If there is a games equivalent to a high octane, big budget summer blockbuster, it would have to be the Call of Duty series. Take that compliment forward or backward. Activision’s money factory shooter franchise continually delivers explosive and engaging single-player campaigns and (usually) solid multiplayer that – considering the record shattering sales figures – will have no end of match-ups. It’s definitely not high art but it’s a damn good time.
Treyarch’s second go round under the Call of Duty umbrella is no exception. Set throughout the Cold War, Black Ops’ single-player campaign starts off in Cuba during the infamous Bay of Pigs “invasion” and doesn’t stop as it carries the player through a roller coaster ride of action set pieces, intrigue and somewhat telegraphed – though no less cool – twists that make it one of the best of the series. The same ante-upping escalation of OMG moments that made Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare a classic is employed flawlessly here by Treyarch, who show they can build on what worked in their last CoD outing (2008’s World at War) and improve on what didn’t.