That title is about as mature as the average person that seems to wander around message boards on sites like IGN or NFL.com anymore. We're going to be brief on this one, as opposed to my usual 3 page diatribes that I unleash from time to time.
Call of Duty: Black Ops does not suck.
It's not the best game ever. Hell, it's not even the best Call of Duty ever. But, the game certainly does not suck. Also, it's insanely successful. Now, I understand that success doesn't equal quality, but it still nullifies certain comments.
For example, someone on the IGN boards said that "the entire (first-person shooter) community despises Black Ops." Huh. Interesting since it has the LARGEST ONLINE POPULATION of active players on Xbox Live. So, are they all platformer fans? Sports fans? None of them are fans of first-person shooters, apparently.
Now, the game doesn't have the same feel as Call of Duty 4 did, nor the same as Modern Warfare 2. Those games grabbed you and showed a good amount of depth. Modern Warfare 2 suffered from poor map designs that made some game types unplayable, as well as several exploitations and glitches that severely damaged the game. It also had nukes. Fuck nukes. I don't like playing a Capture the Flag game that despite winning 5-1, we get nuked and lose because one douchebag in the back of the map is camping with a silenced shotgun. That does not encourage team-based objective play. At ALL.
However, Black Ops has a lot of very solid maps (bolstered by some really good map packs for once) and most maps work well for any game type. There aren't any broken weapons that work too well, there aren't any exploits that break the game, and there hasn't been any real cases of hacking in multiplayer games. Fundamentally, the game is well-balanced and plays well. So why does everyone hate it?
I think the obvious answer would be because it's successful. Look, I get that its the same game engine from Call of Duty 4, but what exactly is wrong with that game engine? It works perfectly fine. Hell, the Unreal Engine has hardly changed, but games STILL use that! I agree that some overhauls would be nice, and some have been made. Between the dive to the ground and the addition of several different and unique weapons, changes do get made. It's still a fun game to play.
Does that mean it should never change? No. I will tolerate Modern Warfare 3 using the same engine again, because it's closure to a trilogy of games with a connected story. However, after that I think they do need to freshen things up. The negativity from the online community will eventually bleed into the actual fanbase. That's one of the things that happens now with the internet and social networking. So, if they don't change after Modern Warfare 3, and just keep releasing a game a year with the same engine, it will become "cool to hate" Call of Duty, which will cause it to fail.
They need balancing still, don't get me wrong. There are still some really overpowered kill streak rewards, even in Black Ops. They need to go back to basics. Go back to a 3-5-7 combo, like Call of Duty 4 did, and like Crysis 2 currently does. Allow some customization of what kill streak rewards you have for the 3-5-7, but I'm sick of AC-130 gunships and Chopper Gunners causing me to have to max out the Ghost perk just so I can shoot them down without being killed 15 times. Example? 3 kills results in either an RC-Car, Radar, Ammo Drop,or Radar Jammer. 5 kills results in either any of the 3 kill streak rewards, or Care Package, Carpet Bombs, or a Guided Missile. 7 kills results in either any of the 3 or 5 kill streak rewards, or a deployed Attack Helicopter, a Napalm Strike, or a Payload, which if obtained, resets your kill streak rewards, so the next 3 will start the cycle again.
Simple, and effective. You could even have a kill streak called "Environmental" which will change depending on the map. Maybe the map has a large radar dish, so using "Environmental" will show the locations of any players within the vicinity of the radar dish. Simple things like that. Are there boats off the coast of a map? They'll start shelling the map. But at least you won't find yourself pinned down in a building while a gunship circles you endlessly with a fully automatic turret that never overheats.
So, this ended up being way too long winded, but I figured I would speak up in defense of Black Ops. However, my defense for the Call of Duty franchise will end if things don't change soon after Modern Warfare 3.
Take care, and talk to you soon.