The good news: Call Of Duty: Black Ops (Mac App Store link) is an exciting shoot ‘em up game that marks the return of the Call Of Duty series to the Mac for the first time since Call of Duty 4 in 2008.
The bad news: Black Ops is extremely particular about which Macs it will run on. It won’t even run on MacBooks that rely on integrated graphics, which includes many Mac laptops released in the last couple of years, including the new 13-inch MacBook Pros released this year. [Editor’s note: GameAgent says,”All nVidia graphic cards including the most recent MacBook Pro’s with the Nvidia 650M graphics card are unsupported.”] Please visit Aspyr’s product page for more information. You really do need to check the system requirements before buying Black Ops.
If you can actually run the game, then Black Ops is a thrilling (as well as violent and foul-mouthed) action game that provides an exciting challenge in both its single and multiplayer modes. The single-player game has something of an old-school Cold War feel to it, kicking off in Cuba during the Bay Of Pigs crisis in 1961. You play a covert agent named Alex Mason who has been sent on a mission to assassinate Fidel Castro. Under interrogation, you experience a series of flashbacks that conveniently allow you to indulge in some James Bond-esque globe-trotting as you shoot your way around the world, gathering ever more powerful weapons as you go.
The single-player mode will probably only keep you going for 6 to 8 hours, but you can play online with other Mac gamers—though not with owners of the PC version, it seems—and there’s a handy combat training mode that gives newcomers a chance to hone their skills before they go up against more experienced players online.
Don’t even think about buying the game until you’ve made sure that your Mac meets the game’s rather idiosyncratic system requirements. The blood and swearing also means that it’s very definitely a game for adults. But, all that aside, Call Of Duty: Black Ops is one of the best action-shooters to hit the Mac this year.
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