On the whole it’s pretty good AI, it offers a nice challenge later on and on harder difficulty settings. It can use cover, flanking tactics, rolling and evasion along with avoidance for ill-timed grenades. If you time the grenade too soon, they’ll throw it right back at you.
Your friendly AI isn’t too dumb this time around, they’ll try and keep out of your way and very rarely stray into your sights. They really only exist to round out the squad or keep things interesting and give the theatre of war a feeling of chaos. They also play a part in the story beyond the usual – hey dude, nice hat...NO...Brian, he was shot in the head, WHY did he remove his socks during that firefight!
You get what I mean though. It’s good stuff; it does a decent job of making the game interesting and provides a challenge. Basically – the story does a good job of making you feel for your team and the AI matches up to that 99.5% of the time.The Sound
The game’s sound is good stuff, there’s a lot of nice ambient background audio that’s layered throughout the various missions. You have to listen closely to a lot of it especially when you’re in the Jungles of ‘Nam. Various weapons and vehicles have been replicated quite nicely though I’m sure there are fanatics out there who’ll say that I’m wrong, after all – we all know the sound that a Hind makes or the exact reloading sound of a G11, right?The Music
With some licensed tracks (as you might expect in ‘nam) and a very atmospheric score, this hits all the right buttons.The Dialogue/Voice Acting
Dialogue for something like this is tricky and I think Treyarch’s writers have managed to put together some good stuff here. Sure it draws on the clichés a lot and there’s a fair bit of swearing, you think these people were saints?
As for the voice acting, it’s great – especially for the central character, which is played by Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation). All the lines are delivered with a lot of gusto and the whole thing feels solid.So...Black Ops?
Basically with the solid voice cast, interesting story and tweaked gameplay for singleplayer – there’s a lot to like here.Multiplayer
You can play over Live in a variety of matches, ranked or not. You can play split-screen with a friend or you can even play System Link where everything is already unlocked right from the start. You can unlock a co-op top-down zombie shooter called Dead Ops Arcade and play that with up to 3 other friends.
You can take on bots in Training with a buddy locally when you’re connected to Live, or call in your friends and do the same online. You can only play Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch in these modes, but the bots can put up quite a nice fight and help you hone your skills. Again, you’ll have a separate rank-up system and unlocks for this mode so you can’t just stay off public and online matches for good.
You can play Zombies co-op with your friends as well.
Then when it comes to the adversarial part of the game, well, you have a lot to choose from. You rank up and you unlock various character customisation options, perk packages and so on. It’s like Modern Warfare 2 but plays a lot better – even I enjoyed my time with it.
There’s Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, CTF variants, Headquarters mode and even something called Wager matches, where you can basically bet on the outcome. I didn’t dive in too deeply to this because I was having way too much fun just shooting things online. I’m not a deeply competitive player so a lot of the game’s mp is lost on me in that respect. What I played, I really enjoyed and it’s nice to see that there’s no insta-kill Quick-Scoping when you’re sniping – you have to play like a sniper, for shame, MW 2 fanboys, for shame!
It’s beyond the scope of this review to dive into every mode, so you’re just going to have to get out there and play.
The unlockable special rewards for killstreaks are pretty awesome, especially when you get to take control of a gunship and fly around the map shooting things to bits. No matter what you do in the game you’re rewarded with XP, and at the end of a match you get money and XP. Rank up, collect bigger and better guns, add attachments and new perks to your character. There’s a great feeling of progression and the lag isn’t at all too bad on many of the random servers I played on too, so you can Rank up pretty quickly if you get into a good game.Value?
All in all when you add in everything from the singleplayer to the multiplayer, this is a great polished package that trounces Modern Warfare 2 back to the Stone Age.
Get it now, even if you’re not a CoD fan.
Also, I experienced no game breaking bugs or glitchy missions on 2 playthroughs of the game.