- "A lie is a lie. Just because they write it down and call it history doesn't make it the truth. We live in a world where seeing is not believing, where only a few know what really happened. We live in a world where everything you know is wrong."
- — Alex Mason in the world premiere trailer.
|Call of Duty: Black Ops|
n-Space (Nintendo DS)
Square Enix (Japan)
Aspyr Media (Mac OS X)
|Engine||Modified World at War IW 3.0 engine|
|Released||November 9, 2010 |
Mac OS X
September 27, 2012
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer, Zombies|
|Ratings||ESRB: Mature |
Xbox One (backwards compatible)
Mac OS X
Call of Duty: Black Ops, abbreviated as CoD: BO or simply BO, is the seventh main Call of Duty game, the third main game of the series developed by Treyarch and the sequel to Call of Duty: World at War. The game was published by Activision and for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Nintendo Wii. Officially announced on April 30, 2010, the game was released on November 9, 2010.
Call of Duty: Black Ops differs from most previous installments, which would involve a usual three-country campaign while Call of Duty: Black Ops features two playable countries (Russia and the USA), but only has an American campaign. Players play from the perspective of Captain Alex Mason of the MACV-SOG, Jason Hudson of the CIA, and Russian-born soldier Viktor Reznov of the Red Army. The game also introduced several new features, such as dive-to-prone and the available use of a flashlight on certain weapons. Furthermore, the campaign's playable characters now speak while being controlled by the player.
The game is set in the Cold War era. Much of the Call of Duty: Black Ops campaign is told through the eyes of SOG and CIA operative Alex Mason, primarily through flashbacks. Mason is asked questions by an unknown interrogator about a numbers broadcast which is being used to contact Soviet sleeper cells in the United States. These questions set the stage for the campaign missions.
The first mission is a flashback to Mason's participation in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in April of 1961, a doomed effort to assassinate Fidel Castro. At the end of this mission, Mason is captured by Castro's soldiers and given to Nikita Dragovich as a 'gift.' He is held captive at the Vorkuta Gulag, a Russian labor camp, for two years.
After further interrogation, Mason recounts how, during his imprisonment at Vorkuta, he befriended Viktor Reznov, a former Red Army soldier and a returning character from Call of Duty: World at War. Reznov assists Mason in sparking a prisoner uprising at Vorkuta, which facilitates Mason's escape from the prison.
One month after his escape, Mason is escorted to the Pentagon with his handler, Jason Hudson, where he receives authorization from President John F. Kennedy to assassinate Dragovich. He is then dispatched with Frank Woods and Joseph Bowman to Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh SSR to sabotage the Soviet space program. The team saves a captured operative and destroy the Soyuz 2 rocket as it is launched. Dragovich, who is present at the launch, escapes alive, forcing Mason to spend the next five years searching for him.
By 1968, the SOG, including Mason, is deployed in Vietnam to investigate the Soviet presence. After Mason helps defend the military camp at Khe Sanh, he is deployed to Huế during the Tet Offensive to recover a dossier with information on Dragovich from an unnamed defector. The team recovers the dossier, and Mason discovers that Reznov is the defector.
After Mason escapes Huế City, the campaign shifts to a mission in Kowloon, Hong Kong, where Hudson and Weaver is sent to find and interrogate Dr. Clarke, a scientist working under Dragovich. The mission goes awry, and Clarke is killed while Hudson seeks to escape Dragovich's men.
Then, after further interrogation, Mason reveals the story, as told to him by Reznov, of the history behind Dragovich, his associate, Lev Kravchenko, and German ally, Dr. Friedrich Steiner. These events take place shortly after World War II. They detail Dragovich's discovery of the German biochemical weapon, Nova 6, and illustrates his ruthlessness as he murders his own soldiers to witness the effects of the weapon, including Reznov's close friend, Dimitri Petrenko. This mission ends with Reznov asking Mason to promise him that Petrenko's death will be avenged, and Dragovich, along with his allies, Kravchenko and Steiner, will be killed.
The interrogation moves back to 1968, and Mason describes how he and the rest of his squad from the SOG fight their way through Viet Cong-controlled territory in an ultimately futile attempt to chase an elusive Kravchenko, and are later sent to locate and investigate a downed Soviet plane containing Nova 6. During this investigation, Mason, Woods, and Bowman are captured by the Viet Cong.
