Black Ops takes a shot at the top

It’s the time of year when thousands say goodbye to their social lives, close the curtains and say hello to “Call of Duty”. This year it’s the turn of developer Treyarch to release an instalment of the franchise, and they’ve done so in style with “Call of Duty: Black Ops”.

Set during the Cold War, the game tells the story of a black ops operative struggling with his past, over a variety of environments from Vietnam War to Russian missile silos. Along with the massively popular trademark multiplayer, “Black Ops” yet again raises the standard for the “Call of Duty” series.


Black Ops sold over 5.6 million copies in the first 24 hours of release. Image: Activision Blizzard

The “Call of Duty” series has amassed over $3 billion worth of revenue throughout its seven year lifespan and shows no sign of slowing down. “Modern Warfare 2”, has sold over 20 million copies making it the UK’s bestselling video game of all time.

It’s clear “Black Ops” has some big shoes to fill, but having sold almost 5.5 million copies in its first 24 hours, it seems Treyarch will be able to keep the “Call of Duty” juggernaut on top.

The level of support for the “Call of Duty” franchise is colossal. In Lincoln alone, hundreds of people were huddled outside the city’s many game retailers at midnight on Monday for the release, fighting the freezing cold and torrential rain in order to be some of the first people to play the game.

“It’s just an amazing game,” shouted one rain drenched fan outside Lincoln HMV on Monday night. “I pick up Call of Duty every year and I never get bored of it,” he said, an opinion shared by many of the city’s residents.

As well as the 40 people lined up outside HMV for the midnight release, retailer Game reported selling over £6,000 worth of Black Ops software on the first day of release.

For many, the secret to the game’s success is the multiplayer, who find it experience more addictive than alcohol and smoking combined. Bringing the stat building of role playing games together with explosive gunplay, more than 20 million gamers have played the game in competitive online multiplayer and more join every day.

No expense has been spared with the single player element of the game, with Hollywood names such as Sam Worthington, Gary Oldman and everyone’s favourite gangster actor Ice Cube, adding impact to the game’s explosive storyline.

Almost a week after being released, “Black Ops” shows no signs of slowing down. While critics are claiming the game is simply more of the same old “Call of Duty” formula, gamers are flocking to retailers to grab a copy. Now only time will tell if “Black Ops” will have the same longevity and impact as its bigger brothers.

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