Call of Duty Black Ops is a bad, bad game!


Me and Call of Duty, sitting in a tree

Me and Call of Duty go way back. Back to 2003, when the first Call of Duty game was released on PC, grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go until I finished it in one session. Since then I have played every Call of Duty game, and I've finished all of them in one session. Start the game and play through it from start to finish, that's the way I played Call of Duty. Most of the games only lasted about 6 hours so they would always be an awesome roller coaster of action.

Now, I am normally not the kind of person to write angry blog posts about games when I don't like them. I usually just shrug it off and finish it for the achievements or leave it because I don't need the frustration. I'm also not the kind of person who gets hung up on details like the developers not getting the rate of fire of an MP5 absolutely correct or crap like that.

I am, however, a game designer, someone who loves games and a big Call of Duty fan. Recently, the Call of Duty series has moved from intense close quarters battles to over the top action movie nonsense. I didn't complain, Modern Warfare 1 and 2 were awesome games and I enjoyed the hell out of them. Hell, I even played a decent amount of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer and I've never played online shooters.

Call of Duty Black Ops though, is something different altogether. I've never been one to say Treyarch is a worse developer than Infinity Ward but they've really dropped the ball on this one. Before I start my 'rant' I have to say two things: I haven't even finished Black Ops and there will be spoilers. The spoilers are minor because I haven't finished the game and I haven't finished the game because it is already annoying the hell out of me (and I've only made it to the 4th mission). Oh, and I use some bad language, so... there's that.

The game is really into taking you by the hand and never letting go. It won't let you do things on your own at all and isn't that the whole reason why we play games in the first place? To feel like bad-asses who blow up entire bases with just an AK-47 and a pistol? Black Ops is weird this way because I get the feeling it doesn't trust me. It's annoying and weird that a big game developer made a game like this. And not just any game, a game in what might be the biggest franchise in gaming history. Below are my experiences with the first three missions in Black Ops. I know the text is quite long but I am trying to use examples for people who haven't played the game.

My issues with Call of Duty Black Ops

The Black Ops opening level seems really bad ass but it is linear and boring as shit. For most of the level you're following somebody around who is doing most of the shooting. In the previous Call of Duty games, the main draw for me was that you felt like you were part of a bigger battle. You'd fight your way through a level with other soldiers by your side and feel like you had crossed a massive battlefield by the time it was over. Now, it feels like they're not even trying that anymore. It feels like they are trying to be as ridiculous and over the top as possible and everything that gets in the way just gets skipped. Seriously, the first 'scene' ends with you and your buddies in a horrible car crash and then they skip to you zip-lining into a compound somewhere in the jungle. Hello?! Excuse me?! What the hell happened in between? It's like the game doesn't care. It's dragging me along and I have no idea what's going on. Your buddies Bowman and Woods are with you when you assault the compound and they do most of the work. Sometimes you get to shoot dudes, but always in some straight corridor while they hide behind boxes. Woop-dee-fucking-doo. And then you shoot Castro in the face. In slow motion. At this point, it feels like the developers are sitting next to me, screaming "HEY LOOK, IT'S FIDEL CASTRO! ISN'T THAT COOL! SHOOT HIM! OH DUDE, YOU JUST SHOT CASTRO! HOW COOL IS THAT!"

The next section, in true Call of Duty fashion, throws everything at you at once, people are screaming in your earpiece, you have no idea what's going on and you die. The game respawned me in a spot with 4 enemies surrounding me! FOUR! I died within seconds. This goes on for about 10 minutes and I keep dying because there is too much shit going on. Eventually, we get to an airfield and my buddies just fucking book it across the tarmac! I don't have infinite auto-run so I have no chance of keeping up. Already I feel like the game is getting sort of annoyed that it has to play around me.

Nex mission, I'm in prison. Somebody hands me a knife and the game tells me to stab dudes. Ok. I can do that. So I stab every guard in sight. Then I come to some prisoners fighting some guards so I try to stab them. I can't do that. I swear I've stabbed them for 2 minutes straight and nothing happened. Why do I have this knife and why are there guards that I can't stab? For the next 20 minutes or so, I follow some guy. I never get a moment where the game tells me 'Go there and kill everything', only 'Follow this dude'. The story also gets very dodgy in this level. It's all a bit too cartoonish and over the top for me and the voice acting isn't helping. I have a hard time buying any of this and it's not making the game very enjoyable. But the next mission really takes the cake.

