Article

6 Top Tips for working in Photoshop

Photoshop is one of these programs that you just use for everything, so much so that you start assuming everyone else uses it then you get frustrated when they try to do something in any other program…

Article

After Hours returns in 2012 for Series 5

NetGameRadio is proud to present After Hours series 5 Saturday Nights from March 3rd. Join Bench, Josh, and the netGameRadio staff as they play some games and talk the latest goss in the gaming world…

Article

6 backing tracks to my life

If you’re like me though, there’s certain songs that stand out above the rest. You remember the moments you first heard them…

Article

The new Office Look

So it’s been a while since I actually took the time to take some decent photos of my office…

Article

Call of Duty Experience $1mil Comp

Monash’s Computer Games Boot Camp 2011 will be the setting for the Australian qualifiers for Activision’s Call of Duty Experience Tournament, bragging a $1,000,000 prize for the winners…

Article

Portal 2 Soundtrack : Volume 2 is out

Game soundtrack lovers or just Portal fans (I should just say gamers) should get up and get in on the action of the latest Portal 2 Soundtrack Volume release…

Article

Computer Games Boot Camp is on again for 2011

Monash University is set to kick of its Computer Games Boot Camp (CGBC), the biggest event on any high-school gamer’s calendar…

Article

Ubercharged Team Fortress 2 now Free 2 Play

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 is on Day 4 of it’s Uber Update has finally introduced us to the Medic, oh and is also now totally free 2 play forever and ever.

Article

After Effects : The Must have Plugins

The weapon of choice for Motion Graphic Designers and Visual Effects artists, After Effects has been my “home away from home”. Countless hours spent and long nights rendering out in the best quality I can fathom. It’s a great piece of software on its own, however where it really comes into the realm of professional post-production is with the array of plugins available for it…

Article

Bookmark Rundown

Looking at what’s worth bookmarking, for this the first… the top places for any Motion Graphics Designer…

Article

After Hours Series 3

After Hours Series 3 explodes onto the airwaves Saturday Nights from 10pm. Join myself, Josh, and the nGR boys (and girls) for a night on the town…

Article

Pure Pwnage finds its way to ABC2

I remember going through the latter half of school watching Pure Pwnage, the antics of Jeremy (teh_pwnerer), Kyle and FPS Doug filling the computer screen…

Article

Black Ops PC looks grim

After gamers got all up-in-arms about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, being shipped without the possibility of dedicated servers…

Article

Call of Duty : Black Ops Multiplayer Teaser

As an avid Call Of Duty Fan from way back when you could count the titles on one hand…

Article

Rest in Peace Toni ‘cyx’ Daniloski (Mousesports)

Toni (cyx) Daniloski, one of the world’s best cyberathletes playing for mousesports, has tragically died after complications from a car accident yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany…

Article

X|Media|Lab: Film X-tended

Media Heavyweights flocked into the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne today for X|Media|Lab’s Pro-Day Conference, Film X-tended…

Article

Monash Computer Games Boot Camp kicks off

Monash’s Computer Games Boot Camp has kicked off for 2010, seeing over 700 high-school students flock onto the campus at Clayton, Victoria…

Article

Strap up for 2010′s Boot Camp

Monash University is at it once again with what is fast becoming the biggest Video Game related Conference in Australia…

Article

Status Report on R18+

98.2%. That’s how many of the 59,678 submissions to the Discussion Paper were Pro 18+…

Article

SMH gives choice: pro-filter or pro-rape

Sydney Morning Herald appears to of only just gotten its head out of the sand, with a story released yesterday using the Japanese game…

Article

After Hours Returns for Series 2

ZOMG Can it be possible? Yes it is. After Hours is returning for Series 2 here in 2010…

Article

After Hours FINAL EPISODE

This Saturday November 7th kick back to to Bench, Josh, and the nGR crew on the final episode of netGameRadio’s After Hours for the season, an unscripted, unrehearsed and totally chaotic show where anything goes…

