I have been playing an insane amount of Call of Duty: Black Ops on Xbox Live recently. I thought about how frustrated I was in the beginning that it was nothing like the previous installments, perhaps due to the period of acclamation for the maps or the new sniping tweaks they made. After playing for several hours, I began to see exactly how the changes affected game play, and I realized that there are far less snipers this time around than there were in previous installments. I use my sniper rifle far less in preference to one of several assault rifles.
I play Team Deathmatch the most of any game mode. In previous games, you usually had a team of very talented individuals, all using their own combination of weapons and perks. This was mainly a comfort issue, but also due to the overpowered sniping rifles. They were overpowered in a physical sense (quick-scoping, no scoping, firing at the hip) and in a meta-aesthetic sense (maps were fringed, thus allowing a sniper to cover all flanks and focus on shooting). In Black Ops, both of these issues weren’t just fixed…they were completely obliterated. I feel it was overkill, but I realize what great opportunity this is for actual team-based tactics. Also, it is much more balanced for (dare I say!?) n00bs.
Only in Hardcore Team Deathmatch do people actually chatter, but it’s almost always hindsight (“Whoa, watch that south corner, camper crouched in the table”). Black Ops now offers a more unified approach to team-based tactics. It cultivates true tactics and teamwork. So, I made a list of great Create a Class combinations to use. However, keep in mind that each team must try to have at least one of each of these loadouts. Of course, I draw inspiration from the greatest tactical strategy game of all time: chess. (more…)