Again, the perspective switches to Agent Hudson, who is sent on a mission to infiltrate a Soviet base in the Ural Mountains, a suspected development center of Nova 6. The control room the facility is rigged with explosives in a trap set by Dragovich, but Hudson's team is contacted remotely by Dr. Steiner, who gives his location and promises, in exchange for safety from Dragovich's systematic elimination of "loose ends," information on cracking the numbers broadcast.
After this mission is completed, Mason describes to his interrogator how Bowman was killed while imprisoned, and how he and Woods escape from their Viet Cong captors. Mason and Woods fight across a vast swath of Vietnamese land in a stolen Mi-24 Hind to reach Kravchenko's base. At this base, Mason again meets Reznov, who leads him through the base towards Kravchenko. When Mason reaches Kravchenko, he seemingly commits suicide with his bandolier of grenades, apparently killing Woods in the process. Mason and Reznov then recover documents that lead them to Rebirth Island, the location of Dr. Steiner.
Mason's story converges with Hudson's at Rebirth Island, as both fight their way through a Soviet Nova 6 research and production facility to reach Dr. Steiner. Hudson engages in an all-out assault on the facility with light armor and a squad of CIA operatives, while Mason sneaks into the facility with Reznov. Mason reaches Steiner only shortly before Hudson, and watches as Reznov murders Steiner.
However, when the same story is retold through Hudson's eyes, it is revealed that it was, in fact, Mason alone who shot Steiner, while exclaiming that he was Reznov and would have revenge. The flashbacks end and the interrogation continues. Hudson reveals himself to be the interrogator and confronts Mason face-to-face in a desperate bid to break him free of his brainwashing. In this mission, it is revealed that, while at Vorkuta, Mason was subjected to severe mental reconditioning in order to turn him into a sleeper cell who would perform Soviet missions in America. However, Reznov 'hijacked' this conditioning and used it to instill in Mason an absolute devotion to complete Reznov's vow for revenge: to kill Dragovich, Kravchenko and Steiner. Reznov was actually killed in the escape from Vorkuta, and, therefore, all subsequent appearances of his character are merely a part of Mason's imagination, brought on by the intense nature of the brainwashing Mason experienced.
As the reprogramming of Mason's brain is finally broken, Mason recalls the origin of the numbers broadcast, a ship off the shore of Cuba called the Rusalka. In a CIA raid on the ship and the underwater broadcast station over which it is anchored, Mason strangles Dragovich to his death and sinks the broadcast station, ending the threat that the sleeper agents presented to the United States.
North America & The Caribbean
Southeast and East Asia
- Khe Sanh, South Vietnam
- Hue City, South Vietnam
- Kowloon, Hong Kong
- DMZ, Vietnam
- Viet Cong base somewhere in Laos
- Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakh SSR
- Mount Yamantau, Ural Mountains
- Vorkuta, Russian SFSR
- Crashed German ship, Arctic Circle
- Studies and Observation Group/CIA
- Red Army (Project Nova only)
- Operation 40 (Operation 40 and Executive Order only)
- North Vietnamese Army
- Viet Cong
- Nazi Troopers (Project Nova only)
- Soviet Armed Forces (Project Nova only)
- British Commandos (Project Nova only)
- Zombies (Zombies mode only)
CIA and SOG
- Frank Woods - Member of the Studies and Observations Group.
- Alex Mason - Playable character and a member of Studies and Observation Group and CIA.
- Joseph Bowman - Member of Studies and Observation Group.
- Jason Hudson - Playable character and a CIA operator; formerly Mason's handler.
- Grigori Weaver - Russian CIA agent.
- Lev Kravchenko - The secondary antagonist in the game.
- Nikita Dragovich - The main antagonist of the game.
- Dr. Friedrich Steiner - A former Nazi scientist working for the Soviets, one of the antagonists.
- Dr. Daniel Clarke - A British scientist who formulated codename "Nova 6", often considered an anti-hero.
- Fidel Castro - A minor antagonist, dictator of Cuba.
- John F. Kennedy - U.S. President. Playable in "Five".
