First, I suggest you watch this little video:
Less is More
On the surface, Call of Duty: Black Ops doesn’t seem that different from last year’s Modern Warfare 2. I don’t blame you, because I felt the same way. But after last night’s events and all the tidbits came pouring out, I was beginning to see what’s making Black Ops worth a damn.
First, let’s take a look at the perks list (modified from Kotaku):
Lightweight – Move Faster (Pro)
Scavenger – Pick up ammo from fallen enemies. Replenish lethal grenades. (Pro)
Ghost – Undetectable by the Spy Plane and the Blackbird.
Flak Jacket – Reduces explosive damage.
Hardline – Killstreaks require 1 less kill.
Hardened – Bullets penetrate better.
Scout – Hold breath longer.
Steady Aim – Increased hip-fire accuracy.
Sleight of Hand – Faster reloads.
Warlord – Equip two attachments to your primary weapon.
Marathon – Longer sprint.
Ninja – Silent movement.
Second Chance – Pull out your pistol before dying.
Hacker – Ability to detect enemy equipment and explosives.
Tactical Mask – Reduces the effect of flash and concussion grenades.
You’ll notice a few things are different; most notably the absence of “Commando“, “One Man Army“, “Stopping Power” and “Juggernaut“. The first two were the foundation of exploitation and abuse while the latter two were known to stagnate the meta game. A lot of people relied heavily on Stopping Power or Juggernaut — I’m guilty of the former. Hopefully this change will shake things up a bit.
I still think Marathon should be a Tier 1 perk alongside Lightweight, but at least it’s not unlimited sprinting like it was in Modern Warfare 2.
Next, take a look at the killstreaks (modified from Kotaku):
- 3 – Spy Plane
- 3 – RC-XD (remote controlled RC car with a bomb)
- 4 – Counter Spy Plane
- 4 – SAM Turret
- 5 – Care Package
- 5 – Napalm Strike
- 6 – Sentry Gun
- 6 – Mortar Team
- 7 – Attack Helicopter
- 7 – Valkyrie Rockets
- 8 – Blackbird
- 8 – Rolling Thunder
- 9 – Chopper Gunner
- 11 – Attack Dogs
- 11 – Gunship
First thing to note: kills from killstreak rewards do not contribute to your killstreak. So if you want to summon that pack of attack dogs, you need to obtain 11 kills in a row with your own arsenal. So in theory, this game should be toned down significantly — even less chaotic than COD4 since that game allowed you to use killstreaks to build another killstreak in your next life.
More is More
Some of the Black Ops features include:
- Theater mode for saved replay editing
- Offline multiplayer with bots
- Wager Matches
Wager Matches? Quite possibly the #1 reason for me to pick up Black Ops.
Gun Game is in Black Ops. I loved Gun Game in CounterStrike: Source and seeing it in Black Ops made me more excited than I should have been. I hope there’s a way to play that mode exclusively on consoles. I also hope that you’ll be able to do reverse order. (Start with top weapon and work your way down to the knife)
Other Noteworthy Tidbits
- Shotguns are back as primary weapons which will hopefully allow people to use anti-air launchers more
- You can customize a lot of things in Black Ops including your gun’s decal and reticle
- There’s are a number of interesting equipment choices available including a camera which replaces your radar, but allows you to monitor an area until somebody takes it out
- There’s a new unlock system which involves COD Points. I believe this means you no longer have to grind X amount of kills to obtain certain attachments/equipment/weapons; you can just buy it if you have enough CoD Points.
My Take Thus Far
Black Ops looks very promising. It looks like Treyarch looked at what made Modern Warfare 2 tick and absorbed those traits while discarding what made it a bitch to play. They’ve learned and I’ve learned from Modern Warfare 2’s mistakes and thus I’m not looking for “bad ass” additions; I’m looking for carefully thought out decisions and I’m seeing a lot more of those decisions than I was expecting.
Will I pick it up? Yes, because my brother is already forking out the money for my copy. We’ll be picking it up for PS3. Hopefully, I’ll play it for more than three months. I doubt it’ll break my Bad Company 2 playtime, but you never know.