Treyarch, your attention to detail is lost on me. Your attempt at keeping me engaged and focused in the narrative while keeping the shit-hittin-fan level continuously well above 11 is admirable, yet in my opinion, slightly discordant. I never once felt important in terms of plot and my role in it and the gameplay left me unsatisfied by virtue of the disconnect with my character. Is this wrong? Is it possible to be wrong? Can my enjoyment of the single player campaign really weigh so heavily on whether or not I paid attention in history class or how many war documentaries I've seen? It's an interesting dilemma further emphasized by how I originally planned on reviewing it for Ask An Enemy. After completing the campaign my disappointment felt overt. Upon reading review after review and listening to my boys on Weekend Confirmed discuss it, it felt unfair.
How is it that I'm not digging this game? It's an ADHD sufferer's dream. The action is non-stop, the explosions are ginormous and the violence is of the caliber you'd see Rambo take part in. It's that sensory overload without remission I've come to love and, undeniably, am a huge fan of. So what's going on here? My inability to focus on the narrative and naiveté with it's references to the real life situations and events of that period caused me to see right through to that broken gameplay mechanic I've been all too familiar within the franchise. Infinite spawn points that don't end until you hit the trigger point, rinse and repeat. Veteran difficulty immensely exemplifies this and paired with my ignorance, it shot down any enjoyment I was expecting from playing through single player. Previous games in the series also suffer from this design choice however, Captain Price was the fucking shit.
It begs the question had I reviewed Black Ops and been so negative on it, would my review hold any merit? How about disregarding the story and focusing on gameplay? I was struggling to find what angle to approach the review from. Luckily it's obvious where the focus of Treyarch's attention went and that was one-upping Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer, stepping out from Infinity Ward's "Hiroshimic" shadow and shattering the bar and any preconceived pettish feelings gamers may have had of the multiplayer experience. Allowing the user to set the default executable, on consoles no less, to multiplayer by default should speak volumes. Additionally, there's so much more than single and multiplayer packed onto the disc that makes even the Prestige version of Black Ops worth the wallet-weight-loss system. With the return of Zombie mode come three entirely new maps and purchasing the Prestige edition gives you access to all four maps from World at War's Zombie mode. I can't see any reason why these maps wouldn't come later as DLC but definitely a nice perk. Also while sitting in your chair on the Mode select screen, look down at your hands and pull the the left and right triggers continuously. Go ahead give it a shot. Once you do that, wander on over to the computer termiinal and type in "DOA". You may even want to experiment with "ZORK".
My work here is done.