The Secret Genius Behind Call of Duty Black Ops

Fortnite steam chartsriver stage at barry steam plant CALL OF DUTY®: BLACK OPS - REZURRECTION CONTENT PACK review the original call of duty black ops may be single-handedly the most important installment in the call of duty franchise the mystery of why black ops became known as the masterpiece it is today needs to be uncovered what black ops 1 managed to pull off completely changed gaming as we know it and fundamentally defines much of what call of duty is in our modern day in fact black ops wasnt even really supposed to be a sub franchise at the time treyarch was trying to make a really good game in a time period that nobodys previously attempted before however what would ensue was nothing short of a miracle call of duty black ops became such a worldwide phenomenon that it would dictate the name of all treyarch games moving forward in fact there hasnt been a trailer game since then that hasnt been included in this sub-series of games b01 black ops 2 black ops 3 black ops 4 black ops cold war and so on but what is it exactly that made black ops 1 as popular as it was you could equally make the same claim for just about any of the classic cod titles but i truly believe theres something different about black ops 1 theres just something special about this game that truly goes beyond just blinded nostalgia all the components in symphony that make up this game fell perfectly into place for what it needed to be black ops 1 practically defined a generation along with mw2 these games people associate with their identity so closely that a lot of people see these games as a core component to their childhood or teenage years growing up and im no exception to that this game provided the most amount of unforgettable experiences that would stick with us for our whole lives and i would even go so far as to say call of duty black ops 1 may be the most recognizable call of duty experience ever so many ideas that characterize modern call of duty came straight from this game this is the story we grew an attachment to and why people care about cod now in the first place and i truly think it wasnt by accident treyarch didnt simply get lucky with this game and its one of the most unique and finely crafted video games of all time black ops 1 released when cod was nearly at its peak in terms of relevancy in sales numbers modern warfare 3 the following year would surpass it but coming off the momentum of mw2 ultra arc really needed to do was deliver a great game but they went above and beyond expectations black ops 1 structure also is the game that set the precedent for what content is offered generally in these games you know going forward it was responsible for setting the standard of campaign multiplayer and a zombies mode well at least for treyarch titles that is and while this game isnt perfect as no game truly is it wears its imperfections on its sleeve without apology its also a fantastic example of a cod game that was truly pushing the envelope of what the game was it wasnt a merely copy paste of the format of the older games and is the very definition of innovation and risk taking in a way that paid off beyond their wildest imaginations but what is it precisely that makes black ops 1 such a masterpiece what is the secret genius behind call of duty black ops join me on this journey as we uncover why this game is something absolutely magnificent black ops 1 was what you might call a perfect storm this game had so many factors working in its favor of course coming off the coattails of modern warfare 2 certainly helped but black ops didnt shy away from taking it a step farther this was the first time cod had a real viral marketing campaign that gripped people beyond what was thought to be possible the gk nova 6 transmissions these were broadcasts and ciphers that needed to be decoded and that would give small amounts of information and messages that sparked intrigue into what was really going on many people thought gk nova 6 wasnt even associated with call of duty at all initially it took a second for people to put together the pieces of what this actually was this was also at a time in the gaming landscape where oftentimes developers would simply hold back information in fact they even flat out refused to talk about zombies for the longest time simply saying that they do indeed have a co-op mode but wouldnt budge on any details a lot of questions coming in with just one word zombies well so heres what i have to say about that were not talking about our co-op mode this created a sense of mystery and intrigue about just what they were cooking up and that attitude is fundamentally built into the dna of this game at the most basic level theres so much beneath the surface of black ops defined that they would be doing us a disservice by talking about it too much it seems in modern day gamers want complete and 100 transparency from developers you know game devs release what theyre working on and plans for new seasons months in advance and we know for the most part what to expect from games nowadays gamers tend to get upset as well if they dont have a map for a video games content offering months in advance it seems now and thats kind of fair enough like some good communication is nice but that does come at a cost and while im certainly not advocating for game developers to be less communicative or transparent theres something to be said for showing and not telling the initial reveal of zombies in fact was done through gk nova 6 and keep in mind no one had ever heard this music before it wasnt associated with zombies at this point so just imagine loading up the website and you as a person whos never heard or seen any of this stuff before stumbles upon this Laughter so treyarch had momentum a viral marketing campaign mystery and intrigue and a team of developers that arent afraid to take risks black ops one has also the most creative main menu for a video game possibly ever the way the menu immediately sets the tone of the game treyarch didnt shy away from using real footage to make up most of its style which is made extremely clear when starting up the game this sense of rawness is one of the biggest strengths of black ops 1. it feels real because in some sense it is real starting the campaign is a seamless transition from where you already are in the chair as well but of course the most iconic feature mashing out of the chair to break out and walk around the room not only was this unbelievably cool just as its own thing but it also allowed you to interact with the terminal in the room thats capable of so much i cant even fit it all into one video you can use this to unlock zombies maps you can play an entire game of zork which is a fully functioning text based adventure game there was no way to really know quite what this terminal was capable of unless you spent time interacting with it this has so much content packed into this little machine that you can tell this was an extra labor of love that is core to the identity of this game and they absolutely didnt have to include this things like nuketown uh the multiplayer map have been inseparable from treyarch games since its introduction in black ops one whats funny is nuketown only took treyarch about two days to make and its kind of slapped together you could say and yet its arguably their most iconic map in history its safe to say that this was a treyarch that was dialed in to every part of the experience the multiplayer maps in black ops 1 became so beloved theyve been remastered multiple times at this point and are widely considered to be a few of the greatest maps ever made in fact rebirth island for you warzone players if you werent aware is a direct reference to a location in the campaign of this game but what i think genuinely set this game apart for what it was it has a massive range of