Travis Takes On Call Of Duty: Black Ops – Review

By Michael Burton

All I have to offer is my own opinion.

Call of Duty: Black Ops –  the sequel  to Modern Warfare 2 has been in stores for just over a week now. I could, but I didn’t – review the night after I picked it up, but that wouldn’t do it justice.

Black Ops is an incredibly deep game. From the online work all the way to the campaign mode, this game never ends. The game was developed by the nerds from Treyarch – a software development company in California. For your own information – Call of Duty is a franchise, and different developers share the duties of putting out the COD series.

Infinity Ward made the last game in the COD timeline, and they alternate between Treyarch.

Keeping that in mind – I’m a little perplexed as to how a game from Treyarch can share the same strengths and weakness as a game by Infinity Ward. With that said – let’s discuss.


I’m not one for the campaign, but I did play through it. The AI is typical and will never match up to the brain of a human opponent. But – the story is good and the action is incredible. It’s really like a movie, it’s stupidly fast paced. I like it though. Lets just leave it at that. Don’t want to spoil anything, am I right?

Any COD fanatic would know that they are grabbing this game for it’s online play.

Online Issues and Customization

I love the fact that I can customize my Red Dot Sight. I love every little itty bitty detail the online game has. You can do everything, customize for hours on end. There are thousands of different ways to play this game online. Everything from the last installment is here, and so much more.

The customization is endless. It’s a little too much if you ask me. I haven’t even bothered with creating my own emblem. You could lose yourself in this junk.

But as fancy and creative the online game might be, it still has the same damn problems as Modern Warfare 2. I always find myself being dropped out of games, getting disconnected, and just waiting more than playing. This isn’t my connection, I can hardly play with my friends online. I’ve been playing with my PS3, and I’m curious as to how the Xbox 360 online matches up.

It’s a little disappointing, upsetting even. Why weren’t these key issues resolved? Why would you carry on the flaws of a previous game – by a different company? What made Modern Warfare 2 flawed and disappointing sits right in the middle of Black Ops.

That confuses me to no end. If you happen to have an evening of uninterrupted gaming online, consider yourself lucky.


It’s an incredible thing when I can just pick up and play this game like I’ve been playing it for months.

There was no learning curve, nothing at all. These are the shared strengths I’m talking about. This game posses incredible familiarity  – in a good way, to the last installment. I love that I didn’t have to re-learn anything.

What is different are the weapons. There are more of them, really crazy ones, some of which aren’t very practical. If you are looking to win, or bring up your kill/death ratio you’ve already figured out which guns to use.

I’ve found myself focused on SMG’s, just because they are easy to quick-draw when sprinting. There is a lot of quick-draw. If you can’t learn how to look down your sights, aim, and shoot very quickly, you’re done. The hip-fire is exactly the same as MW2, if you’re wondering.

Treyarch did include the dive, which is a cute addition but I can’t say I find myself using it. It’s pretty funny seeing a guy dive to prone but still getting owned from across the map.

The maps are all wicked, and there is a double rainbow in Nuketown. How could you not like a game with a double rainbow across the sky? I just wish there were a couple better sniper maps. I find the maps are all catered towards short-to-medium-range combat, and there is no real usage for a sniper rifle.

Random Beefs

Claymores are way too strong. I hate claymores and they are just a bit unfair online. In MW2 you could run past the odd one, not this go around. Hardcore Team Deathmatch is a blast, but the re-spawn counter slows everything down, and that’s just not fun. I hate sitting in lobbies, I despise it more than anything.

It scares me to think that 500,000 people are sitting on lobbies instead of actually playing. There needs to be some sort of update just to tweak the odd thing.

And with a new game comes new frustrations. People love to camp, and it’s almost encouraged when you can set up your own camera to cover your tracks.


I love the game to death. It’s addictive and the competitive nature of this game keeps it all going. I’m an impatient person, and so is everyone else playing this game, so I understand that everyone is asking for more and more.

How do you make 500,000 people happy? You can’t. I say that Treyarch did a spectacular job with this game, but that is never enough.

I’ve now written close to 900 words on this game and I still haven’t touched on everything there is to experience. Zombies, replays, killstreaks, the only way to make a judgement on this game is to play it for hours on end.

So you better go ahead and do just that.

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