|Call of Duty: Black Ops|
|Series||Call of Duty|
November 9, 2010
Call of Duty: Black Ops is a 2010 first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. It was released worldwide in November 2010 for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii, with a separate version for Nintendo DS developed by n-Space. Aspyr later released the game for OS X in September 2012. It is the seventh title in the Call of Duty series and the third to be developed by Treyarch. It serves as the sequel to Call of Duty: World at War.
Set in the 1960s during the Cold War, the game's campaign follows CIA operative Alex Mason as he attempts to recall certain memories in combat in order to locate a numbers station. This station is due to transmit broadcasts to sleeper agents who are bound to use chemical weapons across the United States. Mason and CIA operative Jason Hudson are the game's main playable characters, as well as Red Army soldier Viktor Reznov in one mission. Locations featured in the game include Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, the Soviet Union, the United States, Hong Kong, and the Arctic Circle. The multiplayer of Black Ops features multiple objective-based game modes that are playable on 14 different maps included with the game. Improvements to loadout options and killstreak rewards are made. A form of virtual currency, COD Points, allows players to purchase weapons and customization options for their in-game character, as well as attachments and customization options for their weapon.
Development for the game began in 2009. It runs an enhanced version of the IW 3.0 engine used in Treyarch's past title, World at War. The improvements made allowed for bigger campaign levels to be made as well as enhanced lighting. Treyarch focused specifically on Black Ops during development; they were developing two games at once while making World at War. Different teams within the company focused on a certain game mode. Music was composed by Sean Murray, with music by The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eminem, and Avenged Sevenfold appearing in the game. The marketing of the game began in April 2010. Multiple trailers promoting the game and its modes were released from May until October.
The game received generally positive reviews from critics with praise for its story, voice-acting, and multiplayer modes, although some criticized it for its lack of innovation, linear gameplay, and technical issues. Within 24 hours of going on sale, the game had sold more than 5.6 million copies, 4.2 million in the U.S. and 1.4 million in the UK, breaking the record set by its predecessor Modern Warfare 2 by some 2.3 million copies. After six weeks on release, Activision reported that Black Ops had exceeded $1 billion in sales. On August 3, 2011, Activision confirmed that the game had sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling games of all time. Four sequels, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, were released in November 2012, November 2015, and October 2018, respectively. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, set between Black Ops and Black Ops II, was released on November 13, 2020.
Black Ops is a first-person shooter, retaining the same gameplay mechanics as previous Call of Duty titles. The player assumes the role of a foot soldier who can wield various firearms (only two of which can be carried at once), throw grenades and other explosives, and use other equipment as weapons. A player close enough to an enemy can kill with one knife blow. A character can take three stances: standing, crouching, or prone. Each affects the rate of movement, accuracy, and stealth. The player can drop to the prone stance from the standing stance while running (colloquially known as "dolphin diving"), and can momentarily sprint before having to stop. The screen glows red to indicate damage to a player's health, which regenerates over time. When the character is within the blast radius of a live grenade, an on-screen marker indicates where it is in relation to the player, helping the player to move away or to throw it back. Among the weapons new to the series in Black Ops are crossbows with bolts and explosive ammunition, Dragon's Breath rounds and ballistic knives.
The player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the story. The playable characters are covert operatives conducting black operations behind enemy lines. In this way, the player's characters have their own traits such as voices and shadows. Each mission features a series of objectives that are displayed on the heads-up display, which marks the direction and distance towards and from such objectives as it has been in the earlier versions. The player is accompanied by friendly troops throughout the game. Although primarily a first-person shooter, certain levels feature sequences where the player pilots a Hind helicopter and guides friendly troops from a SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. The campaign features several scripted cinematic moments. One of them is a bullet time effect during the "Victor Charlie" level, activated when the player fires toward the last enemy of a Viet Cong squad.
As a first in the Call of Duty main series, player characters can now speak during gameplay, whereas in previous installments, primarily those made by Infinity Ward, characters would be silent during gameplay, even if they could speak during cutscenes.
The online multiplayer mode of Black Ops usually revolves around two teams on a specific mission. For example, in Team Deathmatch the team with the most kills wins, while in Capture the Flag, players take the other team's flags and return it to their base. Additionally, there is Free For All in which players are not separated into teams. Not including Downloadable maps, there are 14 different maps.