Article

Digital Distribution Summit Wrap-up

BMW Edge at Federation Square, Melbourne, was the setting for the Digital Distribution Summit held on September 22nd 2009. Presented by Film Victoria, and featuring a lineup that included some of the leading names in the games industry, the DDS was a one-day conference that aimed to present invaluable market insight, networking, and discussion in regards to Digital Distribution and it’s effects on not only developers, but publishers and retailers as well…

Article

GameDamage releases a new Trailer

Australian produced videogame television show “GameDamage” have released a new trailer for their upcoming series…

Article

DICE VIP CounterStrike 1.6 National Cup

This weekend has seen Melbourne’s CounterStrike 1.6 LAN scene erupt with the DICE VIP National Cup, just weeks after the Plan B1G CounterStrike Source Nationals…

Article

Midway sold to Warner Bros. for $33 Mil.

For a long time Midway Games Inc. has been circling the bankruptcy drainpipe as it filed for Chapter 11 earlier in the year…

Article

Plan B1G National Cup

The Australian Counter-Strike scene saw the Plan B1G National Cup take place this weekend. In the wake of the collapse of Anything Interactive, B1G League stepped in with little time to arrange the new competition as flights were booked, dates were set, and the community was prepared for an epic showdown…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Amsterdam’s Power Supply was under threat because of the development of Killzone 2…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Nintendo will be releasing their MotinPlus snap-on attachment for Wii remotes on June 8th…

Article

2009 Wacom Expo featuring Intuos 4

Over 4 years in production, finally Wacom has released their next Graphics Tablet, and already I want to have its babies. It’s just that awesome…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

County Police Departments are angered by Grand Theft Auto mods providing authentic depictions of real police vehicles within their county…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Microsoft’s UK head of Xbox Neil Thompson has stated that they see downloadble content and Xbox Live as a ‘complementary’ addition to boxed product…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is complete, and ready to be released worldwide on April 24th according to Atari…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

It seems like my favourite topic has continued to crop up into the spotlight once again…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Now i know i try to avoid being opinionated when presenting the news each week, but this next story i can’t help myself…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

The Economic Crisis has dealt all lines of the economy a serious blow, including the Royal Air Force who…

Article

Australian Gamer

Every week at least 20,000 listeners will hear the voices of what some have called “comic genius” and “the Roy and H.G of Australian gaming”…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

In America the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the anti-video game legislation, passed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, is unconstitutional…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Activision is threatening to sue Electronic Arts over the publishing rights to Double Fine’s action game, Brutal Legend…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Epic Games, known for the Unreal series, has found itself in an awkward position….

Review

Call of Duty : Black Ops [PC]

April 28, 2011

After all the controversy between Activision and Inifinty Ward in the past 12 months, the pressure was on Treyarch to step up and produce an exciting and new chapter to the saga that is Call of Duty. It would appear they haven’t disappointed. Call of Duty : Black Ops is a gritty First Person Shooter set in the depths of the Cold War, that takes players on a mind-fragging adventure as Captain Alex Mason, a member of a classified covert operations unit.

From the get-go Black Ops oozes storyline and depth, and while that has been a mainstay of Call of Duty since the original Modern Warfare, it has expanded to the loading screens and main menu. Many questions are asked throughout the Single Player, and as it would seem you don’t remember the answers you have to explore your past to unlock your present. Playing through mission to mission you slowly uncover the underlying plot, presenting yourself with more and more questions. Don’t worry though, they all get answered by the end of the game. However characters were somewhat typical of previous titles. The lovable deep characters of yesteryear with nothing else added made it easy to just glaze over thinking, “seen this before”. Saying that though the cutscenes appeared to tell more story than what you were playing through; it became a case of the gameplay becoming an inconvenience as I desired to just get to the next cutscene to learn more. Probably one of the worst things that could occur to a game, especially a FPS. There was also less switching between characters, however the storyline didn’t warrant it as the majority of it focused on you as Alex exploring the events leading up to where you find yourself in the present day.

