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Call Of Duty 7 : The Black Ops

By Sagnik Choudhary 

The Call of Duty franchise can in essence be described in one word – robust. While not exactly a bad thing for a first person shooter, the drama and the plot twists do get a little too monotonous after a while. A twist isn’t a twist if it comes with plot holes right? All of this was what Modern Warfare 2 got wrong, and Treyarch apparently has learnt from Infinity Ward’s mistakes. Though not compromising on the speed in general at which a CoD game progresses, Black Ops delivers a fantastic FPS experience, one that’ll be hard to match in some time.
The campaign is a roller-coaster ride. Black Ops is the first game to be set in the Cold War and makes use of most of the hot Cold War locations like Cuba, Russia and Vietnam pretty well. Quite a few recognizable historical figures have been recreated too (Castro and JFK for instance). The level of detail that shows in some of the better known places that you visit, Vorkuta and Vietnam for example, is pretty stunning.The one fault that the campaign has, is that it’s too short. It clocks at about six hours on the standard difficulty, and when a game’s that good, this is something to be very sad about.
The plot is airtight and is probably the best that a Call of Duty game has come up with till date. You play a covert operations officer, one who’s being forced to recount all his experiences by his unseen captors and almost all of the missions play out as flashbacks. Apparently you’re the only person who can decipher a Russian cryptic numbers broadcast, one that was programmed into you when you were held in Vorkuta, and something that your captors feel is vital information. What they hadn’t bargained for however is that the numbers could stand for more than just the one thing, and the trauma you faced at the Vorkuta Gulag is something that could leave no man’s mind unscathed…
The cast of CoD 7 is befitting of a major movie, and features stars like Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, Ice Cube, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Gary Oldman, who puts in a spectacular performance as Viktor Reznov, a role he reprises from CoD 5: World at War.
Gameplay mechanics range from standard FPS to airing a chopper through Vietnam to guiding friendly troops using a ‘BlackBird’ recon aircraft’s IR sensors. Shooting mechanics work just like the previous CoD games, the usual arsenal of grenades, flashbangs, shotguns etc. One noteworthy addition however, is the Crossbow, and this is incredibly fun to use. With the standard bolts, this works like a silenced sniper rifle, while what happens with the explosive bolts attachment, is actually pretty self-explanatory. Shoot a bolt into an enemy trooper, and watch him and the 5 meter radius around him blow up the next second. Also my personal favourite is the Python revolver, old school but awesome to use. All in all, combat has its thrills even if it’s not too visceral.
Though I haven’t had the opportunity to try my hand at multiplayer myself (for pretty obvious reasons), it’s been revamped quite a bit. New and improved perks, such as a contract system where you can bet on yourself, and a theatre mode that lets you record your best and worst moments are nifty additions to an already great multiplayer system. The Co-Op zombie bashing mode returns from CoD 5, sure everybody dies in the end, but after having a hell of a lot of fun. The most notable addition however, is the Combat Training mode that puts you up against bots on multiplayer maps; this so that everyone can get a taste of what the multiplayer is like.
The graphics look absolutely stunning at the highest setting, though this can be adjusted to suit mid to low level PC’s as well. Even on the lowest setting, Black Ops is easily the best looking CoD. Black Ops features Vietnam War era music including The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” (played during a gameplay sequence and the credits) and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”. Eminem’s “Won’t Back Down” is used for the credits as well. The original music was composed by Sean Murray, who also composed Call of Duty: World at War.

All in all, CoD as always, is best enjoyed with a friend or friends. The single-player campaign is fantastic for the while it lasts, but Black Ops thrives on modes like Zombie Bashing and Combat Training, modes that you’ll easily lose hours to. Black Ops broke all records and sold more than 7 million copies 24 hours after its release. No coincidence either, Black Ops is simply one of the best games to recommend this year.
Sagnik Choudhary is an third year student of Eng. He  has a fetish for computer games, fantasy ficition novels and movies. He is an ardent quizzer and an expert at writing reviews.


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