Black Ops retains the experience points and unlockable reward system that has been kept since Call of Duty 4. The multiplayer focuses on socialization and customization. "Create-a-Class 2.0" allows enhanced personalization with appearance items as well as upgradable perks; weapons are extensively customizable with writing, emblems, attachments, and camouflage painting. Even reticles can be modified. There is more than one style for an attachment, which allows for a lot more personalized weaponry; for example, the player can choose between a red dot sight or a reflex sight, both of which share many of the same traits, although the red dot fills up less of the screen (something desired by many players). Character models depend on the first tier perk instead of the weapon's type. Furthermore, face paints can be unlocked. New custom killstreak rewards include explosive R/C cars, guided missiles, and controllable attack helicopters.
A currency system has been implemented allowing players to buy weapons, accessories, and clothes. Players can gamble with their "COD Points" in a free-for-all based playlist called "Wager Match", which is composed of four game modes. Time-limited objectives known as "Contracts" can be purchased to gain more currency and experience points. The progression system is not featured in the local split-screen multiplayer. In the local split-screen play, all character customization options are already unlocked. Players can no longer define game rules such as win conditions.
Players can play alone or with friends against AI opponents in "Combat Training" with a separate progression system. Online split-screen is re-introduced on Xbox 360 and PS3. The guest account can rank up but is reset after each sign out. Only on Xbox 360, a second Gold Xbox Live account can be used to keep the second player's progression. Aside from the Combat Training mode, Xbox users can also have up to four players in split-screen mode play against AI opponents even without having an Xbox Live account. This is done by configuring the Local Split Screen settings and setting the number of enemies to a value greater than zero.
For the first time in the series, clips from online gameplay can be recorded. Some specific features that have been removed from the PC version of Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 return, such as lean, mod tools, the developer console, and dedicated servers. Dedicated servers are exclusively provided by Game Servers. Steam is the exclusive platform for Black Ops on PC, and the game is protected by Valve Anti-Cheat.
The Wii version of the game includes in-game voice chat. This is the first Call of Duty title to include the voice chat feature for the Wii. Nintendo and PDP have partnered to release the first headset to be used with the Wii known as PDP's Headbanger Headset.
A zombie cooperation mode, titled "Zombies", is included in the game. Originally featured in World at War, it was revamped to be included in Black Ops. It is a four-player online and two-player split screen co-op mode (which can also be unlocked online).
"Five" takes place in The Pentagon during a chain of events that differ from the storyline of the campaign mode. The playable characters, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, and Fidel Castro are interrupted from negotiations by an outbreak of zombies. "Five" has many hidden secrets, from an 'Easter Egg' song, which Treyarch's Zombies are famous for (in the case of "Five", the Easter Egg song is 'Won't Back Down' by Eminem and featuring P!nk). There are also hints of connections between "Five" and the first DLC zombies map in the Black Ops season pass, Ascension through hidden radios throughout the map.
Kino Der Toten takes place in an abandoned Group 935 facility located within a theater in Berlin, and takes place in 1965. The words "Kino Der Toten" mean "Cinema of the Dead" in German, though the in-game character, Edward Richtofen, translates it as "Theater of the Damned" in the loading screen pre-game. The map features a single teleporter pad, as well as several hidden references to other maps, both past and future. By activating various meteor pieces throughout the map, players can hear an Easter Egg song, "115" written by Kevin Sherwood, and sung by Elena Seigman, who is the lead singer in many of Treyarch Sound's songs. The playable characters in this map return from the World at War Zombies mode. Edward Richtofen, a mad German scientist from the World War Two era, Takeo Masaki, the last of the Japanese Samurai, Nikolai Belinski, a WWII era Soviet soldier, and Tank Dempsey, a Marine from the United States are teleported to Kino Der Toten from the last map of World at War, Der Riese.
Black Ops takes place between 1961 and 1968 during both the Cold War and the Vietnam War, 16 years to 23 years after the events of World at War. It portrays a secret history of CIA clandestine black operations carried out behind enemy lines. Missions take place in various locations around the globe such as the Ural Mountains, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Hong Kong, Laos, South Vietnam, the Arctic Circle and Siberia. The single-player campaign revolves around an experimental chemical weapon codenamed "Nova-6". This weapon is bound to be used by sleeper agents in the United States, who are infused with sequences of numbers, once broadcasts are transmitted from an unknown numbers station.
