Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
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  1. Dec 10, 2010
    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
    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. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Dec 10, 2010
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  4. Dec 16, 2010
    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.
  5. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  6. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  7. Play UK
    Dec 23, 2010
    Black Ops is undoubtedly the best online FPS ever put together. [Issue#199, p.70]
  8. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  9. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  10. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  11. Dec 16, 2010
    Black Ops' minor flaws won't deter you from its gripping storyline and gratifying multiplayer modes.
  12. Dec 10, 2010
    It's easy to say that this is Treyarch's best game...when it's not just trying to imitate Infinity Ward.
  13. Dec 10, 2010
    Whatever your gameplay preference is, Call of Duty: Black Ops has you covered and is a must-have title for any shooter fan.
  14. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Jan 25, 2011
    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]
  15. Jan 16, 2011
    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!
  16. Jan 12, 2011
    All in all, you simply cannot find a better package out right now.
  17. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  18. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  19. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  20. Jan 12, 2011
    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.
  21. Jan 11, 2011
    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!
  22. 90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops managed to raise even more the quality of the whole series.
  23. Jan 5, 2011
    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.
  24. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Dec 28, 2010
    A super package with a clever story. Some patchy execution. [Christmas 2010, p.68]
  25. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Dec 23, 2010
    A nearly flawless package.[Christmas 2010, p.90]
  26. Dec 17, 2010
    Black Ops is a must have for any fan of first person shooters.
  27. 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.
  28. 90
    While overly familiar, Black Ops offers a compelling package of intense multiplayer action and a gripping single-player campaign that will ensure fans have plenty to do until next year's iteration.
  29. Dec 16, 2010
    What we have here is a refined and extremely confident product from a studio that has found its feet in the FPS world.
  30. Dec 16, 2010
    Call Of Duty: Black Ops features an exhilarating campaign mode, arguably the best in the whole series with a compelling narrative.
  31. Dec 16, 2010
    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.
  32. Dec 16, 2010
    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.
  33. Dec 16, 2010
    With the hype and excitement surrounding Treyarch's first Call of Duty where they aren't bound by a World War II setting, it's a shame that they went for more of the same MW2. This isn't say it's poor but personally I feel they've missed an opportunity to really stamp their authority with Black Ops. Still, as a complete package with a great story, strong FPS action and a killer multiplayer mode, Black Ops remains unmissable.
  34. Dec 16, 2010
    Call of Duty: Black Ops bears the series' standard superbly, delivering an engrossing campaign and exciting competitive multiplayer.
  35. Dec 16, 2010
    Although it's certainly got Infinity Ward's fingerprints all over it, Black Ops is definitely Treyarch's baby. As a fan of the franchise, I'm happy to see that the future of the series is in good hands, and it'll (hopefully) be nice to see the folks at Treyarch finally get some respect from hardcore gamers.
  36. Game Informer
    Dec 10, 2010
    "Quote Forthcoming"
  37. Dec 10, 2010
    Black Ops doesn't quite live up to the hype in all aspects, but that's only because it was so ridiculously overhyped. It certainly lives up to the promise of a greatly improved and enhanced sequel to World at War.
  38. Dec 10, 2010
    If you're new to the Call of Duty series, you're in for a real treat with the single player, and the multiplayer will welcome you with open arms. If you used to like the series and have either gotten fatigued with the template or turned off by the last entry, this game deserves at least a rental, but I'd recommend a purchase. If you simply love the franchise, period, you've probably already prestiged once or twice already devoting countless hours to the online portions.
  39. Jan 2, 2011
    A worthy addition to the franchise, despite its few kinks. The multiplayer is where the game shines the most, delivering an outstanding replay value.
  40. Dec 16, 2010
    The product perseveres on the strength of its "oomph" alone and in short, it's not everything it could've been but nevertheless, the entire experience is one well worth your time.
  41. Dec 16, 2010
    Black Ops is a solid addition to the Call of Duty franchise that really puts Treyarch on the map. You won't get anything original out of it, but if you liked what came before, then you will have a blast.
  42. Jan 7, 2011
    Right next to Medal of Honor, this one's struggling to be your action game of the year. It's more suited for veterans than for beginners, and the ending smells roughly like DLC. Nevertheless, great game!
  43. Jan 9, 2011
    This new part in the famous Call of Duty franchise takes you on a rollercoaster ride again. The singleplayer is full of action and the multiplayer is great. The new features like the Wager Matches are great and the gameplay is as usual fantastic.
  44. Jan 4, 2011
    Black Ops is another addition to the Call of Duty franchise but shows the same flaws as its predecessor. The multiplayer has improved, but a franchise of this stature should know how to get rid of the mistakes from the past.
  45. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  46. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  47. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  48. Dec 10, 2010
    Black Ops is neither a revolution nor a revelation, almost scaling to the summit of a stale genre, while not quite managing to plant the flag.
  49. GameFocus
    Jan 10, 2011
    The captivating story earns our most distinguished kudos, with the multiplayer offering coming second. Sadly, the number of technical bugs and A.I inconsistencies are well present and cannot be overlooked in our final evaluation.
  50. Dec 10, 2010
    While Call of Duty: Black Ops isn't without flaws it does still maintain that core Call of Duty goodness that we've all come to love from the game.
  51. Dec 16, 2010
    Do you want to play more Call of Duty? I'm guessing the answer is yes, and by all means, Black Ops is worth playing. But for all its ambitious steps to set itself apart from the previous games, it flounders in a few too many of those areas to be a total success.
  52. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  53. Dec 10, 2010
    It's still not MW2, but it's a good try.
  54. Dec 10, 2010
    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.
  55. Dec 16, 2010
    I'll be playing the multiplayer for months to come, and I'm sure quite a few folks will as well. I'm a little burned out on the single player experience though, and while I feel like it's a decent enough romp for a FPS title, the storyline did little to grab my attention, and the whole Call of Duty formula is starting to feel a little tired at this point.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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 1372 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2010
    Awesome game! I don't understand all the haters? The graphics and voice acting is amazing. I loved the story, yes it's a little differentAwesome game! I don't understand all the haters? The graphics and voice acting is amazing. I loved the story, yes it's a little different but entertaining and well done. The multi-player credit system is brilliant and the customization options are incredible. I'm not even talking about the Zombie mode which is super. Wonderful game if you're a COD or shooter fan. Full Review »
  3. 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 »