The cake

So now I have escaped prison and I'm working for the CIA. Never mind how that happened, the game spends about 10 seconds explaining that so you shouldn't give it a second thought. Because I am a bad-ass (at least, that's what the game tells me), I get to go to the Pentagon! Nice! Now, let me describe what happens in this 'mission'. I arrive in a helicopter, get in a limo, go to the Pentagon, walk through the Pentagon, meet John F. Kennedy and get the mission to kill some dude. First of all, the game doesn't let me control my character! He walks on his own in first person perspective. Not for a little while, no, for the entire mission! Ok, so they don't want me to go off-script and want to keep the immersion going. But then, they cut away from the first person perspective to show THE LIMO DRIVING DOWN THE FREEWAY! What? That was cool enough to break the first person perspective in a Call of Duty game for THE FIRST TIME EVER? Then, they show my character walking around in third person! At this point, I am about to cry. This makes no sense. The whole walk through the Pentagon is in first person and I still can't control my character. Why, in the name of Kotick, did they do this?

There must have been concept art for this level, then somebody made 3D models for it, those were unwrapped and textured, put in the engine and lit. Programmers and animators made sure everything looked alive. This probably cost weeks to create and all so the game can rush me through it in 5 minutes without even letting me control my character? WOW! You know what's cool about games? Going to places you never get to go. You know where none of us is ever going to go? The motherfucking Pentagon!!! Why can't you let me walk around in this fictional version of the Pentagon for a while? WHY?! It could have been fun, you could have put in some Easter Eggs and people would have said "Dude, did you find the Playboy magazine in the bathrooms at the Pentagon in Call of Duty Black Ops? Man, that was cool!". Nope. 5 minute first person walk with no control over your character and no breaks. Awesome.

At the end you sit down with JFK. He tells you 'you're the best soldier we have anywhere'. Uhm, excuse me, John... I just followed two dudes around and did what they told me to do. I'm not exactly Rambo. The game is trying to set my character up as a bad-ass but I'm not buying it because it doesn't even trust me to do things on my own! Immersion: gone. But OK, apparently I'm a bad-ass. Maybe now the game will send me off on my own and let me do awesome stuff!

Nope, guess again. Next mission: I get to follow Woods around again. Seriously, if I am the best soldier the US has, then WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE TO KEEP FOLLOWING THIS DUDE AROUND?! Because, again, the game doesn't trust me to do things on my own. I like poking at games to see how far I can go but Call of Duty doesn't let me go at all! And when I follow Woods around in this mission, everything I do breaks the game. I shot my gun, the helicopter saw me: instant failure. Next section: it won't even let me shoot. Sometimes the game stops and Woods tells me to do something.

You know what, Woods, I don't feel like it. Fuck you, do it yourself! But he never does and the game just stays in that state until you finally do it. At one point, I get to shoot down a rocket going into outer space with a stinger missile. That was kind of cool. So I'm standing there, looking up at the rocket exploding. Looks cool. I look back down and everyone is gone! Everything is quiet and my buddies are waiting for me down the stairs. It's really, really quiet but the second I reach the stairs everything starts exploding! I could almost SEE the hitbox the level designer placed there. More following, more corridor shooting. Sometimes I think the game just throws in these corridor sections to make me feel like I'm at least doing something but it's not helping. Corridor shooting sucks! Woods, Bowman and some guy I don't even know are also in the corridor and they randomly charge forward and jump in front of my gun. Remember: we were pretending to be Russian soldiers so they're dressed in the same fucking uniforms as the enemies! They got really angry when I shot them. Well, don't stand in front of my gun. I'm not moving, you are, idiot!

At the end of the mission, we apparently failed to kill the dude we were supposed to kill. At no point in the mission was it clear to me that we were there to kill a dude (or shoot rockets out of the air, for that matter). The game hardly ever tells you what you should be doing. Anyway, we failed. And now the main character has the balls to say 'we searched the entire base and he wasn't there'. Fuck off, we didn't search the entire base, that thing was massive. Woods just dragged us from point A to point B! So I'm getting sick of the following, the vagueness, the story, the corridor shooting, everything having the same goddamn color and most of all, Woods.

