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Thread: Call of Duty: Black Ops. Personal Multiplayer Review

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    Gundam Infinite's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Call of Duty: Black Ops. Personal Multiplayer Review

    My first impressions and review of Multiplayer so far based on 3 days of fairly solid game play. I’m level 42 on PS3 and level 28 on PC. I wasn’t sure which thread to post it in, so I just made a new one Please whisper me if I made any grammar mistakes, thanks.

    A new November means a new Call of Duty. This time it is Treyarch’s turn. Trying to bring something new to the table for Multiplayer and to address the issues that Modern Warfare 2 they have made a good solid effort, but it is still not perfect.

    The first thing to say is that they have introduced a new system to unlock everything. Instead of automatically unlocking stuff as you level, you now earn Call of Duty points and you use these points to buy everything from guns, attachments, camo and other things to personalise your ID. You earn points by playing games, the better you do, the more points you earn. The point system emphasises what I believe Treyarch wanted to do with multiplayer, give the player almost full control and let them make their own decisions. With the exception of weapons and certain personalisation features everything is unlocked to the player at the beginning, the only catch it that you have to spend what limited points you have to buy them. Do you buy a new gun or new perk? Decisions, decisions...

    Perks and their tiers have had a nice change with the removal of the overpowered (Commando, Danger Close, One Man Army), the useless (Scrambler) and the essential (Stopping Power) perks. Some cool additions have also been made to the list like Harden; the attachment FMJ in Perk form, Flak jacket; the equipment Blast Shield in Perk form, and Hacker; a buffed Sit Rep with the ability to “hack” enemy equipment and sentry guns to work for your team. There was been also some re-assigning of perks to different tiers e.g. Steady Aim is now a tier 2. The challenges to get Pro versions are generally more difficult with multiple requirements and sometimes forcing you to play a different game type that you normally might not play. Overall the perk system is a lot more balanced than what it was in MW2, no perks at the moment seem overpowered and picking perks over others is more of a personal preference now than taking certain mandatory perks. The only perk I would recommend at the moment is Ghost as there seems to be an abundance of UAVs.

    There have been some great additions and changes to the equipment and grenade list. You now have an additional Lethal slot and the Equipment slot is a separate slot entirely. Lethal slot now houses Semtex, Frag and Tomahawk (throwing knife). Tactical slot is basically the same but with the addition of Decoy and Nova Gas. Decoy simulates friendly gun fire, hence creating a red dot on the enemy map (green on friendly), great for draw enemies the wrong way to shot them in the back. Nova Gas is a sort of damaging stun smoke; it is best used on a choke point to restrict enemy movement to an objective e.g. a corridor to a bomb on Demolition, very useful and highly under used. The equipment slot is now equipment only. I’ll admit, probably my favourite part of this game is the cool equipment. We now get a place-able radar Jammer with a fairly large radius, no longer the days with Scrambler giving away over position. Motion Sensor; a mini UAV with a small radius, place this behind you and you won’t get shot in the back. Camera Spike, basically the same as Motion Sensor but more obvious and arguably less useful, with the Sensor you can place it anywhere, it makes a circular pulse and shows enemies as dots on you radar. The camera however you need to place it facing one direction, it is fairly obvious, and when in use covers your radar. Claymores are more overpowered than ever. The moment you walk past a claymore is certain death. The “tick” of tripping it is very quiet and there is literary no way to avoid it. Using it yourself is basically a guaranteed kill, however it and C4 are classed as equipment, meaning that you can longer Scavenger them and be a Claymore/ C4 whore which was overpowered back in MW2. Overall the changes to equipment and grenades have been very positive and taking one over the other is now a very personal choice, do you take Claymore for a guaranteed kill or the Motion Sensor which could potentially save your life and get you more kills?

    Kill streaks received an overhaul as well with same good balancing and additions. First thing to say is that kills from kill streaks no longer add to your existing count which was an excellent decision. No more easy chopper gunners in MW2 by using the 5-7-11 setup. What this means is that to get your 11 kill streak Gunship, you have to get the kills yourself. There is now a remote controlled car packed with explosives called the RC-XD, you drive it around and is basically a free kill. If you press R2 on PS3 you get a speed boost if you didn’t know. With 4 kills you can get a SAM turret which is an Anti-turret. It will take out those pesky Spy Planes, Counter Spy Planes and other air support automatically. Mortar Team is 6 kills, it is pretty weak, pick 3 spots and they a make small nuke. Valkyrie Rockets is 7, it is like the RC-XD except it can fly and you get 2 of them. Blackbird for 8 kills is a crazy buffed Spy Plane that gives you live positions and directions of the enemy team and cannot be shot down. The rest of the kill streaks I haven’t used yet, but from experience you need to shot down Chopper Gunner or Gunship as soon as possible because they will literary destroy your team and if they get dogs, you want to sit in a corner and wait it out. With the loss of kill streaks adding to your count to get more kill streak, you can now freely take anything you want without feeling at a disadvantage unlike in MW2 where obvious kill streak setups were 5-7-9 or 11.

    So far so good right? I’m afraid this is where most of the good things end in my opinion.

    Weapons are completely imbalanced. If you want to end a match with a good K/D you have to use assault rifles, other weapons don’t cut it. They kill in 2-4 hits, excellent range and accuracy and in my opinion they all feel almost the same except with different skins and sounds.

    SMG are inaccurate and weak and give you no incentive to use them over assault rifle except minor speed increases.

    Shotguns are now classed as Primary weapons which is an improvement. They and machine pistols were extremely overpowered as Secondary in MW2. Despite being a primary now they are weak and have bad range, unless you get a perfect shot to the chest at around 5 feet away you can’t kill with 1 shot, it will take at least 2 shots. They don’t have the awesome feel they had in MW2 and they sound extremely muffled.

