Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
Buy On
  1. Jan 18, 2011
    By dint of obstinacy, Treyarch delivers probably its best with Black Ops Call of Duty to date - but probably not the best in the saga.
  2. Jan 5, 2011
    Yes, it will sell like crazy this holiday season, and it's certainly not bad, but I find the game's potential to ultimately be more exciting than the game itself.
  3. Edge Magazine
    Dec 23, 2010
    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]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1124 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 10, 2010
    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 setHello 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.
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  2. Nov 9, 2010
    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. BlackPersonally 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 »
  3. Nov 10, 2010
    I was looking forward to this game after reading about all the new features it promised online. As I am at Uni, I play a lot of split screenI was looking forward to this game after reading about all the new features it promised online. As I am at Uni, I play a lot of split screen mw2 with friends so when I read 'bots in splitscreen' I thought great now we can play team matches rather than all v all. When I got the game, I find that the graphics are worse, the gameplay is slow and boring, the splitscreen offline is limited to no bots with only player 1 being able to create a profile with classes, you START with all the guns unlocked (wtf?) which removes any incentive to play, and only player 1 can even use killstreaks whilst on splitscreen. Furthermore, to fully utilise the splitscreen mode (bots, profiles, unlocks etc.), you need to be logged in to the PS Network, which makes no sense at all seeing as the game you start then, is hosted on your own PS3 not online. I mention being at Uni because I cannot connect to the internet on the PS3, hence playing splitscreen, hence massive annoyance at the 'Online local splitscreen' seriously what a joke. Even the splitting of the screen is done badly as with 3 people the 3rd player's screen doesn't fill the whole bottom half. Why not? Its not like i'm playing profesionally with 2 other professionals for money or something. use the whole damn screen.

    The online multiplayer mode is the home of the only new content in the game, and it is good, wager mode is fun and gives new urgency to games. However, all of the equipment, perks and costumes, are dull. None of the guns are as pleasing as the ones in mw2, the snipers look like peashooters and make a similar noise, the M16 looks like a toy and the general sounds of battle are essentially the same bang noise over and over again. None of the perks are appealing, in mw2, you wanted all the perks at once and sometimes took a while to choose which one was best, in Black Ops, 80% are dull and useless and you end up making every class with the same perks and equipment. The costume idea is new, but stupid, as you have to change it every map to blend in. Granted zombie mode is back, this is fun as most people know from WaW. But honestly, 1 map...the same thing over and over again until they make me pay more money for a new one. It's not worth it, and if I wanted zombie mode to be the best part of the game I would just go and play Left 4 Dead...

    Ok so the final mode is the Campaign. After having a long few hours trying to make the best of the crap splitscreen and multiplayer games, I decided to start this up figuring it might redeem the game. I get 30 minutes into the first mission, the guy 'Woods' who i'm supposed to 'support' freezes and cant move just moving his pixelly mouth up and down making no sound. Essentially, a bug. I think ok, should be fine if i revert to the previous checkpoint like i'm sure you can do from the menu. Oh cant. Looks like a restart of the whole mission. F**k that *turns PS3 off*.

    Overall the gameplay is slower, worse looking, more boring, more repetitive and less fun than all the other Call of Dutys. Regardless of the fact that 99.9% of the content is made up of the previous 3 put together. I am very disappointed with this game and would not recommend it to fans of mw2 or WaW because it isn't as good. Oh yeah and also, they got rid of quickscoping (something fun).....and replaced it with something much more annoying.....the Crossbow. Enjoy, noob tube fans.
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