PG 1 | PG 2

Ante Up
Wager Matches are new online game types that have specific characteristics that are very different from the regular online play. Players bet COD points on the match and those who finish in the top three at the end of the match gain a certain number of extra COD points. The betting is a fun addition however I actually found the game modes far more interesting than winning any COD points. Here is a look at the 4 types of Wager Matches.

• 'One in the Chamber' - One in the Chamber has players armed with a pistol with one bullet and a knife. The gun and knife are insta-kill weapons and each kill awards the player with an extra bullet. Each player has three lives and the last remaining players win.
• 'Sharpshooter' - In Sharpshooter each player is given the same random weapon to fight with. Every 45 seconds the weapon changes to another random weapon. Each kill earns the players points and perks and those players with the most points at the end win.
• 'Sticks and Stones' - In Sticks and Stones each player is armed with the crossbow with explosive bolts, a tomahawk, and a ballistic knife. Kills earn the player points and perks but being killed by the tomahawk removes points. The Players with the most points at the end win.
• 'Gun Game' - Gun game has each player start with a pistol. Each kill a player gets earns points but also gives the player a new more powerful weapon. Again the players with the most points in the end win.

Each of these Wager match game types offer fun and frantic gameplay. I personally enjoyed 'Sticks and Stones' and 'Gun Game' the most. I found 'One in the Chamber' the weakest of the bunch mainly because in every other Wager Match type any player has a chance to come back from loosing before the match time runs out, which creates a great deal of tension and drive to keep playing. However, with 'One in the Chamber' it is much more difficult to make a comeback (once a player looses three lives he/she is kicked from the game and becomes a spectator, thus removing some of the tension the other game modes can produce). Overall, Wager Matches are a lot of fun although I do wish I had the option to play these modes without having to wager points so I am not penalized for loosing, but I suppose if the wager option could be toggled on or off it might change the dynamic of the matches. Still the wager matches are fun to play and even someone who is not expertly skilled at “Call of Duty” multiplayer has the potential to earn some extra COD points.


Contract Killer
Contracts are a new addition to the multiplayer and they revolve around COD points. A player can purchase a contract with COD points and successfully completing the contract will give the player extra COD points. For example a contract might ask the player to get a certain amount of kills with one weapon within a certain time period. Note that contracts can expire so one can loose COD points if he/she cannot complete the contract in time. Again these contracts add some more tactics to the multiplayer and, although not entirely original, contracts add more replay value to the game.

Training Wheels
Combat Training is an online mode that has players fighting bots. Combat Training is designed to help players get used to online play without actually having to fight other players online. Every online map is playable in Combat Training but only team death match and free-for-all are playable game types. Combat Training is useful for showing players the layout of maps and giving players the chance to test out the different weapons and perks. Combat Tactics will not teach one how to compete in online matches. When everything works well the bots are rather competent players but many times I saw the bots running into walls, shooting into (rather than around) obstacles, and at times enemies would stare directly at me for a few seconds before taking a shot. If a player wants to test out a weapon or find the best sniper spots on a map then he/she should use Combat Training. If one wants to become competent at online play then one will just have to play in online matches. Also, whatever the player purchases and unlocks in Combat Training will not be unlocked in regular multiplayer.

Zombies are back and in general the Nazi Zombie action plays pretty much the same as in “World at War.” Each zombie map can be played solo, split-screen, or with four players online and the zombie game types are the only modes that are exclusively co-op. New weapons and new objective based gameplay adds to the zombie fun but ultimately if one enjoyed Nazi Zombies in “World at War” then one will enjoy zombies here. Conversely if one did not enjoy killing zombies the first time round then there is nothing to get one interested in the zombie mayhem in “Black Ops.”

There is a new Zombie map called “Five,” which is nearly identical in gameplay to 'Kiner Der Toten' except the player plays as one of four politicians: JFK, Nixon, McNamara, or Castro. The main appeal of this map is the characters. Some of the one-liners these politicians spout as they shoot zombies are hilarious (I particularly enjoyed Nixon referring to the zombies as “hippies”). However, these gimmicky characters will get tiresome and ultimately it will be how much one enjoys the map itself that keeps one coming back.

The final zombie mode is called 'Dead Ops Arcade' and is a top down arcade shooter. This mode is unlocked through a code in the games “terminal.” The terminal can be accessed from the main menu by looking down at Mason’s hands and repeatedly tapping LT and RT until Mason is free. Then find the terminal and type in “CD” followed by “DOA.” Dead Ops Arcade is a fun arcade shooter that looks great and offers frantic top-down action and again adds to the replay value of “Black Ops”


Call of Duty: Black Ops does not stray too far from the formula created in “Modern Warfare.” What is added to the game is appreciated but not game changing. The single player is still short and although the story is told in a unique way the rushed ending and clichéd plot undermine the intriguing form of the narrative. “Black Ops” shines with a huge assortment of multilayer game types. The inclusion of COD points feels like a cheap way to keep the online player numbers up, but at least the Wager Matches makes use of the COD points in fun online game types. The Zombies are as fun as they were in “World at War” with a few gimmicks thrown in to keep up the interest. Altogether the package that “Black Ops” offers is so full of content that any fan of the “Call of Duty” series and any fan of online first-person mayhem should pick this game up.

  • Huge assortment of online game types
  • Interesting narrative structure through use of memories
  • Intelligent and varied level design
  • Solid controls
  • Short and clichéd main story
  • Inconsistent sound and graphics quality
  • Repetitive gameplay
Quote: "Call of Duty: Black Ops is not the most original game on the market but what it offers is a fun package filled to the brim with content."
Reviewed by James Farrington | 11.23.10

Similar Games: COD: Black Ops II (7.8) | Medal of Honor (8.0) | COD: Modern Warfare 2 (9.0) | COD: World At War (9.4)


Call of Duty
Black Ops




US Release
November 10


PS3, X360

Players 1-4
Co-Op 2-4
Sys Link 2-18
Online 2-18
HD 720p-1080p
5.1 surround
DLC Content