UK Chart: Black Ops retakes the top

Posted on February 22, 2011

Latest Call of Duty battles back to the number one spot as sales treble; Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds brawls into second place, TDU2 slips back to four.

Get the full article at GameSpot

UK Chart: Black Ops retakes the top” was posted by Alex Sassoon Coby on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 05:38:33 -0800

Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike PC release in March

Posted on February 10, 2011

Activision have revealed that the First Strike map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops will be out on PC by the end of March. Activision have also set up a new company devoted to creating new DLC for Call of Duty. Read on for details and the First Strike trailer.

Activision made the reveal when announcing its quarterly financial results last night. They mentioned that the pack would be out on PC this financial quarter, which ends in March. Activision also announced the formation of a new company devoted exclusively to creating digital downloads for Call of Duty. The team will be called Beachhead, and have been tasked with creating “best in class digital experience for Call of Duty.” It looks as though we can look forward to more Call of Duty: Black Ops map packs and expansions in future.

First Strike contains four new multiplayer maps and a new “zombie experience.”

  • Stadium – competitive map set in an Ice Hockey rink.
  • Kowloon – multiplayer map that takes place on the rooftops of Kowloon
  • Berlin Wall – A multiplayer fight for checkpoint Charlie.
  • Discovery – A competitive map set in an Antarctic research facility, based on the Reznov mission from the singleplayer campaign.
  • Ascension – New zombie map with new weapons and creatures to fight.

There’s no exact release date or price set for the PC version yet, but it should be out before April 1. Check out the official Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike site for more information. Here’s the First Strike trailer.

[via CVG]

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Black Ops: First Strike DLC Review — Is This Call of Duty Map Pack Worth It?

Posted on February 03, 2011
Black Ops: First Strike DLC Review -- Is This Call of Duty Map Pack Worth It?
Treyarch are up at bat again with the first DLC released for Black Ops in this First Strike DLC review. Coattail riders. Second fiddles. Copycats. Johnny come lately. The folks at Treyarch have been called a lot of names since they starting working on the Call of Duty series, but with Call of Duty: Black Ops, they proved that they aren’t just second banana by stepping up to the plate and delivering a solid game that takes the franchise in new directions while giving gamers what they want.
The First Strike map pack (which drops first on the Xbox 360 and then a a later date on the PS3 and PC) provides players with four new multiplayer maps and a new zombie encounter, all wrapped up in a package for 1200 MS Points, or $15 in real world dollars. But is it worth it? That’s the same price as the recent Battlefield: Vietnam DLC pack, which provided weapons and vehicles in addition to new maps. With First Strike, you just have four new maps and the Ascension zombie map/experience, so at first glance it seems like you’re getting less content for the same price, which is already at the top of what gamers seem to be comfortable paying. So it is worth it?
Treyarch has put so much work into these maps with intricate details and pathing, that it’s definitely worth the investment. Each level is different enough from the other to feel that a lot of foresight was put into planning these out, and the color they’ve tossed in for realism brings the whole package home.
Speaking of that package, here’s what you get for your dough:
  • Berlin Wall: This map takes place at Checkpoint Charlie, straddling the line between West and East Berlin. There’s a lot of gray in this map, and there’s the deadly addition of turrets that will open fire on you if you stray into the neutral zone. There are three safe paths across the zone, and multiple buildings with dual levels that provide plenty of places to run and gun. There’s even a record shop featuring “Musik Bombe!” and “Der Doktortitel and Freunds” on vinyl. Perfect for mid-sized games.
  • Discovery: A German research station locked on the edge of polar ice in Antarctica provides the setting for this map, and one of the most striking features is that you can look up into the sky and see the aurora borealis shimmering overhead. Pretty nifty. This is a fairly large map, riddled with deep crevasses that are extremely easy to fall into (you won’t survive that fall, by the way) and modular research buildings in a roughly rectangular playfield. There’s an ice cave you can venture through, as well as a metal gantry that runs the entire length of one side of the map, linking the two starting areas. Snipers, you’ll love this one.

Black Ops: First Strike DLC Review -- Is This Call of Duty Map Pack Worth It?

