Call Of Duty: Black Ops

You know, I’m honestly not bothered who makes my games, I don’t mind who publishes them and I don’t think it’s a terrible thing if there are elements in them that have been ‘borrowed’ from other games. Some may think that to be completely ignorant or naive, but I don’t care; when I play a game, all I care about is if it’s fun. If there are moments in the trailers that look like moments I’d like to experience, or mentions of the type of thing that I generally get a kick out of, I‘ll happily pay £40 for it. If I’m not sure, I’ll stick it on my rental list. If it has nothing interesting to offer, I won’t buy it, and I would never berate others for doing so. The amount of time and level of enjoyment I get out of a game is how I decide if my money has been well spent, or thrown down the drain.

I’m not some well known, highly respected games journalist. I’m nobody. I’m a single mother of three from a tiny town in South Wales. Activision didn’t send me to some posh holiday resort and shower me with gifts while I previewed Black Ops so that I would leave with warm fuzzy feelings about them and gush all over the internet about how wonderful their new game is. I don’t even know if any PR types will ever get round to reading this one of hundreds of reviews and articles about their new release that are out there in the world, getting slated and defended by people who clearly take life far too seriously.

Writing a Black Ops review is probably one of the biggest wastes of my time that I can think of. What’s the point of putting a load of effort into detailing a game when every gamer out there has pretty much made up their mind on whether they’re going to buy it or not? Instead, I could be earning CoD points right now to save up for a shiny new gun.

Treyarch made CoD3, and it was shit: get over it. Then they made World at War, which was damn good, but nay-sayers and grudge holders wouldn’t even allow the thought that it was anything other than a pile of crap to enter their minds. The same goes for Black Ops. There was always going to be a blurry mess of strong opinions on this shooter, because of the history of the companies behind it.

If you like military shooters, interspersed with exciting yet cheesy, predictable, clichéd plot twists, where you play as a soldier, following orders to run down corridors towards an objective marker while dodging grenades and satisfyingly gunning down generic enemies; then running from cover to cover through a variety of wide open scenic levels, where explosions shake up your screen, flinging bodies through the air, as you run to your escape vehicle, get dramatically downed ten feet from it, then heroically dragged to safety by your allies, only to do it all over again – unless it’s a sniping level, there’s usually a sniping level – then you probably already have Black Ops. If you like the fact that Treyarch have taken fans’ comments into consideration and dealt with a lot of the problems that made Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer so unbalanced and frustrating on occasion and added challenging new game types, a theatre mode and detailed stat tracking, then you’re more than likely playing Black Ops online right now. But if you have a burning, undying love for Infinity Ward, that blinds you to anything the ‘other’ CoD makers turn out, then why not just go play MW2? And if you have a seething hatred of Activision that keeps you awake at night and cannot get over the fact that big companies like to make money then you probably shouldn’t buy anything, ever.







28 responses to “Call Of Duty: Black Ops”

  1. Bob avatar

    Excellent review. Think you will go far in this business.

  2. Ninja avatar

    I reckon there may be a PR or two reading after the GMA nomination. I also reckon that those hundreds of people fervently arguing about game reviews and such are the reason sites like this exist in the first place. They’re the foundation of an entire industry, those serious people cos I hear these game things are a serious business 🙂

    Personally, I have not decided whether to buy this or not; I do like most of that stuff you mentioned but it can be so expensive for there are many other cakes I want! And it can be difficult to keep up to date with news when other commitments intrude, you know?

    What are these new challenging gametypes? What is the length of the single player game? What are the game’s weak points (if there are any)? Is it worth my 40 quid?

  3. Joanne avatar

    The second picture made me giggle.
    I was unimpressed until I started playing the campaign. I knew there was a reason why I never dive straight into multiplayer.

  4. DelTorroElSorrow avatar

    I really like how you delved deep into the nuances of the gameplay…OH WAIT.

  5. DelTorroElSorrow avatar

    That said, like you know the 2nd image caption still makes me giggle.

  6. Sonic Alpha avatar
    Sonic Alpha

    Is this a joke? o_0

  7. Steven Jacobs avatar
    Steven Jacobs

    There are reasons why you’re not a highly respected games journalist and this review is probably one. You may have hated the game but you should still review it properly. Been reading this site for six months and have never commented but this review shows that there is no respect for the medium or your readers so I won’t be back.

