Review

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops - Multiplayer

Call of Duty is always a big seller because of its multiplayer, not its campaign. The series has really exploded since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which redefined how online multiplayer should be done. If you're a fan of Call of Duty, I don't need to tell you just how fun playing online is.

The new maps are interesting and will take some time to get used to, just like any new Call of Duty. The new maps bring forth some new challenges of obstacles to hide behind, routes to run with the flag, and pots to defuse the bomb.

Black Ops includes 14 all new maps, with some upcoming map packs in the near future. The maps range from small little stages like Nuketown, where you are at the heart of a test weapons neighbourhood and all the cars and manikins are setup for nuclear war testing. If anyone remembers Shipment from COD:MW1, you'll get the idea just how tiny this stage is.

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All the standard gametypes are still available, including team deathmatch, capture the flag, search and destroy, headquarters and more. There is one new gametype addition, "wager match", which allows you to gamble COD cash on games, and if you finish in the top three rankings, you essentially take all the losing players money.

The all new match making system, similar to that of Halo: Reach, allows you to vote on the next map, play the previous stage again or pick a completely random map. A great addition to Black Ops.

Multiplayer - Perks and Weapons

The Call of Duty franchise is known for its great guns, special weapons and hit detection. This game is no exception, as the variety of guns that are unlock-able is massive. All the classes are still there, from assault riffles to bolt action rifles.

You can customize your primary and second weapon with attachments, upgrades and a camouflage pattern. Only playing the multiplayer for a few days, it's easy to see that the guns aren't overpowered or someone can easily snipe you with a handgun from across the stage.

The perk system is something I wasn't too thrilled about in COD:MW2, because there was just so much going on at the one time, a missile, airplane, chopper or something else constantly in the air, keeping you from staying in one spot too long. Black Ops still has a customizable perk system, allowing players to select the perk they want, which is achieved once you hit a kill streak.

Kill streaks start at 3 kills with either a spy plane (UAV) or RC-XD; the remote controlled car that is very annoying in this game, with up to 11 kills, using either attack dogs or a gunship.

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Multiplayer - COD Points and Contracts

Treyarch introduced a new system for getting guns and attachments, where you earn money on completing challenges, finishing matches, or completing contracts. Instead of leveling up and unlocking weapons and attachments, you can now buy them with COD Points. You can still only use one attachment at a time per gun, unless you use the perk that allows you to use two.

With the implementation of COD Points, they have added contracts with a variety of objectives like kill 75 people in 40 minutes, or win 4 headquarters matches in 45 minutes. You select a contract by buying it, and if you complete it, you can double, triple or quadruple your investment. This is similar to the Halo: Reach challenges system, but you need to select which ones you want to attempt.

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Bbbrrrrraaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnnsss!

Yes, zombie mode is back. You start off with a a pistol against zombies trying to break into the room, and your job is to defend yourself. You earn money by killing zombies or repairing the building and with that you can unlock doors or buy weapons off the wall.

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Multiplayer - Conclusion

Only playing multiplayer for a few days now, it's nice to see that there is some major improvements over World at War, and a couple of minor changes from COD:MW2. The gameplay is still similar to COD:MW1, which is a great thing, something both Treyarch and Infinity Ward should not change. The controls for this game are similar to previous versions of COD, which really helps to get right back into playing the game.

The hit detection is accurate for this game, although I'm sure we've all witnessed some unbelievable headshots, maybe someone will upload a nice collection using the theater system.

Pros:

  • Gameplay is the same as previous versions
  • Variety of new challenging maps
  • You can buy upgrades for your gun as soon as you unlock it
  • New matchmaking system is great

Cons:

  • Lag is still an issue with the game
  • Connection issues are still very present
  • Spawn points are horrible, people start right behind you
  • Claymores don't work properly
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Kreuger said,
The biggest problem I have is the pacing. The matches just feel so slow. It reminded me of playing Resistance online. Just a snooze fest.

Campaign mode is the same. I enjoyed the story but the actual game play was slow. Reminded me of why I don't like Halo 1-3. Slow game play on a FPS makes even the hardest mode cake walk. Then again I played CS and Unreal back in the day so I am use to having .5 seconds to aim at a head or be dead game play.

After reading the neowin reviews of sp and mp black ops is a £40 mp expansion with a weak sp attached for the sake of the old times when developers cared about sp. I will give this a miss I think.

Not a bad little review there but what exactly is wrong with Claymores? Nothing as far as i can tell, they're much more effective in this game.

Mike Chipshop said,
Not a bad little review there but what exactly is wrong with Claymores? Nothing as far as i can tell, they're much more effective in this game.

It might be that they only blow outward now, so you need to get your placement correct. MW2 you could still kill someone with some area effect from behind the claymores. Now it targets the a pretty tight area in front of the blast.

With respect to the multiplayer version of Black Ops for the PC, this edition of the series is an absolute failure. The problem appears to be with the LOD, that is how textures and elements are cached and loaded. Basically the game does not pre-load everything before the start of the match, therefore the CPU and HDD are constantly swapping and loading during gameplay. The result is so much stutter on most computers that the game is not playable online. Even with a quad-core system, the problem persists, because of the strain on the bus. Treyarch is addressing the issue and say they will have a patch within days.

