Call of Duty: Black Ops - Xbox 360

Game Description:Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter, high-intensity military video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. Set to release on November 9, 2010, CoD is the 7th installment in the legendary Call of Duty series. A sequel to the developer's previous title in the series, Call of Duty: World at War, Black Ops is the first one set during the Cold War era and is a much grittier game than Modern Warfare 2. The two main characters that the player assumes the role of are Mason and Hudson, Studies and Observations Group operatives on missions behind enemy lines. They will fight through varying time periods and several locations, including: the Ural Mountains, Laos, Cuba, the Arctic, and Vietnam as footsoldiers. An impressive feature for players who close in on an enemy is a melee attack, ensuring a one-hit-kill. A new mode, the Wager Matches, will allow players to gamble with their money. A separate ranking structure from the standard online modes will be used for players seeking to be one of the top three (the only ones that receive the prizes).
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Gamescom 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops Hands-On Preview

Gamescom 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops Hands-On Preview

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Aug 24, 2010

 Gamescom 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops Hands-On Preview

What We Know:

Treyarch has been hard at work on Call of Duty: Black Ops, which is the next installment in the massive franchise that has become a tentpole for Activision. The game takes place partially during the Vietnam War era, as you join the ranks of a covert unit that performs secret missions behind the scenes of the Cold War.

What We're Seeing Now:

At Gamescom, we were shown two different levels. First up was "Victor Charlie", which has your squad investigating Soviet activity in an area near the Huong River. The date is February 5, 1968, and you take control of Sergeant Mason as your chopper crashes into the river. It's a fairly horrific scene as some of your squadmates are ripped to shreds by bullets, and your previously airborne ride sinks slowly into the river.

Remember the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, where soldiers are diving over the edge of the landing boat so they can avoid the German machine gun fire? That's what this scene hearkens back to. You only have a few seconds after the chopper crashes into the water and the Viet Cong approach, then suddenly you're completely underwater trying to escape (and able to really swim!) while bullet trails whiz through the water all around you. Fairly intense! 


Completing this level puts you back in the water again to do some stealth swimming, as you can swim behind enemies to take them by surprise. It looks to be a fairly simple swim mechanic, but the re-use of the bullet trails in the water (they were in Call of Duty: World at War also) means Treyarch must really love the water. A love that the soldiers in the water don't appear to share as one of them remarks, "Rain. That's all it f*ckin' does here is rain." But that rain means you're in a lush, green jungle. A truly beautiful environment.

Mason was able to grab an enemy and use him as a human meat shield while he fired back at his attackers in part of the level, and there were some fairly brutal executions as well, including one that left the enemy's throat completely gashed open. Then there are the "bullet-cam" animations which follow a bullet you've fired as it plows directly into an enemy. Well, no one said the covert ops teams were really nice guys. What started slightly stealthy begins with an enormous firefight, as your team gains access to Semtex, and it gets extremely hairy as the ordnance flies, and there are civvies to watch out for.

Throughout all of this, you've linked up with some friendlies, and we then transitioned into the tunnel level that has been shown previously, where you crawl through very tight quarters. You're given the flashlight to illuminate the path, and it isn't long before you're attacked. Advancing, you have to pop the flashlight on and off to confuse enemies, and to keep them from knowing exactly where you are. 

Gamescom 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops Hands-On Preview

In "Payback," you've been captured but have broken free, and you come across a squad of VC guarding a Russian Hind helicopter. Naturally, you take them out so you can capture the chopper and rain fire down on the bad guys in some hardcore revenge. Taking the position is made a bit easier with the use of the Commando Grenade Launcher, the handy firearm that "bloops" grenades into enemies at short range. In short order, you've taken the position and you're ready to fly.

The cockpit has a forward position and a rear position, and you take the latter while your squadmate sits up front. You're given nearly complete control of the chopper: you can pitch and yaw in any direction, but your squaddie controls the vertical. Honestly, as bad a flyer as I am in games like Battlefield: Bad Company, I didn't mind that I wasn't in full control. Turning, aiming, and firing is complicated enough without having to worry about smashing into the group.

The chopper is armed with a 12MM nose cannon and two UV-32 rocket pods, each containing 32 S-5 57mm rockets: guns on the right trigger, rockets on the left. Pitch is controlled with the left stick, while you control the yaw with the right stick. It's fairly intuitive, although you'll find that aiming at smaller targets, like running infantry, can be difficult. Which is where those rockets come in handy. You can fire single rocket shots, or hold down the trigger to "charge" them up and fire a burst of several at once. I prefer that approach.