My breaking point

The next mission is in Vietnam. Yeah, Vietnam! I like Vietnam movies (two of my favorite movies: Platoon and Apocalypse Now) so I was psyched about the Vietnam missions. So who shows up: WOODS! AAAAAAAARGH! The game takes control of my character and walks me to a Jeep and I don't even get to walk around the camp we're in. Now Woods starts briefing me again and I'm done. I don't care anymore. I've now played an hour of Call of Duty Black Ops and all I've done is follow two dudes around and odds are, that's what I will be doing for the next five hours. The game won't let me explore, won't let me do things on my own and won't let me mess around. Fuck it!

So I turned it off. And you know what I'm going to do now? I'm going to play Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. There is a massive open world there where I can do all kinds of things. That game does make me feel like a bad-ass, like the person who should be liberating Rome. It trusts me enough to open the world up, fill it with shit to do and say "Have fun, dude!"

Get to the point already!

The point I'm trying to make is this:

Black Ops has a huge boner for how awesome, bad-ass and cool it is as a game. But this boner is preventing the game from doing what it's supposed to be doing: making ME feel like a bad-ass! I, the player, am living the experiences the game is giving me through this character. If the game doesn't trust me to be that character and holds my hand the whole way through, then what am I doing? It's the gaming equivalent of being an intern: they give you shit to do, but it's never the good shit and somebody's always looking over your shoulder to see if you're doing it right. And you have to make the coffee.

40 Comments
42 Comments
Posted by whatisvisceral

Me and Call of Duty, sitting in a tree

Me and Call of Duty go way back. Back to 2003, when the first Call of Duty game was released on PC, grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go until I finished it in one session. Since then I have played every Call of Duty game, and I've finished all of them in one session. Start the game and play through it from start to finish, that's the way I played Call of Duty. Most of the games only lasted about 6 hours so they would always be an awesome roller coaster of action.

Now, I am normally not the kind of person to write angry blog posts about games when I don't like them. I usually just shrug it off and finish it for the achievements or leave it because I don't need the frustration. I'm also not the kind of person who gets hung up on details like the developers not getting the rate of fire of an MP5 absolutely correct or crap like that.

I am, however, a game designer, someone who loves games and a big Call of Duty fan. Recently, the Call of Duty series has moved from intense close quarters battles to over the top action movie nonsense. I didn't complain, Modern Warfare 1 and 2 were awesome games and I enjoyed the hell out of them. Hell, I even played a decent amount of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer and I've never played online shooters.

Call of Duty Black Ops though, is something different altogether. I've never been one to say Treyarch is a worse developer than Infinity Ward but they've really dropped the ball on this one. Before I start my 'rant' I have to say two things: I haven't even finished Black Ops and there will be spoilers. The spoilers are minor because I haven't finished the game and I haven't finished the game because it is already annoying the hell out of me (and I've only made it to the 4th mission). Oh, and I use some bad language, so... there's that.

The game is really into taking you by the hand and never letting go. It won't let you do things on your own at all and isn't that the whole reason why we play games in the first place? To feel like bad-asses who blow up entire bases with just an AK-47 and a pistol? Black Ops is weird this way because I get the feeling it doesn't trust me. It's annoying and weird that a big game developer made a game like this. And not just any game, a game in what might be the biggest franchise in gaming history. Below are my experiences with the first three missions in Black Ops. I know the text is quite long but I am trying to use examples for people who haven't played the game.

