Long time fans of the site will notice I rarely, if ever, review first person shooters. It’s not that I hate them — hell, I used to love FPS games. I played Wolfenstein 3D on a cousin’s PC AND the knock off, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, which I to this day insist deserves more credit than it gets. To pick a random sampling, I’ve enjoyed Doom 2, Hexen, Quake II, Unreal Tournament, Medal of Honor, the Deus Ex series, Half-Life, Goldeneye, Counterstrike, Red Faction, Call of Cthulhu, Ultima Underworld (and Ultima Underworld II: The Footsteps of Doom!!), the Jedi Knight series (except Dark Forces), Tribes, and the Delta Force series.
My problem is that modern FPS games are about 80% multiplayer and 20% singleplayer. The big franchises now — Battlefield and Call of Duty — are based, in large part on this premise. (HALO is the exception; I should state I have never played HALO or its successors as I do not own an XBox.)
I own some of those games too — the original Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, Battlefield 1942, and Battlefield: Vietnam. All (except the last one) are pretty decent singleplayer. So, it might seem that I’d like Black Ops. Right?
I got it through Gamefly, and I can say, without a doubt, “Black Ops” is the most idiotic title for the game they could have possibly chosen. There is no stealth. There is no secrecy. Hell, you actually fight in a battle in Vietnam! It’s a shooter where the enemy takes cover but you can’t. It is, in a word, the single dumbest FPS I’ve ever played.
I know it got great reviews. That’s why I tried it. I wish I hadn’t. Objectives are unclear. The difficulty in areas (the Vietnam battle, for example) is so over-the-top stupid that there’s literally no fun to be had. The story is quasi-intriguing, but not enough to finish it. The characters in Call of Duty were much better and much more likable. I guess the graphics in Black Ops are better. That’s the one thing I liked. Some parts have potential — escaping from a Siberian prison camp is pretty fun — but it sometimes feels like work, and I can’t say that about many other games.
Maybe I’m too old for FPS games. Then again, I loved Human Revolution. Maybe it’s just that CoD is designed for a different audience. In any case, I will not be acquiring any future editions of this game.