Call of Zork: Bad Ops

So on the launch day of Call Of Duty: Black Ops while you were all sitting at home levelling up, I was playing Zork, and loving it, why? I’ll tell you.

I had this whole blog written about the cost of PC gaming over console gaming and why it’s totally worth it for the visuals and control, then Treyarch released Call of Duty: Black Ops and it all gets blown away.

I was very much against the purchase of this game, as many of you who took part in the discussion on the forums will know. I was dead set that I wasn’t going to pick this up, but Martin’s comments on the forum and Laura’s excellent review left me wanting, that plus I had about six mates texting me all day to get it for the PC, so I caved, and bought it on Steam.

While you console players were happily getting into the single and multi-player, I was stuck with what seemed to be a game crippling PC performance related issue.

My machine has the following spec:

  • Intel Quad Core Extreme QX6850 @ 3.00Ghz CPU
  • Asus P5E-VM HDMI Motherboard
  • 4GB OZC Reaper PC2-8500 1066Mhz Memory
  • 2 x 150Gb WD VelociRaptor Hard Drives
  • Asus ENGTX260 LG+ 896Mb DDR3  Graphics Card

While the machine isn’t the latest cutting edge i7 series, it can certainly power through everything I have on-board, which included the previous three incarnations of the Call Of Duty series.

Trust me, it's no slouch!
Trust me, it's no slouch!

The issues can be seen here, I would have captured my own gameplay, however I don’t think the expletives would have allowed you to hear any of the actual game audio:


When you connected to a multiplayer server, which was the first thing I fired up when it was installed, it was apparent that everyone was suffering from the same issues, people seemed to be warping all over the place, even with a ping of <30 ms, it looked like network latency but it was actually the game engine itself, after about 20 minutes I gave up, fired up the single-player and hoped that it would be patched soon enough.

Single-player, although not as bad as multiplayer, still had its own frustrating moments, any time any action kicked-off the game would start to stutter and freeze, sometimes pausing for 4-5 seconds and then screaming back into action. It was pretty terrible, don’t even get me started on the get to the trenches section…

As someone with a fair bit of config experience in the Call Of Duty series, I headed over to the players folder to check out the config.cgf and config_mp.cfg files which hold all of the system variables for Call Of Duty on the PC. Much to my surprise I found that the game configuration was set up for a single core, multi-GPU machine, given that the base system requirements ask for a dual core machine, I don’t think this machine configuration would actually exist. I changed the settings down, it seemed to help single-player but multiplayer was still a mess.

Although a quick patch was released, Treyarch Twitter and Facebook pages are still being swamped with PC players who have issues which are stopping them enjoying the game.

A lot of people have hit back at PC gamers stating that it’s launch day and some issues can be expected on launch. Now I would normally accept that, but given that Treyarch had already built a game on the very same game engine three years ago which had none of these issues, I have to question that and say that this looks like it just wasn’t given the same attention in testing as the console versions were.

As I mentioned, Treyarch quickly released a patch, this resolved single-player performance issues and decreased the frequency of the multiplayer stuttering and freezing but the problem is far from resolved for PC gamers.

So next time you PS3 and Xbox 360 people are jumping on playing Black Ops online, spare a thought for us PC gamers, who although we paid the same price for the game, got the sharp end of the ballistic knife up the jacksy.

Sair Yin!
Sair Yin!







9 responses to “Call of Zork: Bad Ops”

  1. Mark P avatar

    You didn’t mention Nazis. Your argument is invalid.

    I would ask what you thought of the game itself but when you’re having this kinda trouble even playing it, you probably haven’t had much of a chance.

    Wasn’t it the similarity in gameplay to the previous Call of Duty games that put you off buying Black Ops?

  2. Branstar avatar

    And here I was expecting a rave review for Zork!

  3. Optimus_Pints avatar

    I think the major question is…were you eaten by a grau?

  4. Walter avatar

    My Zork review is being written up as you read this.

    I found COD:BO to be exactly as I anticipated it to be, a clone of COD:MW, because the single and multiplayer performance was so bad, I still haven’t played it, I’m going to wait until they release a further patch to resolve the many, many problems which still exist with it.

    In conclusion, its shit, I was right, you are all wrong.


  5. Laura avatar

    I love the title of this blog.

    I didn’t realise the PC version was still broken, tut tut. I’ve not been keeping up with gaming news as I’ve been too busy playing Black Ops MP on my XBox 😛
    It’s pretty shocking, though. I would actually cry real girl tears if I’d bought the game and couldn’t play it properly.

  6. Barry avatar

    It’s ironic that the Call of Duty franchise started off being a PC exclusive title and now the PC gaming community (those who prefer to play FPS’s) are being classed as a 2nd rate gamer. This time last year there was that almighty debacle concerning MW2 not having any dedicated servers and now a shoddy version of Black Ops at launch.

  7. Dean avatar

    “I headed over to the players folder to check out the config.cgf and config_mp.cfg files which hold all of the system variables for Call Of Duty on the PC.” Yep, i think that sentence pretty much sums up why i am a console gamer and haven’t ever played anything more advanced than Monkey Island on my PC.

  8. Rose avatar

    “I had this whole blog written about the cost of PC gaming over console gaming and why it’s totally worth it for the visuals and control”

    i tried to write something similar for my first blog but i came across like a massive dickhead and abandoned it.

    i like your pc. it looks like an enthusiastic microwave from the future. in a good way. (mine looks like a deluxe fridge.)

Leave a Reply