For a long time I’ve eschewed playing FPS games online. Many years ago I used to enjoy a bit of Counter Strike now and then. After a while though it would be hard to turn a corner without being headshot into oblivion by some kid with “leet” skills. I don’t care what you say, dying within a fraction of a second from spawn, before you’ve even loosed off one round is not fun.
It didn’t stop me playing FPS games, I just didn’t play online. I did have some really great times playing system link games round one of my friend’s house. 2 TVs back to back on the coffee table, junk food ordered in and much rowdiness and laughter. I played a lot of co-op Gears of War 1&2 and Halo Reach, and they were great times.
Recently though I caved in a finally bought CoD: Black Ops. I tell you what I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Despite getting completely owned from time to time, I can still hold my own, and even peaked at a 2.00 kill/death ratio (doesn’t sound a lot, but it was a rather proud moment). The leveling and equipment system keep things very addictive, but don’t feel like they have too much of an impact on the game. I could be wrong of course.
The killstreak rewards are a very nice feature in the game. Get a set number of kills without dying and you are granted various rewards in the form of spy-planes that reveal the position of enemies on the mini-map, napalm strikes, all the way up to packs of vicious attack dogs that charge all over the map and cause one hit melee kills. These really spice up battles.
Luckily I’ve really not experienced any smack talk so far. Granted I spend a fair amount of time in a private party with a couple of friends also playing the game, but most of the time I’ve had the headset on whilst playing solo I’ve noticed there’s not a lot of talking in general. This is good because the bad attitudes of many XBL members put me off playing similar things online previously.
I’ve never found myself logging off from dying too much at all which is a good sign. In fact once I’ve started a session, I generally find it hard to stop. I’m either trying to beat challenges, level up or just improve my performance. Consider me a convert.