Will you gamble on Black Ops?

Care to place a bet?

There's no mistaking who killed you that last round. If the custom orange-and-black facepaint job doesn't give his identity away, the personalised emblem on the side of his firearm will do the trick.

Heck, he even went as far as to co-ordinate the colour of his red dot sight reticle with his make-up - he was practically begging you to notice him before he squeezed the trigger.

The only thing that didn't have his name on it was his bullet. Unfortunately, that had your name on it instead. Forget army regulation crew cuts - individuality is this year's war anthem.


And why wouldn't you want to look your best? You never know who might be watching. Treyarch's new Theatre option is reminiscent of Halo's feature of the same name - each match played is stored on a central server for an as-yet unspecified amount of time (rumoured to be around two weeks) and can be downloaded and viewed at your leisure.

The camera can be detached, allowing you to fly around the map and view the combat as it unfolds.

From here, you can record clips of your greatest victories and share them with your friends, or you can kick back with a bowl of popcorn and learn just how you were owned by the opposing team.

And if nothing else, it'll make it easier to weed out cheaters and report them to the devs. It's a really cool tool that will allow you to save your most famous (or infamous) CoD moments for posterity.

Since everyone's on display all the time, we expect most seasoned CoD-ders will take the time to create their own unique emblems using the versatile editor once they've earned the right to do so by levelling up.

But there's so many new customisation options available that to unlock them all through XP alone, Treyarch tell us, there would need to be around 200 ranks.

That's why they've introduced a new currency - CoD Points - which runs concurrently with the established XP system.

You can use CoD Points to buy your favourite weapons, attachments and equipments ahead of schedule, and brave players can put together their dream loadouts in record time by putting their money on the line in one of four Wager Match types.

The Wager Matches are quickfire six-player games where the top three players earn cash and the rest leave with nothing. Our favourite of the four was the Gun Game, which will be instantly familiar to Counter-Strike veterans.

Each player begins life with a pistol, which upgrades to a more powerful weapon each time you register a kill. The round ends on a 'first past the post' basis, when someone has notched up a kill with all 20 weapons.


The ingenious part of the game is that each weapon requires a vastly different tact to the one before it.

Reaching level 13 - the sniper rifle - means players suddenly have to scramble to widen the gap between themselves and the opposition for example, while trying to land a kill with some of the later weapons, such as the cumbersome rocket launcher, can be more trouble than you bargain for.

It's a theme that's revisited in 'Sharpshooter', except this time everyone is armed with the same weapon, which randomly cycles to another gun entirely at irregular intervals, almost as if someone was flipping through an iTunes playlist.

While those two game types promote a gung-ho approach, 'One In The Chamber' is an impossibly tense exercise in restraint and caution. Each player is equipped with one solitary bullet.

Fluff it up, and you're reliant on your melee weapon for the rest of the round. The good news is that if you take someone out of the equation, you're rewarded with an extra bullet.

  1 2