At times is Call of Duty over-the-top, thus making it hard to suspend my disbelief? Yes. At times is the violence, blood and gore and swearing gratuitous? I think so.
But I like Call of Duty because there is an element of realism to it. (Not so much in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.)
The first Black Ops is my favorite game in the series, for a few reasons.
1) There is the option to limit the content (blood and gore, violence and swearing), which is nice. I can only take so much. It’s like the developers realized they were going over-the-top and at least put in an option to make this not so.
2) It is set during the Cold War. World War II and, more recently, modern warfare are areas covered by many first-person shooters, so it’s nice to see a change.
3) The game is over-the-top at times; the “black ops” missions are sometimes anything but, and if they were to occur in the real world would likely start World War III. But there is an element of realism to it all — a “this could have happened” feeling. This feeling is a result of the game’s Cold War setting.
4) It piqued my interest in the Cold War.
5) The guns sound like real guns — not like toys.
6) The characters behave like real people.