The player controls the protagonist, CIA SAD/SOG operative and former U.S. Marine Force Recon Captain Alex Mason (Sam Worthington). Occasionally, CIA paramilitary operations officer Jason Hudson (Ed Harris) and some other characters are playable to progress the story. Alex is often joined by fellow operatives Force Recon Master Sergeant Frank Woods (James C. Burns) and Navy UDT Chief Joseph Bowman (Ice Cube), while Jason teams up with Grigori Weaver (Gene Farber), a Russian-born field operative. Viktor Reznov (Gary Oldman), a key character from the Soviet campaign in World at War, returns along with that game's Russian protagonist Dimitri Petrenko (Boris Kievsky) also making an appearance. Oldman also voices Daniel Clarke, a British scientist assisting in the development of Project Nova. Opposing the CIA are the leaders of Project Nova: former Red Army General Nikita Dragovich (Eamon Hunt), Colonel Lev Kravchenko (Andrew Divoff), and former Nazi scientist Doctor Friedrich Steiner (Mark Bramhall). Black Ops also features several historical figures: during the story Mason meets John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, and Fidel Castro.
On April 17, 1961, Mason, Woods, and Bowman take part in Operation 40 to assassinate Fidel Castro and assist the CIA sponsored Cuban exiles during the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Mason unwittingly shoots Castro's body double, but he elects to stay behind to protect the extraction plane with Woods and Bowman aboard from an oncoming blockade, before being captured by the real Castro, who hands him over to the Soviet Union. Imprisoned at Vorkuta Gulag, Mason befriends former Red Army soldier Viktor Reznov. Reznov gives Mason the identities of their enemies: Major General Nikita Dragovich, his right-hand man Colonel Lev Kravchenko, and ex-Nazi scientist Friedrich Steiner, who defected to the Soviet Union. On October 29, 1945, Reznov, Petrenko, and their platoon were sent to extract Steiner from a Nazi base in the Arctic. However, they were betrayed by Dragovich, who tested Steiner's nerve gas known as "Nova 6" on Petrenko's squad, killing them. Reznov was spared the same fate when British commandos, also interested in acquiring Nova 6, attacked the Soviets. In the chaos, Reznov destroyed the Nova 6 and escaped, only to be captured by the Soviets and sent to Vorkuta. The Soviets later recreated Nova 6 with the help of a British scientist, Daniel Clarke.
By 1962, Mason and Reznov spark an uprising to flee the prison. Reznov sacrifices himself to facilitate Mason's escape. On November 10, 1963, Mason meets with President John F. Kennedy, who authorizes a mission to assassinate Dragovich. Mason, Woods, Bowman, and Weaver are dispatched to the Baikonur Cosmodrome to disrupt the Soviet space program and eliminate members of "Ascension", a Soviet program giving sanctuary to Nazi scientists in exchange for their knowledge. The team destroys the Soyuz spacecraft, while Woods apparently kills Dragovich in a car explosion with a commandeered BTR.
On January 21, 1968, Mason's team is sent to Vietnam as part of MACV-SOG. After defending Khe Sanh from a North Vietnamese assault, they recover a dossier on Dragovich from a Russian defector being held by the North Vietnamese Army in Hue City during the Tet Offensive. The defector is revealed to be Reznov, who joins them as they penetrate Laos to recover a Nova 6 shipment from a downed Soviet plane. They are captured by Viet Cong and Spetznaz forces at the crash site. Bowman is executed, but Woods and Mason manage to escape, hijacking a Mi-24 Hind, and cripple the Ho Chi Minh trail before rescuing Reznov from Kravchenko's base. They confront Kravchenko and Woods stabs him, but Kravchenko pulls the pins off of grenades strapped to himself, forcing Woods to sacrifice himself by pushing both himself and Kravchenko out of a window. In the aftermath, Mason presumes the two dead.
Meanwhile, Hudson and Weaver interrogate Clarke in Kowloon City. Clarke reveals the location of a hidden facility in Mount Yamantau before being killed by Dragovich's men. Hudson and Weaver destroy the base and receive a transmission from Steiner requesting to meet at Rebirth Island, as Dragovich has begun killing loose ends. Mason and Reznov head there to assassinate Steiner at the same time, succeeding just as Hudson and Weaver arrive. Unknown to Mason, Hudson and Weaver had witnessed Mason carrying out the act alone while declaring himself to be Reznov, prompting the pair to interrogate him.
