Believe it or not, this was the first game of the Call of Duty series, that I played as far as I can remember.
If it were up to the gameplay then this game would've failed to keep me playing until the end. The only thing that made me finish was the story, as by the end I was really bored with the brainless massacre.
Yes, brainless massacre, is the name of the game here, even through the black ops subtitle would suggest some sort of Splinter Cell like covert game. But that couldn't be further away from reality. The whole game is a crazy shooting race. Please don't make me laugh by bringing up that part where you actually have to sneak a hundred feet in the game.
It actually reminded me of the old point & shoot type arcade games, like Virtua Cop. Yes, you (usually) can move here, but the freedom factor is still close to zero, regardless of that. You move forward in a corridor, and shoot like hell, it's not even important to clear the levels, it's more about the advancing. You can't just stop in a cover, and clear a room to move trough it safely, because the enemies are constantly being spawned. The only way to move forward is to run like a kamikaze. Black Ops my ass. If you stop, the enemies just keep coming until you die, or run out of ammo, and then die.
Oh yes, scripting, there is about zero spontaneity in the game, everything is controlled by triggers and scripts, there are levels where you loose control every 30 seconds to a script.
You have AI partners on many levels, but they're just distracting. At least they don't die, but they only get in the way most of the time, and you often confuse them with enemies. They just serve as windows dressing in the actual fights, I watched them simply walk by enemies, and even if they decide to shoot at an enemy it won't die, unless you choose to shoot at them too. Their usefulness is limited to drawing some of the enemy attention away from you.
The game is so restrictive that I often felt I was watching a rolling demo, instead of playing a game. I thought that the Serious Sam games were the lowest form of FPS, but COD proudly shown it to me, that they can simplify this genre even more to make any kind of thinking or strategy completely unnecessary.
To write something that's not on the negative side of things, I have to mention the atmosphere, which is very good, it presents the Vietnam war era very well. But most of the credit for that goes to the soundtrack. Sometimes when a well-known classic starts playing, you really feel like you're in an nth. action flick from the eighties. And I mean this in the most positive way imaginable.
The story also could be called good, but I would've preferred to play out the story in real, instead of memory fragments from a madman. This way the plot twist didn't feel so unexpected, and everything after that just felt like they're taking the audience for fools.
Alas, they take their audience for fools practically every way, this is already proven by the oversimplified gameplay, so nothing new there.
Another "interesting" thing in the game is that, there is a save&quit option in the menu, but I couldn't find a load option anywhere. So you can only start playing from the beginning of the actual map you're on.
- Completely linear levels
- Your life is a script
- You can't stop, or methodically, slowly advance in the game, you have to constantly run like a crazy person.
- The constant running becomes boring and annoying, and I just can't take the helicopter and plane minigames seriously. They're a joke.
- No proper saves.
Well it's not that bad, so 6/10. If you want something really brainless then this is a good choice I guess.