experiences and a very strong amount of sheer content this is the game that took zombies out of being a small niche experience in world at war to popularizing it into the mainstream and taking the world by storm from a masterful storytelling experience to a dialed in multiplayer in an absolutely earth-shattering zombies mode its safe to say that black ops 1 changed the environment of gaming forever and im here to make the case that all of us who enjoyed this game in the past did so for good reason theres a lot to take apart so lets begin with where we always do the single player campaign before we continue deeper into this i just want to say if youre enjoying the video so far make sure to give it a like and uh make sure youre subscribed if youre new around here and you want to see more cod reviews ive done a bunch of other ones you can already watch and right now we are on our final push to half a million subscribers and the amount of support you have all shown on this series has been like completely humbling so thank you very much for continuing to watch and support it it actually means the world and if you want to become a channel member to help further support the content it would greatly be appreciated do not ever feel obligated or think you have to its only if you can and if you want to and ive been playing with members of my community uh and my members to you know get multiplayer footage and stuff like that for these older cod games so if you want to come and kick it with me and play these older titles consider becoming a member but otherwise just subscribe and enjoy the content and lets continue the campaign of black ops 1 is genuinely one of a kind this isnt your typical run-of-the-mill call of duty single-player experience this manages to set itself apart in many ways first and foremost the thing youre going to notice right off the bat the visuals are incredibly unique the blending of real-life historical footage with their entertainment game elements is seamlessly done here not only does the use of real footage give it this sense of authenticity but it also grounds it in something entirely believable while treyarch did set out to make something grounded in reality they didnt want to make a history lesson trying to create an entertainment experience were not trying to create a history lesson they rode the line of being just real enough to engage you and give you a reason to care but maintaining the entertainment factor of what a video game is ultimately for they also didnt shy away from using somewhat uncomfortable footage either they dont indulge them but youll catch glimpses of things here and there that make you feel genuinely uneasy i remember cold war took a similar approach and while i really liked that campaign a lot too and i think for the most part it captured the spirit of what made b01 special when it came to storytelling i have to say i noticed the use of real footage didnt have the same level of rawness that black ops 1 did not exactly sure why i feel that way but it felt like b01 was a little more gloves off when it came to selecting what real footage would be deemed usable in the game but in any case this also immediately sets the tone you only need about five seconds to realize what youre dealing with is some sort of psychological brainwashing cerebral kind of material and its also worth noting that this campaign does its storytelling in a very non-linear fashion thats not to say its nonsensical in fact the opposite is true but if you were on the younger side like myself when this game came out you probably missed a lot of the nuances and clever twist the storytelling takes as it goes along i really only came around to truly grasping the genius of the storytelling as i got a little bit older so while the plot is told in a relatively non-linear way you also have this unreliable narrator element to the storytelling where most of the game is told through mason recalling memories of events and as the events of the game unfold you realize that not all of the information he gives is completely accurate or played out in the way that its told so the game opens up with ewan woods in cuba getting intel on the location of fidel castro to execute him during this excursion you frank woods and bowman go and attempt to eliminate him in this compound you track him down and take him out and upon your escape you find out the one you eliminated was a fake plant and youre captured by kravchenko and given over to the real castro who hands you over to dragovich so right away the players made to feel that even if they think they know whats going on to not get too comfortable this then takes you to vorkuta where you meet victor reznov who youll remember played an integral role in the world at war campaign masons recalling of the events play out in a sequence where you and reznov start a full-blown prison riot to escape the prison you follow the plan step one secure the keys and so on as the breakout progresses you fight through forces of prison guards and attempt to flee once and for all reznov gets you a vehicle to make it out safely but gives himself up in the process this is where we start to realize the unreliable narrator aspect of masons story there are some details and discrepancies that are awkwardly set up and dont quite make sense at this point and something just feels strange and the interrogator even calls him out on this but thats intentionally done as a setup for later youre then introduced to jason hudson and he meets both frank woods and bowman its shown pretty clearly that woods and bowman are close with each other but not with hudson as they definitely give him a cold shoulder a bit later on we see mason and hudson heading to the pentagon to meet with president john f kennedy i love the way this mission is told you get into the limo with mcnamara whos briefing you on the situation and even knows who you are upon your meeting you make your way inside the pentagon and get a sort of out of body look on whats happening this is a subtle detail that makes a player feel some kind of way im sure weve all been in at least one situation in our lives where the circumstances are so strange or unlikely that we sort of feel like a passenger in our own body or even a full-blown out-of-body experience and this one little shot conveys that perfectly you feel like everyone in the room is staring you down as you start to break apart at the seams mentally barely holding it together as you come face to face with jfk to discuss the russian cosmodrome project as jfk goes to sit down mason begins to completely shatter mentally sit we are in grave danger from the communists and in this moment they dont draw attention to it but you can see for a brief moment the tv screens behind him turn to real footage of the jfk assassination day this then cuts right back to reality as he explains how you need to eliminate the ascension group at the russian cosmodrome mason even has visions of nearly shooting jfk on the spot clearly masons badly damaged mentally and is just barely holding it together at this point i remember this mission more so than almost any other cod mission despite there being literally no action to speak of what follows next is a recounting of events told through masons unreliable narration you do a few more missions alongside frank woods and then discover that reznov is actually alive and that he escaped vorkuda you go to the russian cosmodrome to kill the ascension group and disable the rocket from launching off the site and attempt to kill dragovich as well they located his limo and destroyed it according to mason but they couldnt quite confirm the kill just to make sure no not yet not until i see the body whats also nice about these campaign missions is they really nail the tone of how they wanted each one to come across for example this goes for the game more widely but