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Call of Duty: Black Ops

Go nuts in 'Nam

Explosive action

There's also a new currency system, intended to limit progression imbalances, but which is of doubtful efficacy, as weapons are still only available after reaching certain levels, but money seems readily amassed. And there are also new killstreaks, such as the hilarious RC-XD, a remote controlled car strapped with explosives, which join a mix of MW2 and World at War killstreaks - including those damned attack dogs.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Magazines kill zombies. Hello?

Lastly, World at War's Zombies make a welcome return. The simple, addictive formula and fiendish difficulty level return untouched. But the maps are larger than ever, and gameplay is objective based.

I've only managed a few hours on two of the three available maps. The first, Kino der Toten, is unlocked from the start. Set in a crumbling theatre, you take on hordes of Nazi undead as you attempt to reach and switch on a generator in order to escape. And the second - unlocked after completing Black Ops' single-player campaign – has to be seen to be believed, as JFK, Nixon and Castro hold out against zombie civil servants in the Pentagon.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Wave goodbye

Verdict

For me, Black Ops' Zombies mode single-handedly justifies the steep retail price - which some retailers are discounting - let alone its campaign mode. But if you're seeking more bang for your buck, don't fear, Black Ops' not only ranks as this year's most comprehensive game, but also one of its greatest. ®

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Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops

An exhilarating campaign and surfeit of multiplayer modes should blow away all but the most jaded Call of Duty fans. Available on Xbox 360 (tested), PS3 and PC.
Price: £55 RRP