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Call of Duty: Black Ops (Wii) Review

Review for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Call of Duty first came out when Medal of Honour was at its peak, and whilst it saw success, it was limited at best. It was not until the fourth release, Modern Warfare, that Activision Blizzard's war-torn first-person shooter truly became a powerhouse seller, and since then the franchise has seen a meteoric rise to that exclusive line-up of annual releases that storm the chart, breaking records every time. Call of Duty: Black Ops has started stronger than any other in the series and is the first entry to launch on Wii at the same time as other home console editions. Cubed3 prepares to break radio silence for this latest review.

Rather than merely being yet another bog-standard war effort, developer Treyarch has chosen to focus on an interesting mix of styles, retaining elements of the traditional army-based missions, but basing Call of Duty: Black Ops around the Cold War and the life of an undercover operative working on numerous secret, completely off-the-record objectives, all set against a 1960s conflict-filled backdrop.

Players take control of Alex Mason, an elite Special Forces soldier who is strapped to a chair in a dark room being intensely interrogated by his captor who is desperately trying to extract classified information from him, coaxing Mason in any way possible to obtain new details from the depths of his memory. With each new topic the interrogator moves on to, players are thrown into the various missions that Mason took part in, ranging from jungle areas in Vietnam, to snow-capped mountainous regions in blizzard conditions, every time trying to escape from behind enemy lines, normally with the aim of taking someone out in the process using whatever limited technology can be found lying around at you and your team's disposal.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Anyone hoping to play through the missions co-operatively, or even jump into some multiplayer action with friends in the comfort of their own home, though, will be somewhat disappointed. Call of Duty: Black Ops is a very solitary experience, and considering how much the gaming world has progressed, the fact there is no two-player co-operative mode, or split-screen four-player modes, is both highly surprising and extremely limits the overall experience. Gamers are instead forced back into the isolated practice that made the whole world of video games a terribly 'geeky' pastime in the eyes of the general populace.

Either sit alone in a dark room killing people all night in the main solo mode, or join the online experience where you are still on your own in your sweaty pad, slaughtering the masses, except there is the illusion of having 'friends' because names pop up on the screen. Voice chat may bring players closer to reality, yet there is an added cost involved since anyone with Wii Speak will quickly find that a separate headset needs to be purchased in order to tap into the ‘virtual world.’ Why Treyarch did not add support for Nintendo's peripheral as well is strange to say the least.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Anyway, thankfully the solo experience in Call of Duty: Black Ops is far more enjoyable than in previous years, and players will become increasingly wrapped up in the story, taking charge of Mason, desperately trying to keep up with his comrades, flying down zip lines and smashing through windows to rescue hostages, blowing up rockets as they are just about to blast off, racing along on motorbikes taking out as many 'enemies' as possible in the pursuit of freedom, or even sacrificing your place in your current group in order to help protect their vehicular escape route (case in point: destroy all enemies before their firepower threatens to take out a large plane as it attempts to take off from the runway).

Activision Blizzard and Treyarch have definitely ensured that there is always plenty to do during Call of Duty: Black Ops' main mode, and it is clear that the development team spent far more time building this year’s version from the ground-up, unlike past Call of Duty editions. Everything from the video footage used to bulk up the story, and the expansive locations Mason must trek through, to the impressively detailed visuals and high-impact voice acting and ear-blistering sound effects - Call of Duty: Black Ops is probably as close to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 iterations as is humanly possible given the vast difference in power between Nintendo's system and those of its main competitors.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

In terms of the online experience that has been included, it does appear that Treyarch has attempted to provide as much as possible for gamers, despite the major oversight of local multiplayer options. The team is even going as far as offering downloadable patches that are stored in the Wii system memory to help shore up any problems on this front. The options available are Player Match (play online to earn Experience Points (XP) and COD Points to acquire new Weapons, Equipment, Perks, Killstreaks, and more), Private Match (host a match to play with your allies), Wager Match (gamble your COD Points against other players in special game modes), and Combat Training (play versus the Practice Dummies either with or without your allies - something that proves to be invaluable practice for playing competitively).

Also, fortunately you can mute voices to avoid always having to listen to racket whilst trying to concentrate. It should additionally be noted that Call of Duty: Black Ops does not use Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection, instead circumventing it similar to how EA and Disney have both been doing with their latest releases, meaning that there is no need to rely on the cumbersome Friend Codes system.

Overall, Call of Duty: Black Ops is by far the best in the series to have appeared on Wii, just about nudging out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex Edition. It may lack the option of playing multiplayer on a single Wii console, but Treyarch has attempted to squeeze in as much extra content to ensure Wii owners do not feel completely short-changed when comparing their purchase to the PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Be it using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination, or the Classic Controller, Call of Duty controls perfectly on Wii, ensuring each of the varied missions are a pleasure to play through.