the enemys squibs are nothing short of brutal you can dismember someone removing an arm or a leg with a grenade or a well-placed bullet it feels brutally real sometimes and also each line of dialogue during these missions has a purpose the characters dont just run their mouths for no reason each sentence serves some kind of function for the plot or for character development and lastly the use of music is amazing i think of this mission for example when riding down the river and then this comes on and its its almost corny to say that a video game is going to be part of history this feels like someones vision being fully articulated and played out the use of music sets the tone for each like mission completely perfectly and i dont understand exactly how they knew to be so dialed in each mission is excellently structured and conveyed at this point we start to get a little more perspective told from reznov about what happened near the end of the war steiner a german whos responsible for creating nerve gas called nova 6 was working with the russians to give them to weaponize at their disposal its during this process kravchenko and some other russians send in a few of their russian brothers to a chamber to be live tests for how nova 6 gas works and one of these men also happened to be reznovs best friend after an invasion of british forces shortly thereafter you escape to the boat area and you get an understanding of what the russians are planning and what nova 6 is capable of some more events play out and you and woods end up in vietnam when ultimately youre captured and forced to play russian roulette and bowman is killed for refusing to play and its genuinely sad but it doesnt dwell on it for too long its like that like brutally realistic pace but of course you turn the game on them however and you make your escape in a helicopter outside you then get stopped by kravchenko who pulls a grenade and frank woods sacrifices himself to save you frank woods doesnt show up again for this whole game and we dont find out until black ops 2 that hes alive but permanently injured and in a wheelchair and as you approach the climax of the story youre heading to rebirth island to eliminate steiner playing as mason here you and reznov make your way through the laboratory where dr steiner is located and the way this part of the story is told is hella unique we see it play out from two different characters points of view firstly mason breaks in to execute steiner and resolve alongside you is the one to finish the job exacting revenge for the nova 6 plants that were set in motion before you then kutsu playing as hudson and in a hazmat suit to protect you from nova 6 that was recently dropped on the area you have to make it through this mission while keeping your suit intact or else youll be exposed to the gas and die but assuming you make it there you see from the outside of the room theres no reznov to be seen at all in fact the only people in the room are steiner and mason and its at this point things begin to piece together reznov was never there this whole time past for kuda and if you were paying attention they hit at it pretty frequently throughout the missions youll notice that not only does reznoff show up at ridiculously convenient times but nobody on your squad ever acknowledges his existence at all in fact you even get berated by a real squad mate who asks who youre talking to in the trenches or in these tunnels before being brutally killed also its at this point you realize the interrogator has been hudson this whole time as he knew reznov was never really there past for kuda and insist on that throughout the game he even says the same line to mason as he does the british guy we cut back to the chair and hudson drops the voice and flat out enters the room to get the meaning of the numbers directly this is where mason begins to make his way through the halls and all is truly revealed you realize the true purpose of reznov during your brainwashing from dragovich who implanted several functions that are executable by the numbers he wasnt fully able to program mason for reasons we dont quite understand reznov recalibrates some of your brainwashing to have a function of killing steiner kravchenko and drakovic for his own personal revenge after this stunning realization is where masons brainwashing is somewhat alleviated and can think a bit more clearly now and the conclusion that you and hudson come to is the last thing that needs to be done is to destroy the rusalka which the numbers are being broadcasted from and its a ship that if left unattended can induce sleepers to release nova 6 on the us and with both steiner and kravchenko killed at this point ewan hudson and the boys need to head to the ship to destroy it once and for all and to eliminate dragovich the final confrontation with dragovich is so interestingly done i remember the first time i played this it didnt feel like dragovich even put up that much of a fight or something just felt kind of off about it but you begin to drown dragovich for vengeance obviously for the brutal brainwashing but if you look closely dragovich is smugly grinning to himself because he realizes the damage had already been done dragovich is killed in the end and the resulka is destroyed the game initially sends you off on a victorious note and no doubt it was a victory that felt earned but what follows recontextualizes this whole thing we see the numbers being broadcasted and real-life footage of the day that jfk was assassinated and amongst the crowd in that footage we can clearly see mason among the people and the implication of course is here that he is the one that did it this is how you do twists that dont feel shoehorned in or forced and that are genuinely surprising and it felt like this campaign was building up to that very moment all the discrepancies in the story at this point fall together like pieces in a puzzle by the very end of this yet somehow makes you even more curious to dig further this campaign gives you layers upon layers to take apart you have the literal plot you have the implications of real life into that plot and so on its not a traditional method of storytelling at all but thats why it worked it gives you the answers you wanted and thats satisfying but the mystery and questions that it created were far more powerful after you were done and that made you curious this was all to do with just the plot and the gameplay while its pretty straightforward for the call of duty series a lot of the missions are so incredibly unique and you can tell they had a lot of inspiration from talking to real life you know black ops and people that were involved in these events and the technology they use is like perfect for the time and they treat everything really well in that sense also the campaign is actually pretty short in terms of hours but it packs so much into every minute it benefits tremendously from being short and sweet theres absolutely no filler in this campaign its a wonderful experience that i got something much different out of playing it over and over again unfortunately i do have a few negatives to discuss though firstly while its not a huge deal to me the outdated graphics did take me out of the experience from time to time obviously its an old game and it couldnt really help it but i couldnt help but feel the low quality nature of the in-game visuals really take me out of it here and there also you may forget who youre playing at sometimes as its only established for a second before a mission begins and while you play as mason most of the time on the autocurrency or not sometimes you forget who it actually is youre playing for a second but besides that i i dont have much else to complain about with this campaign besides the outdated visuals and a few annoyances in the gameplay the method of storytelling and the overall