OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Xbox Windows / Playstation Windows
RAM: 2 to 8
Graphics Card Speed: Newish
Title: 'Call of Duty: World at War 2: Call of Duty: Black Ops'
Genre: Shooting, Helicopters (Passive)
The first computer game was created in 1958 by William Higginbotham, who called it 'Tennis for Two'. The last computer game was created in 2010 and is called 'Call of Duty: Black Ops'.
What first stood out to me about this game was its enormous combination of both breadth and scope. This is a truly huge game, with many large things both material and abstract. In particular I recall a sequence where I, then a soldier of some regard, fought through perilous jungle against enormous odds and also people. It was at that time the Vietnam War, and I felt as though I were really an American soldier and not French or Chinese or a member of Golden Horde or any of the other people who have been there. This game is truly a triumph of both atmosphere and fighting.
It would be misleading to say that the plot of this game confines itself to one place. The game takes place in many places, including Vietnam, Cuba, Restoration England, Russia and a Pentagon. The main character is a gunsman named Alex Mason who is renowned for both his gunsmanship and mastery of the smaller, more exciting road and water vehicles. At key points in the game the player takes control of other characters who are almost without exception helicopter pilots. It is implied that Alex Mason cannot do these things for himself because becoming a helicopter pilot is hard, time consuming work and he has always fallen back on his natural talent for gunsmanship to conceal a lifelong struggle with procrastination.
Alex Mason takes his name from Alexander the Great of Macedon and popular Englishman James Mason. This allows the player to feel the necessary combination of expansionism and gravity that is key to enjoying Call of Duty: Black Ops. Cleverly, Alex is also a girl's name and this makes the game more accessible to women if they have beards.
The game takes its name from a meditative mid-game sequence in which Alex Mason spends a childhood summer working in a Hampshire brewery during a decade's-worst crop failure. This was my favourite part of the game, which also takes its name from the Call of Duty series of which it is a part.
Players are surely in for an exciting time with this game, and though I am not allowed to spoil the ending I can reveal that the principle factor in the resolution of the core conflict is fire-fighting. This is handled very well and helps the player to believe that they have come to share some measure of Alex Mason's gunsmanship and chutzpah. My biggest disappointment with Call of Duty: Black Ops was that the player is not allowed to shake Alex Mason's hand at the game's conclusion to confirm but not necessarily overtly acknowledge a new-found mutual respect.
All in all, the best computer game and a humbling reminder of the topsy-turvy lives of military servicepeople.
Play Control: W, A, S, D, Left Mouse, Space, Control, R, E, Shift, Right Mouse, R, Control, Control, Esc
Replay: The game can be played many times but you must not lose the disk.
Thank you for reading and please come back to my blog or gaming websites soon.