Graphics

Some of the most impressive visuals on Wii, with Black Ops looking as close to its higher powered brothers as is possible on Nintendo’s hardware.

Sound

Stellar voice acting, thoroughly atmospheric sound effects and an impressive soundtrack to set the hectic ambience.

Value

With plenty of variety poured into the main mission, an extra Zombies mode, plus various online options, Call of Duty: Black Ops is a definite winner all round.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

With World at War and Modern Warfare Reflex Edition both proving to be great successes on Wii, it is very pleasing indeed to see Activision Blizzard and Treyarch put so much commitment into making sure this year’s Nintendo home console edition is as close to its competitors as possible. The Wii edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops is by no means the inferior product many thought it would turn out to be.

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20.12.2010

10

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Developer

Treyarch

Publisher

Activision

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (12 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Cool, I'll consider it down the line.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744
Revel1 (guest) 21.12.2010 09:05#2

It really goes to show exactly what can be achieved if developers take the time and put in some proper effort on the system!!

Staff Member

Might have to get the Wii version another time. Sounds great.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I can see some people loving this purely using the Classic Controller PRO set-up, but I actually found it far more natural to use the Wii Remote's IR pointer controls all the way through.

Never been a big CoD fan, but this was a very fun experience. Wish it had four-player split-screen, though Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

The reviews and features on this website make me laugh. Firstly, you give the Wii version a 9 for graphics, but you only show pictures of the 360 version. For any Wii gamer reading your review hoping for something unbiased which is a true representation of the game, this is an extremely false presentation. You have not done your readership justice with that.

The main game is a piece of shit. You basically run down a nicely-decorated (on other platforms at least) corridor, and play through a very shit storyline that has been ripped straight from Fight Club. I seriously lol'd at the 'big reveal' at the end, although I saw it coming a long way off.

Does the Wii version not feature split-screen multiplayer? The others do. Hell, I can do split-screen and go online. Can you not even play Zombies split-screen? You don't even mention the Zombies mode, which is a major, major part of the game, and I know for a fact that the Wii version has it. Me and a friend got to round 36 on Kino der Toten the other day. It's the highest I've been on any Zombies level, including those from World at War.

Anyway, this is a really shit review. For any Wii gamers wanting to know what Black Ops is actually like on Wii, which this.

Shame on C3 for putting out such crappy reviews of huge games like this.

Revel1 (guest) 23.12.2010 08:20#6

So you're basing your accusation on the fact that the the 360 and PS3 versions have more features? Criticising a review simply because it rates the game based on other Wii FPS game's rather than those on more powerful hardware? Smilie

I actually picked this and GoldenEye up recently and really am enjoying both. CoD Wii looks very good given the aged Wii hardware. Zombies is a bit limited and there's no splitscreen, but for the price I paid and the expectations I had from various reviews (this one included), I wasn't disappointed.

Sounds like you've got a major chip on your shoulder, mate. Wii hater much?!

Phil F (guest) 23.12.2010 10:26#7

CoD is so damn overrated anyway. Why the hell it sold such a stupid amount in the US last month, while other FAR better games were overlooked, is totally beyond me.

smh Smilie

Revel1 (guest) said:
So you're basing your accusation on the fact that the the 360 and PS3 versions have more features? Criticising a review simply because it rates the game based on other Wii FPS game's rather than those on more powerful hardware? Smilie

Read my post again. I'm criticising the review for A) Showing false pictures that are not the same game, B) Not even mentioning the Zombies mode, which is a hugely popular co-op aspect of the game, which I know the Wii version does have, and C) disagreeing with what the review says about the storyline. It's pants.

Martin_ said:
Shame on C3 for putting out such crappy reviews of huge games like this.

God forbid anyone ever *gasp* disagree with the almighty you, right? Smilie

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://davidjlovato.wordpress.com
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Martin_ said:
Read my post again. I'm criticising the review for A) Showing false pictures that are not the same game, B) Not even mentioning the Zombies mode, which is a hugely popular co-op aspect of the game, which I know the Wii version does have, and C) disagreeing with what the review says about the storyline. It's pants.

- Screens fixed (we didn't have Wii ones available at the time of posting)

- Zombies is only a pleasing solo extra that adds longevity to the Wii version. Treyarch clearly did what it could to make the full Wii game as well-rounded as possible so people with only a Wii would be able to get the best CoD experience on the console. Comparing it to the Xbox 360 and PS3 is definitely not justified given the vast expanse in power between Sony/Microsoft and Nintendo's consoles. Sadly I feel some folk expect miracles of the Wii.

- I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the acting. As with the storyline of many popular movies, people are likely to have differing opinions. For instance, I thought Avatar was extremely boring, whilst others praise it from the hilltops...

( Edited 28.12.2010 16:19 by jesusraz )

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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