All the same, its shameful to release any title, much less one from the COD franchise, in such a horrible state. MW2 for the PC was obviously second to the consoles and it appears that about the same amount of concern for PC gamers has been placed behind Black Ops.

bradsday said,
With respect to the multiplayer version of Black Ops for the PC, this edition of the series is an absolute failure. The problem appears to be with the LOD, that is how textures and elements are cached and loaded. Basically the game does not pre-load everything before the start of the match, therefore the CPU and HDD are constantly swapping and loading during gameplay. The result is so much stutter on most computers that the game is not playable online. Even with a quad-core system, the problem persists, because of the strain on the bus. Treyarch is addressing the issue and say they will have a patch within days.

All the same, its shameful to release any title, much less one from the COD franchise, in such a horrible state. MW2 for the PC was obviously second to the consoles and it appears that about the same amount of concern for PC gamers has been placed behind Black Ops.

Btw it fails on Console too, the PS3 version have a lower resolution than previous one (954x544 witch is barely HD) and Xbox 360 1004x604 (witch is better a little), so you're in upscale crap land..

you knew Black Ops was going to be a mess on the PC when they didn't have any demo or public beta

so as a PC user I am supposed to pay 60$ and have to deal with lag and bugs and then have to wait for them to release patches to fix problems that could have be addressed before the release with a public beta

Have to say that COD-BO on the Xbox has played like a dream since I got it.

Got it night of launch and got straight in with no lag issues what so ever, there is however one flaw that no doubt will be patched very shortly and that's joining a match as a party it can be very difficult although joining session in progress has always resolved this for me.

Similar feel to MW2, the knives aren't as accurate, no commando option means running around stabbing like crazy has been reduced (I used to love stabs!) but that doesn't put me off.

Overall the game kicks ass, the maps are a major improvement over the previous game and the introduction of new game types and having to "buy weapons" makes the game a lot more involving and interesting.

Big thumbs up.

So basically they just pinched out the exact same game as last year. They didn't even fix all the issues with the last game.

Congrats Activision. Another fantastic game release.

ahhell said,
So basically they just pinched out the exact same game as last year. They didn't even fix all the issues with the last game.

Congrats Activision. Another fantastic game release.

Have you even played it?

It's not the same game, improved game play, changes on weaponry, more game modes, new maps, new weapons - same engine maybe but different game.

It's an addition to a series of games so it has to "flow in line" with the others.

duritz said,
it's an alright game. MW2 was more polished and overall a better game. feels like i took a step backward.

This.

Black Ops needs major polishing, refining.. Treyarch, better get back to your desktops and beging polishing this game... it feels "weird" like we're playing a beta version...

MW2 is still more refined overall.

Spawn points suck, the map distribution and sizes are odd, weapons are all effed up, etc, etc, etc...

duritz said,
it's an alright game. MW2 was more polished and overall a better game. feels like i took a step backward.

Agreed. Feels mechanically more like World at War than even MW2. Since all the COD games in the franchise use the id engine, don't know why there is such a difference in the games. Think Infinity Ward is simply the better development company of the two. Infinity Ward did the first MW and Treyarch did WaW; Infinity Ward created MW2 and Treyarch did Black Ops. Unfortunately, Activision fired the top two developers and founders of Infinity Ward after the release of MW2. So maybe this is the end of COD as we know it.

Nice suck-up review. The multiplayer is seriously flawed, unless of course, you have a quad core pc. Even then, mp lags. I guess the reviewer got one of those all expenses paid early review trips to California where everything was provided by ATVI. When will reviewers actually begin reviewing products instead of sucking up so they can get more perks. Disgusting.

clickbouyow said,
Nice suck-up review. The multiplayer is seriously flawed, unless of course, you have a quad core pc. Even then, mp lags. I guess the reviewer got one of those all expenses paid early review trips to California where everything was provided by ATVI. When will reviewers actually begin reviewing products instead of sucking up so they can get more perks. Disgusting.

Sounds like BS to me. From what I've seen, this is affecting people on a wide range of hardware, quad-core or not... in various ways too!

GG I feel bad for everyone who just payed 60 dollars for this repeat of a game. New Killstreaks and maps OH JOY /end sarcasm.

este said,
The Zombies game is available from the start? Also good review, just wish I had time to play now.

First thing I tried out before starting the campaign. Doesn't have to be unlocked.

If the review was done on the 360 then sure it is probably ok. The PS3 and PC are just crappy ports.

I have the PC version, its looks like an old game, the graphics are so bad. Back to BFBC2.

Yea I'm noticing hell of a lot of lag. it is nearly impossible to join a Search & Destroy game (10 min wait time seriously?). Wager Match is fun except once again takes forever for a game.

I dont really like the weapons as much as Mw2 feel really cheesy and sound terrible. The graphics are way too cartoony although Campaign looked really good.

Maps are okay just need to get used to them. Spawn points are just absurd I cant recall how many times I've been spawned with an enemy right in front of me.

Finally, the kill streaks are meh, the perks I find to be uselessly set-up especially the 3rd set of perks the only useful one is marathon in that one. Another big Peeve i have is the fact that even after you are around a full corner you somehow still die because bullets penetrate everything even if its a silenced weapon, now i'm not sure if this is because of the lag or the flawed design but that really needs to be fixed.

You getting shot around corners is most likely a combo of lag and the terrible hit boxes the game inherently has. MW2 was the same way, and so was MW1.

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