Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. Dec 10, 2010
    100
    Congrats Treyarch, you passed the test. Black Ops still has some technical flaws (some erratic scripts), but it doesn't lack ambition, variety, nor freshness. Its solo campaign boasts a good scenario, and its multiplayer is as comprehensive and solid as ever, while changing some basic systems for the better and introducing soon-to-be-cult new modes, as well as community features one could only find in the latest Halo iterations before. There may be ways to improve it yet again, but the 2010 CoD delivers on its promise - we can't say anymore that Treyarch's Call of Dutys don't measure up.
  2. Dec 10, 2010
    100
    While maintaining the quality standard set by its predecessors, this explosive adventure through the conflicts of the Cold War pushes the series and the genre one step further.
  3. 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.
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    98
    I admit I had my doubts about Black Ops. It seemed that Modern Warfare 2 was going to be impossible to top, but Treyarch has come in and trounced that game in every possible way.
  5. 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.
  6. Dec 23, 2010
    94
    Black Ops is undoubtedly the best online FPS ever put together. [Issue#199, p.70]
  7. Jan 12, 2011
    93
    After years following in Infinity Ward's footsteps, Treyarch has a chance to show its qualities, and it delivers. Black Ops has everything the community is looking for: a compelling, spectacular and interesting story mode and an impressive multiplayer will keep the players busy for a long time. Add a beautiful design and a great direction in the mix, and what you get is simply a masterpiece in the first person shooter genre.
  8. Dec 10, 2010
    92
    It was the value added components like this that made Black Ops nearly impossible to put down, so even if the campaign is something that generally doesn't really appeal to you, I think you'll find it hard to walk away from everything else that Treyarch has included in this well-polished installment.
  9. 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.
  10. Dec 16, 2010
    91
    Black Ops' minor flaws won't deter you from its gripping storyline and gratifying multiplayer modes.
  11. Dec 10, 2010
    91
    It's easy to say that this is Treyarch's best game...when it's not just trying to imitate Infinity Ward.
  12. Dec 10, 2010
    91
    Whatever your gameplay preference is, Call of Duty: Black Ops has you covered and is a must-have title for any shooter fan.
  13. Call of Duty: Black Ops still represents one hell of a hefty package. It's bursting with hundreds of hours of entertainment that caters to every conceivable configuration of gamer out there, be they an adversarial gamer, a co-op connoisseur or a staunch offline soloist. [January 2011 p60]
  14. Jan 16, 2011
    90
    There are more highlights in the first two missions of Black Ops, then in Medal of Honor. The requirements of Treyarch seemed to be better, than in the past few years. They made an interesting setting. In addition, there's a nice zombie mode and an overwhelming multiplayer. No doubt, this is Treyarchs best Call of Duty ever!
  15. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    All in all, you simply cannot find a better package out right now.
  16. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops is a great game, despite not being as perfect as we could believe. The single player campaign presents some narrative solutions that make it boring sometimes , but on the other hand everything on the multiplayer side is pure gold! The new modes can provide a lot of fun and if you liked the previous CoD for the online, Black Ops will be your next divinity to adore.
  17. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    Thanks to an intense storytelling, a thrilling plot, and a redefined multiplayer, Black Ops is the best Call of Duty developed by TreyArch studio, and one of the most interesting chapter ever. Year after year, this great series keeps on arousing a huge amount of videoplayers.
  18. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    Treyarch honors the Infinity Ward heritage in the best possible way with exiting single player and outstanding multiplayer. A must-have for all action fans out there.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops managed to raise even more the quality of the whole series.
  22. Jan 5, 2011
    90
    There's little to complain about here. The singleplayer, multiplayer and zombie-mode ensure you won't be able to put down your controller for a long time to come. Black Ops isn't just a great game, it's a great Call of Duty. A bigger compliment can't be given to Treyarch.
  23. Dec 28, 2010
    90
    A super package with a clever story. Some patchy execution. [Christmas 2010, p.68]
  24. A nearly flawless package.[Christmas 2010, p.90]
  25. Dec 17, 2010
    90
    Black Ops is a must have for any fan of first person shooters.
  26. 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.
  27. Dec 16, 2010
    90
    Call Of Duty: Black Ops features an exhilarating campaign mode, arguably the best in the whole series with a compelling narrative.
  28. 90
    Even though there are some inconsistencies with the single-player elements, the overall scope of the Black Ops package overwhelmingly puts this game into the category of a must buy.
  29. Dec 16, 2010
    90
    As if you ever doubted it, Call of Duty is still the best military shooter out there and by quite some margin. It seems its competitors can only watch from a distance and take notes as this juggernaut of FPS gaming ploughs a wide path towards the genre's future.