  • Kowloon: Set high in the skies like Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back (nerd ref: factor five), Kowloon looms out of the fog and clouds and looks like a shantytown ripped straight out of Blade Runner. The map literally scrapes the sky, with a 747 nearly grazing the level as it comes in for a landing during the loadscreen. There are multiple paths around and through this map, include ziplines that let you quickly move from one part of the map to another. The only trouble being that you’re a sitting target while that’s happening. While this is also a good map for sniping (particularly under the large neon sign with a convenient ladder underneath), the symmetrical gameplay makes it very run and gun friendly as well.
  • Stadium: Bringing the fight to the United States, Stadium is set around a minor league hockey team in New York City. It’s a bit incongruous of a level, as there’s an enormous hockey statue behind one starting level, while the rest of the map is bunched up in front of the main entrance to the Stadium itself. Team offices and training rooms ring the outer edge of the map, and there’s a nice sniper’s nest made out of plywood in front of the main entrance to the rink. Of course, being made out of plywood, it doesn’t provide much cover. Sadly, the rink itself is inaccessible, which is a total missed opportunity. Take away some traction and make that rink playable! It’s the smallest of the maps, and plays fast, but if an architect designed this in real life, he’d be fired.
Besides that, you’ll also get the brand-new Ascension zombie mode, which puts you at the bottom of a gigantic research station, complete with a whirling cyclotron that will kill you if you stray into its path. But this map shakes things up by presenting the level entirely in black and white, until you’re able to turn the power on. But once you slap the power on, you’ll start getting attacked by Zombie monkeys. Yes, really. Additionally, they’ll attack both you and the perk machines you’ve unlocked, so kill them quickly. As with all the zombie maps, play this with friends, as it is massive and has a ton of doors to open. Luckily, there are some good spots to hole up in.
Any complaints? Besides the rink being inaccessible in Stadium, I found myself wishing that Berlin Wall had some sort reason for you to sprint across the neutral zone. It pretty much means instant death, but it would be nice if you could sprint to a sniper nest and lose most of your health in the process, trading off a vantage point for vulnerability. It’s a small nitpick, but it would make that zone and the turrets a bit more strategic. Also, I wouldn’t mind being able to hop into those turrets myself and pick off enemies.
Black Ops: First Strike DLC Review -- Is This Call of Duty Map Pack Worth It?
All of these maps are now in favored rotation on the servers, although things were a bit choked on launch day which led to some disconnected games and the maps not showing at all. If you download the pack, these maps should come up over the others, although there is unfortunately no DLC-only playlist right now. With the bonus zombie mode, this map pack is definitely worth more than the Modern Warfare map packs, particularly since these are original maps and not ports from previous games.
If you’re a true CoD-head, there’s no way you can pass up this DLC. Casual players may not want to pick this up immediately, but if you’re turned off by multiplayer fragging and bagging, the Ascension zombie mode is well worth it. I could listen to the hilarious voiceover from that for quite awhile before being bored of it. If points are burning a hole in your virtual wallet, this is well worth it.



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Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike Starting Block

Posted on February 03, 2011

Join Ryan Mac Donald for a quick look of the four new multiplayer maps in Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike Starting Block” was posted by RyanM on Thu, 03 Feb 2011 00:11:04 -0800

Shack Giveaway: Black Ops ‘First Strike’ DLC Codes

Posted on February 02, 2011

Today marks the release of the “First Strike” map pack on Xbox 360 for Call of Duty: Black Ops. To welcome new content for the popular shooter, Shacknews staff infiltrated top secret strongholds and extracted a dozen codes for the DLC to give away to our loyal readers.

The contest is open to Shacknews members in the United States. To enter, simply leave a comment in this story. The winner will be selected at random at 5PM CST and notified via Shackmessage. Please make sure you watch your Shacknews Inbox.

Here’s how to enter the giveaway:

  • Leave a comment bel…

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Trailers: Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike Trailer

Posted on January 26, 2011

First Strike is the first DLC map pack available for Call of Duty: Black Ops.


Go to Source (The Escapist –

Activision Confirms it Could Kill PS3 Black Ops Servers, But Says it Won’t

Posted on January 19, 2011

Activision claims that an angry customer “misinterpreted” a conversation he had with a customer service representative as a threat.


View Article (The Escapist –

Limbo, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2 Lead Finalists for Game Developers Choice Awards

Posted on January 13, 2011

Former IGF prizewinner Limbo tops honors with seven noms; Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Call of Duty: Black Ops round out Game of the Year nods.