experience is absolutely one of a kind here and i noticed something new every single time ive ever played through this one they had a focus on storytelling that could have been a complete disaster if handled incorrectly but they nailed it from a story and gameplay perspective with b01 and not to mention the intel of course that you can dive into for more juicy details on the intricacies of the story overall this may be one of the best cod campaigns ever made no multiple endings or anything like out of game systems but it doesnt need it here its a very deliberate choice to have this be the way the story plays out and unfolds and i genuinely had fun with every minute of this and its still crazy to me how the ideas introduced in this story are a lot of the elements that still resonate with the cod community even now so this set the stage for another piece of black ops 1s history and what really threw it into stardom the games multiplayer is there anyone on planet earth that hasnt at least seen or played black ops 1 multiplayer at least once in their life i feel like b01 is the mario or the coca-cola of call of duty in the sense that nearly everyone in the world has at least encountered some element of this game whether watching playing themselves or hearing someone talk about it black ops 1 multiplayer is on par with modern warfare 2 as far as word of mouth marketing goes i made my case when reviewing modern warfare 2 that the games most powerful form of marketing was simply just people talking about it you know you talking with your classmates or co-workers about the game was fundamentally why this game spread as rapidly as it did and i think i would make the case that b01 and mw2 were just as influential as each other but both games were a slightly different flavor of the core cod experience so based on your personal preference would be the strongest deciding factor about which one you prefer because theyre very different in some ways and similar in others i think theres a large group of people that consider black ops 1 to be the premier call of duty multiplayer experience meaning this is fundamentally the type of gameplay that cod is at its essence and what every cod going forward has more or less built off of in some ways i believe that to be true but also b01 has a lot going for it thats unique to this title one of my favorite elements of this mp is the map design we touched on it earlier but something about the simple three-lane flow of maps is where treyarch was really at their peak here in contrast to infinity ward maps theres usually less emphasis on power points and more emphasis on the map control and decision making with spawns theyre a bit more balanced and like just well-rounded overall compared to iw maps meaning it its more advantageous to understand the spawns of each map and mode giving you a general way to approach each game and what engagements youre likely to have these maps are expertly designed in every sense of the word and its what people remember most nuketown havana berlin wall firing range jungle summit the list goes on these are the most memorable maps in call of duty and i dont think anybody would just disagree with that argument and im not sure how to describe this properly but some of the maps in bo1 have this like veteran quality to them basically if you know the map inside and out theres like weird little angles or tricks that you can take advantage of that only someone whos deeply familiar with the map will be able to do well they were three lane you know simple maps purely on a surface level the intricacies were found in the specific details of the map and i feel as call of duty maps have gone on theyve lost a bit of that sandbox quality a little bit speaking of the sandbox the selection of weapons and perks and equipment are all excellent here it has the same quality that i give bo2 a lot of props for as well the designers knew how to make perks and attachments that all have a counter play to them whats more is that a new type of item called equipment was added to your created class these can be things like c4 claymore camera spike and whatnot you might say items like the camera spike were basically useless but it was this element of sandbox features that allowed for the level of variety that youd see game to game not everything in this multiplayer needed to be a gun or a lethal item and it was perfectly willing to have purely tactical equipment to play around with as well b01 has one of the strongest overall weapon selections in the entire series in the way that almost anything is viable i i said almost anything so um black ops one of course had a dominant weapon meta as every game does the famas the ak-74u the commando and so on but i truly feel these didnt get in the way of other things being tried out or at least experimented with as ive been playing a bunch of these older cod games i really think black ops 1 has one of the deepest created class experiences as a whole and the reason for that was the insanely smart way of balancing things this also had the continuation of pro perks running a certain perk would come with like in-game challenges and you could get once completed a slightly modified version of that perk they had a very wide selection of perks with clear advantages and trade-offs you were actually encouraged to build multiple types of loadouts and character aesthetic customization to better suit your preferred playstyle also weapon attachments have what i call that mw2 quality to them in the same way where you can really only select one attachment for the most part making the choice much more meaningful it was weird theres not even a standard foregrip attachment for most weapons it seems like the most basic thing youd include when trying to make weapon attachments but b01 has some really fun attachments in place of what would probably be standard now the flamethrower grenade launcher the shotgun master key etc these have that memorable quality to them that im not sure modern call of duty is really quite able to capture theres just simply too many now but in black ops the beauty in this system was the simplicity but the amount of variety that this could provide in your creative class options was virtually limitless this was also the first cod game to ever introduce gold camo for weapon mastery monorail for 2 had good camos but the overall selection was quite limited b01 doubled down on this and the gold camo in this game id argue is still better looking than many of the newer call of duty titles gold camo gold camo for the first time and call of duty vanguard and it looks absolutely amazing as well stop the cap the core movement and gun play id argue had some real sauce to it utilizing things like the drop shot and jump shot mechanics were super advantageous here making it actually feel rewarding for players who took full advantage of how the engine allowed you to move at the time as there was no other form of more advanced movement techniques other than these treyarch also began to play around with the idea of dynamic maps and while this didnt go too far it would be things like rockets launching platforms opening up and things like that or you could even interact with elevators in particular maps manually as well id argue the core movement along with the map design allowed for some of the most creative and deep decision making weve seen in almost any call of duty game this is one of the best features of b01 in my opinion also for the first time ever the ability to make custom emblems was introduced it wasnt very good in this game admittedly though it was a very limited selection of shapes and not many layers to work with like theres theres some uh letters in the alphabet but not the rest its like i dont know where did those go im not sure but its most basic building blocks would allow for black ops 2 and 3 to really run with that