Call of Duty: Black Ops
E3 2010: Call of Duty: Black Ops First Impressions - From Out Of The Shadows
Written Friday, June 25, 2010 By Dan Webb
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Being the younger of two brothers, I can sympathise with being in the shadows of the older, more established brother, which is a lot like Treyarch living in the shadow of Infinity Ward. With the decline of Infinity Ward though – and subsequent resurrection of Respawn – Treyarch have a real chance to come out of the shadows and rise to the top of the pile. Whilst it’s still too early to tell whether the title has the legs to do that, it’s pretty clear that this is likely to be Treyarch’s best Call of Duty yet.

Behind closed doors at this year’s E3, Treyarch gathered to show the press a different mission to the one the masses experienced in the Microsoft press conference. A mission that has so much variety in the space of 10 minutes that it put a box of Quality Street to shame. Ladies and gentlemen, this is WMD.

“In WMD, you’re deep behind enemy lines in Soviet territory, up in the Ural Mountains and you’re investigating a Soviet weapons manufacturing facility,” says Treyarch Community Manager, Josh Olin, “and by investigating, we mean destroying.” That in a nutshell is WMD. The complex truth of the matter is that while it might sound like a straightforward mission, you should know that nothing in Call of Duty is straightforward.

The mission kicks off in an extravagant way, as you take to the skies in an SR-71 Blackbird – a high altitude bomber – and in typical COD fashion are made to feel like you are a part of something much bigger. After triggering the thrusters and pulling back on the stick to takeoff, the team takes to the skies for some tactical assistance.

The SR-71 aspect of the WMD mission is simple reconnaissance, providing real-time feedback for your squad on the ground. After fiddling with the controls on the panel in the plane and directing your squad to safety, back-up turns up while the team gets into safety and with a quick shift in viewpoints, we pick up with the crew who lie at the heart of the action.

Huddled in the bushes and watching the Russians creep past is a tense affair and is immediately reminiscent of the first time that Jin and Mr Eko encounter “The Others” in Lost. With the crossbow at the ready, the Russians pass and it’s time to infiltrate. Silently of course... for now.

After making their way through the snowy woodland area, the troops let a Russian soldier and his dog past for fear of making their presence known too early. The trip through the woods gives off a feeling of this intense cold, with a mild mist that kicks up off the ground and the icicles that hang from a nearby railing, all of which give a real indication of the subzero temperatures that the team is enduring. Once above the substation, it’s time for a classic Call of Duty “rappel and breach” scene, and the crew makes its way down the cliff and kicks through a window, tripping a slow motion breach scene.

Clearing the room is relatively simple and the squad disables the radar dish with sublime ease. Back out in the open, the black ops squad silently takes down the little resistance that stands between them and the control room – one of whom was chopping wood and received a nice arrow to the face.

“Hudson we need to keep this quiet. If you get heat, we need to switch to explosives,” says the commanding officer. Seconds later, Hudson fires an explosive arrow into a huge gas canister and after a couple of deafening beeps, all hell breaks loose.

As explosive arrows galore were pinged from left, right and centre, and grenades peppered the whittling opposition’s stronghold, the team battle their way through the garage alongside a huge snow plough to descend upon the control room’s door. A couple of well placed shots at the door’s hinges and the squad assemble to move inside to secure the control room. After an intense fire fight, the control room goes from a hustling, bustling chamber of death to a silent ghost town. The squad’s job was done though, and with the relay now offline, they head back outside.

In traditional Call of Duty fashion though, the escape isn’t as easy and with a scripted enemy rocket wiping out the walkway and triggering a massive rumble, the team must run down the mountain path and skydive to safety before the impending avalanche consumes them. “This has hopefully given you an idea of the kind of variety we’re going for,” said Olin, “You start the level in an SR-71 and you end up base jumping... and that’s not even the end of the level. There’s still a lot more to it” he continues.

