Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops Review for Wii

On: WiiXbox 360PS3PCDS

The latest instalment in the blockbuster franchise.

Review Verdict Read Review
6Out of 10
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Call of Duty: Black Ops screenshot
Call of Duty: Black Ops screenshot

You've probably played it. So you'll remember that, upon first arriving at Vietnam in 1968, protagonist Mason remarks that his friend Woods looks like "hammered shit". Coincidentally, so does the Wii port of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Skimming away most of the aesthetic prowess of Black Ops is noticeably jarring, and the effect is severely worsened by the fact you can't turn your head without seeing the HD version of the game prominently displayed in internet adverts, shop windows or everybody else's living rooms. The fact Treyarch has managed to release a fairly competent cut-down version of the game isn't the point: playing Black Ops on Wii would be tantamount to watching a pirate copy of Inception on VHS while someone rubbed Peri-Peri sauce into your willy.

Even the most devout supporter of the Wii would be hard-pressed to not complain about the shonky visual effects, like the screen just awkwardly cutting straight to white when you die - apart from the level when you're trotting around Khe Sanh, where it inexplicably fades to black. Bang. White. Or black, of course. None of that technically stressful fading or blurring: only (mostly) white. That's Treyarch deciding to respond to a problem - the lo-fi Wii can't handle the post-processing effects of the death screens - by just ignoring it entirely.

Or have a little peek at the game's third level, where you take a car trip with Robert McNamara to the Pentagon and subsequently get ordered by President Kennedy to assassinate Russian antagonist Nikita Dragovich. On the Wii that's just an abridged movie sequence - the first instance of many, too - with Treyarch taking footage from the HD version and riddling it with poor compression and glaring artifacts. Watching the high-poly models strut around in movie form is also like coming second on a daytime TV game show - here's what you could have won!

In converting the splendid Black Ops to the Wii, Treyarch has completely forgotten to compensate for how the Wii is an absolutely terrible home for Black Ops. The enemy AI feels far more basic than in the HD consoles, and they were hardly rocket scientists on the bigger boys' consoles, though the wonkier snap-to aiming helps keep you from steamrolling all opposition. Thanks to the Wii's diminutive resolution, too, attempting to fire an assault rifle long distance is like trying to accurately throw breadcrumbs at a pixelated grey pea on the other side of a park without wearing your glasses.

Standard pointer controls are included, which get the job done (after a bit of fiddling in the options screen to get the right sensitivity) while losing almost all the speed and grace of the analogue sticks. Using the Zapper is absolutely hilarious, though: reloading is handled by shaking the Nunchuk, so doing that when connected to the Wii Remote via Zapper causes the on-screen gun to flail around like someone having an epileptic fit at a rave. Bung a Classic Controller Pro into the Wii Remote and it's like playing a Fisher Price version of Black Ops - something to wean the 10-year-olds on before they hit their teenage years, get an Xbox LIVE Gold account and start throwing offensive racial epithets around like they're candy.

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User Comments

SebVG's Avatar

SebVG@ Hesselius

HAHAHAHAHAHA Alright, evidence!

Click for Image
Posted 02:06 on 09 December 2010
Hesselius's Avatar


You cannot placate me with your images of iconic gaming characters warped to portray current social memes, Sales Manager Chris Thomas. I shall be presenting this information to Julian Assange and Mark Zuckerberg!
Posted 01:41 on 09 December 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


Possibly Martins favourite number! Thats all the evidence I need. Stick a bow on this, case closed.

Click for Image
Posted 01:36 on 09 December 2010
Hesselius's Avatar


Dear Neon-Soldier32.

I find your accusations dubious. Allow me to present the facts: Your profile states your first name is Wesley. A writer named Wesley Yin-Poole used to work for Your 'handle' as it is colloquially known, is 'Neon-Soldier32'. 'Neon' is the first name of Neon Kelly, a current writer. And as if that wasn't enough, your 'handle' ends in the number 32, which is possibly Martin's favourite number.

I think I have adequately proved my point. Thank you and good day.
Posted 01:01 on 09 December 2010
MankyScotsGit's Avatar


Indeed, I think Hesselius should hand in his resignation for failing as a snarky internet commenter.