My issues with Call of Duty Black Ops

The Black Ops opening level seems really bad ass but it is linear and boring as shit. For most of the level you're following somebody around who is doing most of the shooting. In the previous Call of Duty games, the main draw for me was that you felt like you were part of a bigger battle. You'd fight your way through a level with other soldiers by your side and feel like you had crossed a massive battlefield by the time it was over. Now, it feels like they're not even trying that anymore. It feels like they are trying to be as ridiculous and over the top as possible and everything that gets in the way just gets skipped. Seriously, the first 'scene' ends with you and your buddies in a horrible car crash and then they skip to you zip-lining into a compound somewhere in the jungle. Hello?! Excuse me?! What the hell happened in between? It's like the game doesn't care. It's dragging me along and I have no idea what's going on. Your buddies Bowman and Woods are with you when you assault the compound and they do most of the work. Sometimes you get to shoot dudes, but always in some straight corridor while they hide behind boxes. Woop-dee-fucking-doo. And then you shoot Castro in the face. In slow motion. At this point, it feels like the developers are sitting next to me, screaming "HEY LOOK, IT'S FIDEL CASTRO! ISN'T THAT COOL! SHOOT HIM! OH DUDE, YOU JUST SHOT CASTRO! HOW COOL IS THAT!"

The next section, in true Call of Duty fashion, throws everything at you at once, people are screaming in your earpiece, you have no idea what's going on and you die. The game respawned me in a spot with 4 enemies surrounding me! FOUR! I died within seconds. This goes on for about 10 minutes and I keep dying because there is too much shit going on. Eventually, we get to an airfield and my buddies just fucking book it across the tarmac! I don't have infinite auto-run so I have no chance of keeping up. Already I feel like the game is getting sort of annoyed that it has to play around me.

Nex mission, I'm in prison. Somebody hands me a knife and the game tells me to stab dudes. Ok. I can do that. So I stab every guard in sight. Then I come to some prisoners fighting some guards so I try to stab them. I can't do that. I swear I've stabbed them for 2 minutes straight and nothing happened. Why do I have this knife and why are there guards that I can't stab? For the next 20 minutes or so, I follow some guy. I never get a moment where the game tells me 'Go there and kill everything', only 'Follow this dude'. The story also gets very dodgy in this level. It's all a bit too cartoonish and over the top for me and the voice acting isn't helping. I have a hard time buying any of this and it's not making the game very enjoyable. But the next mission really takes the cake.

The cake

So now I have escaped prison and I'm working for the CIA. Never mind how that happened, the game spends about 10 seconds explaining that so you shouldn't give it a second thought. Because I am a bad-ass (at least, that's what the game tells me), I get to go to the Pentagon! Nice! Now, let me describe what happens in this 'mission'. I arrive in a helicopter, get in a limo, go to the Pentagon, walk through the Pentagon, meet John F. Kennedy and get the mission to kill some dude. First of all, the game doesn't let me control my character! He walks on his own in first person perspective. Not for a little while, no, for the entire mission! Ok, so they don't want me to go off-script and want to keep the immersion going. But then, they cut away from the first person perspective to show THE LIMO DRIVING DOWN THE FREEWAY! What? That was cool enough to break the first person perspective in a Call of Duty game for THE FIRST TIME EVER? Then, they show my character walking around in third person! At this point, I am about to cry. This makes no sense. The whole walk through the Pentagon is in first person and I still can't control my character. Why, in the name of Kotick, did they do this?

There must have been concept art for this level, then somebody made 3D models for it, those were unwrapped and textured, put in the engine and lit. Programmers and animators made sure everything looked alive. This probably cost weeks to create and all so the game can rush me through it in 5 minutes without even letting me control my character? WOW! You know what's cool about games? Going to places you never get to go. You know where none of us is ever going to go? The motherfucking Pentagon!!! Why can't you let me walk around in this fictional version of the Pentagon for a while? WHY?! It could have been fun, you could have put in some Easter Eggs and people would have said "Dude, did you find the Playboy magazine in the bathrooms at the Pentagon in Call of Duty Black Ops? Man, that was cool!". Nope. 5 minute first person walk with no control over your character and no breaks. Awesome.

At the end you sit down with JFK. He tells you 'you're the best soldier we have anywhere'. Uhm, excuse me, John... I just followed two dudes around and did what they told me to do. I'm not exactly Rambo. The game is trying to set my character up as a bad-ass but I'm not buying it because it doesn't even trust me to do things on my own! Immersion: gone. But OK, apparently I'm a bad-ass. Maybe now the game will send me off on my own and let me do awesome stuff!

