Crawlers are the main new addition to Zombies. Pack a pump shotgun.
Finally, you have the new and improved Zombies mode. Only it’s not new anymore, and to be painfully honest: it’s not really that much improved. One map is available from the start and one more unlocks when you beat the single player campaign. That’s it. If you bought the Hardened or Prestige editions you get a code to download the original four Nazi Zombies maps (which will presumably be for sale in the near future); these have been updated to feature a small handful of new weapons, Perks-A-Cola machines, and a new zombie type. For how it was touted (“more co-op than any other Call of Duty game”) the larger maps and crawler zombies don’t do the claims justice. However, I must concede that the sheer stupidity and cheap thrills that made Nazi Zombies so much fun is still intact.
Probably the biggest addition that Black Ops brings to the Call of Duty series is the Theater mode. Treyarch apes Halo: Reach once again by allowing players to capture replays and screenshots of recent games, then goes further by providing native support for uploading videos to YouTube. Every player is given a File Share (sound familiar?) which can store screenshots and video clips. By linking your account on CallofDuty.com you can view your videos, which the game automatically uploads to YouTube when you drop it into your File Share. You can also view and save high-resolution versions of your screenshots. But as with the other modes, there’s a caveat: Theater mode only captures online versus games. It boggles the mind; surely common sense would dictate that any normal player would want their favorite Zombies kills forever archived and displayed... Alas, this bread pudding is not without its crust.
Great multiplayer moments like this can now be captured forever. STAB!
The second biggest addition would have to be splitscreen online play (
also sadly limited to online versus *see the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions' pages for a breakdown of splitscreen online supported modes). The days of lugging a spare TV and the Xbox or PlayStation to a friend’s house are over - two people can play online from the same console. On the Xbox 360, the second player must have a Gold account for their stats to be saved; otherwise, they start from scratch as a guest account. It works well enough, and there didn’t seem to be an increase in online lag nor framerate slowdown. I anticipate using this feature quite a bit.
Once you consider the hidden Dead Ops Arcade mode (a decent four-player clone of overhead shooter Zombie Apocalypse), Black Ops provides an impressive amount of content...but the the bottom line for me personally is that Black Ops doesn’t have as much co-op support as it should. Or even as much as the studio claimed it would. I wouldn’t care about the migraine inducing cutscenes. I wouldn’t care about the been-there-done-that gameplay and special effects. I’d just be one happy camper if Treyarch would look past their own ambitions and say, “What the heck...let’s make it even more fun,” and give as much thought to the co-op player as they do for the details.
(Side note: I did not get to try out the 3D support, although I did see it in the Options menu. It must be activated before loading a mission.)
For all the intrigue and superficial appeal that’s been pumped into this game, a much better effort should have been made for co-op. Despite my misgivings, though, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the core value of Black Ops. In fact, there’s more here to like than many other shooter games available this year. Call of Duty: Black Ops is like Evel Knievel without his cape...something is missing, but it’s perfectly good entertainment.
The Co-Op Experience: The online co-op features two modes: combat training which is just like the game's versus modes against bots for up to 6 players and a returning Zombie mode which is for 4 players.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.