Dragovich has sleeper cells placed within each US State capital which, when ordered by the numbers broadcast, will release the Nova 6 gas. As a result, the U.S., now at DEFCON 2, is preparing a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, which would result in World War III and Mutual Assured Destruction. Hudson reveals that while Mason was imprisoned at Vorkuta, Dragovich reverse-engineered the C.I.A.'s MKUltra program and brainwashed him to serve as a Soviet sleeper agent and assassinate Kennedy. Reznov died during the breakout, and the Soviet defector in Hue had actually been killed before Mason reached him. Mason's visions of Reznov are a result of dissociative identity disorder caused by the brainwashing program. Prior to the Vorkuta uprising, Reznov reprogrammed Mason to assassinate Dragovich, Kravchenko, and Steiner instead. With Steiner's death, Mason is the only person left with any knowledge of the broadcast station's location. Mason finally remembers the location of the broadcast station: a Russian cargo ship named Rusalka off the coast of Cuba. An assault on the Rusalka begins, with Mason and Hudson infiltrating the underwater submarine base protecting the ship. Hudson calls in the United States Navy to destroy the Rusalka. Mason and Hudson confront Dragovich in the lower levels of the facility, where Mason strangles and drowns Dragovich before escaping with Hudson. They regroup with Weaver, who declares victory.
Archive footage of President Kennedy prior to his assassination on November 22, 1963, is shown, revealing Mason was among onlookers who watched Kennedy disembark from Air Force One at Love Field. His presence, and Dragovich's taunt before his death, suggest that Mason may have carried out his initial programming.
The Zombies story takes place over various eras of time, mostly during the final year of World War II, and the 1960s. The story mainly follows four soldiers: "Tank" Dempsey (Steve Blum) of the United States Marine Corps, Nikolai Belinski (Fred Tatasciore) of the Red Army, Takeo Masaki (Tom Kane) of the Imperial Japanese Army, and Doctor Edward Richtofen (Nolan North) of the Wehrmacht. Other characters include Doctor Ludvig Maxis (Fred Tatasciore) and his daughter Samantha (Julie Nathanson). The map "Five" features historical figures: John F. Kennedy (Jim Meskimen), Robert McNamara (Robert Picardo), Richard Nixon (Dave Mallow), and Fidel Castro (Marlon Correa). "Call of the Dead" features the appearance of celebrities: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, Michael Rooker, all playing themselves and George A. Romero.
During World War II, Doctor Ludvig Maxis formed Group 935, a group of scientists that was intended to improve the human condition. Lacking funds, they soon turned to creating superweapons to aid the Nazis. Their discovery of Element 115 from a meteorite in Japan lead to the creation of zombies. Maxis and his assistant, Dr. Edward Richtofen, also work on other projects, leading to the creation of teleportation devices and 115-powered weapons. Attempting to use himself as a test subject, Richtofen accidentally teleports to a catacomb within the Moon, where he comes into contact with a mysterious pyramid device that causes him to hear mysterious voices, slowly taking away his sanity. He is later teleported to an exotic jungle known as Shangri-La, where he spends three weeks studying the Vril energy force. Upon returning to Germany, Richtofen secretly forms a plan to kill Maxis, and gathers many members of Group 935 to build a Moon base, known as Griffin Station. While maintaining his cover with Maxis and the rest of Group 935, Richtofen manages to capture three soldiers: Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, and Takeo Masaki; he begins to conduct experiments with Element 115, causing memory loss for all three soldiers.
Maxis continues his work on other experiments, attempting to use his daughter's dog, Fluffy, as a test subject for his own teleportation device. However, the experiment fails, and Fluffy is transformed into an undead Hellhound. Richtofen takes the opportunity and traps Maxis and his daughter Samantha inside the teleporter with Fluffy, believing that they would die. Richtofen escapes as Der Riese is overrun by zombies with his three captured soldiers, and arrives at the Rising Sun research facility in Japan, where Element 115 was first discovered. After gathering a sample of 115 at the site, and recovering a weapon known as the Wunderwaffe DG-2, they return to the Der Riese factory in Germany. In an attempt to escape the zombie horde, the group accidentally overloads a teleporter with the DG-2, sending them forward in time. They arrive at an abandoned Nazi theater in the 1960s, where Richtofen discovers several recordings left behind by Dr. Maxis. Samantha, having survived and managing to control the zombies, continues raising the undead in order to hunt down Richtofen.