User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 927 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 10, 2010
    4
    Hello there, I felt compelled to write my first review of a computer game after playing Black Ops, for reasons that will become clear. To set the scene I'm 29 and have been playing computer games since I was about 8, i love FPSes and all sorts of other genres but particular favourites are CoD, MOH, and the Battlefield series which I play on the Ps3 and PC. I was looking forward to Black Ops for a variety of reasons but mainly because I wondered how MW2 could be improved upon and I thought MW2 was pretty darn good. I held off buying MOH as I thought i'd go for the old favourite having played CoD on both systems since its' inception. I felt it right to try and wrtie an evenhanded review of this game in order to assist anyone wondering if they should fork out their hard earned cash for it. I forced myself to play to Level 19 so I could experience Hardcore mode (which was annoying to say the least to have to 'earn' that) and I played the single player campaign on veteran. I have played the game for 21 hours.

    Single Player: The graphics are atrocious. They remind me of some of the worst elements of the graphics on MW or perhaps earlier. There are various parts of the compaign that ...simply put....dont work. For instance in the cuban villa, a guard wrestles a 'baddie' over a railing. Hang on, go back, if i run in a little earlier they magically appear in front of me. In addition, I stab a guard hitting a man on the ground in the jailbreak, the man on the ground continues to flail around and then disappears. such obvious but joy-undermining flaws are abundant. Let it not be said the campaign story is not immersive if a little trite. What it fails to do is harness the basics, it does not feel like you are in a fight, it does not feel like you are firing real bullets and it does not feel like the enemy are clued up. In addition, whomever had the idea of your two buddies being bullet proof through a shower of bullets needs to check the definiton of 'realism'. How could this be fixed? I am not sure, but I would suggest that not having key characters indestructible would be a good start. Now I have to say, to be fair the guys at treyarch did get one important thing right: if you stand on a grenade your leg gets blown off. CORRECT. This type of realism is a blessing and something that should be echoed hereafter. Not since F.E.A.R have I felt that a programmer has attempted to harness 'gore' in such a way. That is something that all other FPSes so far fail to acknowledge or accomodate. However, if this is at the expense of the graphics, textures etc then perhaps it is too early, as in CoD:BO (sorry). Multiplayer: I guess that if i was 15 and loved to run around with an SMG spraying the crap out of people, or drive a tiny car that exploded this would be the game for me. Perhaps somewhere along the line I grew up (although my gf would beg to differ), or maybe CoD and in particular Treyarch didn't. What we have here is a lot of guff that will amaze the teenager in you, but for the old hands, will probably wear off in the first 6 hours of gameplay. This is of course, not an in-depth review (although some of the 'in-depth' reviews I have read should be more appropriately titled "What I Loved About CoD: BO, being as they appear to ride roughshod over the very obvious and 'epic' failings of the MP structure)., so I can only say the following. 1. The maps are tiny 2. The graphics are even worse (compare to BFBC2 for example) 3.The upgrade system is interesting but ultimately gloss 4.The modes are no different in essence to Mw or Mw2. There is nothing of substance here that could genuinely be called 'groundbreaking' or indeed 'new'. Add to those complaints the connectivity delays, the sudden closure of a server and reboot within another, the appalling sound, and the general lack of detail and what you have is a glossed up version of MW2 without any of the glorious detail or depth.Some other things that annoyed me:This cost me £39.00. not a fortune but relatively a lot of money, and what I feel like I purchased was MW2, that had been actually stripped down of its essential detail, to be replaced with gloss but no substance. It feels like a remake for a lower budget and it feels like a rip-off. The term 'expansion' springs to mind. I accept that the audience to which this game is sold is far more likely to be about 15 years of age and into the run-and-gun modes. I also accept that is where the money is, and that this game has its positives, but they appear to be so limited in imagination that I feel like I have stepped into 'Arcade CoD' and after 21 hours played I want to get right back out again. I had the night booked into my Ps3 to play online with some mates and at 20:30 I turned it off and came on here. That is how annoyingly bad, unimaginitive, and, it pains me to say. un-CoD like this game is. In summary? Save your money and avoid gushing reviews.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 6, 2010
    10
    Black Ops is cool. It's cool to own it. It's a COD game. It's good. Nuff said. Treyarch did well his time. It has awesome theater mode, better online multiplayer, better everything. Full Review »
  3. Nov 9, 2010
    3
    Personally I think it is 100% over-hyped, and an average game at best. Modern Warfare 2 is more fluid and vibrant and more fun to play. Black Ops feels clunky and unresponsive, with dated saturated graphics and glitchy textures. The stereoscopic 3D is very poor as well compared to games like Wipeout HD and Moterstorm which look amazing in 3D. Poor. Full Review »