Nope, guess again. Next mission: I get to follow Woods around again. Seriously, if I am the best soldier the US has, then WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE TO KEEP FOLLOWING THIS DUDE AROUND?! Because, again, the game doesn't trust me to do things on my own. I like poking at games to see how far I can go but Call of Duty doesn't let me go at all! And when I follow Woods around in this mission, everything I do breaks the game. I shot my gun, the helicopter saw me: instant failure. Next section: it won't even let me shoot. Sometimes the game stops and Woods tells me to do something.

You know what, Woods, I don't feel like it. Fuck you, do it yourself! But he never does and the game just stays in that state until you finally do it. At one point, I get to shoot down a rocket going into outer space with a stinger missile. That was kind of cool. So I'm standing there, looking up at the rocket exploding. Looks cool. I look back down and everyone is gone! Everything is quiet and my buddies are waiting for me down the stairs. It's really, really quiet but the second I reach the stairs everything starts exploding! I could almost SEE the hitbox the level designer placed there. More following, more corridor shooting. Sometimes I think the game just throws in these corridor sections to make me feel like I'm at least doing something but it's not helping. Corridor shooting sucks! Woods, Bowman and some guy I don't even know are also in the corridor and they randomly charge forward and jump in front of my gun. Remember: we were pretending to be Russian soldiers so they're dressed in the same fucking uniforms as the enemies! They got really angry when I shot them. Well, don't stand in front of my gun. I'm not moving, you are, idiot!

At the end of the mission, we apparently failed to kill the dude we were supposed to kill. At no point in the mission was it clear to me that we were there to kill a dude (or shoot rockets out of the air, for that matter). The game hardly ever tells you what you should be doing. Anyway, we failed. And now the main character has the balls to say 'we searched the entire base and he wasn't there'. Fuck off, we didn't search the entire base, that thing was massive. Woods just dragged us from point A to point B! So I'm getting sick of the following, the vagueness, the story, the corridor shooting, everything having the same goddamn color and most of all, Woods.

My breaking point

The next mission is in Vietnam. Yeah, Vietnam! I like Vietnam movies (two of my favorite movies: Platoon and Apocalypse Now) so I was psyched about the Vietnam missions. So who shows up: WOODS! AAAAAAAARGH! The game takes control of my character and walks me to a Jeep and I don't even get to walk around the camp we're in. Now Woods starts briefing me again and I'm done. I don't care anymore. I've now played an hour of Call of Duty Black Ops and all I've done is follow two dudes around and odds are, that's what I will be doing for the next five hours. The game won't let me explore, won't let me do things on my own and won't let me mess around. Fuck it!

So I turned it off. And you know what I'm going to do now? I'm going to play Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. There is a massive open world there where I can do all kinds of things. That game does make me feel like a bad-ass, like the person who should be liberating Rome. It trusts me enough to open the world up, fill it with shit to do and say "Have fun, dude!"

Get to the point already!

The point I'm trying to make is this:

Black Ops has a huge boner for how awesome, bad-ass and cool it is as a game. But this boner is preventing the game from doing what it's supposed to be doing: making ME feel like a bad-ass! I, the player, am living the experiences the game is giving me through this character. If the game doesn't trust me to be that character and holds my hand the whole way through, then what am I doing? It's the gaming equivalent of being an intern: they give you shit to do, but it's never the good shit and somebody's always looking over your shoulder to see if you're doing it right. And you have to make the coffee.

Posted by whatisvisceral
@InfamousBIG:
Nice first response :P
Posted by InfamousBIG
@whatisvisceral:  
Lol, I know.  But, in all seriousness, you should add some images or something, it would make me more likely to actually read it.
Posted by natetodamax

The single player has some strange design decisions, like the overuse of endlessly spawning enemies and weird checkpoints in places. Multiplayer expands on the formula established by Modern Warfare 2 and removes things like akimbo Rangers/Models and makes it so that there aren't jets and helicopters flying overhead every 5 seconds. 
 
If you don't like it then........ sorry? But this colossal rant isn't going to change anyone's minds.

Posted by whatisvisceral
@natetodamax:
I'm not trying to change anybody's mind about Black Ops. Just sharing my opinion, even though nobody asked for it. But hey, this is the internet, that's what you're supposed to use it for, right?
Edited by owl_of_minerva

Although I hate to agree with tl;dr posting, this is quite unmanageably long. I think discussing the overarching ideas, "don't leave all the cool stuff to the cut scenes" and don't use heavy scripting that limits players input too much, at the start would make it clearer what your discussion is, then use the examples but shorten them a bit. I agree with you in principle, but I haven't played the game myself yet.

