There is such a thing as too much variety

A buffet of manliness.

If I put Call of Duty Black Ops side-by-side with Modern Warfare 2, I honestly can’t say which is the better game. Boiled down, the two games contrast thus: MW2 is more tightly focused if a little suffocating at times, and the gameplay flows much better. BO, though, has a lot of variety – or rather, as my post title indicates, too much variety – but the whole thing plays out like… well, like Call of Duty World at War.

The requisite WWII flashback...

...complete with more Nazis to kill.

WaW isn’t a bad game. Actually, it’s one of the better titles out of the several quintillion games which involve the Second World War in some way. The problem with it – and a habit Trayarch has yet to deviate from judging from BO – is the way it meanders. If anything, WaW was better; at least it didn’t skip across the globe every 15 to 20 minutes.

Pew pew pew!

Patterson raiding Schmerzen, all over again.

BO is a great and awesome game. It’s filled with fun little set-pieces and asides and intriguing gameplay mechanics, but it all ends up sliding into the opposite extreme of MW2: except for the act of ‘shooting’ (and a few parts of the game even take that away) there’s no consistency.

Puny 7.62 bullets no match for Vietnamese body armour!

Not pictured: the fabulous orange-camo Commando rifle.

This whole series is just 10 minutes of one mission, by the way.

This gun has literally been used in fiction more than in real life.

MW2 – which as it stands is still the better game – and BO have hit both ends well, but there’s quite a bit of wriggle room between “repetitive” and “gimmicky”. Playing BO has given me some small hope that a future sequel might be able to find that sweet spot between them and create the next MW2.

Though the Hong Kong level was amusing on a personal level.

Oh wait, that’s MW3.

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