Call of Duty: Black Ops is the seventh in the series of military first-person shooters published by Activision and the fifth game/version of the series to be developed by Treyarch. It’s the first CoD game to be set in the Cold War, and was released after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but in terms of the game fiction, it’s the sequel to Treyarch’s Call of Duty: World at War, released in 2008.
Released for the PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and with a seperate Nintendo DS version, it sold more than 7 million copies within 24 hours of release on November 9, 2010, breaking the previous record set by Modern Warfare, and going on to raise $1 billion in sales for Activision within the first 6 weeks of release.
The single player game hinges around the interrogation of Alex Mason, a CIA agent who operated as part of the Special Activities Division and Studies and Observations Group. Via flashbacks, levels are set in locations including Cuba, Russia, Laos and Vietnam, tracking the experimantal chemical weapon “Nova-6”. It’s also possible to access the secret Dead Ops Arcade and the classic text adventure Zork via the main menu screen.
Treyarch also included the two-plater split-screen, or four player online co-op Zombies mode, with one map available from the start (four maps for the limited edition), and the unlockable ‘Five’ map which features playable characters John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara and Fidel Castro.
And finally there’s the multiplayer, which is the biggest draw of the Call of Duty series, featuring online deathmatch and objective modes from single player FreeForAll to 16 player Ground War. Almost every element of the player characters is available for customisation, including playercard backgrounds, clan emblems on weapons, and even the colour and style of the targetting reticle on scoped weapons. New additions include combat training mode, the option to gamble CoD Points (used to purchase new weapons/perks/equipment) in ‘Wager Matches’, the ability for a guest to play online alongside a main account, and the ability to save films on online games, and share clips online, including by sharing on Youtube.
The first downloadable content for the game will be the ‘First Strike’ map pack, due for release on February 1, 2011.
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