idea also when it comes to killstreaks black ops 1 would make a pretty big change from the previous mw2 the biggest adjustment being you can no longer use killstreak earned kills to roll into more streaks they all had to be from gun streaks now mw2s biggest strength and flaw was using killstreaks of course to get more streaks and this could get out of control very quickly so black ops took a much more controlled approach to this kill streaks however were still insanely fun the attack dogs the sr-71 blackbird plane chopper gunner gunship and those other big ticket items were a blast however there was nothing bigger than an 11 streak no emp at 15 no nuke at 25 this was completely fine for bl1 however like i said slightly different flavor to the experience not to imply that one is necessarily better than the other theyre just different black ops games in this era tended to have more subtle kill streaks usually this was when also some of the core gameplay was at its best though and killstreaks were still insanely satisfying to get here and also b01 finally gave you a real way to counter every kill streak perks that are you know blind to ai controlled streaks tons of launchers for anti-air and so on i think the sandbox of black ops 1 the weapon selection the perks grenades and equipment are maybe the most optimal that cod has ever had them black ops 1 would also finally be the game to get rid of the stopping power perk that was arguably one of the most broken in the game that just increased your base bullet damage there was hardened but this was essentially just fmj and better damage through walls and didnt increase your base damage this leveled the playing field a lot more and in a way black ops 1 is just a slightly better balanced version of mw2 they operate on very similar principles but some tweaks certainly make it feel a very different kind of way even the announcers in the startup screens were just as iconic as mw2 just a little bit different no mistake it also had an in-game currency used in conjunction with the create a class system and the general progression cut points were basically what you could use to deepen the entire customization experience by unlocking and then buying items at your own pace it had modes like gun game one in the chamber and sharpshooter where you could even bet these cod points and if you won you would earn even more this like low-key gambling element of the game with harmless in-game currency was actually really fun wager matches were some of the most popular playlists in the prime of this game and im quite surprised this hasnt been included in any other call of duty since then i mean of course theyd convert to using real money but we all know that by now so i think this games core gameplay really rewarded you for understanding the maps being diligent with how you you know make decisions with your mini map and just overall understand the game so while i think in general the core gameplay is excellent the you know just 30 second gameplay loop of multiplayer is extremely addicting and never gets old here the kill streaks are awesome the map design id argue is borderline genius and the created class was unbelievably deep and varied to a point where its one of khans strongest examples of customization done right with all of that being said however i do have some problems with this multiplayer theres absolutely a few things i really dislike first of all there is a ton of flinch with getting hit with virtually any gun and in this game theres no attachment or perks to mitigate that at all black ops 2 would have the toughness perk which was practically a must-have for most classes this prevents your gun from kicking up when getting hit mid-gunfight and like i said its pretty much required to use however in b01 this perk is nowhere to be found and this made a lot of gunfights feel completely broken on occasion the old shoot first die first felt the most obvious with b01 and i think the problem was the fact that not only did it feel super inconsistent like you never really knew how the way was the the flinch was going to affect you or what direction it was going to go but also i think any of us who played b01 can attest to the fact that the netcode sometimes felt ridiculously janky players would rubber band all over the place youd shoot enemies clearly first on your screen and still somehow lose the gunfight even on plutonium and playing on good ping sometimes youd still get these clearly broken and strange interactions unfortunately black ops 1 may have the most scuffed feeling netcode of all time b01 plays like a dream when its running well but when its not its a laggy stuttering nightmare and this did make it borderline unplayable sometimes especially in party games like one in the chamber where you know its one bullet to kill this could sour the experience in an instant and something as simple as a host migration in a match would completely change the experience of how the rest of that match would play out the most real problems with black ops 1 arent its balance or really anything to do with the sandbox or or its maps its more so to do with the technical shortcomings of the game playing black ops on a bad connection or on high ping you seriously may as well not even play at all it was that bad but those are honestly my only real gripes with b01 some other important additions were this was the first game to develop bots for mp you could play custom games with fully functioning enemies and allies it also had the most in-depth prestige system and character player card customization options for call of duty in that era also many groundbreaking features for call of duty that would resonate and set the standard for it going forward and while like i said b01 mp has some serious flaws id be lying if i told you i didnt have a blast every time i load up this game whether back then or even now in modern day besides its technical shortcomings its one of the best cod experiences ever crafted with a variety of ways to play and this is why people fell in love with call of duty and the nice thing is both the campaign of b01 and the multiplayer serve totally different functions and id be remiss in my duties if i didnt dive into the third game mode of b01 the two unbreakable pillars of black ops were already there but were further complemented by the third co-op experience which changed the game and my life forever lets puree some zombies lets puree some zombies okay zombies time i cranked this up a notch um Music black ops zombies in particular is quite the anomaly for call of duty this was the first game where it was fully in the spotlight and not just a small easter egg of course treyarch began to find their footing with the world at war dlc maps and the community was certainly beginning to grow this also meant treyarch was dialed in of listening to the community about zombies in this era theyre zombies i dont know if the community realizes this but we were listening to them so much it actually was like this like social development experience where we were listening to what they wanted to say or what they were finding in our zombies gameplay and then we were actually uh incorporating it into future dlc as we were going it was kind of this unique experience i recall making the claim that this era of zombies was special why did this story in particular feel so gripping and interesting and the chaos story in black ops 4 despite being a competent story didnt resonate in the same way with most people my argument is in back in these days the community was literally writing the story alongside treyarch our speculating actually had tangible effects on where the story went whereas the chaos story was simply being told to us big difference in approaches and black ops 1 was basically at its peak with that kind of like you know community storytelling this made everyone feel