Some time in 1963, the United States government manages to grab hold of several of Group 935's inventions, keeping them hidden in the Pentagon. Owing to the presence of the undead-raising Element 115, zombies breach the Pentagon. John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, and Fidel Castro are trapped within the Pentagon, forced to fight their way out. Meanwhile, Richtofen's crew arrive at a Soviet Cosmodrome site, where Richtofen intends to travel to Group 935's Moon base, Griffin Station. The crew is contacted by Gersh, a member of the Ascension Group who requests to be freed from Samantha's grip. After freeing Gersh, the four of them are teleported further in time, and arrive at a Siberian lighthouse sometime in 2011, once used by Richtofen as a secret lab. However, they are trapped within a locked room, and forced to rely on four movie actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Danny Trejo, Robert Englund, and Michael Rooker, who are filming a zombie movie on-site along with director George A. Romero, who had been infected as well. Richtofen requests the four celebrities to find a golden rod, which is a Vril generator device, which he then uses to fix the teleporter. He transports himself and the other three soldiers back to Shangri-La, leaving the celebrities behind to continue fighting Romero and the horde. At Shangri-La, the group discovers two explorers, Gary and Brock, who died trapped within a time loop while trying to discover the secrets of the mythical Agartha realm. The group saves the explorers' lives by traveling back and forth in time, altering the environments of the temple in the process. They discover an altar within the temple with Richtofen's name written on it, as well as a piece of a meteorite containing Element 115. However, the explorers remain stuck in the never-ending loop.
With the Vril generator and the meteorite piece, Richtofen now believes he can control the zombies, and returns to Griffin Station. Here, they attempt to activate the MPD, a machine that controls the Aether energy, which opens to reveal Samantha inside; instead of dying by Richtofen's trap, Samantha was teleported to the moon while Maxis was sent somewhere else. Samantha accidentally triggered the MPD and was trapped within the device, but this also allowed her to enter the Aether realm. Maxis, who was retrieved by Group 935 scientists, apologized to his daughter and committed suicide in front of her, prompting her to assume control of the zombies and seek vengeance on Richtofen. Richtofen fuses the golden rod and the meteorite piece, and using it to switch souls with Samantha, takes over as the new zombie controller. This causes his former allies to feel betrayed, and they ally themselves with Samantha (who now resides in Richtofen's body). Maxis is revealed to have become a sentient artificial intelligence living within the systems of Griffin Station, and he guides his daughter and the three soldiers to launch three missiles at the Earth. This severs Richtofen's link with the Aether, but the launch results in the catastrophic destruction of the Earth, while still leaving Richtofen in control of the undead.
In May 2009, publisher Activision was rumored to be looking for licensing regarding Vietnam War-era music which led to speculation that Call of Duty 7 would be set in Vietnam. In May 2009, Treyarch employee David Kim revealed on his LinkedIn profile that he would work as a senior animator on Call of Duty 7. In November 2009, only a few days before Modern Warfare 2's release, Activision officially announced a new Call of Duty title for 2010 through their third quarter financial call. In February 2010, a casting call for Call of Duty 7 led to speculation that the game would be taking place during the Cold War era with some battles taking place in South Vietnam. On April 30, 2010, Black Ops was officially announced.
The game runs on an enhanced World at War engine (which itself was improved from Call of Duty 4's) at 60 frames per second across all platforms, excluding the Wii. It features a streaming texture technology (also seen in Modern Warfare 2), making bigger levels possible such as "Payback" where the player controls a helicopter. Lighting effects have been improved as well. Call of Duty: Black Ops supports 3-D imaging rendered by the engine itself. This feature is available on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 versions.
For Black Ops, Treyarch focused only on this game unlike past practice. However, it had different teams, each working on separate game modes. Treyarch used a motion capture technology similar to the one used in James Cameron's film Avatar, which allows accurate facial expressions, capturing the whole performance of the actor. The studio also consulted special forces veterans from both belligerents of the Cold War: Major John Plaster (US Army-Ret.) who served in the MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War, and former Soviet special forces operative Sonny Puzikas. The latter taught Treyarch how Spetsnaz soldiers would react in combat, such as rolling out of the line of fire. Spetsnaz AIs in the game have been modeled after him, from his tactics and his movements to his face. Although having a historical background, the classified aspect of these Cold War black operations allowed the studio to create its own fictional story. The game also allows players to turn down the blood and turn off the profanity.
It was announced on November 9, 2015, that Black Ops would become backwards compatible with the Xbox One. It was originally meant to be available for backwards compatibility in December 2015, but the date was later changed to some time in 2016. Black Ops was originally the sixth-most requested Xbox 360 title to become backwards compatible with the Xbox One. On May 17, 2016, the game was made available through Xbox One's backward compatibility. Shortly after, it was reported that sales of the Xbox 360 version had increased by 13,000 percent.