Posted by gamb1t

The single player was a bit much and different but imma give it a second go which i NEVER EVER do with games cept like doom, resident evil 2, super mario etc. they make up for it in multiplayer and nazi zombies. But at the same time i really dont have that high of expectations for a call of duty game. you cant really top off mw1.

Posted by whatisvisceral

I wasn't expecting comments on the way I formatted my post, but maybe I will try and make it more readable in the future ;) Like I said, I don't normally post these kinds of rants at all

Posted by foggel

Single player campaigns are no longer fun in FPS games. It's been pretty much the same over the past 10 years, only with different graphics. Innovation is needed imo. So it's not just Black Ops. What I've noticed is that variation beyond shooting with a gun is what makes them fun. I don't know about you, but I'm bored when I run down the streets shooting at people. "Mini games" like flying helicopters, and blowing vehicles up from an AC-130 are usually the coolest parts of FPS games, and is what makes the games memorable. I'm too tired to come up with final words.

Posted by whatisvisceral
@Tarsier:

Yeah, and I haven't even made it past level 4 so I'm really not looking forward to the rest of the game :(

I should have played Black Ops first and Assassins Creed after that :/

Edited by Onno10

I liked this rant, 4 stars
(yes I read all of it)

Posted by csl316

pretty much all the call of duties have you running from checkpoint to checkpoint killing dudes, with set pieces happening left and right.  i really don't see how this one is different than the others.
 
and i hate to state the obvious, but assassin's creed is an open world game, a completely different genre than black ops.  you said the other call of duty games were awesome roller coaster rides, but you expect black ops to do this all of a sudden: "It trusts me enough to open the world up, fill it with shit to do and say 'Have fun, dude!'"  Although some of the coolest moments of previous games have been completely linear (the ghilli suit mission from CoD4 comes to mind).
 
i'm confused.  black ops is a modern shooter.  this is kind of what you get.

Posted by whatisvisceral

Shortened the text a bit

@csl316:

No, I don't expect Black Ops to be like AC: Brotherhood at all. But I do expect a game to at least let me do things on my own. And there were plenty of sections in the previous games where you were on your own or you had to do several objective in the same general area. That felt a lot cooler. Now there's just a dude leading me from set-piece to set-piece and I rarely get time to enjoy it.
Posted by whatisvisceral
@Onno10 said:
" I liked this rant, 4 stars (yes I read all of it) "
Thank you :) For the reading, and the stars :P
Posted by Claude

I quit playing Call of Duty games after Call of Duty 2. They all seem more multiplayer focused, so I'm out.

Posted by Rockdalf
@whatisvisceral said:
" @Onno10 said:
" I liked this rant, 4 stars (yes I read all of it) "
Thank you :) For the reading, and the stars :P "
I also agree with this rant.  The method of storytelling (from an interrogation chair) really intrigued me and I thought Treyarch might be into the business of trying new things.  Start the campaign, and sure enough, same old shit.  It's like I'm running around with Samuel L. Jackson screaming in my ear, "THIS SHIT'S INTENSE".  Did they not learn anything from MW2?  People get tired of hollywood Micheal Bay action 24/7.  When tons of over the top cool shit happens you start to lose immersion in a game which claims to place itself in reality.  The whole of the work is just one plot hole after another. 
  
Least zombie mode is fun...
Posted by Afroman269

I agree fully with what you said. I lost interested in the multiplayer in MW 2 and Black Ops isn't going to pull me back. Also the single player, just looks rental material to me. The script heavy sequences just annoy me now.

Posted by RankRabbit

Oh, Gordon Freeman, you never let us lose control in your games.

Posted by MrGetBonus

Your icon is too close to harris'.