We also caught an extended look at the Payback level that many caught in Microsoft’s press conference at the beginning of E3, and rather than regurgitate what most of you have already seen no doubt, we’ll offer a couple of things that Treyarch stressed to us: a.) that the Hind helicopter scene is not on-rails, and you can effectively travel back and forth up the river as you see fit, and b.) that they really don’t like bridges – okay, so they never said that, but in every demonstration of this level I’ve seen, they really don’t like bridges. This is a more Michael Bay-esque mission with explosions galore and is vastly different to the WMD level we managed to see. Our only qualm is that when the chopper takes off near the beginning of the level, the trees don’t move – that is us being picky.

The main mission we saw though, WMD, is a multi-pronged mission in Treyarch’s latest Call of Duty and looks to offer little bite-sized chunks of action from various perspectives; moving from the high altitudes of the SR-71 Blackbird, all the way down to the infiltration and all-out-war. WMD is all about reconnaissance and tactical insurgence and not only have Treyarch proved that they can make their action more diverse and rather more Hollywood than we’ve come to expect from the studio, but they did all this whilst bringing back the crossbow – a weapon that Rambo made oh-so-cool. Fact. Freeing the shackles of World War II and essentially freeing their arms is possibly the best thing the studio has ever done... and even now, it shows.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is scheduled for a November 9th release worldwide.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 384
Comment #2 by shadow_rider456
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 05:12:26 PM
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^why.... :(

Forum Posts: 1247
Comment #3 by harker26
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 05:13:36 PM
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no 1 cares if your first, grow up!

I'm a bit bored of the whole call of duty first person shooter style these days, dunno if thats gonna change when this comes out, I may not get it :O

Forum Posts: 214
Comment #4 by joshitious
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 05:18:43 PM
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nice i can't wait for this game

Forum Posts: 2577
Comment #5 by GAZDAN
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 05:26:14 PM
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I agree with harker26 about being bored of first person shooters but I must stress that im only bored with the online portions. I am all about the single player campaigns and this one is shaping up to be awesome.

Forum Posts: 1870
Comment #6 by Psikorps
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 06:33:00 PM
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Im on the Campaign boat aswell, the multiplayer tends to get old fast, so a more engrossing single player (or even co-op) campaign is what appeals to me most of all.

Forum Posts: 1145
Comment #7 by Lil_Mermaid_Girl
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 06:46:37 PM
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Shame on people rating this game when it hasn't even released (and won't for 3 months).

Forum Posts: 1247
Comment #8 by harker26
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 06:50:38 PM
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who rated the game?

Forum Posts: 1184
Comment #9 by Gyrfalcon09
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 07:41:49 PM
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I got my PS3 post-Modern Warfare 2-mania, and never bought it, so I'm looking forward to this one! Sounds like the single player campaign should prove worthy.

Forum Posts: 1819
Comment #10 by AlejandroM
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 08:33:02 PM
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This screams RENTAL because I'm sure Treyarch's going to provide us with another 6 hr sp.

Forum Posts: 390
Comment #11 by HemDogz
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 08:35:00 PM
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loved World at War.. hopefully this will be just as good.. but, please, Treyarch.. go easy on the grenades.. PLEASE!

Forum Posts: 112
Comment #12 by darthbster
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 09:17:08 PM
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I'm hopeful they continue to build on the success they had with World at War. This might be a rental though, depending on how good the campaign is. WaW was definitely better than MW2 in the campaign aspect. Agree with the overall consensus on multiplayer though, it is just beyond tiring.

Forum Posts: 475
Comment #13 by VisionsOfDemise
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 10:45:22 PM
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Hopefully these lot don't have too many grenades in their arsenal.

Forum Posts: 35
Comment #14 by DenBreezy
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 11:00:07 PM
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looks good and i'm definatly getting this, but for the love god take out grenade spamming!!!!!

Forum Posts: 2864
Comment #15 by Sin-City-Big-Boy
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 11:06:45 PM
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I really hope the story is good. But please no more online like MW2 it just way too fucking boring. I mean the first weeks was fresh but after that it got hacks, gltiches , campers. I never played WAW so this may be good.

Forum Posts: 925
Comment #16 by Mr_Gestapo_Man
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 12:39:21 AM
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RE 10.