There's a lot to blow up here including: vehicles, infantry, fuel depots, boats, bridges, a SAM site, and ... basically anything that moves. We played in Demigod mode, meaning we would take damage but never die. Which is good thing, because by the end of the level my chopper was on fire, riddled with bullet holes, and in very bad shape. The damage modeling in the chopper is dynamic, and it will visually let you know how bad things are going.

Gamescom 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops Hands-On Preview

There's a pipeline running through most of the level, and shooting it produces nifty spouts of fire, and little details like this are what makes Black Ops feel like a visceral experience. The flying was extremely satisfying, mostly because it's a nice change to be the guy up top instead of just calling in an airstrike. I'm not sure if there are many other vehicle-based levels in the game, but "Payback" delivers loads of revenge-fun. 

Our time with Black Ops was brief, but fun, and has us already looking forward to more. Sadly, we didn't get to experience any multiplayer action, although the main show floor had a four-hour line just to watch the multiplayer trailer. There will be a lot more multiplayer details revealed on September 1, so keep yourself tuned to G4, and follow community manager Josh Olin on Twitter for more tidbits to come.

Comments are Closed

  • stroy

    cod sucks ...halos the way to go

    Posted: August 26, 2010 7:24 PM
  • Chris13579

    Why would they have zombies in this???? I like the chopper part. You need some skyscrapers to bring down with it. Blowing up huts doesn't cut it. Might get at half price well probably less.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 9:25 PM
  • Mr.stickrpgfan@yahoo.com

    This game look freaking awesome I hope the communication errrr..thing doesn't come up like in moner warfare 2,if it does than campain is the only good thing about this game

    Posted: August 25, 2010 9:02 PM
  • lazlohenry

    This game looks good!

    Posted: August 25, 2010 4:09 PM
  • Androo53095

    Lets hear it for a mulitplayer beta

    Posted: August 25, 2010 1:32 PM
  • Lacking_Fractal

    Hopefully a balanced cod game isn;t too much to ask for this time.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 1:03 PM
  • ninenightmares

    wtf i clicked on cod and i get here so cool but then i click on halo live short and it takes me back here g4 epic FAIL thats what happens when you hire interns for EVERYTHING the other guys dont want to do.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 12:50 PM
  • EliteBAMF

    I can already tell this game is going to be a balancing nightmare. The crossbow could only be a 1-shot kill weapon essentially and that R/C car with explosives... Not too hopeful

    Posted: August 25, 2010 12:32 PM
  • Beau Fury

    Should have got a 360 then... lol :)

    Posted: August 25, 2010 10:45 AM
  • jagsfan8203

    So still no online multiplayer splitscreen? Just local?

    Posted: August 25, 2010 9:58 AM
  • phonic-rain

    EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and thats all that needs be said.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 9:29 AM
  • Luck702

    The only thing im interested in is flying an SR-71. On a side note, im so sick of call of duty.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 6:24 AM
  • Tim_1138

    More gratuitous violence wasn't what I was looking for in the next game. I guess I'll play Mafia 2 for a mature experience.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 6:08 AM
  • KindredEX

    My friend just pointed out that a Russian Hind couldn't have been in the game on the date listed in the article so I looked it up... Treyarch jumped the gun on showing a Hind in February of '68.... Hmmmmm...

    Posted: August 25, 2010 5:53 AM
  • CodMaster38

    people at my school call me cod cus i talk about and play cod all day and i evan have posters for every cod

    Posted: August 25, 2010 5:24 AM
  • titanrage83

    all you babies crying about the "Noob tube" go f your self. i lov that gun attacment. it get rid ofyose damn campers that like to hide in rroms and pick the people who run off. RPG's are great oo. its my camper killer

    Posted: August 25, 2010 1:56 AM
  • xALEXxAdvantage

    yeah what up with the thumbs down?! lol jeez spammers these days or jealous of something

    Posted: August 25, 2010 12:20 AM
  • lynch dude8

    lol this game doesn't have me im not buying it and that i am 100% sure of, im not wasting $60 for the 4th time

    Posted: August 24, 2010 9:57 PM
  • ruiz213

    umm this game better rock im not paying 60 dollars for something bad

    Posted: August 24, 2010 9:36 PM
  • SunnyIceTea

    It just sucks 4 me. Cuz i have a ps3 and Microsoft signed a deal so that xbox gets DLC b4 anyother for the next 3 years.

    Posted: August 24, 2010 5:20 PM