way more personally invested as a result and this cultivated a dedicated and passionate community where i found myself a lot of the time but its not just a great sense of mystery and fascination that drives black ops zombies to be special the core gameplay is also usually excellent and to find out exactly why that is were gonna have to dive into each map specifically but before we do that i must mention the main menu for black ops zombies is also beautiful not only does the vibe and tone of the room around you completely change upon selecting it but its also wonderfully simplistic you click zombies and pick your map just as it should be and if youve seen my b02 video youll know that jimmy zielinski worked on half of the maps and jason blundell on the other half in that game and they had totally different styles of design and gameplay giving each map a really distinct flavor and while black ops 1 does have ton of variety in its maps theyre all pretty much designed by jimmy z so the style is a bit more uniform throughout the game for better for worse thats not to say all the maps are the same however so with that in mind lets begin with talking about what most likely everyone experienced at least once in their life kino der toten the best zombies map of all time black ops 1 to me yeah its as good as this one it was originally supposed to be a world that what did they let how did how does this video how is this video been published there is no  __  way that aint in the script id wager at some point in nearly everyones lives theyve played this map at least once its a close race between this and transit when trying to determine what is the most widely played zombies experience ever but in any case keynoter toten as an on disk map has a lot going for it and id say is the most palatable zombies map in the entire game and perhaps the entire franchise as well keynote to tone structure is actually not like other black ops 1 maps kino plays more like a world at war map and thats because kino originally was supposed to be dlc for that game but because of constraints it would be the on disk map for black ops 1. its this decision that i think changed zombies forever if black ops had a different on disk map theres a very real chance it wouldnt have been nearly as popular or enticing to play as it is now this was an actual genius move that i dont think was calculated at all kino is extremely bare bones but in a great way this takes place in a rundown theater in germany and the vibe is set immediately you get all the fundamentals in a map thats easy for a player to approach you know a very low barrier to entry but a high skill ceiling to this map if you know what youre doing this is what makes kino beautiful in my opinion the map guides you along to discover the teleporter linking it with the mainframe and then rewarding you with pack-a-punch while its a pretty straightforward you know quest lets say it makes exploration really feel like its worth it and you do the same thing with perks and weapons the thundergun and the raygun wonder weapons make appearances here in the mystery box and the nice part is kino is palatable because theres so many different ways to play it you can train on the stage in the alley you can do fire trap strats for you know for it to be a bit more difficult you can hold out somewhere kino was suited to every type of playstyle imaginable and this means anyone could jump on and get something out of it most maps dont have this level of openness to its design and theres usually only a couple ways to play it but kino gives you the freedom to approach it however you like also theres so many urban legends and myths this map spawned you have the latter on the stage that people thought you could climb up you have these alien-like creatures and these canisters that are like the vrilliander like woven deep into this games lore and of course the literal projector above the stage that you can find different film reels for as you teleport after pack-a-punching there is a music easter egg finding these three meteor fragments that will play the most iconic song in all of call of duty zombies Music this alone added such an unforgettable energy to a map thats already addicting and a fun survival experience this map has no main easter egg however which i actually think was a positive at the time as to not overwhelm the player in this brand new mode while kino is not the most intricate map or even the best map out there sorry ksx silencer i will say its the most palatable zombies map ever and someone beginning zombies should absolutely start here its just complex enough to feel satisfying and something that you can learn but its not too much to be overwhelming like uh sorry theres something in my throat five is the other on disc map that initially shipped with black ops and this map is quite different to kino in many ways that arent so obvious right away this map takes place in the pentagon and its just quite literally the layout of the actual campaign mission with very few changes to its layout and upon completing the campaign in this game youll be thrown into five immediately after just like in world at war with nocturne toten anyways what makes five stand out as its own map and why isnt this as widely played as kino was well firstly this map isnt even unlocked initially if you didnt beat the campaign you wont even have this map unless you unlock it through the terminal but besides that the gameplay is also a bit more oppressive than kino is many people regard 5 as one of the more difficult maps in zombies and theres clear reasons for that much of of that is to do with just its layout whereas kino is wide open and gives you tons of options for approach five constricts you into just a couple viable play styles and an unforgiving layout very tight in narrow corridors not much room to move around in and a more confusing three-layered structure with the offices where you initially spawn the war room in the middle and then uh the laboratories which are a lot more constrictive now the upside to this is each area feels totally different to the other and it gives you like a lot of visual variety within the same map there are also these teleporters that will basically throw you to a random location and in the remastered version of five which is called classified in black ops 4 these teleporters would tell you where youll end up but in five they have this unpredictable and chaotic energy that is like adds to the uncomfortableness that five makes you feel you literally dont know where this teleporter is gonna send you and also not to mention pack-a-punch is much less straightforward here than it is in kino in five you need to pull five deathcon switches and then teleport after that you have to deal with whatever horde has managed to pile up outside the door in the meantime the wonder weapon which is called the winters hal is one of the worst wonder weapons of all time and if all that wasnt bad enough every few rounds the pentagon thief spawns in and steals the weapon youre currently holding however if you manage to kill him in time youll both get your gun back and a max ammo and a fire sale and if you kill him before he even takes any weapon at all youll get a bonfire sale which reduces the cost of pack punch temporarily theres a lot of risk reward things going on with five and also like traps have to be built or or they need a component added before they can be used and things like that five is far less gracious on players and that might either turn people off or make them want to keep practicing it more either way its certainly a unique map for black ops 1 and while this does not have a main easter egg either this maps function is to take the flow of kinos survival gameplay and just turn up the heat a little bit if you can get past this map kicking you down the first few times you play it