- Robert McNamara - Secretary of Defense for the Kennedy administration. Playable in "Five".
- Viktor Reznov - Returning from Call of Duty: World at War, a friend of Mason's who helps him escape from Vorkuta. Playable in Project Nova.
- Dimitri Petrenko - A Protagonist returning from Call of Duty: World at War, this time as a non-playable character, is Viktor Reznov's closest friend. He is later killed by Nikita Dragovich.
Call of Duty: Black Ops contains fifteen single player levels.
- "Operation 40" - Escape police forces and assassinate Fidel Castro.
- "Vorkuta" - Participate in the Vorkuta prison break.
- "U.S.D.D." - Tour the Pentagon and meet John F. Kennedy.
- "Executive Order" - Rescue Weaver and stop the launch of the Soyuz 2.
- "S.O.G." - Defend the Khe Sanh military camp.
- "The Defector" - Extract the Russian defector.
- "Numbers" - Escape Dragovich's men with Dr. Clarke.
- "Project Nova" - Extract Steiner and destroy the ship containing Nova 6.
- "Victor Charlie" - Battle Viet Cong forces in the Vietnamese jungle.
- "Crash Site" - Locate the downed Soviet cargo plane containing Nova 6.
- "WMD" - Infiltrate a Soviet base in the Ural Mountains.
- "Payback" - Escape the Viet Cong complex and confront Kravchenko.
- "Rebirth" - Relive the efforts to extract Steiner from both Mason and Hudson's perspectives.
- "Revelations" - Discover the truth behind the numbers.
- "Redemption" - Destroy the broadcast station and confront Dragovich.
- Main article: Call of Duty: Black Ops Data Servers
At the main menu, the player is strapped to the chair in which Mason is interrogated. By rapidly pressing the left and right trigger (Xbox 360), L2 and R2 (PlayStation 3), or(PC), alternately shaking the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, the character can break free of the chair and move freely about the interrogation room. In the back of the room, near the left corner, there is a computer terminal that can be accessed by the player.
- Main article: Zombies (mode)
Call of Duty: Black Ops features the return of Zombie Mode from Call of Duty: World at War. Zombie Mode can be played solo, split-screen, and online with up to four players. Two Zombie maps are included with the game, and seven are currently available as part of the four map packs. Call of Duty: Black Ops also features a unique mode called Dead Ops Arcade.
- Kino Der Toten - Unlocked by default
- "Five" - Unlocked by completing the campaign, or entering "3ARC UNLOCK" in the Computer Console
- Dead Ops Arcade - Unlocked by the command 'DOA' or '3ARC UNLOCK' on the Computer Console
- Ascension - Included with the First Strike DLC
- Call of the Dead - Included with the Escalation DLC
- Shangri-La - Included with the Annihilation DLC
- Moon - Included with the Rezurrection DLC
Additionally, the four maps from Call of Duty: World at War (Nacht Der Untoten, Verrückt, Shi No Numa and Der Riese) are available as a part of the Prestige or Hardened editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops, or the Rezurrection map pack. These maps also include exclusively some of the weapons in Call of Duty: World at War, such as the Thompson and M1897 Trench Gun.
While still following the same leveling-up features of the three previous main Call of Duty titles, Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer has many new features.
Instead of unlocking weapons, equipment and perks by leveling up, CODPoints are introduced. To purchase everything the player would like in multiplayer, CODPoints must be spent. This currency is earned through regular gameplay, as well as from leveling up and completing Contracts. However, certain items become available only when the player has reached a certain level.
Another new feature is the Playercard. It details players' progression through multiplayer, allowing viewing of in-depth stats, ranging from Kill/Death Ratio to the number of times a player has used a certain Killstreak reward. It also links to recent games players have taken part in and from there links to the Theater. Players can view their friends or recently-met players' Playercards and also interact with their statistics. Emblems make a return from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, though instead of unlocking them through gameplay, they are completely uniquely customizable, allowing up to 12 different layers of different images, which are bought with CODPoints. However, layers are not lost through prestiging.
The Theater is also introduced in multiplayer. It allows players to watch their own recent games, allowing a free spectate of the entire map while the game plays, as well as recording and uploading 30-second segments to the internet. It also allows players to spectate any other player who played alongside or against, while watching the gameplay. 100 games are stored in "Recent Games".