  8. Badgersniffer avatar

    Worst review ever

  9. GeorgeMoshington avatar

    I think someone needs to alert the administration that a GameFAQs rant post has found its way in to the Ready-Up review section.

    I can make out literally one sentence of “review” padded by a deluge of thinly veiled axe-grinding from someone who’s more than a little defensive due the flak her Entertainment Product of choice is taking.

    You have to question the policies of a site that staffs a critic who is quite happy to reduce the critical reception of a title to “nay-sayers and grudge holders”, and considers a comma broken shopping list of back-of-the-box bullet points to constitute critical insight.

    You say you’re not sure why you bothered writing this review, I think that’s one statement we can all agree on.

  10. Frijj avatar

    It’s been pretty obvious that you’ve stopped using any kind of quality control on this site for a while but this may be a new low.

  11. Adam avatar

    This is why reviews need scores.

  12. DelTorroElSorrow avatar

    Wow, you’d think these peoples lives depended on a full review of Black Ops. Good Lord, anally injured much?

  13. Daniel avatar

    I think I understand what she’s trying to say here. Call of Duty really has become one of those “If you like it, you’ll buy it regardless of what i say” series, like Final Fantasy.
    The fatigue of reviewing these releases (unless they’re shockingly bad) is often apparent in a lot of reviews. Guess it’s just a case of putting on a brave face for the readers who are still on the fence.

  14. Shindig avatar

    Yup, although the fact there’s 4-6 Call of Duty games regularly on game store shelves point out how fucked off I am with the series. Making it a yearly event turns a once thoroughly enjoyable gaming experience into a bland FIFA release where handballs are replaced with a quick-time event where you can rip a Russian’s forehead off and introduce it to his scrote.

    The sales already indicate the fence sitters don’t matter to Activision.

  15. DeathByDrum avatar

    Worst. Review. Ever.

  16. Dilutedshade avatar

    Looking forward to the blackops review! Is it coming soon?

  17. Barry avatar


    So many trolls!

  18. GraeXZ avatar

    Great piece Laura (see what I did there, lol!) I agree with you, Black Ops is tasty cake, it’s the same tasty cake we’ve been eating since Modern Warfare, with maybe a slight improvement to the recipe, when they keep dishing it out though you’ll bet your ass I’ll have another sweet sweet slice.

    I’m off to eat a box of Mr. Kotickling’s Mince Pies, which are buy 1 get 2 free at Tesco’s right now. YUM YUM 🙂

  19. higgeh avatar

    for those who complain take 1 “call of duty modern warfare 2 review” copy and paste into word and replace all “modetn warfare 2” with black ops

  20. Mike avatar

    I’m in complete agreement with you, L-Dog. People should know by now whether they love or hate the CoD series by now and no review will ever sway their opinion.
    I think I speak for everyone, though, when I say Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is Game of the Year.

  21. Daniel avatar

    @Mike – That’s fair for those whose opinions are made up already, but there’s still plenty of people for whom this would be their first foray into the COD series.

  22. Amber avatar

    It’s like marmite; you either hate it or love it.
    I hated this game, only part of it I liked was the wager matches (the toast). 🙂

  23. Dave avatar

    If there was a God he would be trying his best to stop get you guys to stop chumpatising yourselves!

  24. Giles avatar

    Easily one of the boldest reviews I’ve ever read and a bloody good point made, nice one! ^_^

    For those seeking a more conventional review of this game, by all means look to more conventional websites. But for voicing an opinion that dares to be different, to say what others won’t or can’t, I can only tip my hat to you Laura.

    And that second caption is superb!

  25. Optimus Pints avatar
    Optimus Pints

    Glitch of the day – Walking into a room where the characters are all dead, only for the to stand up with thier arms outstretched and staring at me….they were all covered in blood too which didn’t help

  26. Lauren avatar

    Good for you Laura! Not everyone is going to be wowed over by this game and Im glad you were honest with your opinion. Well said hun!

  27. pints of two formely optimus pints avatar
    pints of two formely optimus pints

    did anybody else notice woods from this game in vietnam looks like ben stiller from tropic thunder?

  28. Mark P avatar

    Call of Duty is pretty much just the McDonalds of the gaming industry now. When a new branch of McDonalds opens all the people who like McDonalds are going to eat there and all the people who don’t like McDonalds aren’t. Simple as that.

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