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New Call of Duty: Black Ops ‘First Strike’ DLC hits Xbox 360 on Feb 1st. PS3 players? You have to wait (Call of Duty: Black Ops)

Posted on December 20, 2010

Tired of shooting men in the face in the same old Call of Duty: Black Ops maps? Then rejoice. For you shall soon be able to partake in said make believe face-shooting on new maps, when the game’s first DLC is released on February 1st. Entitled First Strike, the pack will remain a timed-exclusive on 360 for around about a month. All the details on the new maps inside…


Go to Source (GamesRadar)

GamesRadar guides: Halo: Reach, Black Ops, and Ass Creed: Brotherhood Multiplayer (Halo: Reach)

Posted on December 20, 2010

When you wake up on the 25th there’s a good chance one of the following games is gonna be under your tree; unless you’re not Christian, in which case you already bought and beat it. Either way, you’re gonna want some tips in your never-ending quest to humiliate all the scrubs online who keep getting lucky and embarrassing you. Good news, we’ve got a huge batch of multiplayer tips and strategies for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Halo: Reach and Black Ops right here, including a cool new Achievement video guide for Black Ops. So sit back, pour some Egg Nog (or other non-holiday related beverage) and read up, because the only thing worse than coal in your stocking is an embarrassing kill/death ratio.


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The Week in Review: Cheaters and Cheetos

Posted on December 11, 2010

In this week’s edition, the police knock on the door of a Call of Duty hacker, and a man loses weight eating nothing but junk food.


View Article (The Escapist –


Big Smile Reviews – Call of Duty: Black Ops

Posted on December 07, 2010
Diifii shares his thoughts on Call of Duty: Black Ops.

For me the Call of Duty series is all about the experience the game delivers. The real experience of being at war. The shocking and breathtaking moments that we see in films so often, but never really get to re-live them properly in a video game. It is because of this experience, I keep on coming back to the Call of Duty series.

read more (Shogun Gamer)


GamesRadar guides: Black Ops Intel and cheats, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood guides (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood)

Posted on December 06, 2010

December isn’t just physically cold, its game release schedule is pretty chilly as well. With the major studios having squeezed out most of their collective 2010 load, we’re left with only a few choice corn nuggets to remove from the brown. It’s a good thing October and November we’re so packed to the brim with good stuff that you can spend the rest of the year burning through the pile of early holiday presents you got yourself. So enjoy even more guides for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Fallout: New Vegas. I’ve linked to each game’s cheats and hints page as well, where you can find a plethora of user generated help like FAQs, easter eggs and much more.


Go to Source (Games Radar)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Code Cracked

Posted on November 27, 2010

YouTube user 01MaverickTen10 says he is the first on the internet to crack the code hidden in Call of Duty: Black Ops. Very impressive. Worth watching just for the humor if you ask me. **Spoiler Alert**


The Week in Review: Legal Wrangling and Code Cracking

Posted on November 27, 2010

On this week’s edition, Gran Turismo 5 slows to a crawl thanks to a congested internet, and Call of Duty: Black Ops is lauded and loathed in equal measure.


View Article (The Escapist –

Zero Punctuation: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Posted on November 25, 2010

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Call of Duty: Black Ops.


Go to Source (The Escapist –

How to make Call of Duty: Black Ops run faster on your PC

Posted on November 24, 2010

We were less than impressed with Call of Duty: Black Ops, and being hit with bad framerates, stuttering and other glitches didn’t exactly improve our mood. Luckily, there are ways of whipping it into shape without having to wait for another patch to come along. Here’s our guide to CODBLOPS bliss.

MEDIC! Come patch this game up or I’ll shoot your balls off!

Clean Up Your System

CODBLOPS is a very system intensive game, so before even firing it up, make sure it has as many resources available as you can throw at it. Shut down any apps like BitTorrent, web browsers, instant messaging tools, Skype type tools and music apps – all of these soak up memory and/or bandwidth that CODBLOPS will want to use. If your antivirus software has a Gaming Mode, remember to switch it on before starting the game. It’s also worth running the Windows Disk Defragmenter application to make sure your drive is properly organised. Finally, double-check that you’re using the latest drivers for your graphics card. If you’re using AMD (ATI) drivers, Steam can update them for you. Nvidia users, go here.

If you’re only playing the single-player campaign, try running Steam in Offline Mode. For multiplayer, make sure CODBLOPS gets all the bandwidth by right-clicking on ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops – Multiplayer’ in your Library, selecting Properties, and unticking ‘Enable Steam Community In-Game’.

