promise I’ll be extremely regular from now on, though I can say I’ll try.

Alright then,

So there’s been a lot of controversy about the latest addition to the Call of Duty Franchise – I went into it expecting laggy screens, unimaginative AI all wrapped in a short buggy package. In short, I wasn’t expecting to like it. I have to say I was surprised.

Treyarch studios has a reputation for being a sub of sorts – after World At War, and subsequently,  the brilliance that was Modern Warfare – it’s regarded as the dude that gives Infinity Ward time to go for a few smokes while it comes up with the next masterpiece.

Black Ops seems to be treyarch’s shot across the bow, so to speak. The developers are trying desperately to get the world to sit up and take notice. And it’s succeeding, in a sense – Black Ops is ambitious, with great voiceovers, a very decent background score (Kudos to those that recognize Creedance and The Stones), a very interesting plot and some very nice effects, though the bugs, glitches and lag come very close to ruining the experience.

The plot in particular, while heavily scripted, is well done – working through memories and flashbacks of the mind of the main character makes the game feel disconnected at times, though that actually seems to work really. It’s an interesting excuse to “Go here, shoot this”, that ties in the variety of landscapes, times and missions really well. The weapon selection is nicely varied, and there are multiple editions of each weapon in game. Plus ammunition is never really an issue (at least on the ‘Hardened’ difficulty level)

Something about Black Ops that really surprised me is the way the effects are done – shoot someone with a SPAS and you literally see limbs get blown off – shoot someone in the leg and they totter around for a while before falling. Shoot them in the head and they drop instantly. It’s very gratifying to run across a battlefield looking for a particular weapon and see limbs lying scattered and burnt everywhere.

The enemy AI on the other hand, isn’t extremely smart – they try to dance away from incoming bullets (and by dance, I mean roll) and take cover – but very often get stuck trying to take cover infront of an object.The teammate AI isn’t much better – they still point out enemies (but are prone to generalization, instead of the specificity the AI had in MW2. Also the constant cries of “Enemy Down” and “Contact Neutralized” etc etc get repetitive. I mean I know the dude is dead – I shot him.

Overall, the game while decent, gives the player a rather incomplete feeling – while the developers try extremely hard to deliver a great game, tiny things about each of stages tend to throw you off –  the interactive cutscenes while being a great concept, aren’t fluid enough and in a particular level, stopped working completely, forcing me to skip the rest of the mission and load the next map directly(Other people seem to have the same issue – it seems to crop up irrespective of the platform) In certain places the game isn’t as responsive as it should be (irrespective of the level of graphics settings I play it on), and the multiplayer experience is just abysmal. Some of the controls need to be worked on a well – in particular the vehicle controls need some serious work.  In a couple of months, provided Treyarch patches the long, sundry list of flaws, this game could be just as good as Modern Warfare 2. Till then, enjoy discovering the various easter eggs