Shooters, the cash cow genre for gamers today; millions of copies are sold per year of Call of Duty, Gears of War, and other shooter franchises. In 2010, three enormous franchises have returned to grace our presence in the Christmas season; Halo, Call of Duty, and Goldeneye. Buying games is not cheap, new games start at $60; so, to assist a fellow gamer I have played Black Ops, Halo Reach, and Goldeneye and compared each of these three blockbuster franchises. My goal is to make solid recommendations that tailor towards several specific categories. Therefore, if one was to buy only one or two of these three candidates, here are my recommendations and why.
Goldeneye: Unless you play with the Wii Classic Controller or Gamecube controller, the experience is awful. The Wiimote and Nunchuk controls are as bad as Red Steel 1. The controls on the Wii Classic, Gamecube controller, are a hybrid of Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare. One can focus and fire on one target with the shoulder buttons, as well as zoom out and refocus on another target. Unlike most shooters, there was no mission that really stood out and made me enjoy playing the game. The game attempts to make itself unique by implementing Bond gadgets, but it feels as if this integration was done as an after thought as opposed to being a building block. In addition, when one thinks of Bond, stealth should be a necessity, not a joke. If Bond fires a silenced shot that misses a guard, the guard will state, “I hear something.” After several seconds, no matter where Bond stands or hides, the guard will shout, “ENEMY SPOTTED.” This action results in every enemy within that sector hording to Bond’s location armed with either assault rifles or shotguns. In the end, the game play is just unbelievable in a very bad way.
Halo Reach: Using the same control scheme as prior Halo games, Reach does include its own tailored touch that delivers a solid play through. New to the Halo universe, Reach introduces a fun space simulation battle against Covenant ships. Reach also adds suit abilities in which a player can carry one at a time. Abilities include sprinting, short radius ground shields, and a jetpack that allows flight for a short period of time. The game is a solid eight to ten hour campaign with a number of well crafted missions including a thrilling ending that leds up to the very beginning of Master Chief’s reins. Halo Reach is executed well and Bungie adds enough variety to keep the franchise fresh for one last hurrah.
Black Ops: Black Ops is a thrilling campaign with very little added from previous itinerations, but so many elements of its past are tweaked to perfection. The game is between a six to ten hour campaign leading the player to various locations as well as utilizing several military vessels, a variety of turret situations, and a plethora of different scenarios make Black Ops very immersing for the player. It’s an excellent package that’s always worth coming back for.
My Opinion: The best game play is Black Ops. There is just so much variety and a number of moments that have you gripping the controller like a handlebar on a rollercoaster anticipating the next turn of this awesome package.
Goldeneye does not have any thrilling music to it’s soundtrack and the voice acting is dull. Every time the character reloads, the screen turns blurry making reloading a nightmare, this is barely complimented by the fair graphics on the system with limited textures and nothing really defined or standing out. The story follows the movie closely with no extra missions unlike it’s N64 counterpart. The game never really sucked me into it and made me excited to play.
Halo Reach has an awesome soundtrack, blaring a melancoly space theme to the tragic tale of Nobel Team. The story is about Noble Six, a member of Noble Team, a group of Spartans tasked with defending the planet Reach and the odds of survival against an invading Covenant Army. The voice acting, draws the player in and makes you become one of the squad, giving your all and enjoying this epic experience.
Black Opshas great voice acting from Hollywood actors like Ed Harris, Ice Cube, & Gary Oldman but even without the big name actors, the voices are stunning and really make the experience better. The music is atmospheric for a tense war situation whether it be old 1960′s war ballads (Symphony for the Devil, Fortunate Son, etc) or it’s a loud “get moving” theme, the music is great. The story centers around Alex Mason, and flashbacks in his life of different battles and experiences attempting to determine when the next cataclysmic nuclear attack against the United States will occur and who will be at fault. It’s a great ride that has the player guessing what will happen next at every turn.
The best experience is Halo Reach. Some moments that drew me into the experience really stand out from the other games. I couldn’t believe how the story played out as well as what happens to the people on Reach.
Goldeneye does have multiple difficulties with an increasing number of tasks to complete for each mission, including a classic 007 mode which harks back to the N64 glory days when players relied on body armor and skill over regenerating health. It’s a nice idea but after one playthrough of this 10-12 hour campaign, I had enough of Goldeneye revisioned for Wii. It has two different varieties of multiplayer, either online or four way split screen action. There is a wide variety of different modes but I found times when no one was playing some of the specialty modes. People are playing it online but for how long is my question.
Black Ops goes one step further offering a zombie mode similar to its World at War counterpart. The player controls one of several significant figures from the 60′s as there character. In addition, Black Ops has an addictive, unlockable, top down, two stick arcade shooter called Dead Ops Arcade. Lastly, Black Ops has a plethora of multiplayer match options, customizations, reward ranks, and so much more. The variety alone is immense in this one game and it can keep someone busy for months on end
If one wants to play a variety of different modes, edit levels, or one just is a big Halo fan boy, Halo Reach. Otherwise, Black Ops. Zombie mode, a top down addictive arcade shooter, millions of people on multiplayer, and fun but quick matches. Both games have so much and it’s a tie between the two.
Goldeneyeis a fair shooter but it’s sad that it doesn’t live up to nor come close to what the original Goldeneye for N64 means to gamers. It is not a regeneration of a franchise but the building of a grave.
Halo Reach is an epic campaign with plenty of multiplayer options that make this game a great buy.
Treyarch Studios molded a great campaign for Black Ops as well as offered so much in the form of multiplayer to fellow gamers. Combined with the zombie mode and the two stick over the top shooter, Black Ops is a steal for three games in one as well as all the multiplayer options.
Black Ops: In a very difficult decision, Black Ops has different variations to play as well as multiplayer options too. It’s campaign is only a fraction weaker then Halo Reach, but Black Ops redeems itself with solid game play and an overall fantastic experience. Call of Duty: Black Ops is the BEST BUY!