Perfection Through Performance Settings

Graphics Over Gameplay: The Ultimate Test

As tempting as it is to make your PC sweat, if you’re having performance issues, it’s worth sacrificing a bit of graphical fidelity. The obvious temptation is to lower the resolution, but we’d avoid that unless you absolutely have to. Your monitor is designed to work at a specific resolution, and the performance boost of stepping it down usually isn’t worth the loss of picture quality. Instead, tone down the effects. Switch Anti-Aliasing to either 2x or off, turn anisotropic filtering down, and switch Shadows off entirely. These are by far the biggest performance drains. If you need a little more speed, set Texture Filtering to just Bilinear.

Even if you don’t plan to play like this (and trust us, it will look hideous), there’s a reason to strip things down – to see if there’s a more fundamental problem with your system. If not, or once you’ve fixed it with a later tip, you can crank them back up again and see CODBLOPS the way it was meant to be.

Download This

You can tweak many features via console commands and the built-in settings, but [EDIT: This file appears to have been removed from the site linked to] this app from Steam forums user DustinEwan is much easier. [EDIT: This file appears to have been removed from the site linked to. Have tried to find an alternative but so far no luck. If you know of one or find one please comment below.] Load in your configuration file and the most troublesome graphical effects can be switched off with a single mouse-click. This includes Glow, which shouldn’t be a problem for the engine but apparently is, Depth of Field, which blurs the screen past a certain distance and can be a major problem if your graphics card is only just up to running CODBLOPS, and smaller details like whether VSync is on or off. As with all tweaking, it’s best to switch one off at a time to see the full effect: we recommend going Glow, Depth of Field, Distortion, then Blur. If nothing helps, it’s time to…

Get Your Hands Dirty

When settings screens fail, it’s time to go for the nuclear option: the Console. To access this in Multiplayer, fire up the game, go into the Options and activate it under the Game options. Press the ` or ~ key to bring it down and get ready to start tweaking. In Single Player… you’re out of luck. For some reason, it’s been removed since launch. Hopefully it’ll be put back in eventually.

These are all tweaks that people have reported as working for them online, although none of them seem to work for everyone. Try them, see what happens, report your success in the Comments thread below.

/cg_drawfps 1

A good one to enter first. This shows you your FPS count, making it more easier to tell when the various tweaks and console commands you try are actually having a consistent impact.


Didn’t show any improvement on our test rig, but other people claim it helps with the stuttering.

/com_maxfps 100

Locks the maximum FPS rate, hopefully making performance more consistent, if not faster.

/snaps 30
/cl_maxpackets 100
/rate 3000

Determines how many updates are sent to the server.

Any More?

Have you found a tip that helped you out? Still suffering from performance issues even with the graphics dialed back to 1996? Share your problems and solutions in the Comments thread. We’ll update this post with the most hopeful ones. If none of them help… there’s always hope for a proper patch. Right?


Go to Source (PC Gamer)

Black Ops maintains top UK sales spot, AC: Brotherhood has strongest debut in franchise

Posted on November 22, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops sales may have dropped 85 percent in the UK last week, but even with that massive dip its record-breaking debut ensured that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood would stop at second place. 63,000 copies separated the two.

According to Chart-Track, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood had the well-deserved, largest debut of the franchise to date. The only other top ten premiere this week came from Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, which raced into third place.

The remainder of spots in the top five are occupied with games that involve feet. FIFA 11 defends its spot at fourth, as Just Dance continues reaping the benefits of its Faustian deal and its sequel does the Charleston in fifth. Check out the full UK top ten after the break.

Continue reading Black Ops maintains top UK sales spot, AC: Brotherhood has strongest debut in franchise

JoystiqBlack Ops maintains top UK sales spot, AC: Brotherhood has strongest debut in franchise originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 22 Nov 2010 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Patch Tweaks CPU Performance

Posted on November 22, 2010

Another patch was deployaed for the PC edition of Treyarch’s record-breaking shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops on Saturday via Steam, bringing more much-awaited performance tweaks and fixes for a handful of other issues.

As with the previous performance patch, there’s no clear consensus on how much this actually remedies the PC version’s notorious performance woes, as our own Xav experienced. If you played a little Cod Blops on PC over the weekend, how did you find it?

Here’s the short but s…


Go to Source (ShackNews)

ESPN Attacks Kobe Bryant Over Black Ops Commercial

Posted on November 22, 2010

ESPN commentators are upset by Kobe Bryant’s appearance in a Call of Duty: Black Ops commercial where the NBA star wields a grenade launcher.

View Article (The Escapist –

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