As a minor addition, most of the maps have ambient activity or noise in the background, and/or interactive items, such as the train on WMD, or the doors in Radiation. Before, most multiplayer maps either had limited background activity, such as Carnival from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, or no background activity at all.
- Main article: Call of Duty: Black Ops Ranks
Leveling up still is a major part in the game; weapons are unlocked through progressing levels, but still need to be bought. Players unlock all Perks, Grenades, Equipment at level four, along with Create-A-Class.The highest level attainable is 50, and when level 50 is completed, Prestige Mode is offered. There are 15 levels of Prestige, instead of the more regular 10, seen from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare onwards.
Customizable Killstreaks make a return, however a main difference from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is that kills from the killstreak rewards do not make an addition to their users' current streak, meaning unlocking higher killstreaks is more difficult as they are only unlocked from weapon, melee, grenade and equipment kills.
There are also now regional filters involved in matchmaking. Users can select whether they'd like the game to find a host from all over the globe or having a local host at the expense of time searching for games.
Split Screen online for Xbox 360 and PS3 players is implemented in Black Ops.
The Wii version of the game includes 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.
Included is the option to censor the game, removing much of the foul language in the campaign and gore. This returns from Call of Duty: World at War. Unlike Call of Duty: World at War, censoring the game does not prevent the foul language from being said in the campaign. It should be noted that the Numbers mission on the Wii will not be subject to the gore censor, as it was changed to a cinematic level, with no censored version made available for scenes with gore.
This playlist was deleted in an update due to the extremely low traffic it received. It contained the following gametypes:
- Prestige Team Deathmatch - Unlocked after prestiging once
- Prestige Hardcore - Unlocked after prestiging ten times
- Prestige Pure - Unlocked after prestiging fifteen times
This playlist was deleted when the Escalation map pack was released. It contained the following gametypes:
This playlist was deleted when the Annihilation map pack was released. It contained the following gametypes:
This playlist was deleted a couple of days after the Rezurrection map pack was released. It contained the following gametypes:
This playlist features DLC maps only.
Combat Training is a new game mode in which players battle against AI opponents. It is intended to help players who are new to multiplayer or players who want to try out new tactics. Players can adjust the AI opponents difficulty to Recruit, Regular, Hardened or Veteran much like the single-player campaign. Higher difficulty settings increase the AI's ability to detect others and fire. Recruit and Regular AIs react poorly or not at all to be fired upon, and are unaware of players sneaking up on them. They aim slowly onto their target, firing slowly. Hardened and Veteran AI use all their resources to detect enemies, and aim and fire quickly upon targets. Combat Training can be useful for trying new loadouts, as it is easy to get a lot of kills, getting high killstreaks that are normally difficult to acquire in multiplayer, and consequently a lot of money and XP by playing with a large amount of AI on a low difficulty setting, on a small map such as Nuketown or Firing Range.
Contracts are a new system in addition to the classic challenge system in Call of Duty: Black Ops. A player is able to buy a contract with CODPoints, which will then direct them to complete an objective. Completion of a contract will yield a higher CODPoints payout than what was originally paid for the contract itself, and, for more expensive contracts, XP is payed out as well. However, there is a time limit to complete a Contract; if the time limit expires, then no reward is given whatsoever.
A new mode with a separate ranking structure than the standard online modes allows players to gamble with their CODPoints. However, only the top three will receive the prize. They will be able to choose the buy in of 10, 1000 or 10000, and also which game mode to play of following (when buying in with 10000, the game mode is random):
- One in the Chamber - Each player is given an M1911 with one bullet and a knife. One hit from any weapon will kill a player. For each kill achieved, the player will receive one more bullet. However, each player will only have three lives. Whoever has the most points at the end wins, not particularly the last person standing.
- Sharpshooter - All players are given the same weapon when they spawn, selected at random. Every 45 seconds, a new weapon is selected at random and used by all. Consecutive kills will award the player with perks and score multipliers. The player with most points at the end is the winner.
