Call of Duty: Black Ops for Wii – A Surprisingly Good Shooter

Call of Duty: Black Ops, is the followup to the wildly successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 released last year. Treyarch, the developer behind earlier games in the series like Call of Duty 3 and Modern Warfare: Reflex have definitely set the bar high for Call of Duty Wii games.

In the past, such as in Modern Warfare: Reflex, the motion controls of the Wii have mostly been used as a gimmick. Sure, you got the same run and gun action that you did from any other console, but it was usually puncuated with awkward motion control minigames which, in my opinion, detracted from the overall experience. Treyarch has made steps toward correcting this, making the Call of Duty Black Ops Wii port more seamless. Motion controls are worked in almost flawlessly, resulting in the kind of shooter the Wii hasn’t seen in a long time.

The single player is good, although I won’t provide many details of the story (spoilers!). You’ve got your regular, everyday “go here and shoot that” missions, which are a staple of any game of this type, but Treyarch is good about breaking the game up with things like piloting an SR-71 or a helicopter. Treyarch also breaks from shooter standards by introducing cool weapons like the tomahawk and crossbow (with explosive arrows!)

The game is packed with great multiplayer features as well, and the Call of Duty Black Ops Wii port doesn’t leave out anything that was present in other console iterations. Famously returning from Call of Duty: World at War is the cooperative “Zombies” mode, where players work together to defeat waves of the undead. The mode is much improved with the addition of modern weapons and new maps, and fans of the original game mode will find themselves equally drawn to this one.

And you can’t have multiplayer without being able to shoot your friends, right? Voice chat finally makes an appearance on the Wii with this game, meaning you can actually talk to your friends as you shoot them. Several game modes like “Deathmatch” and “Capture the Flag” offer a good bit of fun, but I still think the real meat of the Call of Duty Black Ops Wii port is the single player. Controls on the Wii don’t really work well for fast-paced shooting matches, and they can take a while to master.

A few gripes though. Although the Wii controls are definitely improving with each iteration of the Call of Duty franchise, shooting bad guys with the Wii-mote still isn’t as smooth or as natural to me as doing it with my 360. Also, the game lacks some of the polish that Modern Warfare 2 had, but given that games long development cycle and large cost of development, this isn’t really surprising.

All in all, I would say that this is probably the best Wii port of a Call of Duty game yet. Although it could use a little improvement (or maybe I could just use a bit more practice with the Wii-mote) it’s definitely a solid title, especially if you’re a fan of the series.

You can find more information on the entire Call of Duty franchise at the official COD website.