Friday, 17 December 2010

Black Ops Multiplayer Review: Part Two.

Hey readers!

Hope you’re all having an awesome day today and I welcome you back, for part two of my Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer review!
So, where were we? Ah yes, the bugs, glitches and other catalysts of anger. 

Picking up from what I was saying about the new patch that was released early morning 16th December for the PC, all of the fix reports do seem to be accurate, well, almost all. There is still one issue that hasn’t been properly solved though, despite the error being one of Treyarch’s main focuses, the random game freezes! I know that the weather is cold outside but it’s still no excuse for the game to keep freezing and crashing, so what on earth did they do to “fix” it? Simple answer... No alot! Even though a fair few gamers haven’t encountered this issue as of yet, it’s still happening to many others, myself being one of those unlucky ones. Now, I haven’t been able to find a fix for this as of yet, I have been trying many different possible solutions, but none of them have worked. When the game was first released, very few gamers were experiencing Black Ops crashing, if it did crash, it was more than likely something to do with the system specification of the gamer’s PC. However, the issue started when Treyarch released their first noticeable patch for the game, that’s when everything seemed to get worse, and oh my, was it noticeable. There’s just nothing more annoying than owning on a map, having 35 kills to 10 deaths, about to whip out your chopper gunner reward – “Friendly Huey on th-” to find out that your game just froze. Rage!

Before I get into an anger rant about that particular subject, we’ll just cut that paragraph short, as it will just turn into a complaints letter that I would copy and paste into an email addressed to the Treyarch HQ. *deep breaths*

Now, I’ve just made reference to the Chopper Gunner kill-streak reward that you can get in the multiplayer in Black Ops – it’s pretty damn cool when you get to use it, but we all know we’re a bunch of hypocrites. We, in fact, loathe the airborne annoyance when it’s used against us. The Hive, Cobra and Huey are just three causes of stress within the multiplayer, these of course being filed in the same drawer as the Claymore, Grenade Launcher/Noob Tube and anything else that doesn’t involve the use of an actual skilled weapon that fires actual rounds (bullets). The helicopters in the game are basically just used for preventing the enemy team from spawning whilst the user is racking up the points, and this can get a lot of gamers annoyed with playing the multiplayer, and also give drive to a lot of PC owners to purchase their own servers for the game so that they can create a rule against the use of certain kill-streak rewards. These kill-streak rewards are far too over-powered, it’s near impossible to avoid them – even if you’re in a building. You could be hiding between a canyon, under the cover of a boulder whilst sitting in a deep, armour plated bucket, and the chopper would still be able to somehow see you through the thick rock and be able to penetrate through it all and then kill you. Again, rage!
Another annoyance to the players of Black Ops is the remote control car! This, initially, was a fun creation – but when people were using it too much, again, it got annoying! This particular feature has a lot of potential. Instead of having it as an exploding car, I think it would help balance the game out a lot more if it were to have a camera on top of the car, just so you could have a look around corners and down the corridors, you know, to assess your situation to help you think up a plan of action! 

Sprayers? Throw them off the map!
After bringing up some of the annoyances and over powered features in the game, it now brings me on to talk to you about the general balance of the Black Ops Multiplayer experience. First of all, Call of Duty has always been a game that doesn’t take all that much skill to play, however, if you were to switch from being a PC gamer to an Xbox gamer – it would take some getting used to, but I ask, why would you want to switch in the first place? Anyway, because you can refer to the controls as a “Plug & Play” sort of game, it means that there’s a big chance you’re going to get noob gamers playing on your server –which also means that you’re going to get people stumbling around like headless goats spraying their SMG and Shotgun rounds your way when you’re trying to play the game properly, it’s kind of annoying if you’re more of a tactical gamer. Because Call of Duty has had the same feel to the game for the past 7 years, I suppose the developers don’t really want to change too much in regards to the controls, although it would be nice to maybe see at least some effort in tweaking it to make it a better, more tactically intense experience, which doesn’t invite such frantic rushing. 

