Review: Black Ops. A good buy with a few glitches

The much-hyped and much-anticipated “Call of Duty: Black Ops” has been on sale for a few weeks, and if you have not yet purchased the game, you should — but know there are a few caveats.

In a nutshell, “Black Ops” features a soldier, Alex Mason, who is being interrogated for information that could save the United States from a Russian nerve gas attack during the Vietnam War.

The game’s various levels are Mason’s memories of previous missions. Details are filled in when you take the role of a second character, Mason’s handler, Frank Woods.
The game’s great story has been improved by a phenomenal cast of voices, though I could have done without Ice Cube’s.

The presentation looks great and plays smoothly in both the single-player and multi-player campaigns, though I did experience a few technical glitches in single-player. Because the glitches are rare, they really take away from the experience of the otherwise polished game.

Part of the problem with Black Ops is there’s nothing new to the game play, which is solid but just the same old Call of Duty. A smaller issue is the game’s artificial intelligence, which is not very bright. For example, friendly bots will sometimes cross your line of fire or shove you out of cover.

While the AI issues can be easily ignored, the game’s action level is just too high – imagine a Michael Bay movie with an infinite budget -and Black Ops is sometimes tedious as a result.

Online multiplayer is everything you would expect from “Modern Warfare 2.” Between the varied maps and different game modes, players can spend weeks fragging friends.

The only problem is the use of COD points, a currency to purchase upgrades and to level up. Leveling up still unlocks modes and options, but COD points let you purchase weapons and abilities to use in game play.

Zombie mode, where you play from a secure location and defend yourself against waves of invading zombies, is a quirky and trendy addition. It’s weird — especially because you play as John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Richard Nixon, who spit out catchphrases – but adds life to the game.

Overall, “Black Ops” is solid, and if you can get past a few minor problems, you should definitely get the game. At the very least, it deserves a rental.

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Review: Black Ops. A good buy with a few glitches