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Call of Duty Black Ops Wii stands tall alongside its 360 and PS3 comrades. Visually sound, and with flexible controls it only falters at the lack of split screen and Wii-speak support.
Many people think there aren't any hardcore shooting games on the Wii. If you look into it in detail though there are a range of games that have slowly evolved the use of the Wii-mote and Nun-chuck for shooting.
Right from launch we had Medal of Honour Vanguard which was then followed up by Call of Duty World at War and later Modern Warfare Reflex. More recently we've seen a fully featured release in the The Conduit and impressive four player split screen play in GoldenEye 007.
But Call of Duty Black Ops is the first time that a Wii shooting game has been released alongside 360 and PS3 with an identical campaign. It's impressive, both in terms of the sheer visual grunt extracted from the Wii as well as the power of the install base that Nintendo's machine has.
Black Ops is set during the 1960s Cold War and leads you into battle through Cuba, Russia and Vietnam. It looks a treat on the Wii. For some reason how I imagine a Wii game to look and the reality are now miles apart. Everything is smoothly rendered here with a clear step forward from the Modern Warfare Reflex port of last year.
Not quite as welcome as the inherited visuals are the slightly poor AI. There are often times when the hard work Black Ops does to create atmospheric moments is simply shattered by an enemy calmly standing in the middle of it all without a care in the world - no mind for the safety of cover, or bullets flying overhead.
GoldenEye 007 manages to generate the same moments of tension that are stock in trade for the big ticket consoles.
Although the single-player campaign tracks the big console perfectly the multiplayer mode and things aren't quite as strong. The basics of the Call Of Duty online experience are all there - earning XP and getting new perks and weapons, as well as the new Wager mode where players bet on the outcome. But around the edges of these the Wii game starts to look like the poorer sibling again.
There is no offline multiplayer mode and support for WiiSpeak is strangely absent. This is something of a double blow. Those that want to play locally with friends will need the 360/PS3 version and those that want to play online will either have to buy Activision's bespoke Headbanger Headset, or live without voice chat.
These quibbles aside though, Call of Duty Black is really impressive on the Wii. Simply getting access to the single player campaign at the same time as the big consoles, as well as improved visuals over Modern Warfare Reflex on the Wii qualifies the price of entry alone.
If you do want the local split screen play then GoldenEye 007 Wii may be a better option, and if voice chat is a show stopping feature for you maybe The Conduit or Conduit 2 will serve you better. Apart from that though, Black Ops is surprisingly impressive.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
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