Travelling into your past you play through a variety of locations, from Cuba to the Pentagon, Russia to Vietnam. Eclectic as usual and at least this time round Treyarch didn’t go backwards in quality like they had done last time they followed an Infinity Ward title. Each environment requires you to utilize various tactics and strategies we’ve become so familiar with, so if you’re a fan of the series then get ready for some new stuff, but primarily more of the same.

Following on from previous attempts at vehicle control, Black Ops has leaped into the deep end with players controlling everything from Boats to Choppers and everything in between. While driving a boat requires nothing more than common sense, the latter mentioned chopper can seem a little whimsical at times. Its constant flaying through the canopy of trees while bouncing off rock formations leads me to believe I’m better suited to attempting to fly behind a computer desk rather than in Real Life.

Of course with each new episode in the Call of Duty saga, there’s new toys to play with and Black Ops attempts to bring them. Camera Spikes, Jammers, Motion Detectors, Crossbows, various assortments of grenades, and lots more. All of which is utilized in the Multiplayer.

Players of Modern Warfare 2 will recall Spec Ops, the 2-player Co-op missions. I thought this was quite a success, with many missions requiring one of the players to assume one role while the other assumed another. I was sad to find this wasn’t in Black Ops, as many of the missions were able to lend themselves to such co-op scenarios. Instead Treyarch has brought back Nazi Zombies. Yes the ravaging mayhem of the Führer’s undead yet again attempting to eat your faces. This time there’s plenty of maps to choose from: Kino der Toten, Five (unlockable after completing the whole Single Player Campaign), Dead Ops Arcade (Retro Topdown Easter Egg) and more once the First Strike DLC comes out. To coincide with the new maps there’s new additions to the gameplay such as teleporters, auto-turrets etc; and new enemies to boot. Needless to say still worth bringing back but undecided on whether it was worth at the cost of Spec Ops.

What would be Call of Duty without the multiplayer. In fact a surprising majority of players you may find on any public server will probably tell you they haven’t even finished the Single Player. Multiplayer has always been a major draw card for Call of Duty, and typically will either make it or break it in the eyes of fans. Black Ops has opted out of the standard, “earn points, unlock rewards” in replace of COD points. No longer needing to grind through endless pea-shooters to finally get to the one you desire. In-game you earn experience as well as cash; after earning a certain amount of experience you unlock the ability to purchase certain items. You buy what you wish to use; weapons, grenades, perks, etc. However don’t be drawn to believe this is the same as Counter-Strike, you still have the custom classes same as yesteryear, no fumbling about at the start of a round trying to find which of the dozens of guns on offer you wish to use.

Following on from Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops has Playercards; showcasing your name, a custom-made emblem, and other stats about yourself. These emblems can also be placed on your primary weapon as well, adding to the satisfaction when killing an enemy with their own gun. Of course anything enabling teenagers to create custom images that are shown in-game generally results in half the players running around brandishing guns with male genitalia splayed all over it. Needless to say those who take the time have managed to create some vary impressive looking emblems, majority of which feature items or characters from other video games.

Prestige mode is back, with new benefits for each. Unlocking more classes, new symbols for your rank, as well as other camo and face paint and playercard backgrounds for those who push up through the ranks quickly. It also gives an opportunity to try a different tact when playing through each prestige as you’re not forced to use the same weapons every time.

On the whole Black Ops is a worthy purchase, it has enough of a story to warrant playing the Single Player, and Multiplayer has enough in it to keep your attention for hours. As with majority of games in the Call of Duty series, if you can look over the small faults you will find a game that has a lot to it, considering it’s a First Person Shooter.

Storyline – 3/5 (Once played through once the story loses most of its thrill, worth playing through once, probably not a second time.)
Gameplay – 4/5 (Nothing too innovative in Single Player to differ it from other COD titles, however the new Multiplayer elements add something new.)
Presentation – 4/5 (Continuing to push the depth of Call of Duty titles, however with most games pushing even further it may be time for COD to play catch-up.)