it can be an incredibly rewarding experience and at the very least you have two very different feeling maps on disc if you never got any of the dlc but the dlc maps start to become more than just this standard formula and that brings us to ascension dlc one for zombies in this game would be the map ascension and while this map takes a lot of assets from the campaign ascension is a totally unique map in terms of what it brought to the table first and foremost ascension has a unique element to spawning in the map is in total black and white until you turn on the power youre at a russian cosmodrome facility and most of the features involve you interacting with rockets and landers to get around the map the layout takes the more kino approach where its very open and theres tons of space for everybody to get around in the map would also introduce two brand new perks as well stamin up and phd flopper these would become fan favorites and change zombies forever also this map changed the traditional dog rounds that were standard up to this point this time small space monkeys crash land in these like landers and they go around to steal perks and i have to say these monkeys are probably the worst part of ascension on solo theyre absolutely intolerable and in co-op theyre not too bad however as long as you and your team can protect perks effectively they can be really hard to kill sometimes especially on high rounds and you know despite being really tiny they have a lot of health and they can also throw grenades back at you if you dare to try it and if you manage to kill all the monkeys before they touch any perks at all youre rewarded with a free one but most importantly besides all the unique elements of ascension the gerst devices from the box the matroyshka dolls and so on this is the first map in zombies history that had a true main easter egg its a full-on hidden quest where you have five or six different steps and at the end you get all the perks and a 90-second death machine in the days of black ops 1 most main easter eggs can only be completed in co-op some can be soloed but for the most part you need a full team to complete these this encouraged you to explore in public matches as well and ascensions formula is a lot of whats reflected in zombies design now primarily just a survival experience but a hidden layer and a full quest just underneath the surface while i have my annoyances with ascension the the monkeys to be specific its an incredibly fun map for what it is and it manages to feel very distinct from the other black ops 1 counterparts both kino and ascension are excellent starting experiences in my opinion and that would head into dlc2 with another map that takes a hard shift in direction im like im walking on call of the dead is one of the most strange maps in zombies history not least because of its star-studded cast this is the first real map to be full of celebrities sarah michelle gellar danny trejo michael rooker and robert england and of course the late great george romero the premise of this map is basically shooting you know a horror film with zombies when real zombies show up on the set in siberia and these four need to fend off and we have a voice appearance from our ultimus crew you know nikolai dempsey richtofen and takio that weve been playing with all of black ops 1 so far and call of the dead it turns the easter egg on its head where youre basically helping that crew playing as somebody else and you assist them during the main easter egg to help them escape this is one of the few easter eggs in black ops 1 that also can be done solo the steps are slightly different from solo to co-op but the gist is basically the same theres a lot i love about call of the dead the wonder weapons and theres actually two of them on this map the scavenger and the vr11 are so incredibly interesting the scavenger is an explosive sniper rifle and the vr 11 changes zombies back into regular humans temporarily call of the dead also brought the deadshot daiquiri perk to the table while admittedly its much less useful than phd and staminup its a nice addition that has been a staple in zombies since then this map is moderately difficult but in a way that feels really rewarding now i do have some issues with call of the dead that arent so great firstly the layout is somewhat clunky getting around can be a real chore sometimes and even though there are ziplines and different methods of fast travel to help alleviate that problem its still not great also i cant stand the fog that comes in every couple of rounds it doesnt serve any ultimate function at all besides obstructing vision and that just feels more frustrating to me than it does adding to the challenge and as much as george romero is a great addition to this map his implementation is rather questionable problem is he cant actually die you can kill him after an absurd amount of damage he has 250 000 health per player so in four player co-op he literally has 1 million hp every time you kill him you get a free perk in a death machine but he comes back indefinitely to follow you around i really think a better way to do this would have been to give him 1 million base health just flat out so hes harder to kill initially but once you do it one time hes gone for good unless you want to manually spawn him back in that could have helped the map flow tremendously in my opinion call the dead also double down on interesting radios that help piece the story together and just give us more to theorize about call of the dead is not a perfect map and its flaws are very obvious that said its still one of the most fun and memorable maps you can play though and you can you know love it or hate it for its decisions but it really is one in a million and in in any case call the dead is an awesome map with a great easter egg and its just as equally fun for survival gameplay and its brimming with personality that these talented people brought to the experience are you kidding this things like a babys toy dlc 3 would be the infamous map shangri-la for good and bad reasons this map is at least very distinct and people remember it well shangri-la is easily one of the most polarizing maps in all of zombies and this was jimmy zielinski wanting to take the exact opposite approach in terms of design compared to the previous like kino and ascension this map follows a lot more closely to five where the layout is just so unforgiving the corridors and paths choke you out theyre tight and small and they never let you feel a sense of comfort even for a moment nobody really knows where this map actually takes place maybe on mars maybe not but its in a mysterious jungle that was totally new to the zombies palette at that time shangri-la also had some features that made the gameplay extremely challenging things like pack a punch in solo you have to find a raised tile and then stand on it and then you have limited time to get up to the waterfall and pack a punch in co-op each player has to stand on all four tiles at the same time making playing with unresponsive randoms nearly impossible to upgrade without their cooperation the mud pit also completely killed your speed but zombies moved in this at normal rate the spike traps the water jets this maps flow is truly one of a kind the main easter egg involves you helping two individuals named brock and gary two expeditioners that are stuck in a time loop and the steps involve you like moving different traps out of their way so they dont die its like a trial and error sort of deal and flipping between day and night cycles this map requires so much cooperation to complete but decently fun steps in the process this map is practically the definition of stress no matter how youre playing it for survival or the easter egg but that said it can be such a rewarding map to learn and understand the map flow and strategies can be