Ranting While Playing: Call of Duty Black Ops

Oh goodie, the infinite spawns are back. I love you too, Treyarch.

My allies tend to just run past all of the enemies without even getting shot at, leaving me entirely on my own to fight through the level. Nice AI.

“Friendly Fire Will Not Be Tolerated!” Then maybe you should make enemies and allies actually look different? Someone on the other side of the room shooting in your direction is an ally, but someone five feet away from me shooting in a totally different direction is an enemy? Give me some fucking color! It’s not like I can rely on the AI’s behavior to consistently tell me what team they’re on.

It took Mason an entire year to think of the brilliant “punch a guard in the face and take his keys” plan? What. The. Fuck.

The massive Russian Sergei picks up a big, menacing pick axe, but then simply throws it aside after attacking a single guard. Why? Was it too easy? It’s not like it was stuck in him or anything. He pulled it out.

Now Sergei’s dead. Such a well developed character. I’m so sad that he’s gone.

Guarding someone as the same four enemies respawn over and over again is so fun!

You can really tell at times how much this game was rushed. Entire environments and character models that they don’t think you’ll get a good look at appear to be either half-assed or downright unfinished.

What’s with the random split screen and gold seizure-flashes during cinematics? Were they worried that their twitchy bro audience would get bored with any semblance of actual story?

I just watched President Kennedy cross the room with an awkward open-mouthed expression on his face…in slow motion. What?

Oh hey, another character I’ve never seen before is being tortured…moving on…

For the first time I’m actually doing something that involves Black Ops, but Treyach just holds my hand through the whole thing by making it entirely linear, heavily scripted, and by disabling any actions I could possible do to screw things up. It might as well have just been a cutscene. I have a pretty strong impression at this point that I will never at any point in the game have a real “Black Ops” gameplay segment.

Mason is very clearly recalling the story, but the interrogater never shuts up and constantly shouts out condescending comments as if he’s not co-operating. It gets remarkably annoying, as if the two characters are having entirely different conversations. They keep saying that Mason is delusional or that he’s pumped full of so much stuff that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about even though he seems almost entirely in control of himself.

Fortunate Son? I’ve never heard that song before.

Oh shit, some guy in a bandanna said like four lines of potentially significant dialogue, we better blow some shit up to keep our idiotic audience interested!

I break glass inside someone’s mouth…and then they fight as a member of my squad seconds later? What the fuck is going on?

Oh no, the broken-glass-mouth-dude guy got shot in the head in slow motion. Tragic, I guess?

Stopped writing for a while. A bunch of non-characters died. Some black guy got his head bashed in. The game seemed to think it was tragic. Reznov is probably the closest thing to a character Call of Duty has ever had.

Okay, I get it. He’s not really there the whole time and it’s all my imagination. I figured that out about three hours ago when everyone kept asking me what I was doing every time I spoke with Reznov. You don’t have to dedicate two entire missions of the game to the unveiling of a plot twist that I’m pretty sure everyone will have seen coming.

Oh god, even after all of that they still feel the need to replay the same scenes for a third time. How stupid do they think the average CoD player is? Oh, wait, don’t answer that.

It’s over!

Treyach and Infinite Ward may know how to throw a ton of spectacles into a game, but they have no idea how to make someone care about what’s going on. Aside from Reznov none of the characters have a story or a personality. They just scream and shoot for six hours, maybe die, and then the game ends.


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