Will Preston

So ridiculous it makes 24 look like a documentary

by on Dec.22, 2010, under Review, Video Games

The other day I was stuck for a game to play. Well I say stuck, I have enough Xbox 360 games on disc alone that should decimate any contact with the outside world for a good five months. That’s going to be one shining wanker’s tan should I ever decide to do that. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes! I was stuck for a game to play. The trouble with my collection is that it’s almost all first person shooters. All other games are either the odd RPG, racing game or other kinds of shooting games. When I get in the mood for something other than a game where you look down a gun and inject enemies with lead based love, I’m at a loss. And when you’re on this addiction, you need yet another FPS to feed your craving. Your shallow, linear craving. I already have six Call Of Duty games, so why on Earth I would need to own the next one is a mystery. They’re all the same. Sure, they might have different weapons, new tweaks on the multiplayer front and other bonuses, but the core gameplay is still the same simple layout. This is the same problem that the Tony Hawks series suffered from. Once you’re mastered one game, you’ve mastered them all. I mastered Call Of Duty 2 and now I am emulating my gun mastery onto the newest title in the series: Call Of Duty Black Ops.

So unrealistic, that your character can fly!

This is the seventh title in the series and almost nothing new has been done to the slightly stale format. If anything, it feels like an expansion pack rather than a full title. Luckily, this is the first COD game that I didn’t buy myself. Instead, I borrowed it off a friend rather than waiting for the price to drop down to a more realistic amount. And speaking of realistic, there’s of the sort. The story feels more like a mild science fiction film than a military simulation affair. In fact, the only things you can say that are real are that the guns kill people. After this aspect of the game has been checked, Mr Reality buggers off early down the pub with his good friend, Mr Ridiculous-Plot (double barrelled name). Mr Reality says he’ll buy the nuts on his round, but has the power to change everything to distract his friend into noticing that he’s a tightwad. The rest of the night is spent in awkward silence as it turns from a pub into a submarine and back into a pub again, but with a distinct smell of diesel oil and fish. To put it bluntly, the game is pretty ridiculous.

The over arcing story sets you’re character, Alex Mason (top CIA agent with a habit of stating the obvious) in an interrogation chair with an off-screen voice demanding to know what he knows about a series of numbers. This prompts a series of flashbacks from several US conflicts in the 1960s which make up the game. Fidel Castro and JFK also pop up, with Castro acting as a Bond villain and JFK acting like a robot doing an impression of JFK. It’s almost like Richard Nixon in The Watchman; more of a charciture for laughs. But that’s the nature of this game; it’s an imitation of reality. In one flashback, Mason is sent to a Russian labour camp after being caught by Castro in Cuba. After breaking free from his captors, Mason leads a prison break accompanied by Victor Reznov (still played by Gary Oldman) from Call Of Duty World At War. So far, things could be plausible, but it’s not until I grabbed myself a portable minigun (in a prison, of all places) that I became aware that things could only get more ridiculous.

I enjoyed all 2 minutes of this helicopter section!

After the breakout from the prison, Mason jumped about 5 metres from a speeding truck to a moving train. The suspension bridge of disbelief now lies in ruins. And it didn’t stop going in that direction. There’s combat in Vietnam, running across endless rooftops in Asia and an underwater fortress o’ death. But you know what? If you accept at how silly the game can get, you’ll enjoy it. The controls are still as tight and responsive as a game could ever be and the guns do their job. The only real improvement is on the graphics which seem to get better and better each time, but this is now an age where the visuals are first priority, whilst the gameplay can by copied in from the previous release. There are also some vehicle sections, but they end as soon as you’re enjoying yourself.

I didn’t bother with the multiplayer as it’s exactly the same thing as the last three times. Call Of Duty 4’s multiplayer was perfect first time round, why did the developers feel the need overload it with needless (kill)streaks of piss. I love calling in a helicopter as much as the next man, but that’s where I draw the line. None of this tactical nuke stuff and a few harrier jump-jets called into the match because I can’t play the game properly. Kids today, eh?

If you’re looking for another FPS campaign with some random zombie modes then just rent it. However, if you’re looking to spend £40 on yet another online shooter, then you can probably get one of the Modern Warfare’s for half the price. It’s pretty much the same thing.

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