Makes me sick.
Posted 00:36 on 09 December 2010

Neon-Soldier32@ Hesselius

First off, Martin clearly isn't a game dev, he's a staff writer and if he was 'so biased' then he wouldn't be reviewing games and seeing as though he has reviewed most of the big games in Q3 / 4, I'd say he must be quite decent at it.

Also, a review is basically an opinion: And people's opinions differ and no one's opinion is wrong.
Posted 00:29 on 09 December 2010
Hesselius's Avatar


@ShadowFox06 wrote: "The guy who reviewed this obviously hasn't played many Wii FPS on the Wii"

You're right. I had a look through the review history and it appears this charlatan has reviewed the majority of Wii FPSes on PlayStation 3.

Dear Martin Gaston: If you're so BIASED as to be unable to even play Wii FPSes on the correct console, then you utterly fail as a games developer and I would request that you tender your resignation.
Posted 00:21 on 09 December 2010
lagamer44's Avatar

lagamer44@ squidman

Yes, that... and this review... made you guys look like amateurs.
Posted 00:03 on 09 December 2010
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ IndoorHeroes

Chris, that's clearly not multiplayer. It's obviously a briefing screen for one of the campaign levels. Now you're making us look like amateurs.
Posted 23:55 on 08 December 2010
ShadowFox08's Avatar


I just read this review, and as a Wii owner who is a hardcore wii FPS, who has much more knowledge than this reviewer on Wii FPS games, I find this review very disappointing.

The guy who reviewed this obviously hasn't played many Wii FPS on the Wii, and clearly shows he has no knowledge of the history behind FPS on the Wii. Of course gamers who play most of their hardcore FPS on the HD versions will be more bias towards those versions.. But is it fair to directly compare the HD ports to the Wii version, as if developers have been spitting out AAA Wii FPS online games(when it hasn't), without even bothering to look into the hardware limitations of the Wii and the history of advancement of Wii FPS in general?

I don't think so.

Most of the things missing in this game (such as camera spike equipment, kill cam, theater mode, and the 3 missing kill streaks: valykrie rocket, chopper gunner, and airship, flamethrower attachment, and possibly clan tags and emblems) aren't even in this game due to technical limitations of Wii's measly 88 MB of Ram.

Oh and yes, Dead Ops and Pentagon 5 zombie map is missing, but at least Treyarch managed to include the rest of 90% of the content! This game features customizable controls, all maps, modes, perks, weapons, and pretty much everything else. The online multiplayer mode is exactly identical to the HD versions, minus visuals and audio differences, and the other things I mentioned above--mainly due to Wii's inferior hardware

And this is the FIRST online Wii FPS to include voicechat via headset known as the PDP headbanger headset(which works great), back end-patching, as well as DLC--all the features which this reviewer FAILED to mention.

If you want to read a less strong bias to HD versions review due to lack of experience with wii games, stick to more accurate reviews like Gamespot or Nintendo Life--who have more knowledge and history behind Wii FPS games, and who have been following the CoD franchise on the Wii!
Posted 23:19 on 08 December 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar


Great read Martin, truly funny. Although after reading your review, I think I'll stick to the 360 version!
Posted 21:37 on 08 December 2010
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ omfg-bbq

At a guess its Vietnam?
Posted 21:37 on 08 December 2010
mikejosh1978's Avatar


Hate to be a bit of a stick in the mud but the spoilers didn't add to the review & i think killcam & the chopper & co could all be gone on the "big boys" games and at least it would make the online more interesting than someone camping getting kills for doing jack & those he shot my left forefinger twice deaths won't make you scream WTF NOOB at your tv half as much .
Bar those a jolly good read.
Posted 21:18 on 08 December 2010
omfg-bbq's Avatar

omfg-bbq@ IndoorHeroes

Who is playing battlefield during work hours then,and you guys really need a cable tidy.
Posted 16:36 on 08 December 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


Originally Posted by Martin
Playing Black Ops on Wii would be tantamount to watching a pirate copy of Inception on VHS while someone rubbed Peri-Peri sauce into your willy.
I love you Martin.

Also... the strap-line was amazing
Posted 16:35 on 08 December 2010

Game Stats

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Out of 10
Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Retains many of the HD version's features
  • Feels like a bad port
  • Looks tacky
  • Savage cuts
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 09/11/2010
Platforms: Wii , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , DS
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 2,374 21
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