As much as it pains me, I am thoroughly enjoying sinking hours into Call of Duty: Black Ops. Specifically, the multiplayer component of the fastest selling game in history. I'll concede that I previously advised that there wasn't anything for series veterans to see here, but the added customisation options and fiendish new weapons have made the formula more addictive than ever.
My favourite new weapon is without a doubt, the under-barrel flamethrower. It's only effective in close quarters, but it has saved my skin (and charred that of others) in many a clinch situation. There are few feats more satisfying than a multikill achieved with a carefully-timed spray of fiery death. Other secondary toys like the masterkey (under-barrel shotgun) and n00b tube (under-barrel grenade launcher) make their return, but I can't see my interest in this incendiary life-saver waning anytime soon.
This tool is all the more effective with the upgraded Second Chance perk. I haven't been so lucky as to have many colleagues take the time to revive me, but being able to live that little while longer (with your pistol of choice, no less) provides a few opportunties to pick up extra kills. When your team does opt to save you though, your killstreak is preserved, and the fun continues. Combined with the Scavenger and Warlord perks, things can get very silly. Warlord Pro enables players to carry two lethal and two secondary thrown weapons (for me, grenades), while Scavenger enables you to pick extra munitions (including grenades) from the bodies of your enemies. Bombs away!
I must admit that I find it surprising that few have so far adopted this strategy. On maps with large open spaces however, the flamethrower and frags approach falls over. It doesn't fail entirely, but it is much harder to make a living.
I wish I had more for you today, but it has been hard to pull myself away from the familiar, but addictive CoD formula applied to a plethora of new, brilliantly designed maps. Once again, if the Call of Duty multiplayer game has never done it for you, the slightly more customizable approach probably won't win you over; but I would encourage you to trial it at the very least.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for me tomorrow. Kinect will have to wait. Anybody else picking up some new releases? Please share your purchase decisions with us.