Black Ops is Treyarch’s time to shine



by Zach Walton

“Call of Duty: Black Ops” launched this week to critical acclaim with many claiming it was better than “Modern Warfare 2.”

Infinity Ward developed “Modern Warfare” as well as the first two “Call of Duty” games on the PC. Treyarch made everything else from the console games on the PS2 and Xbox to Black Ops.

Treyarch has been getting flack for not making  “Call of Duty” entries as well as Infinity Ward does. This is confusing, as Treyarch has made “Call of Duty” games on the same level of quality as Infinity Ward for years. Why all the hate?

This stems from the fact that Infinity Ward created the “Call of Duty” franchise on the PC back in 2003. Since then, the series has exploded into a worldwide phenomenon, pulling in bigger sales year after year. This is surely because of Infinity Ward’s careful development of the series, right? Only they can make a good “Call of Duty” title, right?

Treyarch has been the unsung hero of the “Call of Duty” franchise. It was developing the console entries before “Call of Duty 2” such as “Finest Hour” and “Big Red One.” It was because of Treyarch that the series got its popularity among console gamers. Granted, “Call of Duty 2” from Infinity Ward being a launch title for the Xbox 360 was a big boost to the series console fanbase that it enjoys today.

Treyarch made a misstep with “Call of Duty 3” but came back swinging with “World at War.” Many gamers brushed it off because of its return to World War II, a setting deemed too boring after Infinity Ward’s “Modern Warfare.” In my opinion, “World at War” perfected the World War II shooter while taking a big risk by setting the game in arguably the two most controversial theaters of World War II: the Pacific theater and the USSR’s invasion of Berlin.

While Infinity Ward was cranking out the big hits every other year, Treyarch was the developer in the background getting flack for not being as progressive.

Treyarch is taking a bold step again with Black Ops. The game has more of a modern warfare setting to appease those gamers tired of World War II, while setting the game during the Cold War creates a wonderful atmosphere that few games can capture.

Infinity Ward took a risk with “Modern Warfare,” and it paid off in spades. Treyarch did the same with “World at War” and “Black Ops.” It’s paying off for them just as well. This leads to questioning why gamers still seem to hate on Treyarch for making games just as good, if not better, than Infinity Ward’s entries in the series.

From all experience with “Black Ops” so far, it’s every bit as good if not better than “Modern Warfare 2.” Gamers who love “Call of Duty” have no reason to fear. Many gamers will buy the game based on the Call of Duty name alone.

The only request is that gamers stop saying that Treyarch is a sub-standard developer. Infinity Ward only has to make one game every two years with their entries in the “Call of Duty” series. Treyarch has to develop other games beyond their entries in “Call of Duty.” They have a larger workload, yet maintain the quality that keeps “Call of Duty” the most loved FPS franchise in the US.

So if you have already picked up “Black Ops,” I hope you’re enjoying it. If you haven’t out of fear for Treyarch’s involvement, give it a chance. I can guarantee you’re in for a thrill ride worth every dollar.

In short, stop all the hating, and give Treyarch a chance.