Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops Preview for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWiiDS
Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Regular readers will notice that the following article is a slight departure from our usual preview style. For gamescom 2010 we've adopted a streamlined structure, allowing us to cover as many games as possible while giving you the important juice and info. In many cases we'll be running longer, more detailed previews upon our return to the UK.

What is it?

Call of Duty: Black Ops (which you probably haven't heard of) is a war-themed shooting game viewed from the first person. It features very high production values and is published by a company called Activision (don't worry if you don't know them) after being developed by another company called Treyarch.

Excitingly, the game has a mode where you play it by yourself against a computer-controlled army (called single-player) and another where you can go up against other players (this is called multiplayer, and requires a connection to the internet). Both modes have you firing guns, which is nice.

What was shown?

Call of Duty: Black Ops screenshot

A demo of two single-player levels, Victor Charlie and Payback. The former has you sneaking around Huong River in 1968, which puts it near the end of the Vietnam war. As the screen fades in, you realise your squad's helicopter has crash-landed in the river and the Vietcong are closing in on your location. Oh, and you're sinking. Which is a great opportunity for Treyarch to show off the game's new swimming mechanic, which is put to good use a few minutes later when you swim underneath a hut and plant a semtex charge on its base.

It's all suitably gory, featuring a bit where you knife someone in the neck while he sleeps and, before that, watch the life drain out of a Vietcong you're using as a human shield.

Call of Duty: Black Ops screenshot

Near the end of the level you clear out a Vietcong tunnel, furthering Treyarch's desire to put enemies so close to your character that you can see the whites of their eyes as you jab them to death with a pointy blade.

Payback, on the other hand, takes the destruction up into the air, having you pilot a very nippy Hind D. As in, actually pilot: you steer it about and fire the rockets and all that. Explosions - and there are hundreds of them - are technically outstanding, with big black plumes of dirty smoke rising up with the fiery reds and yellows.

Our reaction

Call of Duty is as Call of Duty does. My (very real) fears of Treyarch producing a(nother) less-than-stellar entry in the series are quickly being put to rest. There are clear additions to the single-player that are very exciting. Swimming and the drivable helicopter are what Treyarch is showing off and, while I'll need to get the game in my hands before I can make any serious judgments, the sequences certainly look the part.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii and DS.

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User Comments

clangod's Avatar


Read it again with a grain of salt mate :)

I also enjoyed World at War. The multiplayer for both it and MW2 absolutely sh*t me to tears mostly because of the glitches and lag I experienced but I've played em a fair bit (not for a while though, Bad Company 2 is my preference). Ultimately World at War holds the appeal for me even more so for its historical parralels, as do most shooters of the era. I ended up trading MW2 for Red Dead Redemption a few months ago but still own World at War.

I will almost certainly play Black-Ops, but like MoH, I will not be rushing out to buy it. The MoH beta was terrible. It felt more like CoD than anything and I expect to see Black-Ops's multiplayer carry on as have previous installments.

The single player on the other hand is where I am interested but then I can just borrow the game off a mate for free.

@ scazz2244: Have you played BC2? For multiplayer you can't miss it. The single player is very decent however lacks the intensity and flare that are synomymous with CoD games. I'll always favour BC2's multiplayer but it is a fantastic alternative to the CoD style FPS. Check it out if you haven't already DICE FTW!!!
Posted 21:41 on 20 August 2010


Im not sure whether it's just this format, or just the preview, but it seems a little... patronising and doesn't really tell us anything. (Sorry to sound like a dick)
Posted 19:16 on 20 August 2010
reynoldio's Avatar


I love Nazi Zombies. I hope they find something new and fun to Zombify!
Posted 17:28 on 20 August 2010
ghostdog25's Avatar


I don't care what people say I still think world at war was better than COD4
Posted 16:53 on 20 August 2010
Syphon_Blaze's Avatar


It will be interesting to see if they do well, just because the earlier CoD games weren't great (but neither was the technology compared to now); however, personally I thought Modern Warfare was great and World at War was a steaming pile of crap, with MW2 being brilliant. I'm willing to give it a go though, so I hope it is great :)
Posted 13:04 on 20 August 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ GeNeCyDe1993

World at War was good. I think people disliked it because it was back in the World War scene, as the year before you had Modern Warfare which obviously set the FPS scene a blaze and being a massive success. I disliked World At War for multiplayer reasons. The bugs, glitches and etc which really made me dislike it.

I'm liking the sound of Black Ops. At first I was a bit optimistic, and of course it was getting bad press from the forums and especially the E3 demonstration which only offered one brand new thing. Being able to fly a chopper and blow ***** up. Recent multiplayer trailer which has got me hooked then of course re-watching the demonstration at E3. I have got into it and looking forward to it.

@scaz2244 - Did you try the beta? Only covered the multiplayer side but it has potential in that department. I'm getting both but if you are unsure whether to get MoH then await for reviews. Everybody knows what to expect with Call Of Duty games now.
Posted 12:43 on 20 August 2010
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993@ guyderman

I agree comepletely, set a very high standard. Also i really have no idea why people dont like World at War, its IMO better than Modern Warfare 2. Ive put a hell of alot of hours into it, its very balanced, sure its no COD4, but again i think it suffered from having high expectations like with COD 3 compared to 2.
Posted 12:18 on 20 August 2010
scaz2244's Avatar


stil contemplating whether i should get this or medal of honor
both look fantastic though
Posted 12:11 on 20 August 2010
guyderman's Avatar


CoD3 wasn't as bad as people made out - it just seemed it because CoD2 was so good.
Posted 11:36 on 20 August 2010
MJTH's Avatar


Nice quick, funny, preview martin, but what I will never understand is why do people dislike treyarch call of dutys, ok I hear the cod 3 they made was bad but world at war was great and this looks better!
Posted 11:11 on 20 August 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


I like this new format for previews.
The game looks fantastic.
I think it goes without saying that I was going to buy this anyway...
Posted 11:03 on 20 August 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 09/11/2010
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 824 144
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