8.09
8.2

The story includes interrogation and brutal suggestive themes.

If a game sells more than 5.6 million copies within 24 hours of its launch, there must be something about it. And why not? One of the best-selling game franchise, Call Of Duty, has yet another title, Black Ops. And for an FPS game to have such an excellent story is something not quite well known, but this one changes it.

 

The story of this game may very well quite be one of the best stories ever. Set in the 1960s, the protagonist of the story is an elite covert operative, Mason, for most of the time. He is held in a small room and he is being interrogated by unknown identities. It appears that Mason is having a tough time remembering his past and that the interrogators are literally forcing him to remember and put all the sequences of his past together. At the start, it is not known why the interrogators are doing this. Mason begins putting the story forth.

In the Operation 40 in Cuba, Mason recites how he and his team were sent on a mission to kill a possible terrorist, Carlos. While escaping, Mason jumps out of the escape aircraft to clear the runway for his teammates and he is left behind. He later discovers that the Carlos he killed was actually a double and that the real Carlos is still alive. They hold Mason captive and it appears that Carlos is talking to a friend of his, Dragovich and he talks of giving Mason to him in a deal of Soviet Union alliance.

Mason is then held in a prison cell in Vorkuta where he befriends a Russian Red Army elite, Viktor Reznov. Reznov tells Mason about the three culprits, Nikita Dragovich, Lev Kravchenko (his right-hand man) and Friedrich Steiner, an ex-Nazi scientist. Reznov recites to him that he was betrayed while working for them. They had a secret weapon in the Arctic Circle, which was called, 'Nova-6'. It is a highly toxic gas form of nerve agent that can disintegrate skin from the molecular level and cause immediate death. Dragovich suddenly puts four of his men into test chambers for testing the gas. These men included Viktor Reznov himself and a dear friend of his, Dimitri Petrenko, who was also a Red Army veteran. While Dimitri met with his fate, Reznov got saved when some British commandos invaded the place. While fleeing, Reznov manages to destroy the weapon.

Reznov planned for two years in the cell on how to escape Vorkuta. One day, they finally test their plan but only Mason escapes from Vorkuta. A month later, Mason is summoned by the president of the US, John F. Kennedy and he authorizes killing Dragovich by stating his as a possible threat. Mason and his team are sent to Kazakh SSR to jeopardize the Soviet Space program. They manage to dismantle the spacecraft and evacuate.

MACV-SOG was deployed in Vietnam and after protecting Khe Sanh, the SOG is sent to recover a dossier having information about Dragovich. Mason manages to collect the dossier and also meets Reznov who turns out to the Russian defector from whom the dossier was to be collected. Later the SOG reaches Laos to pick up some shipments of Nova-6 (after the destruction of the original Nova-6, Stiener helped in reproduction of the gas and hence it was again a threat). SOG is surprised by an attack by Viet Cong soldiers. Kravchenko dies but at the cost of Bowman and Woods, teammates of Mason.

Upon an interrogation of an engineer, the itinerary of a hidden facility in Mount Yamantau is known. During this mission, Hudson (another teammate of Mason) is requested by Steiner to meet him on a Rebirth Island to stop a numbers broadcasting. Dragovich had put sleeper agents throughout the America and that upon broadcasting these numbers, the sleeper cells would activate and spread the Nova-6 gas throughout the America killing everyone. During this, Mason is quite irritated by the interrogation process and asks why he is being interrogated. The interrogator says the all they want are the numbers, that's all they've ever wanted. Meanwhile, Mason and Reznov also head to the Rebirth Island to assassinate Steiner. At this time, Reznov appears to kill Steiner but when Hudson reaches the same place, he saw that Mason killed Steiner.

Shortly after, Hudson and Weaver are revealed as the interrogators of Mason. Hudson becomes aware that Mason has been brainwashed by Dragovich to understand the numbers, which made him a sleeper agent too! Later, it comes to knowledge of Mason that Reznov had actually died while escaping Vorkuta and that all the time he was thinking of Reznov with him after the prison break, was actually himself. It occurred as a brain disorder may be because of the brainwashing.

After a big fold in the story and sequences, Mason finally is able to crack the numbers code and is able to pin the location of the broadcasting station on an abandoned ship, Rusalka. Upon reaching the ship, it is revealed that the numbers broadcasting station is actually underwater and that’s why its whereabouts were almost impossible to detect. The team goes underwater and Mason manages to kill Dragovich there. Shortly after, the Navy manages to destroy the station and Mason escapes. Weaver rejoices claiming that they have won but it looks like Mason is still unsure about something.

After the credits roll, it is revealed that at the time of assassination of John F. Kennedy, Mason was actually there in the crowd. A short audio clip plays in which Dragovich acknowledges that Mason has followed his original programming, killing John F. Kennedy.

 

The story is the main focus of the game and without any wonders, it is great and makes the game just equally more engrossing. Throughout the game you can notice the rich and adequate detailing of the environment. Though nothing groundbreaking, the graphics are still very good to make you continue to play the game. Voice acting and sounds are again impressive. It looks real and when you are wearing a pair of high quality headphones, the game literally sucks you in. Not to even mention the controllability and gameplay. The controls are very sharp allowing to make some impressive kills.

 

Again, one of the main features of this game is also its impressive multiplayer. It brings in many new options and features that will force you to never quit the game again. The multiplayer is strong, competitive and surprisingly challenging. A good collection of differentiated maps also adds to its online beauty. There are also combat goals in multiplayer, upon completion of which, you are rewarded experience points. You can customize these objectives and also sign in for multiple objectives. The experience points enable you to buy weapons and attachments for the most. Earning more points expands your arsenal and makes you feel more satisfied. You can also engage in Wager matches.

 

After the popular Call Of Duty World At War, the zombies concept is again integrated into the game. After completing the single player campaign, you can engage in an endless battle between the humans and the living dead. This mode is good, but it becomes fun and interesting only when in co-op mode. Co-op mode allows you to add a maximum of four players and you all engage in killing the endless hordes of zombies.

 

After all the satisfying features of the game, there are some things to look out for though. First of all, the campaign feels very short (as with almost every other Call Of Duty). With such a compelling folds of events and story, it will leave you begging for more. That’s not where it all ends. There is a heartbreaking lack of customizability and playability, you cannot control even the simplest turn of events like an enemy pouncing on you and trying to stab you. You can spot him earlier and kill him but it just won’t work. Moreover, throughout the game, it’s just a very limited space in which you can fight. You are given no other options to flank your enemy. If the game decides that you must take them down from building A, there is no possibility that you could do that from building B. It’s the same problem in every Call Of Duty so far and it just reduces the sense of dynamism and playability.

 

To add to all that, three very popular features from all Call Of Duties return - bugs, bugs and bugs. I love to play a game at hardest difficulty, but in any Call Of Duty, you just won't like to. You can get killed anytime the game wants you dead. That’s about it. No matter how much of a different strategy you apply, you just get killed. You just spoil the fun of the game getting stuck at a same place for the past 30 mins trying to kill the same soldiers over and over again.

Though there are few occasional AI quirks but it is livable provided that it’s just a game and not an actual affair.

 

Even after all that, Black Ops will manage to get on your top games list. With an excellent campaign story, innovative and strong multiplayer and pretty good visuals and sound effects, it will never even let you focus on its downsides.