Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch, published by Activision and due for release on November 9, 2010 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS (separate version developed by n-Space) consoles. Officially announced on April 30, 2010, the game is the seventh installment of the Call of Duty series and the third game in the series to be developed by Treyarch. It is a sequel to the developer's previous title in the series, Call of Duty: World at War. It is the first Call of Duty title set during the Cold War era.
Black Ops is a first-person shooter. The player assumes the role of a foot soldier and thus has access to various firearms, of which two at a time can be carried, as well as explosives such as grenades and other equipment to fight enemies. When players are close enough to an enemy, they can perform a melee attack which ensures a one-hit-kill.
A character can be positioned in one of the three stances: standing, crouching, or prone; each affecting the character's rate of movement, accuracy, and stealth. The player can directly dive prone from a standing position. The player can momentarily run faster before getting tired. When the character has taken damage, the screen glows red. Health regenerates by avoiding damage. When the character is within the blast radius of a live grenade, a marker indicates the direction of the grenade, helping the player to either flee or throw it back.
The game features a variety weapons such as crossbows (with alternative explosive ammunition), Dragon's Breath rounds and ballistic knives.
The player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the story. The playable characters are special forces operatives conducting black operations behind enemy lines. In this way, the player's characters will have their own traits such as voices and shadows.
Each mission features a series of objectives that are displayed on the heads-up display, which marks the direction and distance towards and from such objectives. The player is accompanied by friendly troops who cannot be issued orders.
Although primarily a first-person shooter, the player will get to pilot a Hind helicopter and guide friendly troops from an SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft.
The campaign is filled with scripted cinematic moments. One of them is a bullet time effect during the "Victor Charlie" level, activated when the player fires toward the last enemy of a Viet Cong squad.
The online multiplayer mode of Black Ops retains the experience points and unlockable reward system that has been kept since Call of Duty 4. The game's multiplayer focuses on socialization and customization. "Create-a-Class 2.0" will allow enhanced personalization with appearance items as well as upgradable perks: weapons will be extensively customizable with clan tag writing, emblems, attachments and camouflage painting. Even reticles can be modified. There will be more than one style for an attachment, which allows for a lot more personalized weaponry; for example, the player can choose between a Red Dot Sight or a Reflex Sight, both of which share the same traits only visually look different. Character models will depend on the first tier perk instead of the weapon's type. Furthermore, face paints can be unlocked.
A currency system has been implemented allowing players to buy weapons, accessories and clothes. Players can gamble with their "COD Points" in a free-for-all based playlist called "Wager Match", which is composed of four game modes. Time limited objectives known as "Contracts" can be purchased to gain more currency and experience points. New custom killstreak rewards include RC explosive cars, guided missiles and controllable attack helicopters. For the first time in the series, clips from online gameplay can be recorded. Players will be able to play alone or with friends against AI opponents in "Combat Training" with a separate progression system.
Online split screen (which was featured in Call of Duty 3) is re-introduced on Xbox 360 and PS3. The guest account can rank up but will be reset after each sign out. Only on Xbox 360, a second Gold Xbox Live account can be brought to keep the second player's progression.
Some PC specific features that were taken away from Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 will return, such as lean, mod tools, the developer console and dedicated servers. Dedicated servers will be exclusively provided by Game Servers.] Steam will be the exclusive platform for Black Ops on PC, so the game will be protected by Valve Anti-Cheat.
The zombie mode of World at War will return as a four-player online and two-player split screen co-op mode in which players take the roles of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, and Fidel Castro as they fight zombies at the Pentagon. Limited editions of the game will offer four zombies maps from World at War.
The Wii version of the game will include in-game voice chat. This is the first Call of Duty title to include the voice chat feature for the Wii. Nintendo and PDP have partnered to release the first headset to be used with the Wii known as PDP's Headbanger Headset.
Characters and Setting
Call of Duty: Black Ops takes place during the Cold War. The player mainly controls two characters: Special Forces operative Alex Mason and CIA agent Jason Hudson, both members of the Studies and Observations Group, a clandestine black operations unit tasked with carrying out critical missions behind enemy lines. The single-player campaign will revolve around an experimental Soviet chemical weapon code-named "Nova-6," whilst trailers have shown Mason being interrogated by an unseen tormentor. The game will include locations such as the Ural Mountains in central Russia, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam.
Viktor Reznov, a key character from the Soviet campaign in World at War has been confirmed to return for Black Ops, joining Mason and the Studies and Observations Group in Vietnam.
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