Black Ops features the voices of Sam Worthington as Alex Mason, Ed Harris as Jason Hudson, Gary Oldman reprises his role as Viktor Reznov from World at War and also voices Dr. Clarke, James C. Burns voices and provides performance capture for Frank Woods and Ice Cube voices Joseph Bowman, whose appearance is likened to him as well, and is also the multiplayer announcer for the SOG faction. Gene Farber voices Grigori Weaver, Emmanuelle Chriqui plays a live-action character called Numbers, Eamon Hunt voices Nikita Dragovich, Andrew Divoff voices Lev Kravchenko and Robert Picardo voices Secretary Robert McNamara. Dimitri Diatchenko, an American born actor and musician voices the Spetsnaz faction and several other characters due to his strong Russian accent.
Call of Duty: Black Ops features Vietnam War era music including "Sympathy for the Devil" by The Rolling Stones (played during a gameplay sequence, the credits, and as an easter egg in the multiplayer map Nuketown) and Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son". Eminem's "Won't Back Down" (featuring Pink) is used for the credits as well, and additionally appears as an Easter Egg in the Zombie map "Five". In the Call of the Dead zombie map the song "Not Ready to Die" by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold is featured as an easter egg. The original music was composed by Sean Murray, who also composed Call of Duty: World at War while Kevin Sherwood composed music for the Zombies mode. The soundtrack was released on November 9. The use of The Rolling Stones' music in the game has seen a significant increase in the band's music sales since launch. "Gimme Shelter" sold 2,000 copies in the week before the launch trailer was revealed, 5,000 the week after, and 11,000 the week after the game's release. "Sympathy for the Devil" experienced a similar boost as gamers discovered the band's music.
The game's score was composed by Sean Murray, and the official soundtrack was released on November 9, 2010. In addition, a soundtrack for the popular Zombies mode was released on January 25, 2011.
Black Ops was first officially unveiled when the website for the game went live on April 30, 2010 prior to the release of its debut teaser trailer on GameTrailers TV Episode 310. In early April 2010, an unmarked envelope was sent to various gaming news publications as well as high-profile Call of Duty fans via mail. It contained a USB flash drive with sound and text files. These files were codes to be decrypted, only to find a mysterious teaser site for an unknown game. Other codes were updated periodically.
Similarly to Modern Warfare 2's marketing, the first full-length trailer of Black Ops was aired after the 3rd quarter on ESPN during the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on May 18, 2010. During E3 2010, studio head Mark Lamia opened the Microsoft conference by playing Black Ops on stage. It was also announced that the timed Xbox 360 exclusivity for additional content of Call of Duty titles, which began with Modern Warfare 2, extends until 2012. A remixed version of the ESPN trailer with Eminem's "Won't Back Down" was released on June 14, prior to the E3 Activision conference for which he also performed. A multiplayer teaser trailer was released on August 9, 2010, revealing killstreaks, weapons, and other in-game multiplayer features. A full multiplayer reveal took place on September 1, 2010, and revealed many multiplayer features from the game.
Chrysler produced a limited-edition Call of Duty Jeep as the Wrangler is featured in Black Ops. In late September, viral site GKNOVA6 was updated revealing fuzzy footages of zombies. On October 11, a single player trailer aired on ESPN during the New York Jets versus Minnesota Vikings NFL Monday Night Football game. The same trailer was aired the next day in the United Kingdom at half time of the England versus Montenegro 2012 European Football Championship qualifying game. On October 29, the official launch trailer was released online. The same trailer aired on October 31 during the New Orleans Saints versus Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Sunday Night Football game. The trailer features the song "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones, and was directed by Rupert Sanders, who later went on to direct Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell.
Like Modern Warfare 2, "Hardened" and "Prestige" limited editions are available: the Hardened Edition includes a SteelBook case, a medal with its display case, four exclusive co-op levels and an Xbox Live or PlayStation Home avatar outfit. The Prestige Edition offers, in addition to the Hardened Edition's content, a real RC-XD remote-control vehicle modeled after the in-game killstreak reward, which gives video and audio feedback to its controller. In Japan, the game is distributed by Square Enix. Two versions are available: subtitled or dubbed, released respectively on November 18, 2010, and December 16, 2010. Both have dismemberment censored. Gore is censored as well in Germany in addition to the removal of "Sympathy for the Devil" and Nazi symbols considered "anti-constitutional" in the country.