    LMGs are the feel basically the same as assault rifles except everything you do seems a bit slower e.g. reload, switching weapons. I cannot recommend them at all as you lose speed for no obvious benefit.

    Sniper rifles are entirely un-useable. There was news before release that they were making changes to sniper rifles to stop people from quick scope; Sleight of Hand Pro giving no ADS speed increase and making it so that when you ADS you don’t scope to the spot you were supposed to. I’ll admit at the time it seemed fair to me. Having now tried it, I can say it is completely broken. The slow ADS is workable however on console they added a weird auto adjustment after you scope in which takes about one second. They have made it so you don’t scope into the point you were supposed to, however the auto adjustment moves the scope back to where it was supposed to be. Trying to aim during this one second period is impossible, if you aim in the direction the auto adjust is moving, you will over shoot the mark, if you move against it, it kind of doesn’t want to move. So basically you don’t want to move at all during this period, which means you are basically dead. This has caused any kind of offensive sniping in MW2 impossible now and all you can do now it sit at a window and hard scope into a specific point. This needs to be fixed either by removing the auto adjust or reducing ADS time or both because at the moment is it impossible. I’d like to hear people thoughts on this because in my opinion is it broken beyond belief.

    Pistols are now your only Secondary gun. They all seem to feel the same; however I will update this once I do another testing session. Weapon switch speed to pistols is a lot slower than they were in MW2, I would say almost double. In MW2 you could switch to these in emergencies as the weapon switch time was almost instant however now it seems so slow that it might be worth it to run at you enemy and knifing rather than switching to your pistols.

    There are now Special weapons which are the Ballistic Knife and Crossbow. The Ballistic Knife basically is a fast throwing knife with a better range with two shots. If you take them don’t forgot to switch to them when you spawn as the first time you switch you need to cock them and is a bit slower. Any subsequent times you switch it is noticeable faster and it is the fastest Secondary weapon you can switch to. The Crossbow is more of a gimmick than anything. Switching speed and reload speed is really slow but you get a semtex arrow, nothing more to say.

    The game play doesn’t have the same fast pace and adrenaline rush feeling that MW2 had. Hit boxes seem to be more important now. In MW2 the chest and limbs had the same damage multipliers, however now shooting the limbs seem to do less damage, will need to test this. From experience you can get several bad shots into someone then for them to spin around and get 2 lucky shots into you face is very much annoying. There also feels like there is less bullet impact on enemies. I can no longer tell how many shots I got into an enemy by purely animation as there appears to be less blood. Current damage indictor is very much less informative than MW2, the top of the screen kind of goes a bit red and that is about it. No more jelly on a screen and loud breathing noises of pain. Recovery rate seems to have increased and with falling damage you seem to recover almost immediately, however it is hard to tell with such a poor damage indicator. Another problem I have seen that I did not expect is hip firing. It is unbelievable easy and accurate at close range encounters giving lucky headshot a bit too often. You will easily kill the other person by firing and strafing than to try to ADS in room encounters as ADS causes you to be stuck in the ground. One thing I am glad that has been changed is knifing range. There is no more lunging and you need to be touching the other person to knife successfully. Weapon recoil seems to be generally more even compared to MW2 e.g. recoilless ACR.

    The maps in this game are a big improvement. Layouts of most maps are good, with a very weavey feel with high manoeuvrability. You will find yourself flanking even unintentionally or being flanked very often with almost every house on a map being accessible and with multiple levels. Terrain and buildings now stack pretty high up making it difficult to shoot down air support. There are very few long open areas, this leads to most encounters being fairly shot ranged and yet another problem for people looking to snipe. I would have liked to see a Wasteland type map with large open areas for snipers to go to town however most maps are set in a very urban environment. Spawning is a lot better in this than MW2 from what I have seen so far, though Free for All will still have some problems. The only map that stands out is Nuketown, this is the Rust of Black Ops. Very small and this leads to very short games, you will either love it or hate it.

    Despite typing over 2000 words on my first impressions I’m sure I’ll more to say in the next few weeks. On the whole the Treyarch have made some impressive steps forward to keep Call of Duty multiplayer as fresh as possible and have shown that they actually listen somewhat to the feedback from MW2 by balancing a lot of issues that players had, however causing its own balancing issues at the same time. Personalisation seems to have taken a giant leap forward with almost everything being customizable. That guy will know that you were the one that killed him 10 times when they watch killcam and saw that you were the one with the emblem made of hearts, a tiger fur coloured gun and a pink heart shaped red dot sight...

    Overall I’ll give it an 8 out of 10 and I would rate it below MW2 due to slow feeling game play and lacklustre and imbalanced guns which I believe are the most important part of a first person shooter.

    Feedback appreciated

  2. Received thanks from:

    Disturbedguy (12-11-2010),fuddam (12-11-2010)

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    Re: Call of Duty: Black Ops. Personal Multiplayer Review

    Nice review.

    Infinite, what are your thoughts on the online play on PS3?

    I mean, on the PC, via Steam it quite often feels very laggy and again quite often results and some situations where the game lags, then suddenly you are dead or being shot at.

    Is this the same on the PS3 or is the online generally better in that respect?

    I feel that by releasing the game on Steam, rather than how they did with CoD4 and allowing, proper dedicated servers, they have some what let the ball drop and shot themselves in the foot. To me, this is yet another sign that games developers are prioritising consoles over the PC.
    Quote Originally Posted by TAKTAK View Post
    It didn't fall off, it merely became insufficient at it's purpose and got a bit droopy...

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