Posted by Sanity_Crash

I agree completely with this rant! 5 stars.. pretty much everything i didn't like about this game and i didn't even have the patience to get as far as you did OP, so well done.
Posted by whatisvisceral
I honestly didn't expect anyone to read this (except for the people I was going to send it to :P) but thanks for reading my long-ass article. I made the end a bit more quotable now :P
Posted by jmrwacko
@whatisvisceral:  This has been every first person shooter ever. As much as it pains me to say it, because it's an entertaining read, the problem you have isn't with Black Ops but with linear shooters in general. Hell, even Half Life 2 felt scripted.
Posted by emkeighcameron

I would really enjoy the SP campaign if I DIDN'T OWN THE BROKEN-AS-FUCK PC VERSION THAT FUCKING NEVER WORKS PROPERLY.
 
So I agree that it's a bad, bad game, but for entirely different reasons.

Posted by canucks23

I don't get why you expected to be able to explore anything. This is a CoD game, you know what you're getting into when you play it. MW2 was even worse with the whole "DURP BADASS NESS MAYNE!" stuff. I'm not saying i disagree with you though, it'd be nice to see the games calm the fuck down, but really what did you expect from mw2's follow up?

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

im pretty much at the point you are (note: I didnt buy the game it was gifted to me on steam, same with MW2 ... seems like im cursed to play every CoD game no matter if I want to or not) and I would agree. So far most of the game feels on rails, run down this corridor, crawl through that ditch rinse repeat.
 
People say Crysis was "only graphics with no game" but crysis was a shooter that let you do things your way, sure, there was always a red line and a point to go to, but how you get there and how you approach your mission was up to you ... guns blazing, sneaky, direction of attack ... everything was up to you as a player. Crysis doesnt get enough credit for that. But it seems like the majority of people like games that take them by the hand and put a big red sign on screen that says "shoot these guys".

Posted by audiosnag

I disagree completely with this rant! 0 stars!
No but seriously, i do disagree. You're a black ops unit (thus the title) you're not supposed to feel like you're a soldier in a huge battle. I understand if you prefer that sorta dealy, that's cool, but that isn't what this game is. An i don't really get your complaints about Woods, i thought he was bad ass. And again, you're part of a unit, you're not supposed to be a lone wolf.
The jumping ahead is just a mechanic of the narrative. You're playing through flashbacks during your interrogation. It doesn't make sense for him to spend ten minutes talking about walking from one area to another, the jolting aspect of the narrative follows what a guy strapped in a chair getting electrocuted would be talking like. I assume. Never actually been in that situation. 
And it sounded like you didn't like Gary Oldman as Reznov? That automatically made me want to not finish reading it. But i did. Gary Oldman makes everything better.
Anyway thats cool it's not your type of game but the things you complain about are sorta what this game is. It's like complaining Halo has aliens in it. 
The Pentagon scene for me was cool, having a huge amount of control wouldn't make any sense cause you're supposed to be following Hudson, wandering around would be sorta dumb. Seeing JFK was cool.
CoD has, at least for the last number of years, been a super linear, super scripted game (single player) and Black Ops doesn't deviate. For me this has been the most enjoyable story of the series. But thats just me.

Posted by whatisvisceral

@audiosnag

Exactly, Wood is bad-ass! But I am not Woods in the game! I want to be bad-ass, Woods can pick up whatever bad-assness I leave in my wake ;) I agree that a Black Ops unit shouldn't be in huge battles but breaking everything up the way they do, even the levels feel small. The Gulag level in MW2 has you fighting with a small unit too but that level felt HUGE! (Again, I haven't finished the entire game yet, so that could still come)

I don't agree that the things I complain about are 'sorta what this game is'. No CoD game has made me feel like this before, even though they have been super linear forever. There is a difference between linear and literally not letting me do anything without Woods guiding me there. I also think we shouldn't be accepting this stuff from a franchise as awesome as Call of Duty!

And of course I like Gary Oldman! Are you crazy?! Who doesn't like Gary Oldman?! And there's nothing wrong with Reznov, it was just another dude leading me through another level, telling me what to do.

Posted by whatisvisceral
@audiosnag:

And if you enjoyed the game: awesome! You probably paid for it so you got your money's worth!

Me, I payed 60 euros (yeah, I'm from over there) and am now stuck with a game I will never enjoy as much as you did. And I really want to enjoy it as much as you did! For god's sake, this is the biggest game of the year, it should be awesome!