Treyarch released the "First Strike" Map Pack on February 1, 2011, for the Xbox 360. The PlayStation 3 received the map pack on March 3, 2011, and the PC version was released on March 25, 2011, through Steam. The Map Pack includes additional maps that can be played in the multiplayer mode. These maps include "Berlin Wall", "Discovery", "Kowloon" and "Stadium" and a map for the Zombies mode titled "Ascension" which takes place in a Soviet launch site.
On April 11, 2011, a second map pack called "Escalation" was announced by Activison and Microsoft. It features 4 new multiplayer maps named "Zoo", "Hotel", "Convoy", "Stockpile" and one new zombies map named 'Call of the Dead'. This map is based on the movies by George A. Romero, the revolutionary epic-zombie-horror director. The trailer for this map shows the four playable characters: Danny Trejo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund and Michael Rooker. The name is a reference to the immensely popular Dead Series created and directed by Romero. The trailer also offers a sneak peek of a zombiefied version of George A. Romero himself, lurking out of water. The map is set on a ship, with instead of Nazi zombies, shipcrew zombies. It was released on May 3, 2011, for the Xbox 360, June 2 on the PC and June 10 for the PlayStation 3.
A third map pack called "Annihilation" was released for the Xbox 360 on June 28, 2011, and on July 28, 2011, for the PlayStation 3 and PC. It contains four new multiplayer maps named "Hangar 18", "Hazard", "Drive-In", "Silo", and a new zombies map named "Shangri La", which takes place in a legendary shrine lost in an exotic jungle.
The fourth map pack, "Rezurrection" was released on August 23, 2011, for the Xbox 360, and September 22, 2011, on PlayStation 3 and PC. The Rezurrection Map Pack is made up of 5 Zombies mode only maps. It includes the first 4 maps from Call of Duty: World at War ("Shi No Numa"/"Swamp", "Nacht Der Untoten"/"Night", "Verruckt"/"Asylum", "Der Riese"/"Factory") fully remastered. It also includes a new map called "Moon". "Moon" allows players to fight zombies in zero gravity with both the player and the zombies under zero gravity influence.
|PC Gamer (UK)||64/100|
|The Daily Telegraph||10/10|
Call of Duty: Black Ops received "generally positive" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic, except for the DS, where it received "mixed or average" reviews. GameSpot awarded it 9.0 out of ten and wrote "Call of Duty: Black Ops bears the series' standard superbly, delivering an engrossing campaign and exciting competitive multiplayer." Edge magazine was less positive, giving it a 7/10, writing that "As polished and pretty and fun as Black Ops often is, it feels more like a yearly update than a sequel [which] isn't distinct from its predecessors in any important way". Several reviewers also complained that the game felt too much like a rail shooter, with PC Gamer branding it "barely interactive".
Reviewers also noted that the PC version of the game was buggy and had "a number of frustrating problems", including a lag in multiplayer modes which for some players rendered the game almost "unplayable". Players have also reported serious bugs with the PlayStation 3 version, including compatibility issues with 3D televisions. PC World magazine noted that user reviews of the game were much less positive than those of critics. As of November 12, 2010, three days after the release, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 versions of the game held average user ratings of 3.1, 3.1, and 1.8 stars on Amazon.com, respectively (on a 1 to 5 scale), with many PC users complaining about lag, stuttering and bugs.
In January 2011, to a player complaining about the remaining connection problems for the game on PlayStation 3, an Activision customer service representative threatened that they could shut down the servers for the game for the PlayStation Network at any time. After some days and following some game media heat, Dan Amrich, Activision Social Media Manager, declared that even if they could kill the servers, they did not plan currently to do it.
The Daily Telegraph praised Black Ops as a superb experience of gameplay, "the meaty kick of the guns, the blistering pace of the action and the sterling soundtrack of explosions, gunshots and whistling bullets all serve to quicken the player's pulse and tighten their grip on the controller", and mentioned, it is beyond the overwhelming, chaotic action in the game's major gun battles, offers among other things, a stealthy infiltration of a substation in the snow-capped steppes, in which the slow down in action is compensated for by nail-shredding tension and creepy atmosphere.
Official Nintendo Magazine awarded the Wii version 90% and said "Black Ops on Wii is a fantastic shooter packed with all the features of its HD brothers, with the only exception being split-screen multiplayer." Martin Gaston at VideoGamer.com gave the Wii version 6 out of 10, complaining of Treyarch's reworking of in-game sequences as movies, poor AI, and gameplay problems from lower-resolution graphics.
In February 2011, the Xbox 360 version was named the Xbox Live's top title of 2010 by GameSpot.
