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January 17, 2011

Call Of Duty: Black Ops - Part Two

Morning gamers!  This is the continuation of the post from yesterday, as if you couldn't tell by the title.  Here I will be discussing where CoD is heading from here, and some of the other multiplayer modes found in the game.

Picking up from where I left off, "CoD: Black Ops" is, in my mind, the best FPS multiplayer game available on the market today.  Forget "Halo," this is where it's at.  I know I'll probably catch some flack from "Halo" fanboys, but that doesn't make me wrong.  It can truly be said that where "CoD: Modern Warfare 2" got it wrong, "Black Ops" came along and not only fixed it, but improved upon it tenfold.  Let's break this down.

"MW2" had a few big problems, the biggest of which was the connectivity issue.  There were literally over a hundred times my housemate Scott and I would form a party, attempt to join a game together, and have one or the other of us dropped when either entering the lobby or joining the session.  Keep in mind, this is with two 360s in the same room using the same router and the same internet connection!  How the hell do you justify that?  This was due to some inefficiency at Infinity Ward's end, with their new 'use a player as a server instead of our servers' method of running the multiplayer hosting.  They obviously didn't work out the bugs, but I don't blame Infinity Ward in the slightest.  No, I blame Activision, for rushing the game out by a set date rather than delivering a quality game when it was actually ready to be released.  Infinity Ward has been quite vocal about this situation, and I'm sure the fact that the creators of the software developer being fired by Activision after being so vocal had a lot to do with it never getting fixed.

Another huge problem, which actually did get fixed, was the Javelin glitch.  This glitch allowed players to explode upon death while using the rocket launcher in multiplayer mode, and ruined many a game when even one person was using it.  This glitch alone ruined accurate win/loss stats, as people would immediately leave a game upon spotting someone doing it, and made the multiplayer virtually unplayable until the glitch was patched.  Laughably, Robert Bowling, IW's Spokesman, said this glitch only affected maybe 1% of the players online.  What a crock.  If that's truly the case, then I must have been almost all of that 1% because I could barely play two games in a row without seeing the exploit for over two weeks.  The article quoting him saying that can be found here.  Keep in mind, this glitch shipped with the game.

Other glitches included, but were not limited to, being able to hide 'under' the maps and kill people while being totally impervious to damage, and a second exploit called the Infinite Care Package glitch.  This involved throwing down the smoke canister in order to summon your care package, and then climbing a wall-type object with the canister still in hand, somehow allowing the killstreak to reset the canister, allowing you to throw it again and again.  While it is true that this glitch too shipped with the game, I again blame Activision for not allowing IW to get it right before shoving it out the door.

"Black Ops" had only one problem as far as I am aware since it was released, and that is horrible connectivity issues with only certain game modes.  For example, I personally couldn't get into a Domination match to save my life for the first two weeks I had the game (day-and-date purchase for me), but CTF, FFA (Free-For-All, in which everyone is out for themselves only), Deathmatches (teams against teams, trying to hit a kill limit before the other team does)...no problems whatsoever.  They fixed that problem almost immediately, and there simply have been no problems since.  Huge improvement?  Yes and no.  Infinity Ward did patch the other glitches with the previous title, but the connectivity never did work well.  Thankfully, Treyarch heard and saw what happened and were able to incorporate any fixes needed before shipping the new game.

That leaves us with alternate modes.  The Treyarch titles have included, in the last three games, a Zombie Mode.  This pits players, either individually or with others, against an unending horde of Nazi Zombies.  Ignore the pretense, just go with it.  Attacking over the course of many levels, the zombies get stronger and faster with every level, and players earn money with every kill in order to open the area up larger (to find better defensive positions) and purchase better weapons and ammunition.  Great fun, and quite challenging, many people look forward to this mode as much as the rest of the game.  Treyarch probably could, and might want to seriously consider, release a title that was solely zombies in a CoD setting, no main campaign needed.  Something to think about, honestly.

However, on "Black Ops," Treyarch has gone even better than that!  They have included what are called Wager Matches, which allow you to gamble your CoD points against other players in a variety of different gamemodes, and Combat Training which allows single players to simulate multiplayer games.  Whether used as a substitute for online gaming (for example, by someone without a high-speed connection), or to get familiar with the maps, this provides a great way for new players to get involved in the multiplayer game and actually acquire some skill before slugging it out with the veterans.  I personally am using it to open every weapon, every attachment, every perk and item of equipment, and hone my loadouts to make me as efficient and successful in the multiplayer game as possible.  Remember, my gamertag is Timbuctu - come look me up.

So, suffice it to say that I really adore "CoD: Black Ops."  The question is where is the series going from here?  As I mentioned yesterday, a "Modern Warfare 3" is in the works, apparently at Infinity Ward, but there has been no official announcement.  The ongoing legal disputes between Activision and fired IW head honchos are affecting work on the title, and simply not much is known.  Rumours have been flying for almost a year as to what exactly the CoD franchise is going to become.  There have been suggestions that the whole game will become an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online), with it becoming a pay-for-play title.  Others see the franchise ending where it is, but given the fact that the money being made by these titles is simply through the roof renders this particular rumour thin at best.  No, CoD will move forward, but we'll have to wait for news to become concrete before I will discuss it seriously.

For now, I'm going to go slaughter some campers hiding under the trees in Array.  Gamerscore, ho!

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