Edited by DiscoDuck8k

Being one of the few that mainly likes Call of Duty for the campaign, this makes me glad I didn't run out to buy it just yet. Thanks for that.

Posted by BigBoss1911

I think BLOPS is a good good game.

Posted by MikkaQ

So... it's too linear, is the gist of your rant? If not, ignore this, I'm an unapologetic skimmer of long blog posts.  
 
But is it really surprising that a COD game has you following people around, and shooting whoever pops up? The games are basically shooting galleries from COD4 onward. I like 'em, but that's because I know exactly what to expect out of them.

Posted by TheCreamFilling

Why would they waste time with things like good design when they already know the game will sell ridiculous numbers regardless? 

Edited by Infininja

I slept through the entire campaign. My friend asked me if Frank Woods was my favorite character or something and I told him I didn't know his first name and wouldn't have known his last if it didn't show up when I aimed at him.

Posted by NTM

Black Ops was ok. But like Halo Reach, when I was done with the single player, I was done with the game all together. First thing I said when I played the game was "This game isn't engaging at all, it's just boring..." I only played through it once, and on Vetran. And if a game on its hardest difficulty can't engage me into it, then it's not that great of a game.
Posted by whatisvisceral
@TheCreamFilling:

That may be the biggest problem in all of this: it doesn't matter if the next Call of Duty game is an RTS about dancing unicorns who fight werewolf lawyers, it will sell anyway. This might make the developer take some weird choices because, as you said, why bother?

Also, I am totally proposing an RTS about dancing unicorns who fight werewolf lawyers at work today :P

Posted by csl316

i miss Doom.  now beating that made you feel like a bad ass
 

Posted by whatisvisceral
@csl316:

Yeah, Doom was awesome as hell (pun intended :P)

And I played that when I was 12 or something, never finished it until I got older :)

Posted by ShinjiEx

Don't Get Title Of Thread
 



Posted by face15

I completely agree. It is way, way, way too restricting. It decides when you can shoot, when you can run, when you can move, when you can control your own fucking character. I've yet the get into the multiplayer but the single player is not good.  
This doesn't feel like a good game, it feels like a poorly made game with a huge budget.

Posted by audiosnag
@whatisvisceral said:
"

@audiosnag

Exactly, Wood is bad-ass! But I am not Woods in the game! I want to be bad-ass, Woods can pick up whatever bad-assness I leave in my wake ;) I agree that a Black Ops unit shouldn't be in huge battles but breaking everything up the way they do, even the levels feel small. The Gulag level in MW2 has you fighting with a small unit too but that level felt HUGE! (Again, I haven't finished the entire game yet, so that could still come)

I don't agree that the things I complain about are 'sorta what this game is'. No CoD game has made me feel like this before, even though they have been super linear forever. There is a difference between linear and literally not letting me do anything without Woods guiding me there. I also think we shouldn't be accepting this stuff from a franchise as awesome as Call of Duty!

And of course I like Gary Oldman! Are you crazy?! Who doesn't like Gary Oldman?! And there's nothing wrong with Reznov, it was just another dude leading me through another level, telling me what to do.

"
Well i'm glad we can agree Gary Oldman is awesome. I dunno i remember following Soap around a lot, or Price, or the leader of my Ranger squad. CoD has always been like that from what i can remember, there's usually someone pushing you (or pulling you) along. I'm not sayin it's a perfect game though, the AI is horrible.  That's always been a negative for me with this series, especially after playing Reach where every encounter plays out differently, in Black Ops, guys basically jump out and shoot, crouch back down, rinse repeat. Your AI buddies aren't much better i've seen them run right past guys who were shooting at us. The game does have its problems i wont pretend it doesn't. I dug it though.
Posted by MetalMoog

Yeah it's a shooting gallery for sure, that was my impression of it. Reminds me of duck hunt, only I'm shooting military insurgents and bad ass mofos. It's what I expect from the CoD single player though, they are all like this CoD4, W@W, MW2, it's the CoD way. Don't expect anything dafrent bro and you won't be disappointed. I kinda like the hand holding, I played Half-Life 2 for about 3 hours and was wandering around outside going okay, where the hell am I supposed to go now and said fuck this and sold it because I got so bored of the mindless wandering and driving between points of action.