At the 14th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (now known as the D.I.C.E. Awards), Call of Duty: Black Ops was nominated for "Game of the Year", "Action Game of the Year", "Outstanding Achievement in Animation", "Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay", and "Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering".
Within 24 hours of its release, Black Ops had sold a combined total of 5.6 million units in the U.S. and UK market, surpassing that of Modern Warfare 2 and establishing a new record for largest entertainment launch. Compared to the much anticipated opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, the game earned more than twice as much as the film, earning $360 million. Only five days after its release, sales from the game worldwide reached US$650 million, surpassing the previous record achieved by Modern Warfare 2 which earned $550 million in five days. By November 22, the game remained the bestselling title in the United Kingdom, despite sales dropping by 85%. Some estimates had placed sales of the game as reaching 18 million units sold, earning a revenue of $818 million. This would fall about 2 million copies and $182 million short of Modern Warfare 2. By December 22, worldwide revenue of Black Ops exceeded $1 billion. Sales remained strong months after the game's release, remaining at the top-seller list in February 2011. On March 3, 2011, the news magazine The Hollywood Reporter also reported on the best selling video games ever. It announced that Call of Duty: Black Ops was the best-selling game ever in the United States of America. Black Ops was the best-selling game of all time in the UK until Grand Theft Auto V overtook it in November 2014. By November 2013, the game had sold 26.2 million copies.
Cuba has condemned the release of the game as it has special forces trying but failing to kill a young Fidel Castro, killing instead a body-double. The Cuba-based pro-Fidel Castro website Cubadebate said the game "encourages sociopathic attitudes of American children and adolescents, the main consumers of these virtual games."
Black Ops was also released for both mobile phones and smartphones. This version is a side-scrolling shooter. It features a different storyline, a different set of characters, and is set in the Vietnam War in 1967. The game was developed by Glu Mobile and published by Activision.
Treyarch's latest is a white-knuckled action romp that doesn't disappoint.
Treyarch's latest is a white-knuckled action romp that doesn't disappoint.
Call of Duty: Black Ops ... the action ping-pongs between Cuba, Russia and Vietnam
With Call Of Duty: Black Ops, developer Treyarch has finally stepped out from Infinity Ward's shadow by producing one of the best games of this year.
That's clearly enough for millions of fans, but it makes it far from a must-have – you probably own the best bits already. As polished and pretty and fun as Black Ops often is, it feels more like a yearly update than a sequel, a new campaign with old multiplayer. The game isn't distinct from its predecessors in any important way, and fatigue sets in quicker than before.
it becomes a little disappointing when you're forced to sit there and watch scripted walkthroughs of story moments. Going to the Pentagon is something that should be pretty exciting, but it's essentially a rail-shooter without the shooting.
I found that scripts were sometimes not well done, they were not always triggered at the right moment(...) For the 3 first hours of play, I had the impression I was in a rail shooter. Even Modern Warfare 2 did not go as far regarding linearity
The only thing really separating the game from rail shooters like Time Crisis is the freedom to swivel your empty, purposeless virtual head(...)This is Call of Duty's credo: love it or hate it, Activision's money-maker shows no signs of taking risks, innovating or changing even slightly
The biggest issue is lag and skipping, which I can testify to. The multiplayer, at the time of writing, is borderline unplayable, with severe lag and moments where the entire action will freeze for several seconds. I am yet to enter a game where there isn't lag, and the in-game chat isn't complaining about it.
According to many gamers, the online multiplayer mode is severely borked, rendered "unplayable" by lag
Call of Duty: Black Ops is out and unsurprisingly players are encountering bugs which slipped through the giant Treyarch net.
reyarch's official forums are being lit up with serious complaints from PS3 gamers trying to play Call of Duty: Black Ops. Perhaps the most embarrassing is that the game is apparently freezing for players with 3D TVs, despite both the game and the PS3 being touted as the best 3D products available.
Well I have nothing else to offer and I too follow forums and have many friends who play and enjoy the game for all of its features. As an avid gamer, I would also disagree with any legalities involving a single aspect of a game as online experience may change at any time. The publishers have the right to shut down the servers for their game at any time as well which based on the number of reported posts from users may be a viable solution over the free PSN
un joueur mécontent des multiples problèmes de connexion du jeu, qui rendent les parties difficiles, a eu une réponse inattendue d'Activision, qui a rappelé qu'ils pouvaient à tout moment fermer le mode multi sur PS3. Voilà qui n'est pas très encourageant...
Activision tells us all about the numbers for the latest Call of Duty.