Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Dec 16, 2010
    98
    There is so much content packed into this game that I couldn't even fit all of it into my review. However, even the multiplayer alone is enough to warrant this rating.
  2. Jan 12, 2011
    95
    Maybe gamers doubted if this Black Ops was going to be on par with the games made by Infinity War, but it even surpasses them in some aspects.
  3. Jan 12, 2011
    91
    Black Ops is one of the best first person shooters this year, and is a obviously must have for any action fan. Intense, gory and quite brilliant, maybe it's not refreshing but at the same time its a stunning game.
  4. Jan 4, 2011
    91
    Call of Duty: Black Ops is an awesome game with an incredible action-packed singleplayer and a great multiplayer. Although there have been no groundbreaking innovations compared to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, it is still recommendable.
  5. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    Black Ops is quite a pleasant surprise: On the one hand former second class developer Treyarch reaches the Infinity Ward's standard of gameplay quality and inventiveness for the first time. On the other hand Treyarch manages to set a course of their own through the unusual story and a ton of tributes to other masterpieces of action, be it movie or game. Plus Activision conceded the time and resources to Treyarch to aspire a really great game. And that's something you'll notice immediately. You'll recognize the passion and the effort that went into making this new episode. Black Ops delivers Call of Duty gaming at its best as well as a distinctly individual approach to the whole scenario. Infinity Ward will have to put their shoulders to the wheel to outplay Black Ops with the next CoD.
  6. Jan 11, 2011
    90
    This is Treyarchs Masterpiece! It may not blow you away like Modern Warfare did back at its time, but it shure as hell is an intense shooter-experience with a multiplayer-part, that will keep you busy for months!
  7. Dec 16, 2010
    90
    I've considered myself a Call of Duty fan for many years, and I've held a deep-seated distrust of Treyarch since Call of Duty 3. No longer.
  8. Dec 16, 2010
    90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops bears the series' standard superbly, delivering an engrossing campaign and exciting competitive multiplayer.
  9. Dec 16, 2010
    90
    What we have here is a refined and extremely confident product from a studio that has found its feet in the FPS world.
  10. Jan 5, 2011
    88
    Treyarch really stepped up this year by putting out their best Call of Duty game to date.
  11. Jan 4, 2011
    87
    After the patch, finally the PC folks can play Black Ops, and enjoy its entertaining offer. There are still some annoying bugs here and there, but now the game is totally playable. It feels nonetheless unfair that the PC public had to endure so mutch after spending the money: let's hope it's a lesson soon learned.
  12. Dec 10, 2010
    85
    Single-player is as exhaustingly fast-paced as ever with large set pieces that try to take the attention off of the lackluster AI of both friends and enemies. That withstanding, the story is the best I've ever seen from a Call of Duty game.
  13. 85
    Adding everything up, Black Ops has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as a list of improvements on Modern Warfare 2's hit skeleton: lean, dedicated servers (but only for rent), as well as everything we bullied the last Call of Duty for, along with a campaign that can basically be described as a tram ride and a level of optimization that made our editor-in-chief wonder why he handed me the game without a solid upgrade coupon in the first place.
  14. Dec 10, 2010
    85
    On its own, it'd be hard to argue that Black Ops is anything less than phenomenal. But compared to the last couple Call of Duty games, Black Ops doesn't really do anything to set it apart. It is still a great game that shooter fans will love without question – just don't expect it to change your perspective on the long-running series.
  15. Jan 29, 2011
    84
    Its duffer solo moments are masked by imaginative and visual whizz-band-fizz. [Jan 2011, p.100]
  16. Dec 30, 2010
    80
    Sometimes the best way forward is a humble step back. [Jan 2010, p.60]
  17. Dec 10, 2010
    80
    It's still not MW2, but it's a good try.
  18. Dec 10, 2010
    80
    Black Ops does well, mostly due to the sheer amount of exciting and fun multiplayer content, but I've got some serious concerns over where Call of Duty is headed.
  19. Dec 10, 2010
    80
    Ultimately, there is little doubt that Black Ops will sate the hunger of those simply wanting more Call of Duty, but beyond that it seem unlikely that it will broaden the palettes of gamers or indeed the genre; and for such a big budget, high profile release, we can't help but feel a little disappointed with that.
  20. Dec 10, 2010
    75
    Treyarch has hit back at detractors with a comprehensive take on the Call of Duty mantra.
  21. Jan 7, 2011
    74
    Skip the tedious single-player campaign, jump into the great, fast-paced multiplayer fray--and hope it works on your PC. [Feb 2011, p.66]
  22. Dec 27, 2010
    70
    Black Ops is an excellent entry into the series, even if it is fairly inconsequential.
  23. Dec 23, 2010
    70
    It feels more like a yearly update than a sequel, a new campaign with old multiplayer. The game isn't distinct from its predecessors in any important way, and fatigue sets in quicker than before. [Jan 2011, p.94]
  24. Jan 26, 2011
    68
    This score will likely come as a shock to many, but this game suffers from pathetic frame rates at times, both on console and on PC.
  25. Jan 3, 2011
    66
    The most shocking surprise in Black Ops is a full version of the classic text adventure Zork: The Great Underground Empire, hidden deep in the CIA computer. The game that 30 years ago created an entire genre and stood at the very frontier of electronic entertainment, is now embedded in a derivative, formulaic, overwhelmingly linear shooter. I imagine that this irony is lost on Treyarch.
  26. Dec 30, 2010
    64
    The visual dazzle and cinematic set-pieces are let down by bad scripting, glitchy multiplayer and increasingly dull firefights.
  27. Dec 10, 2010
    60
    The truly stunning single-player campaign offsets many of the multiplayer's flaws, and the Zombie mode is tons of hilarious fun, but neither manages to be lengthy or deep enough to make Black Ops the truly great game that I know it should be. This is an incredibly well-made game that, once patched, will easily sit among the hottest titles of the year. As it exists right now, however, I can't recommend the game for purchase.
  28. Dec 10, 2010
    60
    There's no real creative risk being taken, and while that might be just fine for sales figures, it doesn't bode well for Call of Duty: Black Ops' ability to stand out artistically in the immensely flooded FPS market.
  29. Dec 10, 2010
    58
    Call of Duty: Black Ops does many things right on the PC such as dedicated servers and high resolutions, but it's just really buggy.
User Score
4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 1449 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 10, 2010
    4
    Another pathetic money grab from activision. There's nothing innovative or fun about this version don't bother. Why on earth wasn't infinity ward used on this version? Treyarch is terrible. Remember when they released World At War? Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2010
    0
    This game is unplayable if you're on a PC and there has been no response from the developers. Releases like this spur on gaming piracy. Treyarch, I'll be illegally downloading your next release and seeding the torrent for the next 6 months. If Infinity Ward decides to come back and create another game, even if it's based off of a Jennifer Lopez movie, I'll take 2 copies for 80 bucks a piece. Full Review »
  3. Nov 9, 2010
    1
    Actually it is nearly unplayable online, even if you have a 30ms Ping! The game lags and everybody has problems to hit the enemy. Its a shame that every COD fan wanted this game, because of the dedicated server and then its unplayable, because it lags much more, than MW2 did!

    A really bad start. If you want to buy it because of the Multiplayer, dont do it, unitl this problems are solved!
    Full Review »