Call of Duty: Black Ops is a military-themed FPS game which has both a campaign mode and an online mode. In the Campaign mode, players are immersed in the 1960s Cold Mar and they play the role of a special ops soldier who is being interrogated. The missions in the campaign take the player all over the world. They spend time in the U.S.S.R, in Hong Kong, and even in the brutal Vietnam trenches.
The online mode is what draws most people to the series, thoguh. In this, the players engage in team-based battles and earn ranks, new equipment and more powerful weapons like these.
The online mode requires a lot of practice and skill, and as players learn the maps, the synergy between the weapons, and the best strategies, they will rank up. Many players join clans and hone their strategies together.
Black Ops is a very challenging game, and it is aimed at adults. It has open voice chat, which means that there is the chance of encountering profanity and abusive players. The developers, Activision, do try to clamp down on cheaters and people who are abusive, but because the player community is so large it is hard for them to stop everything.
It is not a game that would ‘age well’ in that respect, because the single player campaign is quite short.
Black Ops is available on consoles and on PC. As is typical for most games, the player bases do not cross over. This means that if you want to play it with your friends you will need to make sure that you all get it on the same platform.
The matchmaking, if you are not in a party, is skill based, so if you are playing as a solo player you should get put into groups where you will be challenged, but not at a huge disadvantage. As the game matures, it does become harder for new players to find ‘easy games’ because the player base will know the maps and have had more practice than you, but it does not take a lot of time to get a decent level of familiarity, and there are streams that you can watch, with commentary, that will help you to understand the game and to learn what you are supposed to be doing in each role.
Taking a little time to understand the mechanics will make the game a lot more satisfying for you, and allow you to be competitive in any role, even at a lower level and with less equipment.