Impressions: Call of Duty, Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops sucks.

Typing that is oddly freeing.   There was a scene where I’m in Vietnam.  We are getting attacked by the NVA.  For twenty minutes, I shoot and murder hundreds of men.  I become overwhelmed and try again and again and again.  Then, finally, I see a barrel.  I cut the barrel and fire shoots down the hill.  What took me almost an hour before only takes me five minutes once I actually see what the fuck I’m suppose to do.  Call of Duty games usually hold your hand rather well.  This games wants to hold your hand.  It also wants to toss you into a battle while you have absolutely no clue what is going on.  The single player just isn’t “Fun”.  I never thought I was having a good time.  I did feel like I was at work, however.  I felt like I was at a job.  Turning the Xbox on was like clocking in for work.  Whenever a game makes you feel this way, something wrong happened.

There are two possible reasons for this.  First, I’ve probably just played too many COD games.  I’ve done this before.  I’ve done this game four times before.  Usually, these experiences are engaging, but Black Ops failed at making me feel like I cared about the game, the story, anything.  In Modern Warfare 2, there were scenes where I was fighting, running, screaming, trying my damnedest not to fail.  I did this because the game made me feel like I should do this, like this, what I was doing in the game, was the most important thing that ever existed.  Black Ops failed at making me feel this way.  The story also could be to blamed.  Russians and Nerve Gas and some numbers and a boat and some tunnels and some televisions and JFK.  That’s it.  Honestly, I have no idea what this story was about, nor do I give a shit.  Oddly, I don’t think the game gave a shit either.

There is one thing about Black Ops that I enjoy.  Two, actually.  One, the corridor shooting was the best I’ve played.  Walking down a corridor, not knowing what’s around the corner, guys jumping out at you, that is good stuff and unique to Black Ops just like clearing houses was unique to COD 2 and Air support was unique to COD:MW1.  Second, of course, is the multiplayer, which includes a Zombie mode that I love.  But, honestly, this will be the last Call of Duty game I buy that resembles these past incarnations.  I’ve never thought this about a video game I’ve payed for during this last decade, but I feel ripped off. It isn’t a feeling I enjoy.