The Tale of a Black Ops

Well, as you all already know my final exams are over. That means one thing: PARTY TIME!!!! Definition of party time.

So, what is a typical guy with no life going to do when he gets home? No, it ain’t calling all your girlfriends out for a drink nor going out to get stoned. Simple fact is that it’s just not in my dictionary to go out and get wild. So, the only thing left for me to do is use the computer…… So,

GAME TIME!!!

Well, being away from home for such a long time meant that my brother had stockpiled a whole new bunch of games in the computer. The most prominent of which is the latest and highly anticipated newcomer of the Call of Duty franchise:

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS!!

The image which has taken the gaming world by storm.

The trailer for this game has been on for quite a long time and honestly, it was quite eye catching. I mean, even the game poster (above) is eye catching. A battle hardened soldier with lots of guns. Kinda reminds me of this:

NO DAMMIT!!! I don’t have a fetish for half naked tough guys (or do I?) It’s just the impression they have on me.

Honestly, I kept hoping for some tough guy with a machine gun turning humans into mince sauce. Yeah, the same kind of hero who shouts, “AHHHHHH!!!!” or, “GET DOWN!!!” accompanied with the sound of reverberating gunfire and everything is topped off with a massive explosion and hundreds of dead bodies scattered everywhere. However, after playing the whole game……wait……I forgot……

WARNING!!! SPOILERS MAY BE CONTAINED WITHIN POST!!! DISCONTINUE READING IF YOU HATE SPOILERS!

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OK!! DON’T SAY YOU HAVE NOT BEEN WARNED!!

Anyway, as I was saying, my original impression on the game as compared to what I’ve experienced from it was the total opposite of what I expected. If you’re a person who just loves playing a game with blood, shooting, more blood, more shooting, dismembered body parts and just pure, hardcore violence, stop reading now.

As much as I want to say I hate this game, it was only when I gave it a second round try did I grow a strong sense of affection for this game…. not in the wrong sense though. With respect to the previous Modern Warfare Series, Black Ops also comes with an all awesome storyline being both epic, dramatic and psychotic at the same time.

The storyline for the game this time is set during a war which not many remember. Honestly, everyone is probably going to figure either World War 2 or the continuation of the modern warfare series. However, anyone ever remembered the Cold War. Better yet, anyone know what the Cold War era is? It’s the war encompassing the longest span of warfare the modern world knows lasting from 1947 – 1991, ranging from the Korean War to the Vietnam War, to the Cuban Missile Crisis. And all this is seen through a part soldier, part code breaker, part prisoner and all round killing machine.

Step into the shoes of Alex Mason, one of the best black ops operatives available. Highly trained and highly skilled in all black ops tactics, he and his team of operatives get down and dirty, risking everything to do the job nobody wants to do. The events of which the storyline is based upon involves the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the conspiracies of the CIA and the “almost” outbreak of World War 3. Hence one can be assured with a guarantee of a storyline a la “Inception,” filled with lies, deceit and betrayal. 

In addition, a vast majority of the missions are as epic as they’ll ever get. I mean, the first mission itself involves you and the best of the best working together to kill Fidel Castro. I mean come on, how often is it that you get to kill a Cuban dictator in a FPS (first person shooter) game? Other than that, you’ll also get a chance to meet an in-game NPC (non-player characters) who defy the gaming rule of “I’m a nobody!” John F. Kennedy. The game makers went through extreme lengths in replicating the facial details as well as the voice. Seriously:

You have to agree that he looks like JFK right? Come on.

Other than that, the voice of other characters are voiced by a stellar cast of actors such as Ed Harris, Ice Cube and Gary Oldman. So do not be surprised you recognise some voices and there is also some slight resemblances between the NPC’s as well as the people who voice them.

On to the serious bit, the game opens up with you (Alex Mason) being tied up and interrogated by the CIA on a series of events which you have encountered which may be the key to prevent World War 3. So, the storyline is partially accurate to the Cold War sequence only slightly more drastic.

Game creators have made this game in such a way that every mission is a recap through your memory. It allows players undergo flashbacks and play them as if it were at present time. As the story advances, you will unravel strange new discoveries (similar to that of “I’ve been abducted by aliens and they did something to me”). It opens up with the assassination of Castro gone wrong, where you’d be captured and given to the Soviets as a present. You’ll stage a daring escape and go through a whole line of memories as a player to unravel what occurred while you were in captivity as well as uncovering the key to stop judgement day. That’s all I’m revealing so buy the game and uncover the rest.

My comment on it anyway is fairly ok. I love the changes to the weapons which can realistically dismember body parts like Call of Duty: World at War. Though it still shows shotguns tearing people apart limb to limb and AK-47 bullets causing mosquito bites, it’s still a good try by game makers. The weapons are no longer as realistic as the weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) but they have newer capabilities such as dual magazines for quicker reloads as well as extended mags/ drum mags for higher ammo capacity. The weapons also include experimental and weapons of the cold war era, many of which have never been experienced or used before by most players. The graphics have been much improved thus requiring a stronger graphic card in order to function. Sound effects are slightly better but I still would recommend the effects from MW2.

On the negative side, a vast majority of the weapons are erroneous as they have not been developed yet as accordance to the year the game was set in. Majority of the prototype weapons were never used in service but incorrectly portrayed in this game as player usable weapons. A vast majority of a map still cannot be discovered as they have used the same, “rat in a maze method” to ease players performance. Certain AI’s can perform crazy moves and behave smarter that in veteran mode, it becomes close to impossible to win without dying as opposed to the previous Call of Duty’s. The cinematic is much longer and may occur in certain missions in between gameplay which is ultimately frustrating especially when you’re in the gaming mood.

As much as I want to elaborate more, I guess I’ve said enough in a way. So before I end, let’s recap the pros and cons.

PROS:

1. Very intricate and precise detail on the graphics.

2. Superb voice contributors with suitable and timely dialogues.

3. Good storyline and action.

CONS:

1. Multiple inaccuracies in timeline and equipment.

2. Annoying cinematic and cut scenes.

3. Same old “rat in a maze” concept.

Finally, if you want my verdict on whether to buy this game, I would say yes, if you are willing to part with your money. However, I’m not going to say it was the Call of Duty of the century because there were certain aspects I was let down on. Still, good effort though and heartiest congratulations to the game makers for the newest instalment to the Call of Duty franchise.

Anyway, here’s a few photos for you to look over to get a view of how the game is:

Awesome camouflage skin on the rifle. Wonderful detail paid to weapons and environment.

Detailed environment. Tempts you to play doesn’t it.

Hmm….Crossbow + Sniper Scope + Unsuspecting Target = Cheeky Fun!!

Yes, you can fly gunships and kill people. DIE PUNY HUMANS!!!!! (loud machine gun fire)

Bandana + Tattoo + Chuck Norris face = Bloody Carnage.

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