mastered with a little practice and it makes this map not so intimidating as it initially was theres a bunch of little features that make this map truly what it is monkeys can come steal your power ups but if youre good enough you can manipulate them into dropping something better for you potentially like a max ammo or even a free perk for no reason at all there are two power switches the napalm zombies and the screecher are excellent additions as mini bosses that keep you on your toes i maybe dont love their implementation exactly but its just weird things like this that belong in a map as unforgiving as shangri-la the wonder weapon the 3179 jgb or the baby gun is a wonder weapon that literally does zero damage on its own it just makes zombies small and then you can kick them around or blow them up its just like weird creative stuff like this that only jimmy z has truly been able to capture in zombies its not to say that i dont like the work of jason blundell or kevin drews work but im just highlighting the strangeness of these ideas for a reason its impressive to me how much of a different flavor shangri-la has compared to all of the other maps around it its definitely not for everyone and some players are going to find it too oppressive this is a lot of peoples least favorite map in black ops 1 but i really think b01 would have been a lesser game without this and that would finally take us to the final map of the season moon would be the last brand new map to wrap up the season but in black ops 1 technically they did like zombies chronicles first here in a way there was a map pack of all of the wooled out war maps that were remastered and ported over as well knocked nocturne toten varak you know numa and darice are all added to this game for even more zombies content but im not going to analyze all of those maps at the level of detail ive done for these b01 maps and in this video im going to save those for their respective game but its important to note that this is a huge amount of zombies content on top of what its already offering i should also mention that dlc4 originally wasnt even supposed to be moon this was going to be a map set in paris france with the catacombs in the eiffel tower and such this map was cut however it was even teased on the cork board in darice but this map was ultimately scrapped because jimmy z felt that they needed to take zombies and ended on a bang for black ops 1 and what they wanted to do just wasnt possible with the paris map that could have potentially changed zombies forever as the decision to make moon was what ultimately led to black ops 2s events and map design i.e transit was born because of this anyways moon managed to end off the season with a literal bang it brought so many interesting concepts to the table and some of them are genius but some of them are terrible but regardless they all make moon what it is today so the first thing youll notice is when you spawn in on area 51 here the zombie spawns are infinite and you actually cant pass around you can stay here and try to survive as long as you want and gather points if you last long enough you can upgrade your pistols and even get a perk before round one even technically begins as soon as you get on the moon though the anti-gravity kicks in and the movement is way less precise if this is end of nikolai must take one last shot you also have to wear a helmet that protects you from suffocating as soon as you get the power on though many of the indoor areas have gravity that returns you know to normal and you can breathe in those areas without a helmet the main easter egg on moon is also very special you do some simon says you basically power up the mpd you end up switching souls with samantha and eventually end up with launching rockets that go and blow up the earth its easier said than done as the steps of this quest rely heavily on getting the right weapons and equipment from the box which is a slight negative in retrospect i do have some major issues with moon like you know for example the main easter egg is almost entirely dependent on rng and not to mention the layout is also pretty horrible its very awkward to traverse from place to place sometimes and thats amplified by the fact that the excavators can get in the way and just straight up cut off areas of the map if not constantly attended to also the mini boss in the map is just terrible the astronaut is objectively badly designed and theres really no way around that there isnt any like indicator to know where he is besides very quiet radio chatter thats coming from his helmet thats barely even audible unless its completely silent on the map if he grabs you he can take a perk and then teleport you to a random location if you get grabbed and failed to escape obviously and he does not give you any reward upon killing him hes just as annoying as george romero from a gameplay standpoint and theres also no way to get rid of him forever also having to choose between the hacker equipment and the helmet is just kinda stupid you need the hacker for so many steps of the easter egg but if you break the glass in any of the indoor areas that you need to be in youll slowly die without a helmet and that is by far the most frustrating aspect of moon its ironic because the hacker can do like a million things like opening doors without points you can hack more weapons out of the mystery box and so on but the one thing it needs to do is be able to rebuild these windows which is one of the only things it cannot do not to mention on black ops 1 the maps just kind of ugly visually which is made even more apparent by how much better the black ops 3 version looks in comparison while moon has its major flaws and shortcomings that cannot be ignored overall it can still be an absolute blast to play no matter what youre doing and im always struck by how despite them using the same engine and overall bones and components to build these zombies maps on b01 just how different each one manages to feel and play from one another its a true testament to the creativity the competence and passion treyarch displayed with these maps each one was actually something special and in a different way its like black ops 2 where there was something for everyone what b01 zombies captured from its gameplay to its storytelling and overall community impact cannot be overstated and its the basic building blocks and foundations for our zombies games now call of duty black ops was an earth-shattering game when it came out so much passion intelligence and creativity was poured into this project and i hope its been made clear that the genius of this game was not at all by accident each deliberate choice made all of us who fell in love with black ops do so for our own reasons and just like many cod games this is a shared experience that people bond over even now and without it whos to say where any of us would be black ops 1 was lightning in a bottle and again while it has its real flaws theyre all a part of what make up this excellent experience and at the end of the day i have a real appreciation for it being a groundbreaking video game but also a cultural icon that allowed people to make friends share good times and become the people they are today i wont soon forget how this game made me feel or the impact it had on all of our lives how to comment on steam games The Secret Genius Behind Call of Duty Black Ops i 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Discord: Twitter - Instagram - Tik Tok - Easter Egg Guides: Zombies Tips and Tricks: Best Weapons Guides: Call of Duty Black Ops 1 full retrospective and 2022 review. This is Call of Duty Black Ops 1 Campaign, Multiplayer and zombies review. Bo1 retrospective analysis. how to give steam game to friend best halloween games steam steam sauna near me steam update all games how to play steam games on external hard drive