Wrong. Treyarch make single player alot harder and tacticle thinking is needed to pass missions. I'm still having trouble with Call Of Duy 3.. how many years ago was that released 2006?

On the other hand IW games are dumbed down for kiddies and annoying American's who cry over Treyarch making a crap game. Took me under 72 hours to 100% MW2 (no fun at all)

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #17 by perdie
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 02:34:46 AM
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i am pretty sure that i like to play a game to enjoy it and not get too frustrated with it although i do have a WaW platinum i did not enjoy getting it. it was very frustrating. so with that being said i would like a game that is not too difficult or at least not one as extreme as WaW

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #18 by mrwatson1234
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 06:37:02 AM
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carnt wait 4 it :)

Forum Posts: 925
Comment #19 by Mr_Gestapo_Man
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 06:59:38 AM
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RE 17

World at War was a great title was as fun as COD 4 on the Xbox with the Mile High achievement. I don't mind near impossible trophies. It's the easy to 100% games that are a let down after having such a huge hype from game sites and everyones one sided views.

The Call Of Duty 3 multiplayer days were epic xD

Forum Posts: 438
Comment #20 by KiLLerFeaR
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 07:29:01 AM
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i hope treyarch will do better

Forum Posts: 125
Comment #21 by CozierZebra
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 10:43:59 AM
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There's nothing wrong with a game involving a tactical strategy, but the enemy hurling an never-ending supply of grenades wherever you're taking cover doesn't exactly qualify as strategy in my book.

That falls along the lines of another over-the-top attempt at a campaign in CoD.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #22 by EDOGG450
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 02:41:52 PM
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cod:bo there's a lot of hype for a game i think they will try to good for then fuck it up thats what happens with compettion you get to high in the game and overdue yourself example A: Modern Warfare 2

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #23 by Kano-Da-Ledge-xD
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 03:08:20 PM
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I dont care bout the price COD is COD most people are going to buy it...

Forum Posts: 925
Comment #24 by Mr_Gestapo_Man
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 08:06:38 PM
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RE 21

That unlimited frags were really annoying but after finishing the hard parts it made it rewarding rather than the dumbed down MW2 veteran setting. Mix the two up I say.

Give players a hard time but keep it realistic.

Forum Posts: 421
Comment #25 by January-Embers
Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 08:41:51 PM
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Call of Duty is getting a bit old. It's nice that they are finally doing something other than World War II though. The campaign is getting shorter and shorter for the series (and for many FPS games) because it's geared more towards online, but what sucks is online isn't fun because of the ridiculous people that have no life and just sit around and play sixteen hours a day.

Forum Posts: 2864
Comment #26 by Sin-City-Big-Boy
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 01:38:53 AM
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#25 No, the online is fun but people wanna hack , glitch , camp that what make a game online bad. If IW would have fix all of those things MW2 would have been the shit.

Forum Posts: 380
Comment #27 by Motorizer17
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 07:00:52 AM
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ffs, can everyone stop hating mw2. Yes, you may get bored of it after non-stop playing it for 3 months (like every game). But doesn't anyone remember almost everyone liking the game around the start of this year? Now it seems everybody just randomly hates it... As for Black Ops - ITS LOOKING GOOD!

Forum Posts: 25
Comment #28 by Yabbie
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 08:56:23 AM
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Better be better than WaW - that sucked.

Forum Posts: 925
Comment #29 by Mr_Gestapo_Man
Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 03:28:06 PM
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Compairing two different era of games people. MW2 online is good but not as good as MW and World at War was better than COD 3 :) and now Black Ops.. well we'll see.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #30 by Vengeful_Panda
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 10:19:52 AM
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I hope this game is good, I hope its better than MW 2 has been. I know its not a bad game its the people that play it alls they do is camp and use all the overpowered weapons and perks in the game. So im hoping Black OPS is more balanced and overall fun.

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Game Info


US November 09, 2010
Europe November 09, 2010
Japan November 18, 2010

Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1-4
Online Players : 2-18
ESRB: Mature
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