- Sticks and Stones - Each player receives only a Crossbow, Ballistic knife, and a Tomahawk. The catch in this game mode is that if a player is killed with a Tomahawk, they lose all of their points. Whoever has the most points at the end wins.
- Gun Game - Players start out with a Python. For each kill with their main weapon players move up a tier, granting them a better gun. First person to achieve kills with all 20 weapons, wins. If the time limit runs out before a player can get a kill with the last weapon (the Ballistic Knife), the player at the highest gun tier at the end wins. However, someone who is knifed or commits suicide will move down a level. If a player suicides, any kills that ensued due to the suicide (via a rocket launcher) is voided. Killing someone with the knife under any circumstances will not advance the player up a tier. Due to the tier system, ties tend to be more common.
- Create-a-Class 2.0 allows players to customize their appearance in addition to their load-out. Players may see what their character looks like while choosing a class, as the player's basic appearance will be determined by their Tier 1 Perk and their faction. Players are also able to choose a Face Paint pattern.
- Some sights such as the Red Dot Sight can use custom reticules which includes choice of shape, as with lens and shape colors.
- Gun camouflages are far more numerous than in previous Call of Duty games.
- Players now have the ability to engrave Clan Tags and Emblems onto their guns.
Perks and Killstreaks
- The AC130 might have been planned to be a killstreak, but it was scrapped, supported by _ac130.gsc found in the game files.
- The PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops features dedicated servers.
- Modding tools and the leaning feature have returned.
- The PC version uses Steam as DRM and is using VAC as an anti-cheating tool.
- Players can choose a server via a server browser screen or use matchmaking to send a lobby to a server chosen by the game.
- Dedicated servers must be rented.
- Unranked servers are completely customizable while ranked ones let the renter choose levels and game types.
- Treyarch has claimed that it will be close to impossible to use any kind of mods or glitches in Call of Duty: Black Ops. But it is not impossible, recently mods were released on the PlayStation 3, possibly Xbox, that allows you to gain a large amount of XP in certain games.
- Glitchers can be permanently banned.
- Hackers will have their stats reset, and will be permanently banned.
- Offensive emblems can result with a permanent ban. Microsoft stated that using the Swastika symbol on the emblem will also result with a ban.
- Matchmaking has been changed so that it is easier for friends to play together, as there is now an in game friends list.
- Players can customize private matches to a much larger extent then any previous titles of Call of Duty.
- Custom games can be uploaded to the player's file share for the community to play.
- Players can create custom classes for the people playing the match to use.
- Players can customize the killstreak awards granted to the people playing the match, both changing the reward and killstreak need to attain it.
- The points system can be customized, including the points gained from kills, headshots, suicides and knives.
- The health system, weapon power, and explosive power can all be customized separately.
The latest version of the game is 126.96.36.199 and is applied through an update. Currently only announced for the Xbox 360.
On the Nintendo Wii version the multiplayer version shipped was 0.0.1. Late November it was updated to 0.0.12 (and the 1st option changed from "Nintendo Wifi Connection" to "Black Ops Online"). On December 9, it was updated to 15.0.12 (0.0.20 flashes right after the update is complete).
The first map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops, First Strike, became available for the Xbox 360 on February 1. It was made available for purchase on the PlayStation 3 and PC one month later. It costs 1200 Microsoft points or $14.99, and includes four multiplayer maps and one Zombies map.
The second map pack, Escalation, became available on May 3 for Xbox 360, June 3 for PC and June 10 for PlayStation 3. It features four new multiplayer maps, and one Zombie map. It costs 1200 Microsoft Points or $15.00/£12.00, and includes four multiplayer maps and one Zombies map.
The third map pack, Annihilation, became available on June 28, 2011 for Xbox 360. It was then released on the PlayStation 3 on month later. It costs 1200 Microsoft Points or $15.00/£12.00, and includes four multiplayer maps and one Zombies Map.
The fourth map pack, Rezurrection, became available on August 23, 2011 for Xbox 360. It costs 1200 Microsoft Points and includes the four original Zombies maps, one new Zombies map, a Zombies skin, and downloadable songs. It is free to those that bought the Hardened or Prestige Editions.
None of the map packs were ever released for the Wii version, despite the fact Activision did initially plan to and it was even mentioned in the game's instruction manual.