reader discussion

Reader Discussion: Is CoD: Black Ops Too Violent?

by Annette Gonzalez on Nov 13, 2010 at 09:30 AM

Prior to the highly anticipated launch of Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops, animation director Dominique Drozdz said in an interview that Black Ops' new facial animation system and realistic visuals made the team feel that some of the more violent scenes have gone a bit too far. Our very own Adam Biessener said in his Black Ops review that Treyarch crossed the line in terms of violence as the game "pushes the lines of good taste."

"The campaign puts players neck deep in the close-up brutality of combat. Limbs shatter disgustingly as bullets rip apart flesh and bone. Gore flies in all directions as combatants are popped like meat balloons by the vicious weaponry of the ‘60s. In one uncomfortable sequence, the player has to torture a restrained prisoner. This is an emphatically mature game (in the ESRB sense, anyway). Everyone should make their own judgment on what they are comfortable with, but Black Ops crossed my personal line in its bloody depictions of violence, particularly the torture sequence. I wasn’t able to compartmentalize it as enjoyable cartoon violence like I have with so many games over the years. Call me a wuss if you want, but the realistic gore is distasteful in the absence of a discussion of what should be a careful decision to employ lethal force. I realize that Treyarch isn’t trying to put on a morality play here, but Black Ops pushes the lines of good taste."

What do you think? Did the amount of graphic violence in Black Ops make you uncomfortable? Was it even necessary? Or are these graphic depictions of violence just an element of the war experience that we should expect in a game like this? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.