For the weapons in the multiplayer, there isn’t too much of an imbalance to note, it’s pretty much the same as the Modern Warfare titles in the game’s own way, so you’re going to be used to it if you’ve played those versions of Call of Duty before. However, there is still a major issue with a weapon called the Skorpion. The Skorpion is a little, dinky SMG that you can unlock quite early on in the game, a weapon that has also been featured in Modern Warfare. The Skorpion has two different versions of the one problem – it’s too damn accurate for an SMG! What happens if you put a silencer on it? It gets even more accurate, despite the game stating that equipping the silencer on the weapon causes a decrease in the weapon’s ranged stats – it just doesn’t matter!  It’s been a glitch that has been marked up and complained about by thousands of gamers across the world since Call of Duty 4, on a lot of different forums - although, neither Infinity Ward nor Treyarch have bothered to balance it out... I guess we’ll just have to deal with it? *sigh*

Carentan, how I miss you.
The Call of Duty multiplayer franchise has always been released with maps that are adored and played joyfully by millions, over and over again. These include Carentan, Brecourt, Dawnville, Foy, Burgandy, Beltot, Toujane, Ambush, Bloc, Crash, Strike, Crossfire, Highrise and Scrapyard. (Sorry if I missed off a favourite of yours.) Now when it comes to Black Ops, there isn’t, as of yet, a massive favourite of mine. I mean, I can’t even list the map names to you now because I’d have to look them all up because I’ve forgotten all of their names, a lot of other people are also having this difficulty. There just isn’t one that sticks out and cries to me, “I’m so well planned out and I even have spawn points that make sense!” It’s really disappointing, and in some ways, it pushes me away from the game. Maybe I am being too harsh – I mean there are a few decent maps out there, but they’re just not that memorable, you know? They are hardly classic map material.

So, you’re probably thinking to yourself that with this many negative markers, why the hell you bought the game in the first place, or why the hell you would want to buy this game, if you haven’t already. Well, I will answer the first question now for you, you bought the game because it’s a Call of Duty release - it has to be bought, even if it’s just out of curiosity. I bought the game because it was CoD, and there was far too much hype about the game to ignore it, you couldn’t help but get excited, at least a little bit. Even though there are all these negatives surrounding Black Ops with the games imbalance issues, system errors and the glitches, it’s still a Call of Duty game! It’s still fun, it will still be there to play when you need to pass time when you’re bored stiff, it’s a little lifeline. As I’ve said, it’s not a game you have to think too much about because of the control style, it’s not too much of an arcade style game and at the same time, it’s not too realistic either. It’s a casual game that you can just jump into whenever you like, and to be fair, that’s what we want from some games occasionally. Don’t get me wrong, I love realistic first person shooters, actually love them because of the effort put in regarding the authenticity of the game – it also puts your skills to the test as a gamer! But when you’re not in the mood for hardcore gaming, and you need a break from time to time, it’s always good to have a game like Call of Duty, to just click play, and you’re straight into the thick of it. It’s just fun! You eventually get used to being owned by choppers and RC Cars, but in the end, it’s just a case of brushing it off your shoulders and taking it on the chin the next time it happens.

So, here’s my simple conclusion for Black Ops Multiplayer for those of you who haven’t bought the game yet. If you’re a hardcore gamer and you don’t like people running around like maniacs with noob tubes and RPGs around you, then I suggest that you maybe avoid this game, unless you’re after a game that offers a more casual experience whilst you recover from playing too much Flashpoint or Socom, etc. However, if you have bought all or most of the Call of Duty titles prior to Black Ops, then I would recommend you to at least give this game a try as it will still offer you the same experience in the games own way. I predict that every single major bug will be flattened out within the next month or so, because despite them not fixing the game freezes in the last patch, they still fixed a lot of other things and actually did an alright job – although it is still no excuse for Treyarch what so ever to have released a game as buggy as Black Ops was in the first place. It seems to me that to both Infinity Ward and Treyarch now, it’s about churning out a new release every year and doing it as soon as they possibly can – I just hope that they don’t lose sight of what they’ve managed to achieve in the past and go down-hill from here. Although, Infinity Wards next Call of Duty is rumoured to be Space Warfare? We shall see, eh? 

On that note folks, this is the Black Ops review coming to a close! I hope you enjoyed the read and I hope to see you back on here again for my next post, which will most likely be on the new Battlefield release, titled Bad Company 2: Vietnam! It’s literally promising to be a scorcher!  I should have my hands on it at either midnight tonight or sometime through the day tomorrow (18th December) so expect a ‘First Impressions’ post this weekend!

Thanks a million for taking the time to read, and if you have anything to comment on either what I’ve said or on the Call of Duty titles in general, then by all means feel free to share!

TTFN and take care,

Jayhmmz    (‘’’)(O.o)(‘’’)

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