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Call of Duty: Black Ops review roundup

Call of Duty: Black Ops has arrived. So what do critics have to say about the follow-up to the top-selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

By Matthew Shaer / November 9, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops has arrived. And reviews of the latest Call of Duty game are overwhelmingly positive.

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Last year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 nuked all sales records to become the most profitable entertainment product launch in history. On Tuesday, Activision will release Call of Duty: Black Ops, a kind of prequel to Modern Warfare 2, set at the height of the Cold War. So is Black Ops even better than the last installment of Call of Duty? (Read our review roundup of Modern Warfare 2.) Let's go to the reviews.

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"Call Of Duty: Black Ops is superb," writes Nick Cowen of the UK Telegraph. "The experience of playing the game, thanks to the modified World At War engine, is comparable to the best in what the franchise has had to offer up until now. The meaty kick of the guns, the blistering pace of the action and the sterling soundtrack of explosions, gunshots and whistling bullets all serve to quicken the player's pulse and tighten their grip on the controller."

Cowen notes that as in previous Call of Duty games, "introspective considerations" are "dumped to one side as Black Ops' gameplay plugs directly into the player's primal need to make it out alive... There is nothing gratuitous about the violence in the campaign, however. While it contains its fair share of graphically violent scenes, there is nothing on the level of the cheap theatrics of the 'No Russian' level of Modern Warfare 2."

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In a five-star review at the Guardian, Keith Stuart praises the narrative of the campaign mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which has the gamer playing as special ops veteran Alex Mason. As the action "ping-pongs between Cuba, Vietnam and Russia, an interesting tale plays out concerning dodgy CIA dealings, Nazi experiments and communist expansionism, all bubbling beneath the accepted 'facts' of the era," Stuart writes.

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