I’m not a big multiplayer guy, so really, games like the Call of Duty series haven’t been up my alley.  I mean, I appreciate that they’re great games, but the single player component is what reviewers have typically said is the weak point of the series, with the focus (rightfully so) on replayability via multiplayer campaigns.

Still, the trailers for Black Ops have absolutely blown me away.  To the point where, not only was I willing to actually buy a Call of Duty game, it was one of my most anticipated video games of the year (behind only Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit).  I mean, the game looked AMAZING, and I decided to wait until Christmas and put it on ye olde Xmas List….but then it came out, and I found myself foaming at the mouth looking at the display when I went to Best Buy to pick up Scott Pilgrim on Blu-Ray.  So it came home with me.

Now, notice I’m not calling this a “review.”  I’m not quite up to par with those guys at IGN or Videogames.com – I’ve played a couple of hours of the single player campaign (and some zombie stuff), and thought I’d offer my impressions on what I’ve played so far…

Call of Duty: Black Ops, at least from what I can tell so far, is either told with an Assassin’s Creed-type storytelling concept (where machines allow someone to relive events from the past), or someone is telling stories from his past – it’s a little tricky to tell.  The more I play it, the more I think we’re looking at an Assassin’s Creed-type thing, due to some odd happenings during cut scenes, and hidden numbers.  Despite my confusion as to just what the hell is going on, I appreciate the cut scenes in the game, and the attention to a story, because from what I’ve played in Modern Warfare 2, the cut scenes amounted to Lance Henriksen reading you your mission briefing while you look at a fancy map.

Black Ops is an absolutely SPECTACULAR game.  It’s like playing a Michael Bay movie on steroids, and that’s saying something.  There’s nothing but action action action, followed by more action.  Things going explodey, bullets flying, shuttles taking off, motorcycle chases, more explosions…whew…it’s quite a fast paced game.  If you’ve played a Call of Duty game before, the control scheme is essentially the same, and you’re pretty much in it for either the action packed sequences, or the multiplayer.  Solid voice acting, amazing graphics, and attention to detail really complete the package overall.

I’ve also played the “Zombie” mode, which is essentially a survival mode, where you have to fend off invading zombies, blocking off windows that they keep tearing down, while trying to build up enough cash to buy new weapons and access to rooms where you’ll ultimately complete your goal (I guess – I kept getting my ass kicked).

Whether you’ve played a Call of Duty game or not, Black Ops is pretty hard to pass up.  It’s a pretty fantastic game, and a ton of fun, even if you’re not into “war games.”  Really, it’s less of a war game, and more of an interactive action movie.  Well worth the cash, and I say that as someone who rarely pays full price for video games.