FPS fans have had an eventful year - they had the excellent Bad Company 2 to kick off 2010, the conclusion of Bungie’s work with Halo later on, and were disappointed with the lackluster Medal of Honor after that. Even after those three big names, the biggest seller of them all may not have been released yet. Treyarch has a lot to live up to with the highly anticipated Black Ops, but our early impressions indicate that it may be every bit as good as we’re hoping. Here are 10 things to know before heading in.

1. Wager matches are a blast

Whether it’s the awesome Gun Game, the intense One in the Chamber, or the bare-bones Sticks and Stones, these wager matches shake up the multiplayer we’re used to in the Call of Duty series. While the gameplay itself is its own reward, the poker tournament-style payouts are a great way to increase your cash count.

2. More customization than ever

Previous COD games had you setting your callsign and title, but Black Ops takes customization to a new level. You can etch your clan tag onto your iron sights, create your own custom emblem out of dozens and dozens of images, and even change your reticule into a smiley face, if that's your thing.

3. Theater mode

First-person shooters have always featured one-in-a-million occurrences in multiplayer matches. Whether it’s a bouncing knife in Modern Warfare 2 or an insane sticky grenade throw in Halo, there are inevitably moments you’d love to show your friends (and the rest of the gaming world). While they’re not the first to do it, Black Ops will feature a full-scale Theater mode for showing off all the crazy stuff you’ve experienced.

4. Interactive environments

Previous CODs have never lacked great maps, but most of them haven’t been interactive at all. With Black Ops, we’ll be able to alter various parts of the environment, such as the blast doors in Radiation. If you’re holding a flag and want to keep the enemy out, just flip a switch and cut off one of their entryways.

5. Experimental weapons

Being set in the Cold War allowed Treyarch to get a little more goofy with their weaponry, as the era was filled with experimental prototype weaponry. You’ll be taking down enemies with ballistic knives, flamethrowers attached to your standard guns, and even a remote control car equipped with Semtex.